How to use mobile app push notifications the right way?

Push notifications can be a great tool in engaging an app audience to return to use an app, view news and add-ons or download a new product. However, they can also be disruptive to the overall user experience and pop up at times when consumers may be busy or get easily annoyed.
Tapjoy, the mobile app monetisation firm, has taken a closer look at push notifications to come up with its own list of Do’s and Don’t’s for scheduling push notifications. Based on the study of 4.4m push notifications sent between February and August 2016, the firm found that there are certain days when notification open rates are higher. Indeed, those sent early on in the week stand a better chance of being opened, with Monday having the highest rates and Saturday the lowest.
Mondays are top days for push notifications 
Shortly after lunch is the best time for push notifications. A test run by developer Nekki found that Tapjoy’s push notification solution increased Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (DAU) by 46% for a sales campaign, if push notifications were sent mid-day.
Tapjoy also found a difference between operating systems. Android users are more likely to open push notifications (3.10% opening rate) compared to iOS users (2.38%). That’s partially to do with how the two operating systems handle notifications. Whilst Android keeps them on the lock screen until the user interacts, Apple moves them to a notifications tray.
However, app developers shouldn’t get too excited just yet and schedule daily notifications. It’s finding the right balance that matters. Weekly notification deliveries stand a better chance of being opened (3.03%). Surprisingly, the opening frequency drops sharply for monthly deliveries and unsurprisingly even further for daily notifications. Too much of a good thing can quickly look like spam.
What’s the best notification frequency?
Developers and app marketers can use certain words and phrases to generate more opens. Tapjoy found that users responded most strongly to “Get your…” at a viewing rate of 11%, followed by “Rewards…” (4.6%) and “Gift” (3.4%).Interestingly, “Win” was among the worst words for open rates at 0.6%. These results are also testament to the strength of rewarded in-app advertising. Perhaps years of spam mail promising consumers great prizes have finally left their mark.
Consumers like rewards
Silence is golden! That’s true for notifications too. Silent notifications were opened more than twice as often as those with sound. There’s no surprise here: sounds can be hugely distracting and happen at all the wrong times. Hence, opting for soundless messaging can be a better strategy.
Silent notifications are opened more frequently
Automated push notifications were found to be opened more frequently (5.6%) compared to manual ones (2.1%). Developers can schedule their automations based on user behaviour which undoubtedly can lead to better notification performance. For example, if a gamer completes a level a notification could be scheduled to offer a free reward in exchange for viewing an ad.
When it comes to app gaming categories there are some differences in notification performance. Overall, adventure games performed best at a viewing rate of almost 70%, followed by trivia games (33.3%) and puzzles (29.4%).
If executed well, push notifications can quickly become an invaluable tool to reengage users and drive app monetisation. However, marketers should ensure they respect their audiences and choose the right time to interrupt them.

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