Top 8 best practices for push notifications on mobile apps

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One of the most powerful tools to engage mobile consumers is the Push notifications. Instead of the tedious process of sending the text or making the call, push notification can easily and conveniently pass on  the message to the customers. In fact, most users respond quickly to push notification than the alerts, updates, messages and other communications which are sent across with the help of mobile apps.

Although the prospects look enticing for marketers, it is easier said than done when it comes to Push notification. One of the most important requirements for Push notifications is that users need to install the concerned app on their smartphones and allow notifications. With the introduction of more smart devices such as smart watches, the connection to consumers is getting even closer than ever. These devices are aiding marketers in narrowing the gap between tactile experience and notifications.

However, with increased level of intimacy, marketers are walking a thin line between “conveying the message” and “being pushy”. So, we thought of providing 8 of the best practices when it comes to Push Notification.


Top 8 best practices for push notifications on mobile apps


1.    Understanding your app = Understanding your users

Before we think about the app, we need to understand our users. What would they need? Why would they need? Creating an app is not the end of the journey, rather it is the beginning of an adventure. The app gives a major head start when it comes to what needs to be provided for users and how those needs are going to be addressed. So, have a clear picture of what information needs to be provided via push notifications to your customers.


2.    Connect with user preferences

With the information provided by customers upon installing the app or upon creating their profiles, marketers get a fair idea about the customers and how they can be engaged with the brand. With the help of that data, the audience can be segmented based on different campaigns or user demographics or behaviors.

One of the best strategies that have often worked wonders for many is in treating each user as a unique individual. This strategy apart from getting better and continuous engagement from the customers, also help in improvising and targeting the mobile marketing efforts of the brand. In other words, it ensures that only relevant and context appropriate messages are sent to customers thereby creating better and positive experiences.


3.    Offer real value each and every time

This is an important practice that needs to be followed. Once customers are dissatisfied or felt they are being pushed, they might disable notifications and in worse cases, would have the app deleted. Keep in mind, the long-term focus should be in building trust and expanding the customer base. So, ensure that whatever notifications are sent to customers, they are valuable each and every single time.


4.    Language used in notifications

It is important for brands to connect with the audience in the right tone and language. Users anticipate only urgent or important messages to pop-up in their mobile screens. So, ensure the message via push notification is concise, clear and compelling for the user to respond appropriately. Some brand even uses colorful symbols or emojis or pictures to liven up the notifications. They make sure that the language in the message and pictorial message are well-connected. Do not hesitate to experiment with action verbs, phrases, and character lengths to find the right combination to get the best results.


5.     The importance of real-time notifications

Marketers often think that if the delivery frequency is set correct, then everything is set. Well, that’s not true. In fact, if notifications arrive at an inappropriate time of the day, the results could be fatal for the business. Make sure to deliver most push notifications during day time and if possible before noon. Never deliver any push-notification during late hours when most customers choose to relax, unwind or perhaps sleep.

So choose the respectful time and analyze the customer engagement levels throughout the day for the different push notifications. The higher app usage hours would be the right time-frame that needs to be focussed on for better results.


6.    Define KPI for your business

Often many brands copy one of the proven digital strategies or strategies used by competitors to the business goal. Apart from lacking some of the key understandings, it also may not suit the business or get the conviction of all stakeholders. So have a key performance indicator which is matched to the specific business app.

The key performance indicator helps in understanding and analyzing the long-term benefits of a campaign or a goal. The metrics would give a real picture of the approach to the business and what needs to be strengthened and the related keyareas. So choose the right KPI for the business and leverage the analysis to improve the needful areas.


7 Don’t push it too far

There is a right frequency for everything. Anything above or below this frequency may annoy the customers. So having the right frequency is crucial. There are no universally accepted solutions for this frequency. In fact, it depends on two factors namely- the type of app and the customers. Social Media apps get frequent notifications throughout the day and the user responses could be instant. However, the same does not hold for promotional apps, which needs to understand their customer base and engagement styles, before making any moves.


8.Offer easy and convenient opt-out

No business would want their app users to disable push notifications. However, there could be situations that the customer wants to opt out. Be courteous in those situations. This strategy helps in two ways. One, it offers less risk of uninstalling the app altogether. Second, this convenience may later prove beneficial to win back the customer.



Push notifications if strategized properly can yield high user engagement and better customer retention. However, for any push-notification to be successful-the app itself has to be of sound quality. Ensure that your app helps in unlocking positive experience that could not delight users but also help in building a loyal customer base.

Ready to Take the Next Step?


Rahul Singh

Sr. App Developer

Rahul has been associated with the apps industry for more than 9 years now. He has seen the apps economy grow from its nascent days to a full fledged industry with its complete ecosystem as of today. His interest lies in pursuing and getting to know the best app development technologies, processes and platforms. He is truly an app enthusiast. In his free time he loves playing console games and reading history.

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