If you have a mobile app or plan to build one for your business, you should know what push notifications are and how they help engage the app users best.

Push notifications are clickable, small messages, or alerts that appear on your users’ screen when triggered by the app.

They can do many things for a business app. For example, they can get the user to take some action, such as downloading a coupon or notify the user about some event.

Keep on reading to know more about push notifications and their business value.

Are Push Notifications Similar to Text Messages?

No. Push notifications aren’t exactly text messages or SMS.

Are push notifications text messages

They look similar to text messages, but both are different from each other in many ways.

Let’s compare them and find out which is more effective.

**Push Notification****Text Message**
A **push notification** is a brief message or alert that is “pushed” through an app to users (recipients) who have downloaded that app.A **text message** is an SMS text message by which a business can send text via a cellular network.
It is a marketing tool that offers real-time messaging.Often used as a mass text messaging tool.
To receive a push notification, the recipient must download the app on their device.No need to download an app. However, in some instances recipient needs to opt for receiving business messages.
Messages can be enhanced with GIFs, audio, and buttons. Text messages with 160 characters at the max can be sent.
Once the recipient views the push alert, they cannot refer to the message again.Text messages can be referred by the recipient as long as it stays in the inbox.
Push buttons are completely free for the recipients.SMS text messages are usually not free for the recipients – the price depends upon the cellular service.

Why Use Push Notifications?

Push notifications have the edge over the text message. It allows businesses to capture the user’s attention, increase the response rate, and encourage action and loyalty.

Why use push notifications

Before learning more about this cool feature, let us discuss the advantages of using push messages.

1. Enhanced User Engagement

Push notifications are a rich and interactive medium that helps you attract more users and keep them engaged.

Users have installed your app because they see some value in it. A push message reminds them of that value and encourages them to engage more with your app.

2. Direct Communication

For app publishers, push notifications are an excellent way to communicate directly to users because they don’t disappear in spam filters or be forgotten in an inbox.

3. Increased Conversion Rates

Well-timed marketing messages increase conversion rates because they can notify customers, and if required, create a sense of urgency.

If you send your users informative messages about special discounts or limited-time offers through push notifications, it can trigger instant purchasing and increase the conversion rate.

4. Better Insights

When you send out push notifications, you can gather some critical insights about your customer behavior. Push notifications feature a tracking system that analyses messages, devices, interaction times, and other necessary actionable data.

Based on user-behavior data collected, you can launch campaigns that may connect better with users.

5. Cost-Effective

The use of push notifications saves you money that you may have to spend on sending out communication.

Also, it saves your customers money as well. Customers may not want to pay for the incoming messages if you use SMS to reach out. Push messages cost app publishers less and are free for your customers.

To start sending push notifications on your app, you need to send users an opt-in message where they can subscribe to keep receiving alerts from you.

What are Opt-in Messages?

When users receive notifications and alerts from your app incessantly, it can be an annoying experience for them.

With opt-in messages, users get an option and the power to opt-in or opt-out of push notifications at their own will. Opt-in messages confirm users’ consent to receive notifications. It also determines the conversion of a user from an app visitor to a subscriber.

After you set up the push messages on your app, your visitors see a small opt-in box on their browsers. This box checks from them if they want to receive any messages from your app.

Once the visitors give their permission, they are added as subscribers, and you can begin sending them notifications to engage them.

You can customize the opt-in message to add more context to the messages. You can also time your opt-in message. Also, clearly state that it is simple to opt-out from the notification whenever the user wants to. It helps in gaining their trust in your brand.

What are the Types of Push Notifications?

So, there are a few types of push notifications suitable for different purposes. Let’s take a look.

1. Mobile App Push Notifications

Mobile App Push Notifications are the messages received via a mobile application installed on the user’s smartphone. These are typically displayed in three locations on the app user’s phone—lock screen, banner, and notification center.

Android OS has a default setting of opt-in and manual opt-out users. iOS OS does not allow apps to send notifications to its users until they agree to receive messages.

How do they work?

When the app user opens the app, unique identifiers are registered for both the app and the device push notification service. These identifiers are also shared with the app publishers, who then manually create these messages.

Also Read: Offline App Development: Why Your Mobile App Should Work In Offline Mode?

2. Desktop Push Notifications

Desktop push notifications are messages received via only apps installed only on the desktop. Like mobile app push alerts, they are complex to create and require the developer’s help.

3. Web Push Notifications

With web push alerts, you can send alerts on the user’s mobile and desktop, even when the app users are not on your website. They do not need any installations.

Users simply need to give their consent to receive notifications via a single click. They can be sent to users without building an app as they are sent directly to their browsers that can be opened on any device.

Web push notifications are a handy tool for marketers because of the ease with which they are built.

Different Ways to Send Push Notifications

Push notifications can be the most amazing form of business marketing because your brand can communicate one-on-one and in real-time with the users through them.

But remember, there’s a very narrow window of time that app users will pay attention to these notifications. That’s why you have to get them just right by sending them at the right moment and by using the right content to engage.

If your notification doesn’t follow the correct approach, your user will probably swipe it away.

Here are different ways to send push notifications that can engage your users.

1. Information Notifications

These notifications break the stereotype of push notifications as annoying and interrupting spam for users. They play an essential part in delivering timely information updates to users that they can get value from.

What this information covers will depend on the scope of the mobile app. It can range anywhere from information, updates, or alerts relevant to your app – maybe some trending news article about travel, the latest weather alert, stock updates, or the latest news from the world.

2. Personalized GeoLocation Notifications

Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble use interest-based geolocation notifications for date match alerts. Geolocation is a superb tool for customizing and personalizing push notifications.

Such notifications are also needed when you want to inform your users about stores or gas-stations nearby, or maybe interesting deals in fine dining restaurants in their current location.

An app with a retail business can alert users who walk within a certain distance of their stores. Especially if there’s a sale or a limited-time opportunity, users tend to appreciate these types of push notifications.

3. Time-Bound Notifications

These notifications work best when you want to create a sense of urgency among your app users with a limited-time offer.

You can send alerts about a limited-period sales offer and a soon approaching expiry date. It creates an interest in the users to utilize the offer. You also have to set a notification expiry who clicks it after the offer period ends.

4. Reminder Notifications

The modern world is full of distractions. It is not uncommon to find an incomplete user profile at a job hunt app, unfinished purchase with products in the shopping cart of an e-Commerce app, incomplete booking of a vacation on a travel app, or a half-finished game.

Wouldn’t it be cool to send such users a reminder not to miss out on exciting opportunities by you? It will certainly delight your users, and they would want to stay loyal.

This push notification is perfect for job portals, educational portals, nutrition sites, e-commerce stores, and games.

5. Triggered Push Notifications

Triggered Push notifications are alerts that are sent to the app users based on their actions. These actions, when taken by the users, trigger sending notifications.

There can be many user actions that you can choose from: logging into the app, product views, abandoning the cart, adding product to the wish-list, and completing the purchase, among many others.

Triggered Push notifications are automated messages and are beneficial in targeting the right users at the right time and in increasing the online conversion rates.

Industries that Push Notifications Can Benefit the Most

Use of the push notifications isn’t restricted to any specific industry. However, some industries are perfectly set up to benefit from push marketing.

Businesses that can make the most from push notifications

Let’s learn how to use push notifications to boost user engagement by implementing industry-specific suggestions.

1. Travel and Hospitality

In the last few years, the Travel and Hospitality industry has seen a significant boom in push notifications.

Push notifications in the form of updates on trending destinations, attractive travel packages, time-bound fare changes, reminders to check-ins, or alerts about the schedule change, are widely used.

Such notifications also:

  • Allow triggered campaigns to advertise travel deals

Suppose a user researches a travel destination and finds a hotel that is too expensive for them. Imagine how convenient will it be for him if he is alerted of a price drop via a push notification.

  • Give booking recommendations

Users search for a no. of travel packs on different travel apps before booking a trip. They abandon a no. of travel apps/websites midway because their research is still not over.

The global travel abandonment rate crossed 90% in 2019. Travel apps can use push alerts to retarget such users and remind them of what they were looking for by providing them alternate travel packs or hotels.

  • Run triggered campaigns to upsell or cross-sell deals based on the user’s recent transactions.

2. Retail

Retail apps tend to focus on enhancing the user’s engagement with the app. This is where push notifications play an important role.

Let’s see how the retail and e-commerce industry benefit from push notifications:

  • Send information about flash sales or deals on items on the wish-lists with customers to add urgency to their app visit.
  • Offer increased loyalty points for a specific period and alert customers with notifications.
  • Let the customers know when an item they were watching for is back in stock so they can get it before it’s gone again.
  • Remind customers about the items in their cart or notify them about their abandoned cart.
  • Update the customers on their purchase details.

3. News

Many news apps use push notifications to alert and notify users of breaking news. Such notifications appear on the users’ locked screens.

Push alerts are one of the critical ways in which you can promote your digital news products like an e-paper. Push notifications must be much more than only breaking news.

4. Education

Whether you are providing general training to your e-learning app user or onboarding and upskilling them, they can benefit hugely from push notification perks.

Here are some tips on when to use push notifications effectively in Education.

With push notifications, online e-learning app can:

  • Send a reminder to the learner to complete the training.
  • Encourage a revisit to your app with mock tests or interesting facts.
  • Send them reminders of up-coming classroom events.
  • Re-engage with your online learners by giving them essential information and course updates.
  • You can enhance their experience by sharing information like key strategies and tips.
  • Once someone completes their course, they won’t visit again. You can promote other courses to get them back.
  • Notify the learners about new content
  • Offer them virtual rewards to motivate them.

5. Health and Fitness

With increased screen time and a sedentary lifestyle, health and fitness apps have become very popular.

Let’s check how you can leverage push notifications to engage your users with your health app better.

  • Push notifications can encourage the user to stick to their health app exercise routine.
  • They can remind users of taking their scheduled medications if any.
  • They can offer exciting content to supplement their diet.
  • Invite a user to connect with the broader community

Also Read: How to Successfully Launch Fitness App in the Market?

Things to Keep in Mind When Implementing Push Notifications

You can reap all the potential benefits of push notifications if you keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind.


  • Write compelling content for your notifications.
  • Send onboarding notifications to subscribers.
  • Offer simple opt-in and opt-out options.
  • Automate notifications.
  • Schedule notifications according to the user’s time zone based on
  • their location and industry.
  • Segment your audience and send them personalized and relevant notifications.
  • Track user app behavior and understand their interest in your app.
  • Write crisp notifications that convey the meaning in as few words as possible.
  • Use rich push notifications to add more context and improve communication.
  • Track the right metrics.


Many app users find push notifications annoying because of the way they’re being used. Therefore, do not:

  • Send too many notifications to the user.
  • Bombard them with alerts and notifications at odd hours.
  • Send generic messages to subscribers that have nothing specific to offer.
  • Send any notifications without defining the end goal or CTA.

Create Engaging Mobile Experiences with Imaginovation

To improve the performance of your push notifications, you must clearly understand what your customer wants.

If you want to revamp your mobile app with incredible features like push notifications, get in touch with us.

We will gladly help you develop the best push notifications strategy for your business.

We are an award-winning web and mobile app development agency with vast experience in crafting remarkable digital success stories for diverse companies.

Let’s talk.


Michael Georgiou

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