5 Practical Ways to Grow Your Push Notification Subscribers

Push notifications play an important role in a successful mobile app marketing strategy. They can help you increase engagement, reduce churn, and turn inactive users into loyal paying customers. One of the advantages of push notifications is that they don’t require contact information from users. CTRs (click-through rates) are twice as high as emails. Plus, […]

Push notifications play an important role in a successful mobile app marketing strategy. They can help you increase engagement, reduce churn, and turn inactive users into loyal paying customers. One of the advantages of push notifications is that they don’t require contact information from users. CTRs (click-through rates) are twice as high as emails. Plus, users don’t get stuck in spam filters and everything is pretty easy to set up. In order to be able to work with this channel, you have to take two important steps: choose a push provider and subscribe your app users to receive push notifications.


How do I subscribe to push notifications?

‌‌Different platforms have different requirements for building a subscriber base. Take Android and iOS, for example.

The opt-in model for iOS push notifications does not allow app publishers to send notifications before users agree to receive them. The command prompt is enabled by default and look changes are not possible.

Note that when you send your first messages to iOS users, they will appear on their lock screen. When you unlock the screen, the message disappears and is only visible in the notification center. To open it, the user should swipe down and find it in their notification history.

The push-in model for Android push notifications is more loyal to app publishers. Users are activated automatically and reserve the right to manually deactivate the settings. ‌‌‌‌Android makes push notifications much more accessible, even after a user unlocks the screen. The messages remain visible in the bar at the top of the screen and will not be removed until the user takes additional steps to remove them.


What is a good OPT-in rate?

In principle, there is no such thing as a good opt-in rate. There are two main factors that have a significant impact on this metric.


  1. The platform type

With the opt-in model for automatic push notifications, Android has a much higher opt-in rate – around 90-95%. The average sign-up rate for iOS is around 50%.


  1. The industry

This also depends on the behavioral patterns of the users and varies from branch to branch. Travel, e-commerce, media and social media apps have much higher rates than B2B, finance or gaming apps.

Why is that? In some cases, push notifications become an irreplaceable part of the user experience, leaving users with no choice but to sign up.


For example:

  • Travel app users need to know if their flight has been canceled or a taxi has arrived.
  • News fans want to be the first to hear the latest news and updates on important events.
  • Social media users want to be notified when they have a new message or missed an important call.

In other cases, it may be less obvious why users should subscribe to push notifications, although they may seem just as helpful.


Does your app really need push notifications?

 What an unnecessary question. Nowadays, the use of push notifications has long become indispensable. The advantages speak for themselves:

  • Improvement of functions and product acceptance
  • Increase in-apps CR and improve the onboarding experience
  • higher overall product engagement
  • Increase the LTV (Loan to Value) of the users
  • Assistance in monetizing the app and growing in-app subscriptions


How do I get more subscribers for push notifications? ‌‌‌‌

The best strategy is to show the value of signing up and giving the context of the notifications you want to send. The main techniques to help with this are personalization, segmentation, and experimentation. Let’s take a closer look at them.


  1. Don’t rush anything. Wait until the right moment

Many app publishers display a subscription prompt right after users register in the app. But is that really advisable? As practice shows, the best moment to ask users to log in is the moment with “High Intent”:

  • Certain products or pages are viewed
  • certain actions are carried out
  • Making purchases
  • Reactions to special offers

Here are some examples of “high intent” micro-moments:

  • E-Commerce: After the first purchase / when the user visits a product or an advertising page for the second time.
  • Trip: after the first booking.
  • Media: After the user has read several articles on the same topic.
  • Social networks: after sending the first message / after adding the first contact / after publishing the first post.


  1. Customize your pre-authorization screens

Let’s consider the iOS case. While you can’t change the screen to get permissions, you can experiment with your pre-permission screens to get more subscribers. ‌‌‌‌ Create the funnel or just use an in-app message with a strong value proposition.


  1. Personalize your pre-authorization screens with custom tags and filters
  • Create different messages for different segments


Your target audience can be broken down into segments based on language, country, traffic source, age, etc. Depending on your goals, you can create four types of segments:

  • Social (income, professional status, etc.)
  • Demographic (age, gender, language, etc.)
  • Geographical (country, city, specific area, etc.)
  • Behavior (time spent in the app, purchase history, opening the email, etc.)


Use dynamic content

‌‌ Did you know that basic personalization can increase your push click-through rate by 9%? Show to your users that you know them and take care of them.


  1. Make it part of your series of greetings

The first few screens users see the first time they open your app have a direct impact on your sales and key product metrics. If you’re not using a paywall, you can set the opt-in rate for push notifications as the end point of your onboarding flow. 80% of your users will likely stop using your app after 30 days if you don’t include it in the communication.

Numbers show that with effective onboarding, you can reduce this trend by 50%. In addition to push notifications and in-app messages, you can also use emails to implement your onboarding hypothesis.


  1. Take advantage of special offers

Everyone loves bargains and specials. That makes the fourth quarter a profitable time for any online business. Even if people aren’t buying your product or service right now, you can still capture their intent and ask them if they’d like to be notified when prices drop. It works especially well with non-essential goods: airline tickets, hotel bookings, entertainment apps, financial- and business products, and so on. You can create a special segment, a special cross-channel workflow from those who responded to this offer, to warm up users and convert them into customers.


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