How To Measure Mobile Push Notifications

August 11, 2015

Wouldn’t it be nice to engage with users at any time? What if collecting emails didn’t cost you any time? Are you looking for ways to better engage with your mobile app users?

If you have had any of these thoughts, read on! Push notifications are a great tool for accomplishing all of the above. 

What is a Push Notification?

Web Engagement vs. Mobile EngagementPush notifications are messages that contain a short text message and an image. These notifications appear on screen after they are received by the mobile phone. The purpose of these notifications is to re-engage the user with the app. The app will launch when a user decides to open a push notification. Once the app opens, information embedded within the push notification can be used to deep link the user to any screen within the app.

However, to really begin to appreciate push notifications it is helpful to consider the differences between web and mobile applications. Traditionally, users will engage with the web via desktop. That means the only time where we can actively engage with our users is when they sit down in front of their computers. As soon as they get up and go, we can no longer engage with them.

The situation with mobile is very different. A 2013 study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers found the average user checks their phone nearer to 150 times per day—23 times a day for messaging, 22 times for voice calls, and 18 times to get the time.

And this was in 2013! Mobile use continues to increase, and it’s safe to say that cell phones are well on their way to ubiquity. They have morphed from luxuries into necessities. The web has gone from desktop to pocket. And this ubiquity allows us to engage with users at any point in time.

Advantages of Mobile Push Notifications

The ubiquity of mobile push notifications has powerful applications for engaging users. How we decide to engage our users depends on the Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) of the app. Interested in selling products to users? Send them a push notification regarding a new sale and then deep link them straight to the item. Not selling anything but want to increase the number of times a user engages with your app? Send them a push notification that reminds them why they should use your app. Maybe one of the user’s friends posted something? Perhaps there is a new feature that we want the user to use? Or maybe the notification is just reminding the user why that the app exists? The constant ability to send information to our users and prompt them to engage with the app is such a great tool.

On top of this, push notifications don’t require users to sign up like an email list. The user just gives the app permission to send push notifications after the download. There is no handling of personal information such as email addresses or names. On top of this, it does not matter if the app is currently launched or not—the user still receives the push notification.

Analytics and Mobile App Push Notifications

While using push notifications to increase user engagement of your app is fantastic, it is difficult to measure how effective these notifications are without tracking them. This is where Google Analytics can help track this type of measurement through use of campaigns. These campaigns would allow any completed conversion that started with a push notification to be attributed to that push notification.

This can help us answer many questions. What type of image or text yields the highest conversion rate? How does the behavior of users that come from push notifications differ from users who open the app the standard way? What times are most effective to send push notifications?

Tracking push notifications opens up a completely new channel to optimize and generate conversions!

Push notifications are a great feature that take full advantage of the ubiquitous nature of mobile applications. Users can be encouraged to engage with your app at any point in time. Google Analytics campaigns can then be used to attribute user interactions to specific push notifications sent. This information can then be used to make data driven decisions and help you better achieve your business objectives.

What are your thoughts on push notifications? We would love to hear your opinions! Leave a comment below!