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3 Push Notifications to Boost your 30-day User Retention Rates

5 min read
May 15, 2019

The world of mobile marketing can be cutthroat. With 4.68 billion mobile users worldwide, there are a lot of apps vying for attention. In fact, mobile users downloaded a staggering 205 billion apps in 2018 and this is expected to rise to 258.2 billion by 2022.

Hurree. The Essential Guide to Push Notifications. Let's Go!

We’re all addicted to our mobile devices. After spending an average of 5 hours on our phones per day it’s no wonder that 66% of the population is showing signs of nomophobia, a fear of not having your mobile with you.

Given our habit, you would think keeping users active on an app post-download would be easy. Wrong. In reality, 58% of app users churn by day 30. In this vital period, boosting user retention should be your top priority as just a 10% increase in retention can increase the value of a business by 30%.

One sure-fire way to increase user retention is through push notifications.


What are push notifications?

Push notifications are your direct line to your user. Similar to SMS, these media-rich notifications are sent from applications to users who have opted-in.

There are 4 categories of push:

  • Informational: provides useful facts e.g. sports scores, traffic conditions, etc.
  • Transactional: updates users on actions they’ve already taken e.g. payments cleared, cart abandoned
  • System: notifications from the app regarding new features, offers or sales
  • User: notify the user of in-app messages or badge count

Unfortunately, opt-in rates for IOS are only 49.3% as opposed to 91% for Android. This contrast is due to IOS’s active permissions policy which requires users to explicitly consent to push notifications. Careful attention must be given to onboarding optimisation to ensure opt-in permission is given by the users.

Boost retention rates in the first 30 days with these 3 message types

App marketers have the potential to make or break their app with a push notification strategy in the early days of a customer journey. If your messages are successful, user loyalty and retention can increase by 125% for opted-in users.

Let’s take a look at three types of push notifications you should be sending your users to boost retention within the first thirty days.

The Welcome Message

Congratulations, you've got the download! But your work is far from over. It’s time to welcome your new user to your app.

You only get one chance to make a first impression and it’s vital you make a good one as 74%  of consumers expect a brand welcome after sign-up. Your welcome message is a perfect opportunity to set the tone for your future relationship with a user.

Depending on what is suitable for your brand, you can create media-rich push notifications to welcome users by utilising:

  • User data
  • Humour
  • Emojis
  • GIFs
  • Images
  • Video

Take a look at this welcome message from JET:

Jet app's Welcoming push notification to new users.

Source: Clever Tap

Simple yet effective, this text-based push gets right to the point of who they are and what they do. This initial push effectively harnesses humour to give a flavour of the brand persona they’re going for. You know, like that friend that tells you it’s a great idea to spend £100 on fancy pots rather than saving. That friend is fun, right?

There really isn’t a downside to welcoming your new users. I mean, you built an app and you’re excited for people to use it, saying hello to those people is only logical. But if logic isn’t enough for you, Braze has pointed out that just one onboarding push notification in week one can increase retention by 71% over two months.

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The Personal Touch

Push notifications and personalisation, it’s a match made in heaven.

Studies show that adding even basic personalisation to your push notifications can increase open rates by 8% - even more, if you use emojis.

So there really is no better way to build loyalty than using the data given to you by users to spice up their user experience. You can personalise your message by using:

  • Users name
  • Age
  • Interests
  • Location-based information
  • Order status
  • Many other factors

Take a look at this example from Starbucks:

Geo-located push notification from Starbucks notifying Phil of a nearby store.

Source: Build Fire

This push is packed with personalisation. From addressing their customer by name to harnessing customer data to reference their favourite drink; Starbucks are doing all they can to forge a friendly bond with Phil. But there’s something else at play here, the brand is tapping into location-based information to add value and build loyalty with their users.

This type of personalised push is also known as Geo-fencing. It’s a crazy effective way to stand out from the crowd and you don’t have to be a huge brand like Starbucks to use it. If you have a physical location like a store, or you can link your product to location-specific factors like the weather, then geofencing can work perfectly for you.

When personalising, always remember that sending too many or too specific push notifications can come across creepy. You should always run tests to learn about your user’s personalisation boundaries.

The Exclusive Offer

Let’s face it, we all love a bargain, so it makes sense that time-sensitive exclusive offers return the highest conversions for app push notifications.

Sending offers are a great way to reduce what Taplytics calls ‘risk of churn’ by encouraging users to return to the app to take advantage of current promotions or take action on cart abandonment.

There are a few different formats your offer can take:

  • A percentage off all products
  • Discount off an abandoned cart item
  • A coupon for a partner-platform

Take a look at this example from IXIGO:

Push notification from IXIGO informing users of a sale on flights  from 9PM to 12AM.Source: Clever Tap

Here, IXIGO, have crafted a push that creates a sense of urgency by highlighting the time-sensitive nature of the offer. A play on the phrase ‘fight night’ suggests to their users a sense of competition, reinforcing the need for quick action to get the best deal.

The plane emoji here may seem an obvious choice but even the most simple emoji can inject fun and excitement, livening up your push. And better still? Emoji use saw an 85% increase in push notification open rates.

Summing Up

Retaining your customers is all about creating a positive brand association for your users.

Placing importance on each download can revolutionise your apps user retention.

Create a push notification strategy for the first 30 days (and beyond) that is welcoming, personalised and adds value.

For more tips and advice on how to boost user experience and retention on your mobile app, have a peek at our top 5 Things That Make a Really Great Push Notification Campaign.

To learn more about the various other marketing techniques that you can use to grow your app user base and retain loyal app users, check out The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Marketing. I’d love to hear from you so feel free to reach out to me directly via contact@hurree.co if you have any questions, or you can leave a comment below.

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