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10 Push Notifications Strategies and In-App Messaging Best Practices

According to studies conducted in the last few years, the average person spends between two and five hours on mobile devices each day. In addition to surfing the internet and answering messages, users are utilizing applications to make their lives easier. Smartphone users have applications on their devices to simplify the tasks that they do throughout their days.

Useful types of applications help smartphone users find restaurants, calculate the tip after meals, and call rides to get users back to their homes. Other applications provide entertainment for users, such as gaming applications and video streaming applications. Some users even rely upon applications to help them with their exercise routines.

The time users spend on their smartphones is an excellent opportunity to speak directly to potential customers. When your company develops an application that is useful or entertaining, you may wish to send messages or alerts to users through push notifications. This type of practice is an effective way to remain relevant in the mind of consumers, which makes it an effective marketing strategy that businesses should use to grow in their markets.

What Are Push Notifications?

The term push notification applies to a variety of alerts that appear on the screens of mobile devices. They are used to alert mobile users about an application. An application is set to send alerts based on a variety of parameters, and some of the notifications are available for the user to modify. For instance, many mobile applications have features that will automatically alert the user when the application needs to be updated. Although, some applications update automatically. Sending a push notification to users when it’s time to update their applications is a logistical response to software issues, but it also serves to remind your users of the function and purpose behind having the application on their devices.

Other push notifications are sent as messages to users that let them know that their applications have achieved some kind of reward. Some applications are set to notify users based upon the time of day, reminding users to check in on the application when the message is delivered. For instance, some gaming applications will let users know when aspects of the game have matured. These push notifications will appear on each user’s mobile device without having to open the game. In another example of a push notification, the user is messaged by your company’s application while looking through emails on their mobile phone; they’re looking through messages from a colleague that they work with when a push notification to use your exercise application appears at the top of their screen. After they finish working on their emails, they will actually take time to look at the application that has them go through a workout routine.

How Is In-App Messaging Different?

The key difference between push notifications and inn-app messages involves the timing for delivering messages to users. In-app messaging occurs while the user is involved in the application that is reaching out to them. If there’s something important that the user needs to know while they’re using an application, the app will send a message to the user instead of interrupting what is happening on their screen. The message that appears on the user’s device will only appear on a small part of the screen, so the quality of the user experience is maintained throughout the exchange of vital information. This same tactic is useful when notifying users through retail applications and other consumer-related apps.

Why You Must Know the Best Practices

Before you start moving resources around to serve your company’s marketing needs, it’s important to know the best practices to achieve ideal results with this marketing endeavor. This is especially important when you are dealing with a marketing strategy whose sole purpose is to send messages to consumers. In addition to remaining friendly and polite with messaging that keeps users engaged in your applications, you need to make sure that your company isn’t upsetting users with obscene messaging practices. If you’re working with an application that is sending unsolicited messages to a user, you might receive fines, poor reviews for your application, or another consequence that could be avoided by taking advice from this list of best practices.

Top 10 Best Practices Recommended by Professionals

  • Best Practice 1: Notifications sent to users should always add value to their experiences. The act of sending new information that enhances the user experience is the main purpose for pushing notifications to users. The in-app messages and push notifications that accompany your applications will be appreciated by the user if they include valuable information about the progress of the application, or you could use in-app messages to show new features to the user. For example, Facebook is known to send irrelevant notifications about finding new friends on their platform, so many users turn off their notifications because they do not add value to the user experience.
  • Best Practice 2: Studies show that personalized messages receive a better response rate than generic messages. Try to customize the notifications that you are sending to users by including the first name of the user, and use a friendly tone to increase the rate of positive responses.
  • Best Practice 3: Don’t send push notifications at night. Time your push notifications to appear during the daytime to give users a break from their smartphones. If you send notifications that wake up users, they might decide that your application isn’t worth keeping on their devices. Even if you don’t wake the user from their slumber, they will likely clear your app’s notifications when they get up to turn off their alarm.
  • Best Practice 4: Find the perfect time of the day to engage with users by sticking to a predetermined schedule for the delivery of your app’s push notifications. The time of day that push notifications appear on each device needs to be determined based off of the actual time of day for the user. Professional marketers recommend sending notifications during the late morning and early evening to receive the best response rate.
  • Best Practice 5: There are instances when your application is vitally important to the user. For example, delivering information regarding the status of a flight is of high priority to most users. If your application is delivering important information, then it’s acceptable to send push notifications at any time of the day. The user will expect an update on their device whenever new information is made available. The user might miss out on important events if they don’t receive information right away, and your application will receive poor reviews if you don’t deliver urgent information to the user in a timely fashion.
  • Best Practice 6: It’s important that you don’t overwhelm the user with too much information. This best practice for sending push notifications is to avoid sending too many notifications over a short period of time.
  • Best Practice 7: All of the in-app messages should be relevant to what the user is experiencing within the application. Push notifications may take the user by surprise by appearing while the user is involved in other business on their device. However, push notifications should always be relevant to the purpose of the application. Relevant notifications have a clear purpose upon which the user may act. Sending messages and notifications without relevance to the user might result in the user deleting the application altogether.Marketing professionals have analyzed how users react to notifications from major developers, and they find a startling difference in the ways that users react to applications that are relevant to their interests. For example, the notifications that Netflix sends to users to advertise about new shows that meet each users’ interests are incredibly relevant, so users tend to show a positive response to the notifications sent through Netflix’s app.
  • Best Practice 8: Keep your notifications and in-app messages brief. Get to the point in a few thoughtful words. Keeping the message short is a way to send information to busy users without distracting them from other business on their devices.
  • Best Practice 9: Send push notifications to users during peak hours to have the best response rate to your messages. If you want users to follow the push notification and use your application, you shouldn’t expect them to respond when they’re asleep or not at their phones. When you send messages to users while they are inactive, there’s a good chance that your notifications will be cleared away when users get back to their phones.
  • Best Practice 10: Analyze your strategies for sending notifications and messages to users. Take time to experiment with new push notification strategies in order to figure out which strategy receives the best open rate.