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What Are Push Notifications? What We Learned from Sending 40 Billion Messages [Infographic]

If you have a smartphone you have almost certainly seen a push notification.

It might surprise you to learn that the average smartphone in the US receives 45.9 push notifications every day.1 But, if you are still unsure what a push notification is — we have a simple answer for you and you can jump to our infographic featuring tips to increase push notification engagement.

What are Push Notifications?

A push notification is a text or rich media message, much like an SMS text message, sent to a mobile device from third-party applications once the user opts in to receive them.

The mobile strategy behind push notifications is to offer value whether it be content, coupons, or time-sensitive alerts, bringing the user back to engage with the application.

How Push Notifications Work

When a mobile application is downloaded onto an iPhone or Android device, a popup must be accepted or denied. That popup requests permission to send alerts and notifications directly to the home screen of the phone.

Users who receive push notifications still have the opportunity to ignore the message, but if the message grabs the user’s attention, they might re-engage with the app and accomplish your conversion goal.

how push notifications work

How can this simple, borderline SMS marketing tactic become a main source of conversions?

We looked at data from over 40 billion push notifications to discover which ones work and which strategies will generate more app retention with your users.

Why Use Push Notifications?

For a long time, app developers viewed the download as the holy grail. Today, the data shows a precipitous drop in engagement after that initial download — in fact, the average mobile application loses 73% of users within 48 hours of a download.

This is why retention is the engine of growth and one of the most important metrics for mobile application teams to track.

Push notifications have been found to boost retention rates by 23 percent after three months,2 compared to users who disabled push notifications. With this in mind, it’s important to strategize around converting for the new holy grail — the opt-in.

Opt-in-mize: Optimize for the Opt-In

Unfortunately, a large percentage of mobile users do not opt-in to receive push notifications as only 60% of Android and 45% of iPhone users opt-in to receive alerts and notifications.

This is likely a result of past experiences with companies overloading users with a barrage of notifications. Like the annoying aunt or uncle who clutters up your social media feed with a seemingly endless tirade of political rants (we all have one).

If you’re going to overcome the roadblocks left by those who recklessly traveled the push notification path before you, it’s important to paint a clear picture for your users. Let them know what they can expect from your push notifications.

opt-in optimization

Let’s say, for example, you have a finance app and plan to send real-time market data regarding the performance of indices and individual stocks.

Tell users that info!

If they know what to expect from your push notifications, they can make an educated decision about whether to opt in or opt out.

Brevity is the Recipe for Push Notifications

Push notifications offer mobile app marketers the opportunity to remind the user of your product, service, and any time-sensitive information.

Push notifications are not, however, the appropriate medium for sharing long-form content, and if your message is too long, it will be truncated by the mobile operating system.

In our analysis of billions of push notifications across various industry verticals, we found that 20-90 character push notifications yield the highest click-through rate (CTR).

Today’s bite-sized appetite for information keeps marketing teams concise and users engaged despite a lightspeed attention span. Although open rates are low across the board, if you can supply quality information in your push notifications, your audience may still be deriving value from your efforts.

If this is the case, the value will likely be reciprocated in some way.

When Push Notification Comes to Shove

As mobile marketers, we walk a fine line between providing a friendly, expected push to action and an obnoxious, unwanted shove. We want our products and services to remain top of mind, but we certainly do not want the sentiment to be negative.

Utilizing a respectful push notification strategy that can engage your customer is essential to retaining users.

If you are lacking a push notification strategy for your application you could be sacrificing user growth, engagement, retention, and conversions.

Put some of these tips into action during your next CleverTap push notification campaign.

Infographic: Push Notification Engagement Tips That Convert

Push notification tips for mobile marketing conversions

Infographic Sources:

CleverTap | Blueshift | VentureBeat

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