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What Is a Push Notification?

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A short message appears on the user’s screen, it can be a reminder or suggestion to read the latest news or see what is going on in the lives of their friends, etc.

This short message is called “a push notification” and recently app developers and marketing experts have discovered its value. Thanks to these little notifications mobile app engagement has significantly increased. So, let’s find out more about types of notifications and how can they help your application become more popular?

If you are working with applications or you want someone to develop the one for you, you should definitely consider adding mobile push notifications to its features. Every app builder available nowadays offers to build-in this useful feature for numerous reasons. Before we go to all the benefits, first we’ll take a look at types of notifications, their characteristics, etc.

Push Notification Protocols – Pull vs Push | The Difference

Basically there are two ways in which the information is transferred in the Internet and technology world: Pull and Push.

Pull protocol is when a user makes a request for the information him/herself, sends it to the server, which processes the request and delivers the information to the user. Once the info is delivered and a user has found out everything he or she wanted, the user will leave an app or browser thus ending the interaction.

Push protocol is the one where a user is not looking for any kind of information and the app/website is not waiting for their request but sends a message itself. Push notifications are the means of this protocol and are used in order to notify the subscribers with useful information.

What Is a Push Notification and How Is It Different from a Text Message?

A push notification is a short message that pops-up on screens (desktop or mobile) of your application users and notifies them with the latest updates, news, etc. and is sent by the application.

Web push notifications are the ones that are sent by the website (if the user agrees to receive them) whenever the browser is open. They can be delivered to the user via a desktop or mobile screen.

Text messages or SMS (Short Message Service) are means of communication with end-users that are sent by the mobile network to users’ phones. It’s a rather old type of notifications, but it is still used by a great number of companies, for instance, taxi services or different types of stores. Using SMS, companies can notify their users about upcoming sales, or new collections, etc., but it takes more steps to get the user to your app or on your website. What is more, a text message can be lost in the mailbox and they are ignored more often than push notifications.  In comparison to text messages, push notifications have more benefits for applications, but depending on the type of your business, you can choose both options and use them interchangeably. Let’s dive deeper into the topic of mobile push notifications and see how they can help you.

How Do Push Notifications Work? | Explained

The user sees only a message displayed on the screen and usually has no idea that it takes more than just to write a message and send it. In order to make your app deliver web push notifications or mobile ones, you will need an application developer, the push service, and the push provider like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.

So, to make notifications appear on desktops or mobile phones, three steps are required: a developer writes a piece of code that enables an app to receive push notifications; then, a developer presents a push notification to the push service and to the provider, which in its turn delivers a message to the end-user. To put it in other words, once the website or an app receives a confirmation for notifications from the user, the signal is sent to the message server (push service) connects with push provider and then a push message appears on the screen of the subscribers.

What Types of Push Notifications Do Exist?

As you have already noticed, the two main types of push notifications are web push notification and mobile ones.

Web: enables messages to appear both on desktops (even if the user is not on your website) and mobile devices; it can contain text, links, or images; users should only make a few clicks to let the notifications be shown on their devices, etc. 

Mobile: sends messages to users even if they do not use their phones but can appear only on mobile devices; the user should install the app in order to receive notifications; it can contain text and links. These types of alerts are used in order to notify users about upcoming events, sales, news, remind them to do a particular task, etc.

What Is a Push Alert Notification?

Push alert notifications are the messages that are sent as soon as the new updates on the website/app appear or the recent news came up, etc. These notifications appear even on the blocked screens as long as the phone is connected to the Wi-Fi/mobile Internet. They can be pulled away from the screen but still can be viewed via the application.

What Is a Push Pin Notification?

Pinned notifications are slightly different from the alerts as they can be placed on the main screen/desktop and pinned there as long as the user wishes to see them. Some applications have this option that allows the user constantly follow the latest news, check sales offers, see upcoming events, etc.

Push Notifications Examples:

Push messages can attract the attention of a great number of users and make them open an app to see and learn more. Here are the examples of the push notifications you should take into consideration when developing an application for your company:

  • Rich Push Notifications: these are the ones that contain not only text but also images, emojis, and calls to action. They have proven to be one of the best as they engage a lot of users to interact with an app;
  • Action-based Notifications: the one that makes users complete shopping and purchase the items from your store. Think of the text that can provoke them to do so;
  • Reminder Notifications: remind your users of the upcoming events or parties they’ve signed up to visit, let them know about all the exciting opportunities they can get with your app. For instance, if you have an education app, remind the user to complete the level and learn a lot of useful information, etc.;
  • Interest-Based Geolocation Notifications: let the users know about the most popular cafes or restaurants in their area, or tell them that they are not far from their favorite bookstore, so they can check the latest arrivals, etc.;

FYI (For Your Information) Notifications: just share a valuable piece of information with your subscribers like let them know about new collections, or inform them on the most popular tourist destinations this year, or share the weather report, etc.

Push Notifications Best Practises | Check Them Out

Now, let’s take a look at some examples of this year’s best practices.

  • Personalize It:

People like when they are taken care of and when services pay attention to them, for instance, you can personalize your notification by using the user’s data you already have (their names, interests, location, etc.). You can see a good example of personalized notification below.

  • Make It Rich:

Add pictures, videos, icons, action buttons to your notification to grasp the full attention of your users. Show them some items from the latest collections, or share pictures of the resort they might love.

You can see that there is an icon included in the message, an emoji, and in addition to this, it is personalized.

Another example is:

The user can check the video featuring a new collection from their favorite brand. In addition to this, the developers have added two action buttons “Shop Now” and “Share” that definitely increase the interaction level.

  • Customize to Time and Actions:

This practice is suitable both for mobile notifications and web ones. Set a certain time frame for the notifications to appear and don’t be too pushy, as it can only push away your clients. Also, check their behavior and see their interests, so you can provide them with the best-suiting message.

Benefits of Push Notifications: What Are They?

We have discussed the theoretical part on push notification, and what about their benefits? What advantages this tiny feature brings your business?

First of all, notifications increase engagement ratings by 88% as statistics shows. What is more, more than half of your subscribers keep returning to your app within the months after receiving the notification.

Higher engagement ratings mean higher retention levels. It really increases your sales on your website or within the app.

Another benefit is that push messages bring higher browser reach. The messages are hard to miss and they bring click-through rates up to 25-30%.

In addition to this, push notifications bring extra data on your users that you can analyze and use for further notices.

Also, it is a great way to communicate the most important info to the users, as wells as cut down the search journey of the users, as the notification can take them directly to the page or section they need. Thus, saving user’s time and making your app even more useful.

Challenges of Push Notifications: Are There Any?

If you have developed a great strategy for your push notifications, there might be no challenges at all. But still, there are some pitfalls you should remember of.

In case the messages are delivered to the users more frequently, they might turn them off, as it is disturbing or even make them delete an application. You don’t need to be too pushy with notifications as it will result in lower ratings.

Another challenge is that push notifications have a limited number of characters, so the text should be concise but catchy.

Take into account this info and manage to find the best working solution for you and your subscribers.

How to Stop Push Notifications when They Start to Annoy?

Every user can easily turn off the push notifications if there are too many of them and they constantly keep appearing while they are working, for instance.

Browsers and applications have “Settings” where it is possible to find “Notifications Settings”. Users can turn them on or off, or set some specific settings that are suitable for them.

In order to avoid this, make sure that your notifications.

Push Notification Performance Stats | Key Info

When you run an app or a website you should take into account not only user data received from the interaction with your application/website but also general statistics to know how push messages work around the globe.

Recent stat data show that, usually, US users receive up to 46 push notifications on a daily basis. The highest engagement rating is on Tuesday (8.4%). The number of people using Android make reactions to push notification higher (around 7%) for this operating system, while iOS has lower ratings (around 4.9%). Another important thing to know is that push notification sent once in a week makes 10% of user disable notifications and around 6% disable an app.

Also, rich push notifications (with emojis, videos, pictures, etc.) and personalized ones can improve the interaction with the application or website up to 20%.

It is essential to set the messages to be sent at the right time in order not to irritate the users. As the statistics show, the best time frames are around the afternoon when people are having lunch (from 12 p.m. till 2 p.m.) and the highest engagement is between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. when the users are not busy with work and have some time to relax.

Use this data to promote your strategy and get better reactions to your push notifications.

Mobile Push Notifications: Conclusion

Mobile push notifications are an essential part of the apps these days. Although there might be some challenges, the benefits they provide are incredible. These useful messages can not only increase engagement ratings or purchasing levels but also bring in new subscribers.

Choose your personal strategy of notification implementation and usage, and make the best of this practice. 

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