Stop Annoying Your App Users: 4 Push Notification Best Practices

Push notifications are sometimes more important than the rest of your UX. So, it’s a big deal to know what the push notification best practices are these days.

As mobile app users, we all have seen some great push notifications and some that just suck. If the push annoys the user, then they might simply end up uninstalling your app. That’s sad. But that’s the truth.

Imagine your app users are your beloved people. Yes, they are eager to spend time and money on you. But they will not stand it if you spam them, trick them into doing something they don’t want to, or simply keep annoying them with asking for favors. I am not saying that push notifications are something spammy. I am just trying to say that they might look spammy if you are not doing it right. Don’t do like this.

push notification best practices

We often speak of app users as if about some strange creatures. And we sometimes forget that they are all people just like you and me, just like your mom or wife or husband or girlfriend. So, when we are creating apps, we need to hold this tightly in our minds that products are for people, not users. A push notification is a product too. Accordingly, it should be designed in a way as to be attractive and exciting and engaging. It should be for people.

Some app makers are really good at this. They are able to re-engage app users and boost retention rates with the help of push notifications. These are the rockstars. So, in this article, I have gathered some really cool push notification best practices for you to try. Here we go!

Get the opt-in

They say “The good thing about push is it reminds the user that your app is installed. The bad thing about it is it reminds users that the app is installed.” In fact, the push can either make or break your plans regarding re-engaging app users. So, you need to be extremely careful before even starting to design the push notification content. The first thing to do is getting a permission to send push notifications to your users. Make them opt-in.

push notifications best practices

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You can even create your own splash screen to speak to your users personally. On that screen, try to create an attractive message about the importance of opting in to push. Include the best arguments you can think of. From there, if they answer positively, you can show the official opt-in prompt which they can confirm.

Make the push relevant

Personalization matters! Never ever send content for anyone. Each and every user should say, “Oh, this is a message for me.” So, you know your task: no more generic messages. Use segmentation and send tailored, unique, exciting push notifications instead of faceless junk.

push notification best practices

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Now you might ask: “Based on what should I segment my users?” The answer is – you can segment them based on several parameters. Let’s look at examples. You can personalize based on the user journey. For example, if it’s a gaming app, you can send pushes based on the level of the game the user is on. If it’s an e-commerce app, you can send push notifications based on the list of items the user has in their cart.

There are a bunch of marketing and UX tools that can help you segment your users based on various factors and send push notifications. At Inapptics, we are now creating an AI-powered engine that is going to find usage patterns in our customers’ apps and let them know whenever something interesting is happening.

For example, we will be able to predict which app users are more likely to churn. With this information in hand, our clients can send push notifications to those users and re-engage them and not let them abandon the app. You can subscribe for an early access on our Product Hunt Upcoming page.

Choose the right words

Push notification content comes next. The rule is simple here: content should be interesting. Choose the right tone and be careful with your wording. Generally speaking, you have around 10 words to make a positive impact. Here are a few quick tips:

  1. Be precise and obvious about what you want
  2. Add a clear-cut call-to-action
  3. Use your 10 words wisely
push notification best practices

If you are offering a discount, use phrasal verbs. Pushes that include words like “off,” “today,” “now” provide a feeling of urgency and seem to be working quite well.

P.S. never use the word “click” when sending mobile push notifications. We don’t click on mobile, we tap.

Let your users know you have missed them

This one seems to be one of the most overlooked push notification best practices. But the thing is sometimes even the most loyal customers drastically stop using their once favorite apps. Yes, that’s the saddest thing for app makers. Another sad thing is that churn is so hard to predict.

push notification best practices

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That’s why you need to cuddle your app users with love, affection, care and sweet push notifications of course. Let the dormant users know about your redesign, about a new feature or just simply about how much you have been missing them lately.

Summing up

Using push notifications strategically can be a great way of reminding your users about your app. Just make sure to use them at the right dose: too many irrelevant pushes can make your users leave and never come back again. Not enough messages can result in a decrease in engagement.

In both cases, there is a risk of your app being uninstalled. So, brace yourself and get ready to not let your people go.

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