A guide to using push notifications
Getting the most out of messaging
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This guide will give you information about following items:
1. What is a push notification?
2. Why should I use it?
3. What are the newest trends?
4. How do I make sure I benefit from push fully?
5. What are some mistakes done when sending push?
What is a push notification?
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● It’s a one-way method of sending (almost any
data) to a device.
● App publishers can send them at any time; users
don't have to be in the app or using their devices
to receive them
● A Countly server is required to send a push
So what does a push
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● It can send an alert, e.g showing user that there is something to be acted upon.
● It can send a reminder, e.g there is a todo item waiting.
● It can show user that app has an update.
● It can be used to remind that there is an opportunity, e.g discounted coupon.
● It can be used to tell user that there is a new app feature to check.
Push statistics around the world
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Of people find push
time compared to
Opting in for push
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• For iOS, you need a user permission for an app to send them push notifications
• For Android, user can receive push notification by default
• Later, user can opt-out of getting notifications
• iOS device first receives push notification, and then when it’s opened, corresponding
application handles it
• When Android device receives a push, it’s directly sent to application.
• Opt-in rates differ among verticals (e.g 35% for games, 70% for business apps, 50% for
iOS vs Android
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Feature iOS Android
Permissions Opt-in required No opt-in
Character limits 4 lines for alerts, 2 lines for
Depends on the device, usually
expandable to 8 lines
Rich push support Yes Yes
Sound support Yes Yes
Payload size 2 KB (256B for iOS 7 and lower) 2 KB (using UTF-8)
Message queuing Yes (for iOS 10 and later) Yes
Interaction buttons At most 2 At most 3
What does Countly push provide?
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• Send highly targeted push notifications with detailed personal segmentation
• Schedule pushes so they are sent at a later time
• Preview a push notification before sending
• Send a payload (data) so device receives and then does whatever developer intends
• Send rich push notifications with text and image
• Send a push notification to users at a predefined geolocation
• Send actionable push notifications
• Analyze all push notifications sent
Best practices for sending push (1)
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• Push Notifications with Immediate Importance Get the Highest Engagement
• Updates on road closures, accidents on regular commute routes, etc. (e.g. Waze)
• Financial notifications detailing account activity and balances/budgets (e.g. most
of today’s banking and credit card apps)
• Coupon/limited-time sales offers sent to carefully targeted users (e.g. Groupon)
Best practices for sending push (2)
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• Don’t Let Your Push Frequency Shove Users Away
• Periodic recap notifications instead of real-time updates (e.g. SigFig’s weekly stock
• Summaries of social activity tailored to user preferences (e.g. TweetCaster’s
customizable notification settings)
• Score/challenge updates based on individual user frequency of game play (e.g.
Clash of Clan’s updates)
Best practices for sending push (3)
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• Send timely messages
• Entertainment notifications during the last hour of the workday (e.g. Netflix)
• Weekend event promotions sent out on Thursday or Friday afternoons (e.g.
museum and zoo apps)
• Travel deal opportunities 4–8 weeks before holiday weekends (e.g. Marriott)
Best practices for sending push (3)
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• Notify People, Not Devices
• Important notes to consider:
• Your goal is communicating with people
• Personalize your push notifications based on human needs, desires and priorities
• Don’t send push based on hoped-for levels of engagement
Your goal is to form a fairly intimate connection with your users, such that you’re always in
reach no matter where they are or what they’re doing
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DO THIS DON’T DO THIS
Send messages timely Send messages when user is sleeping
Send spammy messages Send carefully crafted messages
Target users by segmenting Bulk send messages to users
Limit your messages to 2-3 times a week Send push everyday
Send personalized messages Send general messages
Obvious mistakes when sending push