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Unlocking Android Push Notifications: The 4 W’s Deep Dive

Apoorv Bhatnagar Apoorv, Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at CleverTap, drives digital marketing strategies. Expert in SEO, analytics, and channel marketing. Previous roles at Freshworks, excelling in organic SEO, lead generation, and CMS activities.
Unlocking Android Push Notifications: The 4 W’s Deep Dive

Ever wondered about those little, app-branded messages that keep popping up on our  phones? Those are push notifications, a powerful tool used by apps to keep users informed and engaged. The current digital landscape is swamped with mobile apps vying for users’ attention and trying to keep them hooked onto their apps. In this competitive scenario android push notifications have emerged as a powerful tool for brands to cut through the noise and deliver rich and targeted messages directly to the users device. But what exactly are push notifications, and how can android push notifications be leveraged by marketers to build a compelling marketing strategy? 

Notifications have been around for decades and back in the day took several forms such as flags on mailboxes, light blinkers on telephone answering machines to even neighbours leaving plants turned. Over the last 20 years with the advent and growth of the smartphone, digital notifications have been brought to the forefront with iconic “Ýou’ve got mail” chime in the early 1990’s and 2000’s to the constant beeping of modern smartphones. Gradually these notifications evolved in the form of badges, banners and icons that appear on our smart devices to keep users engaged. 

Did you know that according to statistical data an average US smartphone user receives 46 push notifications each day, and the opt-in rate of iOS devices is 51% while the same for android enabled devices is 81%, because android enables push notifications by default, which would imply that android push notifications have a higher render rate as compared to iOS.*

What are Android Push Notifications?

Android Push Notifications, which are a part of the Android SDK, are brief messages that appear on the screen of a user’s android device. These messages are customisable in the form of banners and flags and are rendered directly to the user’s screen even when users aren’t actively using the app, making them an ideal choice for engaging users.

The Mechanics

Android acts as the central hub, managing notifications from all apps that are installed on the smart device. These notifications appear in a dedicated area called the notification center, often accompanied by a sound or vibration in an attempt to grab users attention. Each notification typically includes a thumbnail image, a title, some informative text and sometimes even call-to-action buttons users can interact with directly. With the rise of Chinese phone brands like Xiaomi, Huawei and Baidu, these manufacturers introduced their own push notification services to deliver a more optimized user experience on their devices

Types of Android Push Notifications 

There are two main types of Android notifications:

  • Default or Direct: These are the basic notifications, offering a thumbnail and some text. Tapping them launches the relevant section of the app.
  • Interactive: Interactive notifications offer more than just information. They offer buttons embedded within the notification itself. For eg: a music player notification with play/pause, next and previous buttons – allows users to control music without even opening the app!

Notifications can also be categorized by their purpose:

Utility: Utility notifications remind users of upcoming events, calendar entries, or deliveries.

Update: Update notifications inform users about new software versions or features available within the app.

Promotions and Offers: Promotional notifications keep users in the loop about sales, discounts, or other special offers from the app.

The Android system even helps manage notification overload. It categorizes notifications and lets users prioritize which apps can send alerts, at what frequency and how they are displayed. This way, users can stay informed without feeling bombarded.

Brands can leverage the power of android push notifications for various purposes depending upon their needs like. 

Boosting Engagement:  Push notifications can remind users to resume incomplete actions within the app, like purchasing products in the cart or exploring new features. This can lead to a significant improvement in user engagement, a key performance metric for app success.

Re-engaging Dormant Users: Often users download an app and forget about it. Push notifications can remind users and reignite interest by sending personalized offers and incentives.

Driving Conversions:  Brands can promote offers, highlight latest products and services or trigger abandoned cart reminders, eventually leading to increased conversions with targeted push notifications. 

Better Brand Communication:  Push notifications are great means  to share timely updates, news or announcements directly with the customer base, building a stronger brand connection.

Best Practices To Craft Effective Android Push Notifications

The key to successful Android Push Notifications lies in a strategic approach. Brands must consider these best practices while crafting android push notification campaigns. 

Choose Value Over Volume: Users are often inundated with irrelevant notifications that annoy them and drive them towards uninstalling an app. Brands must deliver high-value messages that are relevant to the users or provide them with personalized offers that the users find worthy of their attention. As a best practice, other than transactional notifications, it is adviced to keep android notifications to less than 3 per day. 

Segmentation: Segregating users into groups based on distinct characteristics like interests, demographics and past behavior allows marketers to tailor push notifications that resonate with each user groups and create maximum impact. 

Timing It Right: Factors like time zones and app usage patterns must be carefully considered before scheduling android push notifications for optimal visibility.  A notification sent at the wrong timing will only end up being ignored. 

Clear, Concise and Compelling Copy: Android push notifications need to be short and to the point conveying a clear message. Users can be driven to take the desired action by using strong Call-to-Action buttons to click and engage. 

A/B Testing: Marketers can experiment with different notification elements, CTA’s and  formats with a small sample subset of users to determine which one resonates best with A/B testing.

Read How Neobank North Loop Doubled Its Engagement Rate With Campaign A/B Testing.

How CleverTap can help fuel business growth

Statistics suggest that the average CTR for iOS push notifications is 3.4% while android push notifications have a CTR of  4.6%* because the iOS security structure requires explicit permission from users to receive push notifications and on the other hand android has relatively fewer restrictions, hence android users receive more notifications leading to a higher CTR. CleverTap, an easy to use and powerful customer engagement platform that offers a comprehensive suite of tools and capabilities, empowering marketers to navigate this landscape by creating and managing push notifications effectively and elevating the brands overall marketing strategy and fuel business growth.

Read how aha Gained a 5x Increase in Engagement Using Push Notifications

Personalization at Scale

With CleverTap brands can tailor and personalize android push notifications by leveraging user data to provide individual users with impactful experiences. CleverTap equips  marketers to customize content, CTA’s, offers and more to individuals to enhance engagement.

Read how Boost Uses Personalization to Increase Retention by 5X.

Trigger-based Automation

Push Notifications sent to welcome users upon signup, nudging them to complete their profile information or reminding users about an abandoned cart or an upcoming booking. Such automated campaigns can be launched based on specific user action or inaction. 

Advanced Analytics and Reporting

Track and analyze the performance of android push notifications in real-time. CleverTap provides in depth analytical insights on all key performance metrics like delivery rates, click-through-rates, conversion, allowing marketers the scope to refine their strategy for better performing campaigns. 


Marketers can create android push campaigns with CleverTap’s Scribe by auto-generating copy that resonates with the user on an emotional level. Scribe also allows marketers to generate multiple copies for A/B testing, to improve the effectiveness of their push notifications. 

Rich Media Support

CleverTap allows marketers to create captivating push notifications by including emojis, images, video, audio to grab the users attention. 

Geo-specific Campaigns

Send location specific android push notifications to the users with CleverTaps geo-specific campaigns. Deliver relevant content, information or advertisements to users based upon their geographic location.


RenderMax can help boost push notification render rates by 90% and increase conversions by 25% by reaching dormant users and improving campaign ROI by increasing the likelihood that push notifications will be displayed on a user’s device.

Omnichannel Engagement

Move beyond just android push notifications. CleverTap enables marketers to craft omnichannel campaigns that seamlessly integrate with push notifications, emails, sms and in-app messages and delighting users with a unified user experience. 


The imminent deprecation of Xiaomi Push Service is poised to have a significant impact on push notification strategies across the industry, with Mi devices ranking third in market share globally, just behind Apple and Samsung. This change presents challenges that could affect engagement, conversion rates, and app retention, particularly for businesses heavily reliant on Mi Push Service.

Unlike other vendors facing these challenges, CleverTap’s RenderMax offers a resilient solution. Leveraging a diverse array of cutting-edge technologies, including a more optimized and deeper integration with Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) among other proprietary innovations, RenderMax ensures uninterrupted push notification delivery. Our proprietary technology maximizes notification render rates, even on Xiaomi devices, facilitating seamless communication for our customers.

As the industry navigates this evolving landscape, RenderMax emerges as a go-to solution. To help spread this message effectively, we’ve created the below assets that you can leverage.

Android push notifications can prove to be a valuable tool for app developers and marketers aiming at better engagement and higher conversion, if they understand its real potential, implement the best practices and utilize the capabilities of customer engagement platforms like CleverTap. By strategic messaging and targeted campaigns backed by analytical data android push notifications can become the cornerstone of user engagement and retention strategy. 

To learn more about how CleverTap can help build effective android push notification campaigns, talk to our expert and/or schedule a demo here.

Last updated on May 15, 2024