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Push Notifications: An Absolute Necessity for Mobile App Marketing

Digital Marketing

Push notification has become a new mobile marketing phenomenon with the increased popularity and availability of smartphones. Nowadays, it’s a common marketing format that is used for both promotional and transactional purposes.

Push notifications help companies advertise their products and services, increase customer engagement and brand awareness as well as app retention. It’s a useful channel to disseminate information (with the help of a mobile app) to a vast amount of users simultaneously.

In more ways than one, push notification has come to be a viable alternative to SMS marketing (Learn more here) in that it targets the same mobile user base and has the ability to reach all of them at the same time. Granted, some apps require internet connections for certain push notifications that are not available by default.

So what exactly is a mobile push notification? Even though most smartphone owners have a somewhat vague understanding of what constitutes a push notification, we nevertheless think it is important to go into more detail.

What are Push Notifications?

Push notifications are messages sent by apps to inform users that they have an in-app message, either from the app or another user. Upon installation and first access of any app, you’re asked whether or not you want to receive push notifications from the app. Some apps, however, have this feature turned on by default, in which case you will have to turn it off manually.

There are two kinds of notifications—push notifications and push messages. The purpose of the former is to act as an alert that notifies users about in-app messages, whereas the latter is intended to direct you to a specific in-app page.

The question that looms at large is why push notifications are important for mobile app marketing. There are actually a couple of factors in play here:

Higher Engagement

Push notifications are known to significantly increase mobile app engagement. It’s virtually impossible for most people to receive a push notification and completely ignore it. Even if only a small portion of users click on the notification, there will be an increase in user engagement. Furthermore, push notifications can be used to drive users to websites, thus increasing the traffic. You can engage your users by sending them reminders, news, and updates via personalized push notifications.

Better Outreach

It is no secret that the vast majority of mobile users own a smartphone. In fact, the number of smartphone owners is estimated to reach 3.3 billion by the end of 2019. This makes for a huge market that marketers can totally capitalize on to effectively reach their target audiences.


Since push notifications are controlled by Google and Apple APIs, user information safety is absolutely guaranteed, which means exchange or selling of customer data is virtually impossible. You won’t have to worry about data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA because the platforms are already compliant and secure.

Affordable Communication Channel

In mobile marketing, there are only a few communication channels that lie on the affordable side of the spectrum. Considering the fact that PPC prices are increasing across the board, push notifications are beginning to stand out as the more cost-effective option.

Tips for Using Push Notifications

The oversaturation of the mobile app market has caused a big issue for marketers. Mobile apps are in a continuous cycle of losing users. Unless you’re Facebook, Instagram, or Uber, chances are your app is also experiencing loss of users. According to a Localytics report in 2017, 21% of users only use an app once and 71% churn within 90 days.

So, how do you go about this issue as a marketer? Mobile push notifications are an effective solution. They’re the cornerstone of every successful mobile app marketing strategy thanks in large part to their efficiency in the customer app retention department.

On the bright side of things, people are becoming more and more receptive to push messages/notifications, with the same survey [by Localytics] finding that 52% of respondents found push notifications to be more useful now than ever before.

If you want your push notifications to improve your mobile app’s retention rate and decrease the churn rate, here are a couple of tips you should follow:

1. Send behavior-based notifications

Tracking customers’ in-app preferences and behavior is important in that it allows you to trigger relevant and corresponding alerts. A personalized approach will work wonders for your customer engagement rate.

2. Pick the ideal timing of your notifications

You have to come to terms with the fact that most of your users will be in different time zones, which means different users will engage with push notifications at different times. Ideally speaking, you should have a flexible schedule in place for push notifications as opposed to sending all your users the notification at the same time.

Do not send too many notifications

Nothing annoys users more than being bombarded with too many notifications from mobile apps. Even the most used apps have fallen victim to having their push notifications turned off due to this exact reason. Sending push notifications just for the sake of it won’t help with your marketing efforts, it will hurt them. On the flip side, being too infrequent with push notifications runs of the risk of people simply forgetting all about your app. Thus, we advise that you do a little research on user preferences and base your push notification volume on that.

Key Takeaway

Push notifications are no longer merely a tool in your marketing arsenal but rather an absolute necessity that you must integrate within your mobile app marketing strategy. We’re well into the mobile era, and that means businesses need to capitalize on the global shift to mobile devices as marketing channels.

If you’re not already implementing push notifications on your mobile app, it’s time to jump on board. You can utilize them now and reap the benefits later.

Check out this blog post for more ways to reach your audience in the age of mobile marketing!