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What Are Rich Push Notifications? Everything You Need to Know

Shivkumar M 20+ yrs shaping technology Product & GTM strategy. Fintech, healthcare & retail industry expertise. Leads product launches, adoption & GTM as Director, Product Marketing.
What Are Rich Push Notifications? Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to your mobile users, making a connection is everything. Savvy marketers have recognized the incredible power of push notifications for keeping their brand or app top of mind for users. Rich push notifications add another layer of engagement and interactivity that can take your message to the next level.
Let’s take a look at what rich push notifications are and how you can use them to create a memorable user experience.

What Are Rich Push Notifications?

Rich push notifications are short pop-up messages sent to a user’s device with a rich media attachment such as an animated GIF, video, or audio. They allow you to communicate with your customers in an inviting way even when they’re not actively using your app or visiting your website.
Rich push notifications can include interactive elements called “content extensions.” These allow users to complete actions right from their device’s lock screen without launching an app. You might use them to encourage a user to shop a specific item or sale, register for an event, or share the notification with a friend. 

Examples of Rich Push Notifications

Rich media is naturally more compelling than plain text. (Wouldn’t you rather look at a fun GIF than a block of text?) Through images, videos, and other elements that catch people’s attention, rich push notifications showcase your message and invite users to interact.
There are many creative ways to use rich push notifications to engage customers. Some examples include:

  • Informing a user of a special event
  • Sending price alerts or sales notifications
  • Announcing a new product or service
  • Sending news or weather updates
  • Guiding a new user through onboarding steps
  • Encouraging a user to return to an online shopping cart

The better you understand your users and what appeals to them, the easier it will be for you to create rich notifications they’ll find hard to ignore. Giving them information that’s relevant and useful combined with inviting rich media helps make your brand memorable and will inspire your users to make a purchase, attend an event, or sign up for a service.
what are rich push notifications

How Do Rich Push Notifications Work?

Rich push notifications work through— yep, you guessed it — push technology. That means they deliver (or push) information to a user as opposed to the user requesting (or pulling) the information themselves.
Here’s the basic process. Marketers select a target audience for a rich push notification, craft a message, and attach rich media. Then the push notification is scheduled for delivery at a specific time or in response to certain triggers.
Rich push notifications can be personalized to include the user’s name, location, products viewed, or other relevant user activity. For example, a retailer might use a rich push notification with a product image to entice a user back to an abandoned online shopping cart.
how do rich notifications work

Rich Notification Delivery: Android vs. iOS

Rich push notifications require devices running iOS 10 and higher or Android 4.1 and higher. Although the requirements for sending rich notifications are similar across devices, there are some delivery differences to keep in mind.

iOS Rich Push Notifications

Users running iOS 15 or later can fine-tune their notification preferences by setting up Focus. It’s a tool that allows the user to schedule delivery times and decide whether to receive notifications from an app immediately or in a summary that’s delivered at a time they choose.
For marketers, this means that although your iOS rich push notification may be available to your user as soon as it arrives, users with Focus enabled may not see the delivery notification right away.

Rich Notification: Android

When it comes to rich notification, Android has it all. Starting from Android 8.0 up, users can go into the settings for their app and manage notification preferences according to different categories called “notification channels”*.
For example, rather than turning off all rich notifications, a user might choose not to receive Android rich notifications about upcoming sales but opt to keep seeing those related to shipping and delivery. The user can also decide how they want the notification to alert them. For example, they might choose to have the notification arrive with a sound or just appear on their phone’s status bar.

Rich Push Notification FAQs for Marketers

We’ve made the case for rich push notifications as an engaging and effective marketing tool, but we get that you may still have questions. Let’s dive in and answer a few common ones to help you get started.

Are Rich Push Notifications More Effective than Text Only?

Statistics show that rich media formats improve reaction rates by 25%. And yet, only an estimated 8% of marketers use rich media in their push notifications*.
Of course, we’re talking averages. Using other essential push notification strategies can level up your push game even more. Basic personalization can improve open rates by nearly 10%. If you segment your audience, highly targeted campaigns can achieve click-through rates of 30% or more.

What Are Some Ideas for Personalized Rich Push Notifications?

It’s no surprise that people respond better when content feels personal and relevant to them. Here are a few creative ways to personalize notifications:

  • Create FOMO: “The jacket you were interested in is selling out fast! Get it now before it’s gone.”
  • Birthday bonuses: “Let’s celebrate! Stop by today for your free birthday drink.”
  • Upsell: “You look fab in that new dress you bought from us! We think this handbag would complete the look. #StraightFire”
  • Ask a question: “Have you made time to unwind today?”
  • Gamify: “You’re almost there! Earn just 10 more points to unlock your bonus.”
  • Tempt with an image: “When was the last time you watched a sunset? Book your room today! The view’s on us.”
  • Give a gentle nudge: “It looks like you haven’t completed your registration. This video walk-through can help!”

    Learn more about push notification best practices to craft your ultimate engagement strategy.
    rich push notification example

    What If My User Can’t See the Rich Media?

    An old version of your app, network issues, older operating systems — there could be any number of reasons why someone might not be able to see the rich media attached to your notification. It’s essential to give your user a good experience even when they can’t see that image or play the video you carefully curated for them.
    Think of rich media as an enhancement — although it adds something special to the experience, your notification should still be perfectly functional without it. Carefully craft your messages and use alternate text so that nothing important is missing if the rich media doesn’t display.
    Don’t forget to segment your audience so that your users with older operating systems receive text-only notifications.

    Use Rich Push Notifications to Level Up Your Marketing Game

    Text-only push notifications help keep your brand on users’ radars. Rich notifications add another layer of visual appeal and interactivity to help keep them engaged, surprised, delighted, and even entertained. The better the experience your user has with your business and your app, the more memorable your brand becomes.
    Chat with the CleverTap team or schedule a demo to learn more about using rich push notifications to amplify your marketing message.

    Grab-and-Go Push Notification Templates

    Grab-and-Go Push Notification Templates

    40+ ready-made push notification templates with suggestions for rich media and pre-designed calls to action.

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    Posted on October 5, 2021