Data Story: When Do Push Notifications Get Too Pushy?

By Abhilash Jain | 13 February 2020

A fascinating case of a client who experimented with push notifications and discovered the most impactful frequency for its customers. This data story covers insights that helped them maximize opportunities and go beyond existing industrial benchmarks.

  • Is there a need to find an ideal push notification frequency?
  • How are ‘Push Notification frequency’ and ‘App uninstalls’ correlated?
  • Is there merit in experimenting with the number of push notifications you send out?

Data story of the month-moengageCustomers in the digital age feel they’re too busy to visit multiple applications, diligently scrutinize each option available and finally make a purchase decision. Instead, they choose a product that creates value for them, and complete purchases from apps they trust. Trust is built on a variety of reasons, and what works for one app, might not work elsewhere.

Therefore, effective customer engagement becomes paramount in order to create a customer-centric experience. While industry defined benchmarks are guiding lights for growth, it is necessary to keep refining tactics and experimenting with campaigns to constantly improve customer engagement.

Here’s an interesting data story of a MoEngage Power User who wanted to experiment with industry-defined norms set around the upper limit to push notifications that can be sent in a day.

Unlocking the magic number of push notifications

While tracking and analyzing the quality of notifications is necessary, it is also important to focus on quantity – the number of notifications that are sent to users. The volume of push notifications has significant impact on user action and behaviour, hence the frequency becomes critical while planning any campaign.

One of our clients, a large e-commerce company in Southeast Asia tried to find the magic number. The company had a wide user base, and was expanding into many areas beyond its origins, including online-to-offline solution by empowering traditional stores. They wanted to find out the magic number that worked best for them. We helped them experiment with the volume of push notifications sent to their users.

The goal was to see if there was a correlation between notification frequency and the number of app uninstalls.

The Approach

The e-commerce company conducted the experiment over a span of 60 days. Based on the analysis done, they saw the following:

Data story - Push Notifications - Moengage-3
The counts above represent the number of users who received the push notification event against their profile. We noticed a surge in users receiving notifications in the 100-125 range.

When we mapped users who received notifications and those who uninstalled, we observed that the users who received close to 125-150 notifications in the period uninstalled the lowest, with the uninstall rate decreasing by more than 2x even as notifications increased more than 5x (compared to the 16-20 band).

Data story - Push Notifications - Moengage-2

They were followed by users who received between 100-125 Notifications. The percentage of uninstalls in this range was only 6.68%, despite there being a significant increase in the number of users.

Data story - Push Notifications - Moengage-1
It was noticeable that the optimum notifications per user in the last 60 days was in the range of 100-125, as it ensured maximum users received high number of notifications, with low uninstall rates. Breaking down this number by 60 days, the average that we arrived at was approximately 2 notifications per day.

Notifications per day Uninstall Percentage
2 0.25%
3 0.12%
4 0.07%
5 0.04%

However, we also observed that sending more than 2 notifications a day, did not drastically impact the uninstall rate, as long as the notifications were spaced out to ensure that they fell in the 100-125 range over 60 days.

Conclusion

Data story of the month-moengage-1

This experiment helped the client understand that sending 125 notifications in a 60-day period (with a frequency capping of 18 per week) would be optimum. Knowing and understanding this sweet spot, helped them devise more impactful push notification campaigns, while also helping them fine-tune their notification content strategy. By carrying out this experiment, they went beyond industry benchmarks and found that sending a higher number of notifications per day did not always lead to a high uninstall rate.

With push notifications being a critical part of user engagement, it has become necessary to reassess their frequency. In a world where users are highly sensitive to notifications they receive, companies need to maximise notification opportunities while finding the right frequency to ensure they don’t lose out on users. Hence experimenting and arriving at the sweet spot that works for your users, is a highly useful exercise for any company.

What is your push notification sweet spot? Have you run experiments to find it yet?

Checkout how OnlineTyari achieved 400% increase in conversions using our ‘Analytics + Engagement’ suite. Read the entire case-study here.

What should you do next?

  1. If you want to know more about push notifications: Check out a few use cases here on how to implement them.
  2. For more on omnichannel marketingCheck our detailed in-depth guide.
  3. If you want to schedule a product demoGet in touch with our experts here.

Enough reading, If you prefer watching videos or listening to podcasts: Take a look at these videos from our Youtube channel. Or hear our podcasts on Soundcloud.

About the Author
Abhilash Jain

Abhilash Jain

Senior Customer Success Manager, South East Asia at MoEngage Inc.

Liked our article? Give us your feedback by rating it.

Related Articles