Braze Magazine

13 Push Notification Dos and Don’ts

Dear reader: This blog post is vintage Appboy. We invite you to enjoy the wisdom of our former selves—and then for more information, check out our new Cross-Channel Engagement Difference Report.

Push notifications have been a game changer for the mobile landscape. With their unique ability to reach users that aren’t actively engaged, they can provide urgent updates and reminders to lapsing customers, as well as keep your power users coming back.

They can also drive users crazy, if they’re overdone or too intrusive, and that can turn out badly for your brand. What’s the perfect balance? How do you effectively build push notifications into your multichannel strategy? Let’s start briefly with the basics.

The basics

There are different types of push notifications, but all of them are intended to send brief messages to customers who are not on your site or in your app. The most commonly understood is the mobile push notification. It became available in 2009 on iPhones and Android quickly picked up the idea. More recently, wearable push notifications have popped up, providing more access but in an even smaller space. Web push has really grown this year as a key tool for engaging desktop or browser users in a new way.

It’s important to remember that for all of these types, you need user permission to send them, but customers are growing more skeptical of opt-ins. Because push notifications pop-up above everything else, they can easily annoy users if they are too frequent or aren’t providing value. 78% of users opt out if they don’t like the messages they are receiving.

Not everyone responds to push, but for those who do, if you can make a good case for opting in and keep them happy, it can be a powerful messaging channel. It’s particularly effective for encouraging users to open the app, to re-engage those who haven’t opened in a while, or highlight time sensitive offers.

Once users have opted in, the next challenge is in crafting a message that will compel them to open and sending it at a time when they are likely to engage. Send times are particularly important because they can make all the difference in whether a message will be read or ignored.

What makes for great push? We’ve created a quick list of dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re working on a push campaign.

Push notifications: Dos

Push notifications: Don’ts

Push notifications: examples

This example from Tinder is a friendly reminder but shares some timely information–it would be effective for re-engaging a user who may just need a nudge.

Many people are pleased to see their TimeHop photos once they open Facebook but this message intrigues users to click by giving them a teaser of their update.

This notification from MicCheck is a great example of segmentation and timeliness to ensure the message is relevant. If it was targeted to reach millennial users (who are less likely to have cable), it likely caught many at a key moment when they were wondering how they’d be watching the debate that night.

What’s next?

Ready to start developing awesome push campaigns? Check out our guides to get started, including a template for push notifications, top push-centric campaigns, and our hacks for writing push notification copy.