A Complete Guide on How Startups Can Use Push Notifications
Written by
Zaid Hashmi
Zaid Hashmi

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A Complete Guide on How Startups Can Use Push Notifications

Published : August 4, 2023

Ever thought about how powerful push notifications can be?

You know, those little messages that pop up on your screen from different apps?

When done right, they’re like little digital elves, bringing us all sorts of goodies – timely updates, personalized deals, valuable content, and more.

In short, app push notifications can be the secret sauce to forming a strong bond with your customers, kind of like the glue that fosters brand loyalty.

But then, you’ve also got the dark side of push notifications, right?

Picture this: you’re in the middle of something important, and then ‘ding!’, ‘buzz!’, ‘vibration!’, your phone starts screaming for attention. And for what? Yet another pointless message that offers no real value to your day. Ugh, we’ve all been there, and it’s pretty annoying.

So, what’s the deal with these push notifications?

In this guide, we’re gonna dive deep into the world of push notifications. By the time we’re done, you’ll know all the ins and outs – what they are, how to craft one, why they’re beneficial, the different types, and more.

So, let’s get started!

What are Push Notifications?

You’ve most likely seen some of these little pop-up messages on your phone’s lock screen, right? Well, those are exactly what we’re talking about – push notifications.

Oyo's implementation of inbox commerce

A quick backstory. Way back in 2009, Apple launched the iOS3 operating system. This was the birth of the modern push notification. Since then, they’ve become a go-to way for companies to chat with their subscribers about all sorts of things quickly. But even though they’ve been around for a while, push notifications haven’t seen quite as much use as older siblings, like email and SMS marketing. Stick around, and we’ll dive into why that might be and how you can use push notifications effectively.

What are the Benefits Of Using Push Notifications?

1. Building Your Newsletter

Ever had those pesky push notifications popping up at all the wrong times?

Yeah, we’ve all been there. But when designed and timed right, push notifications can turn your site visitors into dedicated subscribers.

Over time, you can even segment these subscribers based on their interaction with your notifications and send them targeted messages to get them to join your newsletter.

2. Inviting Return Visitors

Sure, new visitors to your site are exciting, but having folks return? That’s even better, and it’s easier on your wallet too.

Craft the perfect push notification, and you’ve got a tool to bring visitors back to your site to explore new content and experiences.

3. Enhancing User Experience

The better the experience a user has with your business, be it your website, your content, or your services, the more they’ll come back and talk positively about you.

If your push notifications are relevant, personalized, and timely, users will love receiving them. These notifications can pair with your other marketing channels to deliver the information your customers want and need, significantly enhancing their experience.

4. Getting to Know Your Customers

As a marketer, understanding your site visitors/customers is key, and push notifications can play a huge role in this.

For starters, by noticing which notifications have the highest engagement, conversion rates, or opt-outs, you can learn more about your visitors and their behavior, like their preferred headline format, the best timing, the most effective CTAs, and so on.

Armed with this knowledge, you can boost your other marketing channels and enjoy improved responses. Additionally, you can send push notifications containing a survey to your subscribers to learn about their experiences with your brand and content.

5. Boosting Engagement Rates

High engagement rates with your content signal to Google and other search engines that you’re offering valuable content.

One strategy to encourage this is by getting site visitors to return to your site within 30 days. App push notifications can serve as friendly nudges to remind your users to come back for more.

How a Push Notification Works

If you’re an app or website owner looking to get on the push notification bandwagon, the first thing you’ll need to do is sign up with an Operating System Push Notification Service (OSPNS) for each platform you want to reach out on. This will involve some interaction with their specific Application Programming Interface (API), but don’t sweat it; it’s simpler than it sounds.

In fact, forget the above. Netcore lets you deploy Push Notifications without any hassles or code. It’s simple and can be done in a few clicks. Here’s how it works.

Types of Push Notifications

1. Web Push Notifications

Have you ever seen those little pop-ups asking if you’d like to receive updates from a website?

Those are web push notifications.

They’re a pretty nifty tool that lets website owners keep their visitors engaged, even when they’re not actively on the site. It’s like the website sending you a friendly nudge with real-time updates, special promotions, or other relevant info.

All you’ve got to do is opt-in to receive these notifications and manage your preferences through your browser settings.

Push notification web for startups - Netcore Cloud

2. Mobile Push Notifications

Next, we’ve got mobile push notifications. These little guys are sent directly to app users on their mobile devices, like smartphones or tablets.

It doesn’t matter whether the app is open or not; the notifications will pop up in your device’s notification center as alerts or banners.

These mobile push notifications keep you in the loop about new messages, updates, events, or other tidbits from your apps or services.

The best part?

They can be tailored just for you and can even include specific actions you can take right from the notification. You control the show here; you can manage your notification settings on your device or within each app.

Push notification mobile for startups - Netcore Cloud

3. Desktop Push Notifications

Last, but not least, we’ve got desktop push notifications. These alerts or pop-up messages appear on your computer or laptop screen, keeping you updated with real-time info, reminders, or important news, even when you’re not using the website or application.

Push notification on desktop for startups - Netcore Cloud

Desktop push notifications can include text, images, and sometimes even interactive elements, letting you take actions directly from the notification. Like with the others, you can manage your desktop notification preferences through your operating system settings or within individual websites or applications.

Also Read: Types of Push Notification Campaigns for Targeted Messaging

Tips For Creating Effective Push Notifications

To run successful push notification campaigns, there are several key points to consider while creating push notifications.

1. Make an offer they can’t refuse

Make an offer - push notification ideas - Netcore Cloud

Want users to opt-in for your push notifications? You have to make it worth their while. Think free ebooks, top-secret guides, or one-on-one consultations. Here’s how you nail it:

  • Find out what makes your audience tick. Got data? Use it. What problems can you solve for them? Make your offer something they can’t resist.
  • Put your best foot forward. High-quality graphics, punchy writing, and well-structured content. The way your offer looks matters.
  • Sell it. Make sure people know what they’ll get out of subscribing to your push notifications. Highlight the exclusive content or unique insights they can expect. After all, who doesn’t like to feel special?
  • Keep it simple. People are busy. Make it easy for them to claim your awesome offer and sign up for your app push notifications.
  • Stay on top of your game. Regularly tweak your offer based on user feedback and performance metrics. Keep it fresh; keep it relevant!

2. Keep your content cool

Push notification content - Netcore Cloud

Your push notifications are short and sweet. But if they’re not interesting, people won’t bother clicking on them. So, let’s make them irresistible:

– Short is sweet. Grab users’ attention right away. Keep it clear, keep it compelling, and keep it concise.

– Show off a little. Got glowing customer testimonials or awesome user reviews? Share them! Social proof goes a long way.

– Get personal. Address users by their name, and tailor the message to their interests. Make them feel like you’re talking just to them.

– Don’t be shy with your call-to-action. Be bold, and create a sense of urgency. A well-crafted CTA can work wonders.

– A picture paints a thousand words. Add images or emojis to make your notifications stand out.

– Experiment! A/B testing can help you find out what works best for your audience.

3. Segment and personalize like a pro

Personalized app push notification - Netcore Cloud

To create push notifications that really hit home, you’ve gotta know your audience. Segmenting and personalizing your content can make a huge difference:

– Break it down. Divide your audience into smaller groups based on their interests, behavior, or past interactions. The more targeted, the better.

– Get to know them. Use what you know about your audience to personalize your push notifications. Nothing says “I value you” quite like a personalized message.

– Use their location. Tailor your notifications to users’ physical surroundings to make them even more relevant.

– Speak their language. Customize the tone and content to resonate with different age groups or demographics.

– Use their history. Use their past behavior to trigger relevant notifications. They’ll appreciate the effort.

– Keep testing. Monitor performance, refine your strategies, and optimize your push notification campaigns.

4. Test, test, and test again

Push notification ab testing for startups - Netcore Cloud

A/B testing is your best friend when it comes to crafting effective push notifications. Here’s how you do it:

– Play around with titles. See which ones get the most opens.

– Experiment with different messages. Find out what makes users click.

– Mix up your CTAs. Which one gets the most engagement?

– Test different timings. When is your audience most likely to engage?

– Look at the data. Use analytics and performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of each version.

– Keep improving. Use what you learn to refine your content and make your notifications even better.

5. Be mindful of the number of notifications sent

Nobody likes to be bombarded with messages. So when it comes to push notifications, less is more. But don’t keep it so less that users forget about you. It’s all about finding that balance:

– Send only the important stuff. Keep your notifications valuable and relevant. Users will appreciate it.

– Avoid notification overload. Remember, your notification is one among dozens they receive daily.

– Make it relevant and timely. Make sure each notification serves a clear purpose and is sent at the right time.

– Let them take control. Allow users to manage their own notification preferences. They’ll love you for it.

– Listen to your users. Pay attention to their feedback and monitor key metrics to make your notifications even better.

6. Make unsubscribing easy to do

Sometimes, people want out. And that’s okay. Make sure your users can easily opt out of your push notifications when they want to:

– Keep it simple. Make unsubscribing as easy as possible. It’s just good manners.

– Be clear. Give clear instructions on how they can stop receiving your notifications.

– Respect their decision. When they say they’re done, they’re done. Make sure they stop receiving notifications immediately.

– Offer alternatives. Some users might prefer to receive updates in a different way. Offer options like email newsletters or social media updates.

– Learn from it. Keep track of opt-out rates to help you improve your notifications and make them more appealing.

Also read: What You Need to Focus on Before Sending Your Notifications

Key Metrics to Measure Push Notifications

Here are six key metrics to keep an eye on when it comes to app push notifications:

1. Opt-In Rate

This refers to the portion of users who have given your app or website permission to send them push notifications. If your opt-in rate is high, it shows that your invitation to receive push notifications is enticing enough to convert visitors into subscribers.

2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures how many users are actually tapping on your push notifications to get more info. A high CTR indicates that your push notification’s title, copy, or content is interesting enough to pique your users’ curiosity.

Here’s how you can increase CTRs for your push notifications.

3. Conversion Rate

This represents how many users are doing what you’re asking them to in the notification – maybe it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or something else. A high conversion rate means that your notification’s offer is relevant and timely, your message is clear, and you’re doing a good job segmenting your audience.

4. View Rate

This is the proportion of users who actually see your push notification. Ideally, you’d want this to be as close to 100% as possible – any less and it means that some of your audience isn’t even getting a chance to see your notifications.

5. Opt-Out Rate

This is the portion of users who have decided to stop receiving your push notifications over a certain period or after a specific campaign. If your opt-out rate is climbing, it’s a strong signal that you need to do some A/B testing and rethink your strategy.

6. Uninstall Rate

This is the number of users who are removing your app from their devices. If you want to avoid taking a hit, you should keep a close eye on your uninstall rate and figure out what actions you need to take to keep it low.

DON’T Do these Mistakes with Push Notifications

Certainly, there are numerous pitfalls that can prevent your push notifications from being effective. Avoiding these common mistakes can significantly enhance user engagement and experience:

1. Overdoing Notifications

It’s crucial to strike a balance between too many and too few notifications.

Too many notifications can be intrusive and annoying, leading users to opt-out.

Conversely, too few notifications can result in users forgetting about your app or service. The key is to understand your users’ preferences and tailor your notification frequency accordingly.

2. Neglecting to Automate

Automation is essential to ensure that your notifications are sent at the right time.

Nobody appreciates a notification at an odd hour.

Automating your push notifications allows you to schedule them for optimal times, maximizing user engagement and preventing potential friction.

3. Forgetting the Onboarding Notifications

Onboarding push notifications guide new subscribers through your site or app, increasing their engagement and retention.

Like a helpful guide at a new school, onboarding notifications provide crucial assistance to users who may otherwise feel lost or overwhelmed.

4. Treating All Users the Same

Personalization is key. Each user has different interests and behaviors, so a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to be effective.

Instead, segment your users and send personalized notifications to each group based on their specific preferences.

5. Ignoring Key Metrics

While click rates are an essential metric, they don’t paint the entire picture.

It’s also important to track conversions and understand the true value your push notifications are providing.

This involves delving deeper into your analytics and observing user actions on your site or app after they arrive via a push notification.

6. Overlooking Browser Push Notifications

If you don’t have a mobile app, don’t rush to build one just to send push notifications. Your website’s browser can handle this task effectively.

Especially for small and medium-sized businesses, mobile websites often have a wider reach than apps. Combining mobile app and browser push notifications can give you the broadest possible reach.


Effective push notifications are indeed a game-changer. They can help businesses maintain a constant and direct line of communication with their customers, boost engagement, and drive conversions.

Netcore offers comprehensive tools for managing push notifications, and booking a live demo could provide valuable insights into how these can be leveraged to maximize impact.

It’s a chance to see first-hand how proper push notification strategies can enhance customer engagement, build relationships, and, ultimately, boost your business.

Remember, success with push notifications is about more than just sending out messages. It’s about crafting the right messages, personalizing them for different segments of your audience, timing them correctly, and constantly monitoring and tweaking your strategy based on key metrics. With the right approach and the right tools, push notifications can be a powerful asset in your marketing arsenal.

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Written By: Zaid Hashmi
Zaid Hashmi
Zaid, a skilled growth marketer with a flair for writing, is dedicated to producing results-driven content. He is passionate about MarTech topics and often researches & writes blogs around it. With a talent for both short-form and long-form content, he has a knack to hold his audience's attention through compelling storytelling and insightful narratives.