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Demystifying the art of delivering mobile push notifications in a manner that allows marketers to boost user retention, stay engaged and increase conversion rates is on the top of every company’s list. 

OYO Rooms, a leading, Indian multinational chain of leased and franchised hotels and rooms, is one such company that has learned all the tricks of the trade. 

In a recent digital summit organized by MoEngage, Shivanghi Boghani, the Director of Growth (India) for MoEngage, in conversation with Arjya Nathvani, Head of Growth Marketing for OYO discussed at length how OYO, Rooms has been able to maximize mobile push delivery with assistance from MoEngage’s product management team.  

Nalin Goel, the Vice President of Product Management for MoEngage, has been instrumental in shaping the productization of ideas for the company. He joins the discussion to give perspective and share his learnings from experience as well.

The Importance of Mobile Push Delivery as a Communication Channel

Since OYO is a digitally focused brand, push notifications are a critical communication channel for the company. But how is it different from communicating through emails, SMS, Whatsapp, and so on? 

Essentially, every channel must be viewed in two dimensions:

  1. Channel efficacy
  2. Channel efficiency

As such, push notifications aren’t an effective means of communication when it comes to acquiring high Click-Through Rates (CTR). But when companies factor in the cost of managing a communication channel, push notifications become the most important means of communication with consumers. 

When considering the Indian market (since this is where OYO’s biggest market lies), email is not a strong enough channel in terms of retaining customers as the engagement rates are extremely low. Reaching out to customers through SMS would become quite a costly affair for companies as well since the Return On Investment (ROI) is nowhere near the required margin. 

Consequently, keeping the perspective of the two dimensions in mind, push notifications delivery is the most efficient way of communicating with customers. 

The challenges of Leveraging Push as a Channel

One of the biggest challenges OYO faces when it comes to using push as a means of communicating with customers is ensuring that the delivery rates of communication are always high. 

Companies need to make sure that their push notifications are reaching consumers and therefore need to work towards building and increasing this specific metric. 

Whether a user clicks on the notification, and regardless of whether the downstream funnel is effective enough, is another variable altogether since it all depends on the usefulness of the product. 

Successful push delivery is a result of multiple factors. Companies need to understand these factors and develop strategies to overcome them in order to ensure high push delivery rates. 

  • The mobile device is owned by a consumer (compatibility and OS versions need to be factored in). 
  • How recently has a customer been on the app? 
  • How recent are a user’s engagement and communication with an app? 


How OYO is Addressing the Problem of Deliverability 

As mentioned earlier, push delivery, to a large extent, depends on the kind of smartphone a customer owns, its Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), its Operating System (OS), and so forth. 

Since OYO’s customer base mainly consists of a variety of Chinese smartphone owners, the company has taken certain steps to ensure high delivery, keeping that in mind. 

With the aid of MoEngage’s Push Amplification feature, OYO has seen more than a 40% hike in its delivery rate, especially with customers who own Xiaomi devices.   

Aside from this, OYO uses the notification center on their app to display notifications to users when they open the app, in case the push hasn’t delivered said notification for the consumer. Although this step doesn’t impact the delivery rate in terms of its metric as such, it nevertheless does its job of conveying information to users. 

Another measure the company has undertaken involves an experimental feature that OYO has begun internally. The experiment involves scheduling a few push notifications into the application’s inner code in order to observe and conclude whether it is going to help increase delivery rates. 

How is the Delivery Ecosystem Evolving? 

With the launch of more and more mobile devices consisting of a number of different capabilities, functions, and features, the world is moving towards a digitized space where users do not want to be constantly bombarded with notifications. 

Soon, there are going to be new rules that brands have to follow and continuously adapt to when it comes to mobile marketing. OYO has observed this evolving trend almost with every communication channel that the company has used. 

Although a communication channel starts off as a platform you can use at will, customize and manage so as to scale it by volume and so forth, eventually, companies have to take precautionary measures to ensure that customer experience is not minimized or affected in any way. 

These are some of the changes that the delivery ecosystem will soon have to deal with. Consequently, it’s going to be difficult to maintain high delivery rates if brands do not adapt to the changing environment, become creative, and find different ways to deal with a problem as just one way of solving it will certainly not help matters.