Drive user engagement and extend your app's visibility with notifications

  • Engage
  • Design
  • Marketing

Use notifications as part of your engagement strategy to differentiate your app and increase retention. Reach users with messages to inform, update, engage, and initiate action, even when those users aren't actively using your app.

Why it works

As users install an increasing number of apps on their phone, the mindshare available for each app decreases. Engaging users with well-planned and implemented tracked push notifications can be highly effective at increasing engagement and retention, and it can lead to decreased churn among your app's users.

What to do

  1. Determine your objectives. Notifications aren’t just useful to boost short-term open rates. Also consider using them as part of a long-term user engagement and retention strategy.
  2. Consider whether push notifications are the best option for achieving your objectives or whether in-app messages or emails may be better channels.
  3. Check if you're sending the same message through multiple channels at the same time and consider whether they are all necessary.
  4. Segment your users into appropriate categories based on your objectives so that you can send the most relevant messages to each segment. Create segments by user persona and interest. Consider offering users the option to subscribe to segment message topics.
  5. Make sure you provide users with the benefit of opting in to notifications and the choice to opt out.
  6. Create relevant notification messages for each segment of users.
  7. Consider using Firebase Notifications by setting up the Firebase Cloud Messaging SDK using one line of code. You can then send notifications from the Notifications console.

Best practices

  • Make it relevant. Only send messages that matter to the user. If the user has previously indicated that they prefer specific content, limit notifications that aren’t related to the requested content. One way of ensuring that your users receive relevant notifications is to let them select options or filters during an onboarding flow.
  • Focus on the actionable. While notifications that inform and update are useful, those that encourage the user to take action are more engaging. When adding an action, consider whether it’s more helpful to let users take action directly on the notification without opening the app. If an action opens the app, be sure to take the user to the relevant content. However, if actions don't open the app, take this into account in your engagement metrics.
  • Use personalization. Personalize notifications to make them more relevant to the user. For example, in a message notification, include the sender’s image and address the user directly. Personalization of the in-app content is also important and can lead to greater engagement and retention. Take into account the user’s context, and offer them the opportunity to further customize content according to their interests.
  • Take the time of day into account. Consider the user’s time zones and resulting behavior when planning when to send notifications. Further guard against timing issues by providing one-click alternative actions, such as "read later" or "remind me in an hour". Use notifications for time-sensitive events, but always allow the user to choose when to be notified.
  • Prioritize your messaging. Give urgent notifications a high priority so they stand out, but don’t overdo it. Also, make use of the notification LED for higher priority notifications on devices that have one.
  • Avoid notification fatigue. Be mindful of how many notifications are being sent to the user, and avoid duplicate notifications for the same type of event. Instead, consider updating a previous notification, either by changing some of its values, adding to it, or both.
  • Use stack notifications . Aggregate similar messages into a summary, giving the user a stack of notifications that appear as a single card. Users can then expand the stack to view the details from each notification separately. This will help ensure they aren’t overwhelmed with content and don’t become inclined to turn notifications off.
  • Use a distinct icon. Ensure users can quickly identify notifications from your app by adding your app’s distinct icon or logo to the notification.

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Android Notifications