Android Push Notifications (2024)

Updated: April 11, 2024

This guide will walk you through what an Android push notification is, how they work, and how to choose the best service for you.

An Android push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile device even when a user is not actively using the app. It’s a way for app developers to communicate with their users and provide important information (or other useful reminders).

Push notifications can be customized to include text, images, and sounds to grab a user’s attention, and they’re a great way to keep people informed about updates, new features, or special promotions.

An Android push notification service itself is a feature that enables apps to send push notifications to users’ devices–you can find the best push notification services in our directory below.

What is a push notification in Android?

A push notification for Android is the way in which mobile apps send notifications to users’ devices when an app is not being used. These simple notifications can include text, images, and sounds.

They’re a valuable tool for keeping users informed about new updates and any special promotions you want your users to be aware of.

The best Android push notification services are easy to use, affordable, often come with a visual builder, and are quick to set up.

Types of push notifications in Android

There are different types of push notifications available on Android devices. These notifications can be categorized into the following main groups:

  • Transactional notifications–These push notifications are sent to customers to inform them of the status of a transaction; for instance, when they make a payment.
  • Marketing/promotional notifications–These are the type of push notifications that online retailers use to send exclusive offers, deals, and giveaways to customers.

Push notification providers themselves have been around for a while, (some for over a decade). Amassing a huge amount of expertise, a push notification service can make it easier to plan, schedule, and deploy messaging to users.

What are the best practices for Android push notifications?

Here are some best practices you can employ for Android push notifications that can help ensure a positive user experience for your users.

Personalization

This is where you make use of personalization whenever possible to make push notifications feel more individual to each customer. This boosts the chance of the customer interacting with your message.

Accuracy

You should only send Android push notifications that are relevant and valuable to the user.

Avoid sending too many notifications, as this can be overwhelming and lead to users disabling notifications altogether; they’re unlikely to go back on their decision.

Timing

Be sure to send push notifications at the appropriate time, such as when the user is most likely to be using the app or when a time-sensitive special event is occurring.

Android push notification service example

Source: OneSignal

Consistency

Keep your Android push notifications short and to the point, and make sure the message is easy to understand.

Be consistent with your messages and times, and users will, in turn, reward you with their loyalty.

Use a variety of media

Consider using a variety of media, such as images, videos, or GIFs, that make the notifications more engaging and visually appealing.

Be sure the media is relevant to the message and doesn’t slow down the notification delivery.

A/B testing

Use A/B testing to improve your push notifications. By creating two versions of your notification and sending them to different groups, you can analyze the data to determine which one had a higher click-through, open, and conversion rate.

This information can help you optimize your messages and ultimately drive more results.

Remember to follow the best practices mentioned to ensure a positive user experience.

Why should you use push notifications in Android?

Push notifications on Android can be a powerful tool to keep your users engaged (and informed) about important updates, promotions, and new features.

They can be personalized and targeted to specific audiences, significantly increasing the chances of both conversion and app retention; they’re more than worth using.

Below we’ve listed the key reasons why you should use them.

Higher engagement

Mobile users are more likely to return to a mobile app that consistently delivers relevant and timely notifications. Executed correctly, push notifications can dramatically improve your engagement and conversion rate.

Boost message visibility

By sending real-time updates and personalized reminders, push notifications can help ensure that your messages are seen and acted upon. By providing timely and relevant content, you can improve user engagement and encourage users to return to your app.

Push notifications are a helpful tool for boosting message visibility and enhancing the user experience.

Drive customer retention

Using personalized reminders and real-time updates, push notifications are able to assist you in ensuring that customers stay engaged with your brand.

You can improve both user engagement and encourage customers to continue using your services or products. Push notifications are a valuable strategy for increasing customer retention.

Android push notification service example

Source: WonderPush

Increase conversions

Sending targeted and personalized notifications to your users reminds them of new products, special promotions, and encourages them to come back to your app.

It’s a great way to keep your brand at the top of their mind and boost conversions.

Enhance UX

Using Android push notifications will not only increase your conversions, but it’ll also create a more engaging and interactive experience for your mobile customers all around.

When optimized, push notifications can enhance user engagement, increase retention, and drive conversions.

Leverage cross-channel communication

You can take your push notifications to the next level by leveraging all important cross-channel communication.

Doing this ensures that your customers receive notifications through multiple different channels–this helps you to reach a wider audience and keep your brand on their minds no matter where your customers are.

Cross-channel communication will allow you to personalize your notifications further based on the specific channel you’re using.

How to enable push notifications on Android?

To set up push notifications for your app using Firebase Cloud Messaging, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Start by creating a Firebase project and adding your Android app to it
  2. Next, add the Firebase SDK to your app
  3. Create a “FirebaseMessagingService” class and register it in your “AndroidManifest.xml” file to set up Firebase Cloud Messaging in your app
  4. Use the “FirebaseMessaging.getInstance().getToken()” method to obtain a device token for the user’s device
  5. Finally, use the token you obtained to send push notifications to a user’s device through the Firebase Cloud Messaging API

Of course, there are pros and cons to using Firebase Cloud Messaging for push notifications. We’ve listed the main ones below for you.

Pros

  • It’s a free service provided by Google, which makes it a cost-effective option for small businesses or developers on a tight budget
  • It offers a high delivery rate for app developers
  • It can handle large volumes of notifications at once

Cons

  • Firebase requires some technical expertise to set up and integrate with an app
  • There may be occasional delays or issues with delivery

Overall, it’s important to carefully weigh up the pros and cons before deciding if Firebase Cloud Messaging is the right choice for you.

Alternatively, to set up push notifications using Expo (an open-source codebase for iOS, Android, and the web), follow the steps below:

  1. First, make sure you have the Expo client installed on your device
  2. Follow the Expo documentation to configure your app to receive push notifications
  3. Inside, you’ll need to create a push notification service
  4. From there, register your app with the Expo push notification service
  5. Once you’ve completed the aforementioned steps, you can start sending push notifications to your users

Don’t forget to customize your notifications and track your metrics to optimize your engagement strategy over time.

There are, naturally, pros and cons to using Expo. We’ve listed them for you below:

Pros

  • Expo provides a streamlined app development process
  • It allows you to easily configure and test your app on multiple devices
  • It includes built-in features, including in-app purchases and analytics

Cons

  • Some potential cons include the limited customization options (how important this is for you will vary)
  • There’s less control over the app’s performance

When deciding whether to use Expo for your app development, be sure to carefully weigh up the pros and cons.

Featured Push Notifications Services

Android push notification examples

Below you can find examples of Android transactional and promotional push notifications.

Transactional push notifications

The first example shows DoorDash informing the customer about the status of their food order:

Source: DoorDash

The second example shows MoStore informing a customer that their order has been canceled:

Source: MoStore

Promotional push notifications

The first example shows an Instagram reminder push notification in action:

Source: Instagram

The second example shows TGI Fridays offering free delivery Friday-Sunday:

Source: TGI Fridays

Both types of Android push notifications have their uses–app developers will need to deploy them skillfully.

Work with top push notification services for Android

Push notifications are an essential component of many apps, and using a top push notification service for Android can offer a wide range of benefits.

Push notifications help to improve user engagement, app retention and allow you to target specific groups of users with tailored messages. A high-quality push notification service can also help to avoid issues such as messages being delayed or not arriving at all.

Overall, using a top push notification service is a smart choice for any Android app developer looking to optimize their user experience and take their app to the next level.

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