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5 Best Practices While Sending Mobile Notifications

Mobile Notification best practices

Did you know? Half of your mobile application user base lets you message them even when they are outside the app. Yes. 52% of people opt to receive push notifications when they download an app.

How are marketers leveraging this opportunity? Not as much as they should.

According to a study by Localytics, only one-third of app marketers are currently using in-app messaging as part of their mobile engagement strategy. The study also found out that apps that send in-app messages have significantly more loyal users.

From driving users back to your app to increasing sales or generating new business, mobile notifications had become one of the top challenges that mobile marketers and developers need to address.

We have also discussed the importance of having a mobile app only or a mobile friendly website. Today, we will discuss why you need to focus on your mobile notifications.

Why am I talking about this? Because eCommerce apps have seen the highest push engagement lifts at 278%!!

localytics report- eCommerce apps have seen the highest push engagement lifts at 278%!!

Keeping this in mind, you also have to remember that you need a solid strategy to top the crowd of marketers and re-engage the customers. Why?

Only 20% of apps were used only once in 2014!

Without further ado, here is a look at the best practices while sending mobile notifications.

#1 Target The Right Day And Time

Just knowing the right target is not enough. Sending appropriately timed notification increases your user engagement. You should send your notifications during weekdays and avoid sending on the weekends.

Reason: Push notifications, click rate is much higher and more consistent during weekdays with an average of 5.8% as compared to that of a weekend which is 3.5%. This is because people are constantly in referring to their phones during workdays and more distracted on weekends. Notifications that are sent on Tuesdays and Fridays are most likely to get more click throughs.

Avoid sending ill-timed notifications. You should schedule your notifications for the afternoon when people are more likely to be on their breaks or more relaxed from their workload. Send your notifications around 12 pm to 5 pm as they have the most click rates of 6.7%. Do not forget to target your notification by time zone.


Bob Bentz, @BobBentz

Here is a tip from Bob Bentz, President of ATS – the provider of www.84444.ca text message marketing site in Canada, on the ideal time, to reach your users.

If you are trying to reach business persons, try sending your messages 3 minutes before the top of the hour. Why? That’s when busy executives are waiting for their next meeting to begin.

#2 What’s In The Message: Length And Tone

Just as crafting an email subject line requires precision, so do mobile notifications. Your message length and content plays a crucial role in getting clicks on your pushes. With a limited content option in notifications, craft a clear and concise message that catches the user’s attention in seconds.

Reason: The trick with mobile notifications is to stand out as much as possible. It is in just a matter of 2-5 seconds that your user will decide whether or not they are interested in what you have to offer based on your message.

Notifications with shorter message get the most click-through rate. Localytics reported that 10 or fewer words got the most click through rates of 8.8%.

Length of message- Localytics reported that 10 or fewer words got the most click through rates of 8.8%.

If you are targeting your pushes for android, then you should stick to 60-90 characters. If it is for iOS, stick to 120 characters. However, as smartphones vary with the size of the screen, the shorter message seems to be generally more effective.

When you are crafting your message, ensure that your notification deliver a message and not a question. Be straightforward with your language. Why? Because users are looking for more definitive content and not FAQs.

For better crafting, let’s take a look at the two examples of a good and bad message:

Good message: Occasional updates that users find interesting like your new blog post or a special contest, etc.

Example- “Here is a copy of your <subscription product> fresh off from <your blog>”

Bad message: They are the non-contextual and irrelevant message.

Example- “Buy <unrelated piece of software/game user have never heard of> by clicking here”

#3 The Frequency: How Much Is Too Much?

Too much of everything is not good so is pushing more notifications. When it comes to mobile notifications, you should make your message count and not the number of notifications.

Reason: While some users may be happy (or are okay) to receive multiple notifications, some users will not want any, which is why you need to balance the frequency. The best practices are to start with up to 2-3 pushes per day. According to a study by Goroost, sites that send less than 2 pushes per day get the highest clicks of 6.8%.

Frequency of Push Notifications- sites that send less than 2 pushes per day get the highest clicks of 6.8%.

Having said that, there are also some other factors that influence your frequency of pushes depending on the industry type. Here are some tips by types of app:

1- News App– send pushes 3-4 times a day. This will depend on the news and the relevance to your audience.

2- Utility App– send pushes once a day (or less). Well-timed notification is the key here. Kahuna found that industries that deliver utility have the highest push engagement rate, especially utility and financial service notifications whose engagement rate is 40%.

3- Fitness App– send pushes 3-4 times a week. However, this should also depend on the type of fitness your app proposes.


Kim Stuart, @kimstuart12345

According to Kim Stuart, Strategy team at Atlas rewards, sending too many notification and irrelevant message puts you at the risk of your app getting deleted. “My advice? Start small, say one message a month or a week. If you get a large number of users deleting or uninstalling, then you are either sending too frequently or you are sending the wrong message”

Adding on to this, Riley- Digital Consultant and founder of Ticketlab, suggest why it is crucial to time it right. “If your app relies on time-sensitive news, send more. But, only if you know the user wants those updates”.

In a study carried out by his team to ascertain the correct wording and reasons for sending notification, they found that over-notifying and use of misleading language in an attempt to drive traffic back to their app by many games on the app store led to uninstalls and disgruntled users.

#4 The Importance Of Segmenting And Personalizing

Personalized communications grab attention, and to personalize you need to segment your list. Segment your users based on language, Geo-location and browser technology.

Reason: The segmented mobile notifications have a double open rate (7%) as compared to broadcast notifications that are blasted to everyone. Segmented list that sends out personalized messages based on behavior and interest of the user provides more value where the message becomes more applicable, interesting and clearly communicated.

The Localytics data of 2015 also showed that out of the people who open the mobile notification, 54% of users convert from segmented messages compared to only 15% for broadcast messages.


Carla Fitzgerald, @SmithMicro

Carla Fitzgerald, CMO at Smith Micro recommends that loyalty apps need to be smarter because mobile is not just a channel, but a relationship. “Loyalty apps need to observe more than location. They need to combine a series of events over time to really understand consumer context, preferences, and intent in order to open the door to real engagement.

She also goes on to explain that you can notify your consumers of relevant offers proactively and at the right place/time by implementing location detection and contextual triggers. What are the benefits? By adding device analytics to loyalty apps as a background service, just like mobile operators do, the analytics will run even when the app is shut, giving you 10x-20x more audience coverage and a ton of insights that will help you enhance your mobile strategy.

To understand your audience, compile a profile and behavioral information within your cross-channel analytics. What to consider:

– Attributes- gender, age, location, or favorites

– Actions- last in-store purchase, emails opened, or events attended

While segmenting your list, here are some pointers you should remember:

1- Do not employ a ‘one size fits all’ strategy.

2- Create relevant segments by identifying important user attributes.

3- Craft different mobile notifications to the right segments.

#5 How To Leverage Promotional Language

One way to get your users attention is by creating a compelling copy. According to Localytics and Thanx’s Product Team, using promotional language gets the highest engagement rate. You can start by choosing words that indicate a special deal the user can access.

Reason: Sales-based terminology brings more clicks, making one-day only deals less popular.

According to the Thanx’s study, their top three performing mobile notifications that registered an open rate of 80% all contained promotional language. Let’s take a look:

1- Reward Notification: “Thanx! You just saved 10$ at <brand>! It’ll show up on your credit card statement in about two days”

2- VIP Notification: “You’re a <brand> VIP! Open up thanks to watch your card turn GOLD”

3- Beacon Reminder: “You have a reward waiting for you at <brand>! Do you want to use it now?”

Why do you think these notifications gained the most clicks? Relevance.


Kane Russell, @kaneruss

That is how Kane Russell, Head of Marketing at Thanx explains it. Also, adding more tips-

High-performing mobile notifications need to be relevant – i.e. (A) timely, (B) targeted, and (C) relationship-focused. When marketing to Millennials or using mobile marketing, in general, relevance is the name of the game.

This only reminds us that with a mobile notification, it’s not just about offering 10% discount. It is about delivering relevant offers that contain information deemed important by the user.

Some Of The Promotional Words You Can Use:

– Offer

– Super

– Ends

– Deal

– Start


One thing marketers need to remember is that app usage is going to continue growing; and along with it, user expectations. You need to be on your toes, constantly evolving. Apps cannot be successful if they remain static because 62% of users only return to the app in following months when engaged with mobile notification, increasing audience retention by 125%. But, if you fail to engage within the first 90 days, 90% of users will go dormant.

So, whether your user is inside or outside of the app, you need a plan to engage them with integrated analytics and marketing platforms.

As each app is different, the marketing needs will vary as well. However, these suggestions are to help point the right directions for marketers who are not seeing the results they want with mobile notifications.

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