Back 2 Basics: What Is A Push Notification?

Read Time: 5 min


Editor's Note: At Localytics, we’ve been writing about mobile app marketing on our blog for well over 3 years. And while we’re always looking to provide you the latest and greatest news and insights in the mobile industry, sometimes it’s important to take a step back and reset. 

Our blog audience has grown pretty significantly over the past three years, and the spectrum of mobile knowledge spans from beginner to advanced. After building our base, we now primarily focus on intermediate and advanced blog topics and will continue to do so. 

But in the interest of getting some of our newer audience members up to speed with mobile app marketing features and logos, we’re launching a “Back 2 Basics” mini-series.


First up on the list: What is A Push Notification?


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Push Notification (n) : A push notification is a message a mobile user receives outside of your app. The notification is “pushed” to their homescreen.  


The key purpose of a push notification is to drive users back into your app.

A few years back, it was common for app publishers to send ‘broadcast push notifications’, which were messages sent to virtually all of your app users without considering their preferences or interactions within your app. As a result, push notification opt-out rates were pushing 50% and churn was even higher.

Today, mobile app marketers know better. The best apps user segmentation and send push notifications that are highly tailored to the end user, based off of user insights and profile information.

Here’s the difference:

How do you get users to open a push notification?

  • Tie the permission request to a compelling onboarding experience that clearly depicts the value
  • Take advantage of user segmentation and behavioral information to craft a compelling message
  • Use personalized, actionable language
  • Carefully control timing - nobody wants a notification at 2am
  • A/B test to understand how your audience responds to things like: copy, imagery, offers
  • Measure the metrics that matter and repeat

Looking for a complete rundown about Push Notifications? Check out our new resource page:

what is a push notification