What You Should Know About Push Notifications

Push notifications are a crucial tool in today’s digital landscape. They are messages that appear on your phone, tablet, or computer even when you’re not actively using an app. Push notifications can be used for a wide range of purposes, including delivering breaking news, promoting new products, and reminding users about events or appointments. In this article, we’ll explore what push notifications are, how they work, and the benefits of using them. We’ll also discuss different types of push notifications, the devices they can be sent to, best practices for using push notifications, and how to get started with push notifications.

What Are Push Notifications?

Push notifications are messages sent from apps or websites to users’ devices. They appear as pop-up notifications on the screen and can be clicked on to take the user directly to the app or website. Push notifications can be sent to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as desktop computers.

How Do Push Notifications Work?

Push notifications work by using a communication protocol called the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) or the Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) service. When a user downloads an app that supports push notifications, the app sends a request to the device’s operating system to register for push notifications. The operating system then generates a unique device token and sends it back to the app.

When the app wants to send a push notification to the user, it sends the message to the APNS or GCM service along with the device token. The service then delivers the message to the device and displays it as a notification on the screen. If the user taps on the notification, it will take them directly to the app or website that sent the notification.

Benefits of Using Push Notifications

Push notifications offer several benefits to businesses and app developers. Here are a few:

  1. Direct Communication with Users: Push notifications provide a direct line of communication between businesses and their customers. This allows businesses to reach users quickly and easily, even if they’re not actively using the app.
  2. Increased Engagement: Push notifications can help increase user engagement by reminding them about new products, promotions, or events. They can also provide updates about changes to the app or service, which can encourage users to return to the app.
  3. Personalization: Push notifications can be customized based on a user’s preferences and behavior. This allows businesses to provide more personalized messages that are tailored to each user’s interests.
  4. Cost-Effective: Push notifications are a cost-effective way to reach customers compared to traditional advertising methods like TV or radio ads.
  5. Time-Sensitive: Push notifications are ideal for time-sensitive messages, such as breaking news or limited-time offers. They can be sent instantly to all users who have opted in to receive them.

Types of Push Notifications

There are several types of push notifications that businesses and app developers can use. Here are a few examples:

  1. Promotional Notifications: These notifications are used to promote new products, sales, or events. They can help increase user engagement and drive traffic to the app or website.
  2. Reminder Notifications: These notifications are used to remind users about appointments, deadlines, or upcoming events. They can help reduce missed appointments and improve customer satisfaction.
  3. Informational Notifications: These notifications provide users with updates about changes to the app or service, such as bug fixes or new features. They can help improve the user experience and reduce user frustration.
  4. Social Notifications: These notifications are used to inform users about social interactions, such as new followers or comments on their posts. They can help increase user engagement and build a sense of community within the app or service.

Devices Push Notifications Can Be Sent To

Push notifications can be sent to a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. The devices must be connected to the internet and have an active app or website that supports push notifications. Push notifications are commonly used on mobile devices because they are always connected to the internet and users tend to carry their devices with them throughout the day.

Best Practices for Using Push Notifications

While push notifications offer several benefits, it’s important to use them effectively to avoid annoying or overwhelming users. Here are some best practices for using push notifications:

  1. Provide Value: Push notifications should provide value to users by delivering relevant, timely, and personalized messages. Avoid sending notifications that are irrelevant or spammy.
  2. Use Segmentation: Segment your user base and send targeted notifications to specific groups of users based on their preferences and behavior. This can help increase engagement and reduce unsubscribe rates.
  3. Limit Frequency: Avoid sending too many push notifications in a short period of time. This can overwhelm users and cause them to unsubscribe from notifications.
  4. Opt-In: Allow users to opt-in to receive push notifications rather than automatically opting them in. This gives users control over the messages they receive and can help improve user satisfaction.
  5. A/B Test: Experiment with different types of notifications, messaging, and frequency to see what works best for your audience. A/B testing can help you optimize your notifications and improve user engagement.

How to Get Started with Push Notifications

If you’re new to push notifications, here are some steps to get started:

  1. Choose a Push Notification Service: Choose a push notification service like OneSignal or Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) to send notifications to users’ devices.
  2. Integrate Push Notifications into Your App: Integrate push notifications into your app or website by following the documentation provided by the push notification service.
  3. Design Your Notifications: Design your notifications to be visually appealing and easy to understand. Use clear messaging and strong calls to action to encourage users to engage with your app or website.
  4. Segment Your User Base: Segment your user base based on their preferences and behavior to send targeted notifications that are relevant to each user.
  5. A/B Test Your Notifications: Experiment with different types of notifications, messaging, and frequency to see what works best for your audience.


Push notifications are a powerful tool for businesses and app developers to communicate directly with their users. They offer several benefits, including increased engagement, personalization, and cost-effectiveness. To use push notifications effectively, it’s important to provide value to users, use segmentation, limit frequency, allow opt-in, and A/B test your notifications. By following these best practices, you can improve user engagement and build a strong relationship with your audience.

Combining User Messaging with Marketing Automation.

In the realm of email marketing, there are various strategies to entice new customers. One powerful approach is leveraging automation, utilizing specialized software to send out emails based on predetermined triggers.

Automating your email and push notification campaigns can significantly enhance efficiency by freeing up valuable time for other essential business tasks. Moreover, it provides valuable data on customer segments, helping you identify the most effective strategies for each group.

For those seeking an easy-to-use tool for user messaging and marketing, or those looking to test the waters without committing resources upfront, we highly recommend Cloudmattr – our all-in-one customer engagement platform.