Mobile App Terminology

Push notifications

What are push notifications?

A push notification is a message that app publishers send to mobile app users that pops up on their mobile devices, even when they’re not using the app the message was sent from. Push notifications can be sent to users at any time and don’t require them to be logged into their devices to receive the message. Push notifications look like typical SMS messages or other app alerts and can be used to notify users about alerts, updates, sales, events, and so on. 

Each mobile platform provides app publishers support for push notifications including iOS and Android.

What are the uses of push notifications?

Push notifications can be used for a variety of reasons to provide convenience for both users and app publishers. 

A few common examples of push notifications users can receive include:

  • Updates on the weather or traffic
  • New messages from other users of an app
  • Updates on sporting scores
  • Alerts that a flight is delayed
  • News alerts
  • Information about order status or package delivery

Push notifications provide app users with the convenience of a reminder about important events or updates they may be interested in. For app publishers, push notifications provide a valuable channel to communicate directly with their most engaged audience and, in some cases, re-engage them with their apps. 

Unlike other channels such as email that can easily be ignored or caught in a spam filter, push notifications are harder for users to ignore. As a result, push notifications typically have much higher view and click-through rates than email. That being said, given the more intrusive nature of push notifications, app publishers need to be wary of sending too many alerts and instead keep them short and valuable for users, as Upland writes:

However, most app users have a much lower tolerance threshold when it comes to push notifications – if you message them every day with annoying interruptions that provide no value, they’ll turn off push notifications and you’ll never be able to contact them again.

Another key difference between push notifications and other channels such as email is that push notifications are often designed with a clear CTA to open the app, instead of delivering the entire notification as a long SMS. This means that push notifications can work as a valuable channel for re-engagement and to increase daily active users (DAUs) of an app.

As Clevertap writes, three best practices for push notifications include:

  • Use timely and relevant triggers: This can include using triggers such as the user’s behavior, location, or preference.
  • Make them personal: The content of the push appeals to the user as an individual
  • Make them actionable: The push provides a clear CTA on what the user should do next.

Need actionable insights?

Singular offers the tools you need

Singular and push notifications

Singular is a measurement provider, not a push notification service. But just like any other communication channel, in order to maximize the performance of push notifications, they need to be analyzed with the right marketing analytics tools. 

As highlighted in our guide on Getting Push Notifications Right:

Without accurate measurement combined with the means to deliver your data so it can be used to drive iOS, Windows and Android push notifications, you can’t realize the full value of push notifications in building your business. But with that measurement insight, the sky’s the limit.

As a leader in marketing analytics, Singular provides a full suite of tools to analyze and optimize the performance of your push notifications. By providing timely and accurate insights for push notifications and other marketing channels, this enables marketers to take a scientific approach to growth by exposing new optimization opportunities and maximize the ROI of their marketing efforts.

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