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Android push notifications are messages sent from an app directly to a user on a mobile device using the Android operating system. The message appears even if the device is locked or if the person is inside a different app. Push notifications are useful for sending information to app users in real time.
Push notifications are one of the most integral parts of a good mobile marketing strategy. When setup correctly, they can be personalized and targeted towards the users who are most likely to convert.
However, there’s more to push notifications than programming contextually relevant messages. Push notifications vary considerably by device, and there are different best practices to follow depending on which platform your customers use.
The most obvious difference is between iOS and Android. Between January 2015 and March 2016, Leanplum analyzed 1.57 billion push notifications across hundreds of apps to determine the best practices for both operating systems. We showed that iOS users opened messages 7x faster than Android users, but push notifications on Android had a 2x higher open rate. Read the full report on the differences between Android and iOS push notifications.
The first question for effective Android push notifications is whether or not users will open them. Open rates can vary considerably between iOS and Android. The notification tray works differently on Android — messages remain on the lock screen until you manually dismiss them, which may explain why open rates are so high.
Another factor to consider is that some notifications allow users to respond to a prompt. Normally, push notifications can only be opened or dismissed — nothing in between. In contrast, rich push notifications can include buttons or prompts that take users to different screens within the app.
To take these rich push notifications further, marketers should be aware of the overall push notification best practices: personalization, A/B testing, and timing.
First off, mobile personalization is the practice of tailoring notifications to a specific user’s needs, based on their app usage. After segmenting users, marketers can target them based on their personal behaviors.
The results of a push campaign provide invaluable data for A/B testing. This process serves users with two different versions of the same content in order to determine which is more effective. For example, an app team might test two different colors of a CTA button. Push notification copy should also be A/B tested to optimize performance.
Finally, Leanplum’s Lifecycle Engine helps engage users on multiple channels, from in-app messages to email and push. The timing of your messages can be programmed to reach users when they need it most (e.g. when they abandon a shopping cart).
The results from Leanplum’s studies show considerable insight into user engagement for Android push notifications. With a focus on click-through and open rates, the findings revealed that:
For more information on engaging users with notifications, read Leanplum’s Personalize or Bust: The Impact on App Engagement.