Last Updated on
April 25, 2024

4 Ways to Increase Your Push Notification Click-through Rate

Published in
Key takeaways:

It’s up to 25x more expensive to acquire a new app user than to retain an existing one.
One of the crucial metrics for mobile apps is retention rate. Thanks to the power of push notifications, you can keep your users engaged and make sure they keep returning to your app.
If you’re not sending push notifications, you’re missing out on a key benefit of mobile apps.
Frequent messaging via push notifications can increase app retention anywhere from 3x to 10x according to an Urban Airship study.

A higher rate leads to successful conversions for your business goals. Without a solid push notification strategy you sacrifice valuable user growth.

4 Key Factors Influencing Push Notification Click-Through Rate

  1. Transparency
  2. Brevity
  3. Tone
  4. Emojis

1) Transparency

Now that you understand how important push notifications are, how do you get users to opt-in and receive them?

Well, here’s where the bad news comes in. A large percentage of mobile users don’t opt-in to receive these messages.

Only 59% of Android users and 40% of iPhone users choose to get these alerts and notifications.

The reason?

People don’t want to deal with the chaotic barrage of messages from companies all over their screen.

The best way to overcome this uphill battle is to be transparent with what content you’ll give to your customers.

You’ll want to illustrate a crystal clear picture for what your customers can expect out of your push notifications from the moment they start using your app.

2) Brevity

You don’t want to experiment with long-form content in your push notifications. They’re great for reminding customers about your product or service, but brevity is key.

You would be annoyed if your phone buzzed with rambling messages all day too, right? Annoyed users will opt out of your notifications. When they opt out, you lose relevancy and your hard work begins to fade away.

Localytics data found that the optimal range is under 10 words long.

push notification length CTR

While there is no ‘perfect’ length for a push notification, there are a few key things you should keep in mind according to Urban Airship:

  • Make your notifications short
  • Frontload the most important content
  • Test on the devices that the majority of your audience use

Your audience don’t want their time wasted.

Design your push notifications to be bite-sized snippets of valuable information. You want your users to see high-quality messages when they take a look at their screen, therefore keeping them engaged.


A little personalization can go a long way for your open and click-through rates.

Throw in some humor or emoji’s to give your customers the impression they’re receiving a text from a good friend (it it makes sense given the message context!).

If the context is right, your audience will be more engaged and more inclined to follow through your notification messages.

8tracks used humor as part of their push notification strategy which reduced their app user churn by 8% and increased user engagement by 23%.

8tracks push notification retention

Humor won’t work if it’s used at the wrong times – but do it right, and you’ll be able to bring back more users to your app than you would without it (and if you do it really well, your users might praise you on Twitter).

4) Use Emojis in Push Notifications

A Clevertap study found that the benchmark click-through rate for all industries is 2.74%.

emojis and push notification ctr

With emoji’s, the average CTR is 3.48%, giving an industry-wide average increase of 38%. Mobile apps in the business and finance industry that use emojis in their push notifications receive a 128% boost in CTR.

Check out this infographic for a quick rundown of the best performers for these industries.

top three industries for emoji marketing

Select your emojis carefully and make sure you test them – you don’t want to be sending them to an audience who isn’t receptive to them, or in messages that are on serious topics.

Emojis aren’t a magic wand you can wave to bring a higher CTR. You must strategically implement them into your marketing messages, and keep the other key factors mentioned previously in mind.

It might surprise you, but the three industries in which emoji usage negatively impacted marketing efforts include entertainment and events, travel and hospitality as well as health and fitness.

Adding emojis to your push notification messages is an easy way to make them stand out more than others that your users may be receiving from their other apps, and should help you boost CTRs.

Study the research findings in this post to maximize what you can get out of your push notifications.

Wrapping Up

Used correctly, these Push Notifications tips will help increase your click through rates and improve your app user retention rates.

Remember: Craft your push notifications to urge your customers to take action. Then, present them with straightforward and high-quality content.

Your push notifications are the medium to help beat your app retention issues, so use them wisely!

Remember, testing is crucial. Every business today must be tuned into the key metrics driving business growth. Without the ability to measure the success or shortcomings of various strategies, those that don’t work will continue to do so.

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