Push Notifications 2018: How to Win Opt-Ins, Develop Metrics and Get the Creative Right

Push Notifications 2018: How to Win Opt-Ins, Develop Metrics and Get the Creative Right

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WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report examines the latest trends in push notifications, offers guidance on developing strong metrics for measuring campaign success, and provides practical advice for garnering opt-ins and using personalization to improve outcomes.

Executive Summary

The allure of push notifications is clear—they provide app publishers with a direct line to an audience that’s already demonstrated an interest in their business. But the flip side of push is that it might be too easy for marketers to bombard users, raising the risk of annoying them with constant demands on their time and attention. Recent changes to both the Android and iOS mobile operating systems have given users more control than ever over how and when they receive push notifications. To use push notifications effectively, marketers need to hit a sweet spot that takes into account users’ needs and desires, frequency of messaging, personalization and localization. Meanwhile, the actual content of the notification—things like tone and the use of visual media such as emojis, photos and video—can help improve outcomes.
  • What’s the most common mistake marketers make when asking users to opt in to push notifications? Quite simply, by asking too early. Apps need to first demonstrate to users how push notifications will provide value or usefulness. Marketers can leverage in-app messages to help explain what users will get out of push notifications before allowing an opt-in request to be delivered by the operating system (OS).

  • What key metric should marketers consider to gauge the success of a push notification strategy? The easy answer is the clickthrough rate (CTR). But relying solely on that metric can give brands a skewed impression of how their campaign is doing. CTR doesn’t account for when push notifications are delivered, do their job successfully and then are dismissed. Instead, marketers are better off setting a specific in-app event goal and measuring how push has influenced that outcome.

  • What are the opt-in rates for push notifications? According to Accengage, the average worldwide opt-in rate for push notifications was 67.5% in H1 2018. Worldwide, opt-in rates for push notifications remain higher on Android devices (91.1%) than iPhones (43.9%).

KEY STAT: Worldwide, opt-in rates for push notifications remain higher on Android devices than iPhones, but such messages might get a leg up on Apple devices given recent changes to how push notifications are handled in the recently released iOS 12.


  1. Executive Summary
  2. Have Smartphone Users Been Pushed Too Far?
  3. Get the Opt-In Right
  4. Using the Right Metrics
  5. Push Gets Personal
  6. Content Remains King, Even on Push
  7. Key Takeaways

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