This guest post was written by Laurie Galazzo at AppTweak. She’d love to hear your favorite push notification strategies. Get in touch at AppTweak.com.

mobile push marketing

Sometimes, you have a great app, but lack engagement. Or you drive downloads, but your retention is low. There are two possibilities here: you need to optimize certain user flows, or you’re missing out on key opportunities to engage your app users.

This situation can be very frustrating after all the hard work you put into your app marketing strategy to acquire users, such as App Store Optimization (ASO), PR, or social media.

Using push notifications strategically can be a great way to remind your users about your app. Push notifications should be used at the right dose: too many irrelevant notifications can easily irritate your app users. Not enough messages can fail to engage. In both cases, your users could end up deleting your app.

What are Push Notifications?

You can use push notifications to reach your users wherever they are on their browser as long as they’re online. They are messages that pop up on user’s mobiles and can be clicked by the user. They offer a fast communication channel that lets companies reach out to users and share messages, offers, etc. 

Why are Push Notification Strategies Important?

Having a push notification strategy is important because 42% of users opt to keep push notifications active on their devices. Creating a strategy that utilizes push notifications that are relevant and valuable to these users will increase your engagement by over 80%

It’s a clever and effective way to speak to your users in a way they really respond to!

Below, find five push notifications strategies that will help you increase your mobile engagement and make your users open and use your app again.

1. Map Behavior

To make sure you are only communicating value with your users, it is really important to know what they’re after. You can track user’s buying behavior, interactions with calls to action, and activity on content. Delivering push notifications that are reactive to their behavior will increase engagement and build that core relationship with your users.

2. Get the Opt-In

It’s important to make a great first impression. And in both real life and marketing, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. If users have a poor first experience, they won’t hesitate to delete your app. Your onboarding should therefore be well-crafted and based on a solid strategy.

Before actually starting to think about your push notification content, you first need to get your iOS users to opt-in to push.

Although the official opt-in message on iOS is not customizable, you can create your own splash screen to speak to your users personally. Try to create a catchy and appealing message, using your best argument to tell users why they should opt-in to your push notifications marketing. From there, if their answer is positive, you can show the official opt-in prompt where they can confirm. If they hit “no thanks”, try to prompt them a little later again. Leanplum has a great tool called Push Pre-Permissions (formerly called Soft Ask Push Permissions) that does all this for you — check out its case study about how one app increased push opt-ins by 182 percent.

push message settings

Image courtesy: Andrew Chen

Knowing where to launch your opt-ins makes a big difference. You want to fully understand your user’s buying journey and use your best-performing pages to trigger action. Some good examples could be the checkout page or a chance to win a free trip when they’ve been eyeing up flights!

Putting CTA’s on high traffic pages guarantees a higher conversion rate. Knowing where your users spend their time will give you a higher chance of capturing those subscribers where it matters most.

Of course, always make sure to approach your users carefully and cleverly. This will certainly increase your number of opt-ins.

3. Leverage Personalization with Push Notification Marketing

In a new data science report, Leanplum found that push notification marketing that includes personalized content sees four times the open rate of generic messages. Indeed, it is recommended you use segmentation and customize messages to individual users. This allows you to build different content strategies according to the type of profile you’re targeting.

Based on install and post-install activity, you will be able to determine the user lifecycle and the various phases your users are going through when navigating your app.

From there, you can use segmentation to personalize your messages depending on the phases your users are in.

You can incorporate your users’ demographics (age, gender, location, etc.), favorites, or recently viewed items, for example. This data helps create powerful and tailored messages that will make your customers feel special — as if you’re initiating a one-on-one conversation. This will certainly encourage them to re-open your app and check out your latest offerings.

4. Use Limited-Time Offers

A great push notification strategy to keep your users engaged is to prompt them with limited-time offers. First thing’s first, you need to define what would be valuable to your users and what will make them want to re-open your app. Once you’ve found your offer, it is important to find the right balance and an adequate tone.

Make sure to avoid abusing this type of message though and find the right dose depending on your offer, your target, and objectives. Remember, these should remain limited offers and not become random communication.  

For instance, if you have a game with in-app purchases, make one available for free during 24 hours. If it is a shopping app, offer a few limited-time discounts on the latest articles your users have viewed. Be creative and appealing.

5. Get The Permission Messages Right

A push notification strategy that drives users to subscribe is effective if they know why they’re subscribing. The permission messages are an opportunity to clearly highlight the benefits of your push notifications. 

When you’re creating your permission copy take care to consider your target audience, the benefits for your users, frequency of push notifications, and a catchy headline!

6. Ask for App Updates

Another great way to use push notifications marketing to your advantage is to let your users know about new app updates. Indeed, a lot of users don’t have automatic app updates turned on so unfortunately, they are probably missing the new features or improvements you have added.

Your hard work deserves to be seen. A great opportunity for you is to create a customized push notification marketing message showing the benefit of your new update. In the same way as the onboarding pre-ask page, you can craft a compelling and personalized message to ask your users to update your app, and therefore, stay engaged.

7. Let Users Know You Care

push marketing

Image courtesy: Mofluid

Sometimes your most loyal customers, who used your app multiple times during a certain amount of time, drastically stop and don’t come back. With the increasing competition, it would not be surprising to see your faithful customers “cheat on you” and go to another app similar to yours.

Don’t worry though. You still have a chance to show them that your app is the best. You can re-engage dormant users by sending them a personalized push notification marketing message. Let them know why they should have missed you too and give them reasons to come back, like checking out new features, design, etc.

Let your users know you care about them by having an effective exit strategy. This means having a push notification to catch users as they try to leave. You could lure them back in with a discount or persuade them to hang around with some juicy content.

Another method is to create great welcome messages that onboard them cohesively. You want to stand out to them and be memorable without being overbearing. An onboarding strategy that educates users on how to use the platform or offers expert tips will increase app engagement.

Conclusion

Mobile push notification marketing is more effective than people give it credit for. Push notifications can really help you grow your app business and reduce your churn. If used cleverly and thoughtfully, push messages can really change the way your users see and use your app. Hopefully, these five strategies will give you some inspiration on how to engage with your app users in an effective way.

About the author:

Laurie is the Inbound Marketing Manager at AppTweak. Passionate about new technologies and apps, she loves finding new ideas and spreading valuable content on App Store Optimization and App Marketing. She’s in charge of the company’s blog and crafts articles helping users to increase their app downloads and rankings. She’s also the head of ASO University, teaching App Store Optimization basics through video tutorials, all available for free on the AppTweak blog.


Leanplum is the most complete mobile marketing platform, designed for intelligent action. Its integrated solution delivers meaningful engagement across messaging and the in-app experience. We work with top brands such as Expedia, Tesco, and Lyft.

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