What are Mobile Push Notifications?
Push notifications inform users of new information relating to an app installed on their mobile device. This allows the app publisher to send relevant information to users, even when the app is closed. Examples of push notifications include receiving a notification of a Facebook message, a news story of interest to the app user, or informing the app user of the addition of a new game feature. There are several types of push notifications, which I have outlined below.
please note: I will be using Apple iOS for the example in this article. However, the concept is the same across all major mobile platforms.
- Banner – Banners appear on the screen for a few seconds an then disappear.
- Alert – Alerts appear on the screen and require user engagement. The user must accept or dismiss the alert.
- Badge – A badge is a small red circle with a number inside. It appears on the top-right corner of the app icon.
- Sounds – Sounds can be custom or system-provided and can accompany any of the notification types above. Sounds are intended to draw the user’s attention to the notification itself.
The user has complete control over if and how they receive push notifications. They can set and update these push notification preferences from the settings section of their mobile device.
How Mobile Push Notifications Work
Push notifications are a robust way of getting information to your app user in real-time, even if they are not using your app at the time the push notification is sent out. Here is a basic overview of the path a push notification takes:
Business Benefits of Mobile Push Notification
When done right, mobile push notifications can be a great benefit to your business. Through the use of mobile push notifications, app publishers can engage their app users even when the user is not actively using their app (or even using their mobile device). Mobile push notifications allow businesses to engage their users and pull them back into their app ecosystem when there is something of value to share with their user. One important point to keep in mind: mobile push app notifications should be used to connect users to the publisher while ensuring that the user is not annoyed with notifications of little value.
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