7 Insights to Help Refine Your App Notification Strategy

There’s a fine line between being effective and being annoying when it comes to push notifications.

There’s a fine line between being effective and being annoying when it comes to push notifications. Too many notifications can lead to overload, while too few notifications can lead to users abandoning applications and services. However, well-timed and well-targeted push notifications can increase retention and conversion

Tapjoy studied more than 4 million push notifications sent between February and August and came up with seven key insights into user behavior.


Open rates are highest on Mondays: The first day of the week saw an open rate of 3.06 percent, with Tuesday and Wednesday at a close second and third. Saturday saw the lowest rate, at 2.6 percent. The gap may be small, but that gap could represent millions of users.

Android makes opening easier: The open rate for Android is 3.1 percent, while iOS is 2.38 percent. This gap is likely caused by Android’s tendency to leave a notification on the lock screen longer than iOS.


Avoid overloading with daily notifications: Daily push notifications performed poorly, with an open rate of less than 1 percent, compared with the 3 percent rate for weekly notifications. Despite the lower rate, daily notifications receive more traffic in a week, but weekly is the sweet spot for most users.

“Get your …” provides a substantial boost: Notifications using this can yield open rates of 11 percent. Subtle differences can result in big swings: the word “gift” can result in open rates of 3.42 percent, while “win” resulted in an open rate of less than 1 percent.


Silence is golden: Both iOS and Android provide for the option for notification sounds. However, these tools aren’t used widely. Silent notifications are opened more than twice as much as notifications with sound.

Automation pays dividends: Automated notifications were opened more than 5 percent of the time across Tapjoy’s network compared with 2 percent for manual pushes. With automation, it’s possible to tailor responses to user behavior, and to give them reminders at optimal times.

Not all genres are equal: Gaming push notifications are opened often, which helps to reduce app churn among players. For example, adventure game notifications have open rates of almost 70 percent.

Push notifications can be a balancing act between retention and notification overload. A tailored experience is what is required, according to the release:

Push notifications that do well tend to follow all the same basic rules the govern good social interactions in real life. A good push offers motivation to be opened, respects the user’s environment and chooses the right time to interrupt.

Image on homepage courtesy of Shutterstock.

Publish date: September 29, 2016 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/7-insights-to-help-refine-your-app-notification-strategy/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT