Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

How to Use Mobile Push Notifications for Better App Engagement

A mobile push notification (mob push) is a short app message that appears on top of your smartphone screen. You can receive mob pushes only from companies whose apps you have installed. You also receive them regardless of whether you’re using the sender app or not: available internet connection is the only condition.

Mobile push example on Android

For Android users, mobile pushes are non-permission messages. You opt in to receive them automatically by installing an app. iOS users need to give their consent to receive pushes from you so you must ask them first with a permission request.

Permission request example

You can manage mobile pushes – allow or block messages from particular apps – in your smartphone settings. Go to Settings > Notifications and enable or disable the corresponding app.

App notification settings

Why You Need Mobile App Marketing

  • Mob push is an independent communication channel. Brands that don’t have a website and don’t send emails can build efficient communication through the app. Brands that use other channels like email or web push can use mobile notification within an omnichannel strategy.
  • Mobile pushes are easy to create and don’t require special tech skills (design, code, image editing). A good piece of copywriting is often the only thing you need to create a push.
  • Mobile phone push notifications can’t be missed by the recipient. People see them upon delivery anyway.
  • Mobile pushes don’t land to Spam and there is no such thing as spam for pushes.
  • They can be automated.
  • Pushes can be personalized.
  • Pushes can be created and sent based on user data and activity: app registration, order completion, location, preferred product category, etc.

Learn More About Mobile App Marketing

13 Best Mobile Push Notification Strategies to Keep Your Customers Around

Sending mobile pushes means you already acquired prospects at least or customers at most. People have already expressed interest in your product by installing your app and agreeing to hear from you. So the prime focus of mobile push marketing is to build a reputation of a caring brand, turn registrants into paying customers and retain as many of them. Here are some tips to help you with this.

1. Send a welcome.

Though saying hello to a new team member seems a natural behavior, many brands neglect welcome messages. Don’t be one of them. After registration with your app, send a short push saying something like Hi, Julia and welcome on board. Your first delivery with MyApp is on us!

You may also offer to complete registration, fill in a user profile, choose preferred categories or give a link to guidelines on how to get started with your product.

2. Keep it short.

A push consists of two parts – title and copy. The limit for the title is 200 characters and the copy must not exceed 1,000 characters.

I would recommend sticking to the copy of about 40-50 characters as one message may be displayed differently depending on the device.

Also convey the main idea of the push in the first sentence. It’s displayed on all devices, while to read the rest of the text, the users need to unroll the push.

Even if I hadn’t unrolled this push by FatSecrets for further details, I would have seen the main message conveyed in the first line (keep your dinner up to 500 calories).

Mobile push notification

3. Add emoji.

If there is an emoji associated with your current push, add it. They should complement the message and resonate with what you’re saying. Placing smiles and gift boxes to every message won’t give them more weight.

On the other hand, a turkey or pumpkin looks up to place in Thanksgiving pushes, an alarm clock would complement a price drop alert, and a popcorn box fits a cinema ticket confirmation.

Push notification

4. Add images.

Images are easier to digest than text, plus they’re more capable of catching attention. If your app supports image display, consider adding a banner or picture to support the text part.

The 20% discount by Raynair looks more dynamic on the image than with plain text only.

Push notifications with images

In eSputnik you can add an image to the push by inserting JSON code with the link to Custom data:

{"es_image":"image_url"}

where image_url is your link to the image.

Image for mobile pushes

Since push display differs depending on the device, send test messages to make sure the push is shown as intended.

5. Add CTA.

If you send not just reminders but intend to encourage a certain action, consider adding a CTA.

Push with CTAs

The procedure is the same as with images. Add their JSON code to Custom data:

{

"es_actions": [{"id": 1, "caption": "Rate us", "link": "https://blissapp.com/11"},

{"id": 2, "caption": "Later", "link": "https://blissapp.com/12"}]

}

where id is the number of CTA you want to add and caption should be followed by your own CTA text. There may be 3 or 4 CTA, but I’d recommend sticking to 2. This way you’ll be sure they will be displayed on any screen in full without being cut or hidden.

6. Add deep links.

A tap on the push opens the corresponding app by default. But you can direct a user to the particular section of the app (sales, account upgrade, product category) with a deep link.

A deep link (universal link for Apple devices) is a link that leads users to a specific section within your app instead of the home page. This improves app navigation and shopping experience as the user doesn’t have to browse across categories looking for the right order.

For example, you tap this push, and the deep link sends you straight to this tomato soup recipe instead of just all soup recipes or dinner recipes (Image source). You quickly find the content you’re obviously interested in and keep on interaction with the app.

Deep links

7. Send multilingual messages.

If you have an international audience, send them pushes in their own language. Sending in native language is a good mobile app marketing strategy: it not only shows your respect for user preferences but also gives your offers more chances to be considered.

In eSputnik, you can create multilingual copies within one template. Specify the default language, add necessary languages and fill each copy with the right content. To edit any, just switch between them in one click.

Multilingual push

8. Automate mobile pushes.

If you run regular and consistent mobile app marketing, you might be sending quite enough pushes of different types. To save your time and avoid manual routine, build automated workflows that will launch push campaigns based on the conditions you set once.

What messages to automate:

  • Welcome pushes to new users;
  • Promos, time-limited sales;
  • Information on updates;
  • Personal recommendations;
  • Order confirmation;
  • Reminders;
  • Abandoned orders;
  • Reactivation pushes.
Last post

9. Team up channels.

One of mobile app marketing techniques is to use several channels to deliver the offer. People who ignore emails or simply don’t see them in Promotions can respond to mob pushes instead.

This is a simple two-channel (email+mob push) workflow in the eSputnik editor. Its purpose is to encourage people to use the promo code they won 1 week ago and didn’t use. First, it sends an email reminder. If it’s ignored, a mob push with the same message will be sent in a day.

Automated workflow

Depending on the available channels and the campaign type, you can build more complex workflows with more channels and conditions.

Complex workflow

10. Segment your audience.

Seeing the same notifications every day, people will soon want to disable them or even delete the sending app. To avoid this, use advanced segmentation to split your base into segments on different parameters:

  • Orders (average check, product category, last purchase date);
  • Behavior on the site and in the app (date of last activity, view, transition);
  • Operating system (you'll know exactly how the push will be displayed);
  • App language;
  • Location;
  • Campaign activity;
  • Registration date, etc.

This way you’ll be able to send each segment the most relevant offers. For example, offer users with the average check over $500 join your loyalty program, send French users pushes in French and drive back users who used the app three months ago with a reactivation message.

In eSputnik, for better segmentation, you can select subscription categories. Pushes with specified categories will be sent to people who chose them as a topic of interest.

Subscription categories

11. Personalize offers.

Use Velocity dynamic content to make your pushes even more personal. This technique is especially applicable for order confirmations or abandoned carts. You specify the necessary parameters in the push and at the moment of sending they’ll be substituted with the data personalized for each recipient.

Personalization

12. Set up activity time.

Different campaign goals may require different push activity time also known as TTL (time to live). An abandoned cart push is relevant for no longer than several hours after the product was added to the cart. While a promo push can be sent till the sale period expires.

If you plan to send a series of messages within one workflow, plan the sending sequence ahead. Decide whether you want pushes to follow each other or be sent on different days and set TTL correspondingly.

Time to live

For example, you run a four-day sale (Thursday to Friday) on your site. To promote the offer you send 2 mobile pushes. The TTL for the first one will be 3 days and for the second – 12 hours. The workflow may look as follows:

Workflow

Users will receive pushes in the required order and within the sales duration. And if for any reason people won’t be available for mob pushes during these 4 days, thanks to the specified TTL, they won’t receive promos on sales after it actually expires.

13. Set up annoyance level

When you send different campaigns to different segments, one contact can be included in several segments at once. Not to be intrusive and bother users with too many messages, you set up the annoyance level.

In our system, you can specify weekly and daily limits and assign each push with its own level. For example, if the weekly limit is 15 and a particular push’s level is 5, one recipient won’t receive more than three of such pushes in a week.


To Sum Up

Pay attention to these mobile app marketing strategies when creating mob pushes:

  • Clear and short text is easier to read and digest.
  • Images improve visualization and engagement.
  • Additional CTA give more interaction options.
  • Deep links direct the user to the right section of the app.
  • Automation allows to quickly respond to the user's actions.
  • Omnichannel strategies help team up several channels within one workflow.
  • Segmentation and personalization prevent sending uninteresting content.
  • Proper message activity ensures offer relevancy.
  • Annoyance level protects customers from intrusive campaigns.

And keep in mind that many features depend on your app development and functionality. Custom elements like images and CTA first need to be supported by your application.

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Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

A technical (but still very creative) writer at eSputnik with a strong focus on design, current digital marketing trends, and new solutions for email automation.

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