Digital Marketing Technology

5 Ways to Increase App Engagement Through Push Notifications

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Every business (digital or not) must understand that there is no way around going mobile especially now that more and more people are becoming ‘mobile first.’ It means people are checking their mobile devices first instead of their desktop computers if they will use the latter at all. No wonder mobile apps are the “in” thing to do nowadays. However, you don’t just develop an app and put them at the store. There are other ways to increase user engagement including push notifications.

What is Push notification & How to use it –

You have undoubtedly seen one of those messages that pop up on your mobile phone. These are the messages that are pushed to the users when they are not actively using the said application much like an SMS or mobile alerts. However, only those who have installed the app can see these notifications.


Push notifications can do several things and hence, can complement your business goals. Its value, nonetheless, is more evident on communicating with the users particularly about the latest features and functions of the app. It can also drive actions such as using the app if you haven’t opened it for a while, reviewing the app or any digital property of the app publisher, visiting the e-commerce site to make a purchase, informing about the promos and campaigns, etc.

Further, the app owner or publisher (you) can send these notifications at any time convenient or appropriate, and the users will receive them even if they are not using their devices. Depending on the message and call to action, increasing the click-through is your goal otherwise, you will just keep on sending notifications that your users will ignore.

How will you increase engagement with push notifications?

1) Educate the users

Since your goal is to enhance the impact of your notifications, the prerequisite is educating your users about the importance and benefits of receiving these messages. This might also be the reason why they are deliberately ignoring your notifications—because they don’t understand what’s in it for them. Done right, more and more users would not opt out of receiving the notifications.

2) Experiment the frequency

After recognizing the fact that people are opting out of your notifications, the second important step is to look at your current user demographics and stats.

What’s the current volume of your users who receive the notifications? Although, right now, there are no studies regarding the optimal times to send notifications, you need to experiment what works with your own platform (Android vs. iOs). Analyze the available data that the platforms provide. For instance, if you’ve discovered that the open rate is higher on Android than in iPhone, send more notifications on the former.

3) Experiment the messages too

Are you being too spammy? Or, overly promotional?

Are you sending too many notifications like on an hourly basis? Or, are you sending too few? Is it clear to them what actions are required? Are your messages helpful enough or not? These are the things you should look at before you can craft a more interactive notification that receives a click-through.

4) Personalize the notifications

Based on previous studies about this, brands that opted to tailor-fit their notifications increased their open rates to 800%. Hence, personalization should be a fundamental of your push notification program.

You don’t have to send messages to each user—that’s not how this process works. Instead, use a tool such as a cookie tracking software to determine how your users are interacting with your app and start from there. The message should resonate with their current needs or it won’t work.

5) Think of the overall UX

Overall user experience is another crucial aspect to look at. The open or click-through rate will increase depending on the app-related factors especially those that directly and indirectly affect the user’s interaction. For instance, how can you expect the users to make more in-app purchases if the app always crashes while in use? With this, you will find it difficult to win over the old users unless you fix the bugs first.

Sending push notification is just one strategy. And this alone is influenced by several factors that you can and beyond your control. One important thing here is to leverage what’s available including analyzing data, so you better serve the notifications to your users. Again, you don’t just develop and publish the app. In actuality, the real work begins after you put the app in the stores.

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About the author

Janelle Yu

Janelle Yu has great passion in writing various content topics especially about mobile technology, tech news and social media. She is currently a copywriter for Vender – a productivity app for salespeople that let you manage your leads and tasks.

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