5 Push Notification Best Practices to Skyrocket App User Engagement [Updated]
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Ritu Poddar
Ritu Poddar
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5 Push Notification Best Practices to Skyrocket App User Engagement [Updated]

Published : August 1, 2019 | Updated : January 12, 2024

Mobile marketers who use push notification as their strongest and most crucial channel for app user engagement need a well-designed push notification strategy to maximize engagement and conversions.

Many users enable opt in to receive push notifications during the first time app launch. But non-contextual, impersonal, and too many push notifications do more harm than good.

If your app notifications provide no value, it’s bound to be swiped off from the mobile screen. Remember that your push notifications must add value to the entire app usage experience to avoid drop-offs.

Marketers need to act with a clear, pre-determined plan based on industry best practices instead of instinctively shooting in the dark. Data is your oil, and actionable analytical insights are your refined fuels to propel your marketing strategy forward.

All you need to do is follow the proven mantras and see push notifications do wonders for you.

Top 5 push notification best practices

Here are 5 push notification best practices that you must imbibe in your mobile marketing plan to skyrocket your app user engagement, one carefully acquired user at a time:

1. Make it easy for your app users to opt in/out

Sustainable customer relationships are based on trust and transparency. Ask users whether they would like to receive push notifications a couple of days later after they install the app.

Do not trick or force them into opting in for your push notifications. Let them know what kind of push notification messages you wish to send and educate them about the advantages of choosing to opt in.

Also, keep it relatively easy for users to opt-out. You can always re-engage them with in-app messages and ask them to opt in later. If you do not let them disable, you might risk losing the user altogether, through app uninstall.

Ask users to opt-in to push notifications

2. Personalize your push notification message

Sending impersonal and generic push notifications becomes a sure-shot way of annoying your users and increasing the risk of uninstalls. It is extremely important for you to know and understand your users closely and deliver a notification message that is highly personalized and relevant.

Push notification messages crafted based on your users’ historical behavior and preferences, sent at their preferred time, are bound to perform well and uplift your app notification’s click-through rates (CTRs) and conversions.

Here is an example of how a cab-hailing app sends a push notification designed to encourage a dormant user to start using the app again.

The notification message is personalized and also contains an offer that the user might find useful. Based on whether this notification message works or not can help you gain a better understanding of what your customer might be looking for.

Re-engage dormant users with push notifications

3. Craft meaningful and attractive push notification message

Push Notifications are short-form content. Every word matters. Carefully crafted push notifications that have the right length, tone, and flavor can go a long way in creating the desired impact.

In the example below, a fitness app sends this push notification on a Friday afternoon. The notification message is light and fun instead of being plain and machine-like, thus boosting the user’s connection with the app.

Fitness app attractive push notification message

Pro tip: Use rich elements like creatives in your push notifications to create a better impact in your messages.

4. Constantly experiment with A/B testing of push notifications

Batch-and-blast campaigns are things of the distant past now.

You need to constantly experiment with which type of push notification works best. This is precisely where the mobile A/B Testing feature comes into the picture.

Mobile A/B Testing is the calibrated process of comparing two or more variants of a push notification – for a particular campaign – to determine a better-performing variant based on key metrics. These include open rates, click-through rates (CTRs), and/or conversions.

Each variant is targeted at a percentage of your entire user base – defined by you – and the winning variant is then sent to the remaining relevant user base.

Utilizing this feature, you can experiment with varying degrees of personalization, the notification message as well as rich elements like audio, video, etc.

Push Notification A/B testing - Variant A
Push Notification A/B testing - Variant B

Also Read: How to Increase CTR (Click-Through Rate) of Your Push Notifications

5. Don’t overwhelm your users with multiple push notification messages

Excess of anything is bad. However good and relevant your push notifications are, you do not want to bombard your users with too many push notifications.

You could be running a number of distinct marketing campaigns, but if the recipient user base is the same, it is extremely critical that you limit the number of campaigns a user receives.

Identify a cap that suits your user the most. A news and media app needs to send more push notifications to its users (to keep them updated) as compared to a music or travel app. Also, keep optimizing the cap through a process of data-driven experimentation and testing.

If you are an ecommerce brand, your users would not mind getting frequent push notifications during a sale period. This is precisely where frequency capping becomes a valuable tool, helping you orchestrate multi-channel customer journeys without having to worry about flooding users’ phones and inboxes with too much content.

Build a Push Notification Strategy that Wins

You now know the 5 most important tips a successful mobile app marketer should follow. Do it right, and you will see your key app metrics rise over a period of time.

Also, remember that there is no set-it-and-forget-it approach to user engagement. You have to constantly experiment, based on your users’ past and real-time in-app behavior, to hit upon the right mix.

Your marketing investment is on the line, so why not make every dollar count by adopting the best-practices-driven approach that helps you deliver personalized user experiences at scale.

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Written By: Ritu Poddar