Push Messaging Drives 88% More App Launches

As previously reported by Localytics, 52% of people opt-in to push messages. This enables marketers to guide their users back into the app after periods of inactivity. But is push messaging really an effective tool to address the challenge of engaging users and keeping them coming back to your app?

The answer is yes. Localytics examined the engagement and retention of users who opted in to receiving push notifications compared to those who disabled push messages. Users who enable push are undoubtedly more engaged, but by how much?

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  • 88% higher engagement on average for push-enabled users
  • E-commerce apps exhibit the highest push engagement lift at 278%
  • Users who enable push have a nearly 3x higher retention rate compared to those who disable push
  • App abandonment rate for one time app use decreases from 21% to 11% for push-enabled users
  • Push-enabled users show drastically higher engagement and retention

 

E-commerce Apps Lead in Engagement Increase with Push Enabled

Overall, users that enable push average 88% more app launches than those who disable push notifications. However, this number drastically changes when looking at different app categories.

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E-commerce sees an enormous 278% lift in engagement when comparing users who enable push. A well-timed and personalized push message that lets a user know that the items they were looking at last week are now on sale is a great reason for them to re-engage with an app. The ability to segment push messages ensures that a user will receive content based on their behavior and preferences, which in turn helps them to re-engage and feel like they are building a relationship with the app brand.

 

Retention 2-3x Higher for Push Enabled Users

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Minimizing churn is a major pain point for most app marketers. The power of push is evident here too. Retention for push-enabled users is significantly higher than for those who disable push notifications. To keep users coming back into the app months down the road, it becomes extremely important to send timely, actionable push notifications. Even just one month after first downloading the app, the difference in retention is staggering.

On average, 62% of users will return to the app the following month if they are being engaged with push messaging, whereas only 32% of users will return if not prompted with push. This gap widens further down the road. Four months after their first session, over 1/3 of push enabled users are still engaging with the app, compared to only 14% of non-push users.

 

Push Enabled Users Have A Lower App Abandonment Rate

As previously reported by Localytics, 1 in 5 apps are only used once. When push messaging is enabled in an app, this app abandonment number actually decreases to almost 1 in 10 apps (or 11%)!

 app_abandonment

In other words, 11% of apps with push-enabled users are only used once, compared to 21% for push-disabled apps. As well, users with push-enabled spend more time in an app, with over 50% of users coming back to the app at least 11 times. Yet another set of strong indicators that push is a highly effective re-engagement tool.

Even Apple has recognized the power of push and will be offering interactive push in iOS 8 in the next month. These interactive notifications will enable users to continue to interact with apps – through push messages – even when not actually inside an app.

Push messaging, when leveraged with analytics to make them targeted and personalized, is a powerful tool that drastically increases app engagement and retention. Build a relationship with your users to delight them, and keep them returning to your app using the power of push.

 

Methodology

Localytics is the leading analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps across more than 1.5 billion devices and 28,000 apps. Localytics processes 50 billion data points monthly. For this study, Localytics looked at apps that have integrated push messaging across both iOS and Android. For engagement, retention, and abandonment rate, Localytics compared the users who enabled their push messaging against users who disabled push. Engagement is defined as app launches. The timeframe for the engagement study was July 1st to July 31st, 2014. Retention was observed from March 2014 until the end of July 2014. For the app abandonment rate study, Localytics identified the users who first downloaded an app in Q4 2013, and then identified how many times those apps were launched on those devices through July 15th, 2014. All results are based on worldwide app usage.

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