10 Ways to Build a Bulletproof Push Notification Strategy

The main difference between successful and mediocre mobile app marketing is the correct goal setting. If your aim is getting downloads, you will hardly enjoy significant success. On the other hand, if you are looking for returning users, you are on the right path.

Experts say that notifications boost retention by several times. In this article, we are going to provide a few tips on how to make your push notifications amazing.

Push notification for marketing and engagement

Push Notifications Best Practices

1. Permissions

If you ask your users for permission to send them to push notifications, you are trying to manipulate them. However, most apps fail here. Most users do not want to allow any apps to get access to their personal data. For example, Android’s permission system has some permission requests and clients feel uncomfortable about confirming personal data sharing.

How it works: to make privacy concerns less problematic, marketers should address the value of notifications they send making their push notification mobile strategy more user friendly. Ask your users what updates they are interested in to send them only relevant information and ensure their compelling experience.

Some marketers decide to send a request later. For example, if you have a messaging application, ask your users whether they want to receive notifications when their friends respond.

2. Clear Marketing Strategy

A marketing effort without a clear strategy is going around in circles. Mobile is the most performance-based platform, so you don’t have to speculate, but everything starts with creating a good plan. Mobile app marketers know that, but more often they fail to create a thoughtful push notification strategy for your app and, therefore, miss an opportunity to boost retention.

How it works:

  • think about various push triggers
  • user-behavior types you are looking for
  • the goal you aim to achieve with push notification marketing and more

The smarter triggers you create, the more chances you get to receive user’s responsibility.

For example, if your app helps users register for contests and events, make a notification that reminds a user when the registration period is nearly over to let him/her have a chance to be on time.

3. Types of Push Notifications

Text notifications are things of the past because you can get to a brand new level today. Modern technology allows you to use more eye-catching messages including images to view in one single tap. It is a great possibility to turn a call-to-action into an action using interactive notifications that attract attention to what are willing to say, and the retention level will grow. Isn’t it great to create interactive and funny apps to ensure entertainment for users?

How it works: you can produce a stronger social aspect and increase user engagement by informing users that their friends use the application. A push notification that informs users of their friends’ moves and offers a further action such as “like” or “share.” It gives your push notification more value and creates a better engagement.

4. Timing

Time is everything. The right timing of your push ensures your app to have delighted users and less annoyed ones. Choose the most comfortable time for your notifications. That is, you have to avoid sending notifications at times when your users are probably busy or asleep.

Avoid disturbing your users, but also chooses the best time to connect them. To do that, you have to know who your audience is and what you are going to send them.

How it works: some experts say that the best time to send notifications is the afternoon. Thus, as has been mentioned above, the effectiveness of your push timing depends on your goal, the industry you are in, and your target audience.

Push notification solution

5. A/B Testing

In the mobile app world, you have to test out and develop some options to every parameter described in this article. Obviously, to learn which method is the most effective, you should experiment and measure results. It is a never-ending process to become a regular part of your notification strategy.

How it works: it is crucial to test different approaches to push notifications and try different content, tones, and timing to understand what interests your audience the most. Realizing what makes your users respond to your offers may help you to develop the most effective communication strategy.

6. Content. How to write best push notifications texts

A simple fact is that the content of your notification should be engaging and very specific.

Follow this advice:

  • Make sure to keep your text short and informative
  • Include a clear call to action in your push messages
  • Try to spark the interest of your users with a catchy joke or phrase.
  • Use an element of entertainment, it holds the attention and remains in the memory.

In addition, one of the most important things to include in the message is personalization. Send personal messages that catch attention.

How it works: take a personal approach by using names and including details about the last activity user performed in the application. If you sell merchandise, and your audience is interested in specific items, note when they are going on sale.

For instance, the text of your notification can say the following: “Hi, Susan! The bag you have added to your wish list is on sale! Buy it now at a discount!” It is important to be soft. Be personal, but avoid treating them with scant courtesy.

7. Push Notification Segmentation

If you are going to provide personalized communication to your users, this is where you should start. Dividing your audience into groups, focus on certain characteristics and types of people you are appealing to groups can be focused on gender, age, interests, location, and any other personal data.

If you are going to take it to a higher level, you should address user behavior. Specific push notifications are used to learn the way users react, interact, and respond to them to find out how frequently and actively they use your application.

How it works: inert and engaged users should receive different messages. If you want to draw the attention of the inert users to your app again, you should send them notifications that include special deals to evoke their interest.

8. Frequency

Some marketers find push notifications very effective and, therefore, become too enthusiastic. Sometimes, it leads to sending an oversize amount of notifications in a short span of time. Unfortunately, this may irritate users and bring negative results.

A good strategy helps you to discover a perfect balance that will allow you to connect users without becoming an “overly attached girlfriend.”

How it works: you have to divide push notifications into 2 groups. The first group should contain messages that inform users about the action of other users (“Your friend Judy liked your photo”).

The second group should contain messages that information directly about the deals within the app (“Check out the new special offer!”). Users like to receive the messages of the first type, so you should be careful about how often you send the messages of the second type.

9. Prioritizing

If you have too many similar push notifications you want to send to the same user in a short period of time, and you try to avoid over-spamming your user, make sure to prioritize them and choose the most important ones. When creating a push strategy, a segmentation process could help you in this process and detect the issue in advance.

How it works: begin with separating specific notifications from the general ones and choose those messages that adhere to the users’ needs to the maximum extent. In case if you cannot decide which of them are of higher priority, try creating several seasonal versions of the general strategy.

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10. Creativity

Obviously, the main aim of sending notifications is to get maximum users’ attention and engagement. For that reason, it makes sense to take your time and produce some creative and entertaining content. Come up with something unique and you will be more likely to amaze your audience. Don’t make your message very long, but try to make it memorable.

How it works: the ideas are endless. Make your content funny or rhyme to generate retention and communication.

This list is a checklist for beginners in the world of push notifications. To make sure that you are on the right way, we recommend you review this article from time to time. Keep on adjusting, testing, and measuring your results!

In conclusion

Push notification marketing is still growing and can bring significant benefits to your business. Try our best practices to gain the desired results!

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AppDepot: Interactive App Discovery Platform

Project Description 

AppDepot is a video interactive platform for apps and related tech discovery, that helps apps and related tech gain visibility, increase discoverability, and organically generate traction while engaging your consumers. 

We offer the fastest and easiest means to highlight the value; showcase the key functionalities; and render a great first impression of your app.

We have developed a highly effective and competitive application that will be able to pleasantly surprise users:

  • unlimited possibilities in creating a video using features such as: screen recording, embedding from YouTube, uploading from gallery, using device camera, with built-in video trimming features.

  • If the user has already created a YouTube video for their app, they can simply embed it in AppDepot via a link

  • AppDepot’s analytics will allow you to solicit feedback of your potential users while your app is still in development.

  • As soon as your application becomes available in the App Store or even during development, you can utilize AppDepot’s push notifications to notify your followers about important launch milestones.

  • AppDepot allows you, as the app owner, to manage the visibility of your content to other users (by utilizing the private mode option)

What Solution can We Offer

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Main challenges:

The app’s initial code was based on the serverless solution and our developers needed to implement new features that required full-fledged back-end development. After implementing various combinations of AWS services, we were able to successfully implement the following functionalities: sending push notifications, logic of payment and reward systems, as well as the option to embed from YouTube, etc.

Core app functionality in the initial code was created on legacy frameworks that complicated the work, so we have optimized the UI of the application using more modern and adaptive solutions.

Because of the presence of strong binding between the backend elements of the application a single change in one element caused undesired changes in several other elements. As a result, the scope of work increased.

Large amount of the initial code lacked explanatory comments.

Key Solutions 

  1. One of the unique features of the application is that its work is based on tight integration with AWS services (DynamoDB, S3, Lambda functions, Pinpoint). The application was developed only by iOS specialists, backend logic was implemented using specified services. We were able to access AWS powerful infrastructure using capabilities provided by Amplify.
  2. We have created our own library that allows users to publish YouTube videos on our Feed page. The mechanism developed by our specialists allows the app to receive a direct link to a specific video from YouTube and display it in the application. At the same time, we save space on customer’s Amazon S3, because we use direct links to videos stored in Google infrastructure.
  3. In addition, we utilized capabilities provided by iOS (In-App Purchases, Subscriptions, Sign In with Apple, Push Notifications).
  4. Using the UI layout framework “Texture”, we have achieved asynchronous UI rendering, which made exploring of videos fast and enjoyable for our users, at the same time optimizing the usage of Internet connection.
  5. We have developed a highly efficient mechanism of caching videos. It takes care of free space on our users’ phones. We clean app cache regularly.
  6. Our users don’t have to worry about data security. All data is stored on Amazon services (DynamoDB), and content is secured in S3 cloud storage, which is accessible only via protected links.

Tech Stack

  • App language:
  • Architecture:
    MVC & MVVM
  • UI:
    UIKit (SnapKit) & SwiftUI & Texture (AsyncDisplayKit)
  • Lambda functions:
    Ruby & Swift
  • Backend:
    AWS Amplify
    API generated by Amazon using GraphQL language

Team composition

  • PM
  • UI/UX Designer
  • 2 iOS developers
  • QA


    On the AppDepot platform users interact, build trust, and share their experiences or views about different apps featured on the platform, while enjoying personalized user and rich interactive experience.

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    •  The opportunity to always be aware of new products and trends on the digital market.
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