Average app push notification opt-in rates have dropped by 3% since 2013

Andy Boxall | April 30, 2015

App Business


The amount of people opting in to app push notifications is dropping, according to research conducted by Urban Airship, which specialises in push messaging. Published in its Mobile Engagement Industry Benchmarks report, it’s stated the average opt-in has fallen from 45% in 2013 to 42% in 2015, despite the data sample being three times the size.

Comparing this year’s data with that of 2013, two app categories suffered the largest drop off in opt-in adoption. Retail fell from 46% to 36%, and media from 50% to 42%. The data breaks down the average opt-in figures by app store category. It shows charities and non-profits have the best average result at 58%, followed by business at 54%.

Average push notification opt-in is now 42%

push opt in

Gaming suffers worst with a mere 33% average push opt-in, with gambling apps along with food and drink apps coming next, both with 36%. Education, sports, travel, and utility apps all hover around the high 40% mark.

A possible reason for this reduction is that push notifications are now commonplace. Retailers doubled the amount of app notifications sent to users at important shopping times during 2014, and these messages where responded to at twice the rate of 2013. The report notes the more apps send out broadcast-style notifications to gain attention, the more picky users will be with which apps are granted permission to send them in the first place.

According to Urban Airship, the 3% fall is, “not cause for alarm,” and the figure has been taken using median figures, and that the high performance apps which follow notification guidelines have a considerably higher than average opt-in rate. Instead, it’s recommended developers and publishers should be concentrating on the 58% who are currently unaddressed by push notifications. Urban Airship makes the importance of push notifications clear. It says users that opt-in are four times as engaged with apps, and have twice the retention rate of those who opt-out.

The report only examines iOS apps, and used data aggregated from 2946 apps that had collectively sent at least 93 billion notifications to more than 533 million users. The full report can be downloaded for free here.

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