Push notifications can double mobile app retention rates

Anne Freier

In app-analytics

July 3, 2015

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Kahuna, the mobile marketing automation company, has found that push notifications are an important way to successfully engage and retain app users. The latest Kahuna Mobile Marketing Index analyses app opt-in and retention rates across 16 different sectors and combines data from over 39m mobile customers. Average short- and long-term retention rates for those who turned on push notifications are twice as high as for users who have not opted in. An average 30-day audience retention rate is 125% higher when users are opted in. 60-day retention rates are increased by 150%, and 90-day retention rates by 180%.

Push notifications generate retention rates that are twice as high

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Source: kahuna.com

It is vital that brands and app makers engage with new consumers shortly after they have downloaded an app. The study finds that 90% of users tend to disengaged with apps after 90 days because the brand offering the app didn’t engage them.

Average opt-in rates for push notifications were much higher on Android (78%) than iOS (46%) with an average of 62%. This disparity is most likely a result of Android devices opting in users automatically. Changes to Android permissions will have an impact on this percentage.

Push notifications opt-in rates are higher on Android

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Source: kahuna.com

In terms of sector, travel and transportation led opt-in rates at 78%, whilst medical, health and fitness apps scored the lowest (35%). However, one bias is critical for all apps: consumers are only interested in receiving push notifications which are instantly relevant to them and many of them understand which notifications will be vital to the functions of the apps and which won’t.

From these findings it is evident that advertisers have to strategically ask for permission for push notifications. The report writes:

“App interstitials that convey the benefits of opting in for messages before the actual iOS prompt is sent is a proven way for companies to boost opt-in rates. It allows companies to use a greater amount of phone real estate to communicate the benefits of push notifications, as well as other information customers want to know – like the cadence and purpose of messages being sent.”

Brands have to engage with users on a personal level in order to create a rich experience that they will want to continue to engage in.