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Push Notifications 2018

How to Win Opt-Ins, Develop Metrics and Get the Creative Right

About This Report
This report examines the latest trends in push notifications, offers guidance on developing strong metrics for measuring campaign success, and provides practical advice for garnering opt-ins and using personalization to improve outcomes.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The allure of push notifications is clear—they provide app publishers with a direct line to an audience that’s already demonstrated an interest in their business. But the flip side of push is that it might be too easy for marketers to bombard users, raising the risk of annoying them with constant demands on their time and attention. Recent changes to both the Android and iOS mobile operating systems have given users more control than ever over how and when they receive push notifications. To use push notifications effectively, marketers need to hit a sweet spot that takes into account users’ needs and desires, frequency of messaging, personalization and localization. Meanwhile, the actual content of the notification—things like tone and the use of visual media such as emojis, photos and video—can help improve outcomes.

  • What’s the most common mistake marketers make when asking users to opt in to push notifications? Quite simply, by asking too early. Apps need to first demonstrate to users how push notifications will provide value or usefulness. Marketers can leverage in-app messages to help explain what users will get out of push notifications before allowing an opt-in request to be delivered by the operating system (OS).
  • What key metric should marketers consider to gauge the success of a push notification strategy? The easy answer is the clickthrough rate (CTR). But relying solely on that metric can give brands a skewed impression of how their campaign is doing. CTR doesn’t account for when push notifications are delivered, do their job successfully and then are dismissed. Instead, marketers are better off setting a specific in-app event goal and measuring how push has influenced that outcome.
  • What are the opt-in rates for push notifications? According to Accengage, the average worldwide opt-in rate for push notifications was 67.5% in H1 2018. Worldwide, opt-in rates for push notifications remain higher on Android devices (91.1%) than iPhones (43.9%).

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report examines the latest trends in push notifications, offers guidance on developing strong metrics for measuring campaign success, and provides practical advice for garnering opt-ins and using personalization to improve outcomes.

KEY STAT: Worldwide, opt-in rates for push notifications remain higher on Android devices than iPhones, but such messages might get a leg up on Apple devices given recent changes to how push notifications are handled in the recently released iOS 12.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

10expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Have Smartphone Users Been Pushed Too Far?
  3. Get the Opt-In Right
  4. Using the Right Metrics
  1. Push Gets Personal
  2. Content Remains King, Even on Push
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Aaron Sawitsky
Director, Product Marketing
Interviewed October 10, 2018
Keith Sibson
Senior Vice President, Product and Marketing
Interviewed October 6, 2018
Lucas Brechot
Program and Marketing Manager, North America
Interviewed October 9, 2018
Greg Emerson
Senior Product Manager
Interviewed October 9, 2018
Eduardo Fenili
Head of Product
Interviewed October 5, 2018
Mike Herrick
Urban Airship
Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering
Interviewed October 3, 2018
Sophie Kleber
Global Executive Creative Director
Interviewed October 5, 2018
Bill Michels
Chief Operating Officer
Interviewed October 15, 2018
Barry Nolan
Interviewed October 18, 2018
Paul-Emile Saab
Vice President, Partnerships and Marketing
Interviewed October 9, 2018


Rahul Chadha


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director
Showmik Podder
Forecasting Analyst
Jillian Ryan
Principal Analyst
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst
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