Best Practices & Tips for Sending Mobile App Push Messages

Posted by Matt Milloway on Jun 28, 2016

Push notifications are a vital tool for any company needing to interact with its user base. Studies show users who enable push are exponentially more engaged in the mobile app and unsurprisingly more likely to be retained as loyal content consumers.

Understanding how to best utilize push notifications and send the best alerts should therefore be a top priority for any entity using the feature to engage its audience.

Consider Value

Users expect tangible value in the form of vital updates or exclusive information with push alerts—not fluff material or repeated promotions. Does the proposed content really warrant a push message? Ask this question before sending each notification to users and learn to respect "mobile inboxes". 

Other options for less-important content include featuring an updates area inside of the app or sending a single push alert for a series of new content (i.e. PDF documents) versus a single alert for each item. Learn to leverage other tools so users continue to eagerly await push alerts as a source of true value when real-time communication is most relevant. 

Keep Push Alerts Short

Push alerts are much like email subject lines; the shorter an idea or point can be made, the better. Avoid wordy or confusing messages and keep sentences as short as possible to avoid user confusion. Experts and studies often cite 10 words or less as the best choice to ensure higher click-through rates and more eyes on promoted content or a vital update. 

Direct Users to Specific Mobile Content

The deep linking feature in push alerts enables companies to send users to a specific content item in the mobile app. Consider the following comparison: a push message notifies users of an exclusive promotion or the same message notifies the user, but also includes a link to the specific promotion details accessible within seconds of tapping on the alert. 

The former option is nice, but serves no real purpose and fails to engage the user with valuable content inside of the app. The latter, however, gives users everything they need to know in one concise message with the option to immediately learn more.

Leverage Scheduling Features

Timing is everything when it comes to engaging user bases around the world. Be conscious of time zones, working hours, and the best moments to send a specific message. Scheduling alerts in advance with a clear strategy not only helps the timing aspect, but ensures messages aren’t forgotten all-together amongst other responsibilities. 

Take Advantage of a Mobile App’s CMS 

A mobile app’s content management system enables admin users to queue messages days, weeks, or even months in advance and enjoy a “set it and forget it” workflow. It also provides the tools for embedding deep links in the app and typically includes a character counter to serve as a subtle reminder for messages erring on the lengthy side. In a nutshell, a CMS gives companies a one-stop source to devise and publish the best possible push alerts from the comforts of their home or office. 

Track Results

Mobile app analytics give insight into how many devices received and read a push alert. The popularity of content linked from alerts can also be tracked. Did promoted content see an increase in page views? Ask the right questions and track results to improve the timing and content of messages. 

For more details on push alerts and AppBurst's mobile apps: