Engaging Online Audience with Push Notifications on iOS And Android Apps

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Push notifications can actually leverage app engagement and customer retention!

It is often difficult to engage or re-engage prospects with the app. Can conversion barriers actually improve customer retention? In that case push, notifications become a fast and effective way to communicate with the audience. These push the relevant information towards the clients instantly in the most effective way at a pre-defined frequency. Push notifications on a website are more effective than a subscribed newsletter, in keeping your audience engaged and is one effective way of pulling traffic towards your website. Push notifications are definitely less intrusive than other forms of user engagement, can help users with relevant information, keep up with latest updates, promotions, and offers.

Features and Advantages of Push Notifications Android/iOS

For some users making use of push notification might seem more like a dicey proposition. Some feel nervous, some feel annoyed, while others completely approve of remarketing and feel properly targeted. Here is the feature-list to entice app users:

  • Push notifications can be used to send updates in real-time
  • Stimulate user engagement
  • Increase opt-in rate (One-click subscription without hassle)
  • Helpful in quick advertising that helps attract the customers at earliest
  • Push notifications are simple, short and easily understandable
  • They show an interesting short message along with a rich image in a very attractive manner that prompts the user to click it.
  • It intensifies conversion rate as the notifications get delivered to the users instantly and the user just has to click on it to open the relevant page. This increases the chances of converting your potential audiences into customers.

Read also: iOS vs. Android App Development: Must Know the Best Solution

How to Capture the Advantages of Push Notifications?

Here are some key takeaways for push notification campaigns for iOS app development or Android app development 2019:

  • One push notification per week for behavior-based campaigns
  • Instead of filling users phone with unwanted notifications (which they might finally want to block), it is advisable to judge their preferences, behavior, and location
  • Suggesting people with a similar product if a certain product is out of stock, local varieties branded products at similar or discounted prices or likewise, it adds to the value of the notification.

Push Notification Trends

According to various surveys, push notifications are going to boost app engagement by up to 88% and approximately 65% of the users return to the app if push notifications are enabled. These can help in increasing app retention rate by 3-10x and users who opt to have push notifications have twice as much chance of staying there as compared to users who have not opted for push notifications. Trends that will emerge as a cardinal rule for push notifications:

  • Targeting push notifications increases customer response rates up to 300 percent
  • Push notifications boost app engagement by 88%
  • 65% of users return to an app within 30 days when push notifications are enabled
  • Sending push notifications can increase app retention rates by 3-10x
  • 48% of mobile app users made an in-store purchase after receiving a push notification triggered by profile data
  • Users who opted in to push notification are retained at nearly 2x the rate of those who are not using
  • Average click rate of push notification is 10.3%
  • 46% of app users who have opted in to push notifications spent at-least 11 sessions in an app per month compared to 25% who did not have push notifications enabled
  • Sending just one on-boarding related push notification to newly acquired users during the first week after they’ve installed your app can increase retention by 71% over two months

Best Examples of Push Notifications

Push notification improves overall app retention, engagement, and overall user experience but they can as well be interruptive, annoying and hurtful and can work in reverse order if implemented in the wrong way.

Every app has its individual, unique user base. Therefore it is essential to have push notifications that are tailored to the diverse needs of the audience.

In addition to this, if everything else is right, the push notifications have to be affordable to the publisher, offer just the right mix of backend tools, like real-time data analytics or demographic segmentation. Amongst the famous examples of the apps that have been making use of push notifications extensively, some are listed below:

  • Urban Airship
  • Leanplum
  • Localytics
  • Taplytics
  • OneSignal
  • Kahuna
  • Kumulos
  • PushWoosh
  • PushBots
  • Swrve
  • Streethawk
  • Mixpanel
  • Carnival.io
  • Catapush
  • Amazon SNS

How Do Push Notifications Work In Android App?

It has been noticed that push notifications do not work with certain phones (by manufacturers like Xiaomi, One Plus, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, Lenovo, Samsung, and a few others), while the app is closed. They only work when the user is active over the app.

There are three buttons at the bottom of every Android smartphone – there is a square button that opens the recent screen. Then there is a round button that opens the menu or the apps installed on the smartphone and there is a left arrow button that is used as a back button or navigation button.

When an application is cleared or closed, it kills the app and its background services in Android operating system customized by certain device manufacturers (called as stock ROM’s). These background services are required if we wish to show push notifications.

Other way around, these stock ROM’s have an option to restart the background services from device’s settings that can be disabled at any time by the user. Auto-starting of the background services is disabled. This is implemented in order to conserve battery and improve performance.

Apps like Gmail and slack have auto-launch enabled, which is why they do not face such problems. In most of the devices, the auto-launch feature comes with various different names like auto-start, start-up manager, auto-start manager, app optimization, or background app management or protected apps.

Chalking Out Push Notifications Architecture

Here are the various ways (services) that can be used to implement push notifications within the applications (particularly useful for the developers):

  • Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) – for lightweight messages, messages with data payloads that do not exceed 4KB, and is open source.
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) – It lets synchronize actions like alerts
  • GCM Cloud Connection Server (ССS)

Push Notifications Architecture

There are many other functionalities that extend the possibilities of FCM or Google Play Services. But as they can be used across platforms, the functionality is too extensive for some basic use cases.

Read also: How to Convert iOS App to Android App?

Implementing iOS Push Notifications

Push notifications for ios work in the same way as android push notifications – they are basically used to transmit a short text message, play a short sound and set a badge count on an app’s icon.

iOS Push Notifications

Steps to Be Followed to Add Push Notifications to An iOS App?

iOS app -> requests a device token from Apple Push Notification Services (APNS) -> The app receives the token which functions as the address to send a push notification to -> the app sends the token of the device to your server -> the server will send a push notification with a device token to the APNS when prompted -> The APNS will send a push notification to the user’s device.

In order to enable push notifications in the iOS device, a provisioning profile and an SSL certificate must be created for the server. The background implementation has to be launched on the server, SSL certificate has to be installed and outgoing TLS connection on certain spots must be set up.

Rough and Ready Assumption

Push notifications are one of the most convenient methods of marketing ideas across consumers. With the right mix of frequency and a search over user preferences and behavior, this is an effective method to increase conversion rates as compared to other mediums like SMS and emails.

It is important that users perceive the data that comes with push notifications in the way it is intended by the app marketers. As the number of platforms that offer Android and iOS push notifications increase every day, a right mix between affordable pricing and required features (mostly UI based) is required to experience it to fullest.

Drop the ambiguity and take up credible action. Reach out to our experts with your queries. They’ll be happy to help you.

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About Author
Vipin Jain

Vipin Jain

Vipin Jain is the Co-Founder and CEO at Konstant Infosolutions and is in charge of marketing, project management, administration and R&D at the company. With his marketing background, Vipin Jain has developed and honed the company’s vision, corporate structure & initiatives and its goals, and brought the company into the current era of success.

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