How do we craft a push notification?

Like emails, push notifications are an extremely powerful way to re-engage customers on mobile apps. Push notifications are very personal, so targeting them very precisely using customer behavioral data (from Segment) is crucial.

For example, Wanelo has begun accepting direct product feeds from retailers. For any of these retailers, when a product goes on sale, they can send a push notification to the people who have saved that product in their profile.

Every Push messaging focuses around three key features:

  • Content -Diversify your messaging just as you would with an investment portfolio. you want to target your consumers with right content and avoid opt out for push. For example: Netflix uses push notifications to let users know when their favorite shows are available. Rather than sending every user a notification every time any new show or season is released.

  • Frequency- Consider your App Store Category. News/Sports apps send push notifications daily or multiple times a day if its "game day". So do Social Networking/Messaging apps. However, apps that are utilitarian - Travel, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Productivity, etc. - only message when necessary.

  • Timing- Always send push notifications to users in their local timezone. In general, mobile usage peaks between 6pm - 10pm.

Choose an destination

It’s best practice to self evaluate when trying to choose the “one” that suits your needs.

  1. What’s your user base size? Is it more than 10k? If not, you can try demo versions of mobile marketing automation libraries.
  2. Are you looking for a tool only to support push notification or provide an entire marketing suite ?
  3. How do push notifications create an impact in your app? Specifically, engagement, retargeting and social impact.
  4. How can deep links in push notifications fit into your app needs?

You will find many alternatives, but choosing the right one for your app is important!

Key metrics for a successful push

  • Build trust with your user

Ask users to opt in to push notifications upon app install or after the first time they use an app, so its easier to be transparent about how users can opt out later

  • Give users control

Let your customers decide what notifications they want to receive. It may help to break up your notifications into categories so you can empower your customers with this decision.

  • Create user segments

Creating lists of your app users based on characteristics or events that align to specific campaigns will help you better target your mobile marketing efforts.

  • Personalize messages

Make sure to use deep linking to guide users to the specific screen relevant to that offer

  • Control timing

Pay attention to your user segments’ time zones (people sleep!) and customize messages based on time of year (holidays) to make brand personable

  • Right frequency

The ideal frequency depends on the type of app you have

  • A/B test push messages

Test different action words, phrases, message lengths, etc.

  • Marketing automation

To “auto-enroll” new users into existing campaigns

  • Measure the right metrics

Don’t silo the success of your campaign to just app opens


If you have any questions or see anywhere we can improve our documentation, please let us know or kick off a conversation in the Segment Community!