Here's Why You Need To Start Using Rich Push Notifications Today

Read Time: 5 - 10 min

It’s been nearly 6 months since Apple launched iOS 10 and the ability to send rich push notifications and while adoption started out slowly, it’s seen some hockey puck growth over the past few months.


According to our Localytics data team, there were just shy of 5 million rich push notifications sent in December 2016. By March, that number increased over 8x and eclipsed 40 million.

That number is only expected to grow once brands realize the substantial increase in engagement that rich push notifications are generating: 

Localytics customers using rich push saw an average of 30% increase in engagement.

These two statistics should be enough to compel any mobile marketer to start working rich push into their mobile marketing strategy. But what I think is even more important is that it’s clear a shift in the industry occurring. Push notifications have been the darling of mobile marketing since their birth in 2009, but apart from the onset of emojis the technology has remained the same.


That’s not to say a lot of advancements haven’t been made to push notifications and the way we think about them. User segmentation and personalization have come a long way since the birth of push notifications and is now the center of any world-class mobile app marketing strategy. But as far as the notification itself, it’s been well overdue for a facelift.

Seeing the same old push notification alert from every app come through to your phone has gotten stale. Even worse, it’s become almost insignificant amongst a sea of indistinguishable alerts. The dawn of rich push finally empowers mobile marketers to change this, and to connect with their audiences through unique and engaging media.

Consider this comparison: Plain text email versus HTML. HTML emails really weren’t widely adopted until the launch of Gmail 13 years ago. Email marketers started to customize these HTML templates to include dynamic content that would change based on the reader’s personal interests and previous behavior. Soon afterwards they widely took off, and have been the standard ever since.

We predict the exact same thing will happen with rich push notifications, especially given their early success. In a few short years, rich push will be the gold standard of mobile notifications, and we’ll forget all about plain text push.

Since seeing is believing, we’ve curated some real-life examples from early adopters who are rich pushing it real good:

1. Redfin:


House hunting can feel overwhelming, especially in a competitive market like Boston. Redfin allows you to set up push notification alerts for new houses in your desired price range and towns so that you never miss a listing.

Using rich push has really brought Redfin’s notifications to the next level, allowing the company to show pictures of houses and include detailed listing information. Basically, it takes the guesswork out of house hunting and does all the heavy lifting for you.

2. JibJab


JibJab, the people behind the dancing elves, have an app full of entertaining content. And since they understand the power of a funny image, it should be no surprise they are early adopters of the rich push technology. This particular push notification was sent on April Fools, and includes an enticing CTA to swipe through.


3. Mic

The first rich push I ever received came from Mic. The company has used rich push as a way to stand out in an oversaturated news app market. You can tap the push to expand it and get a full synopsis on the news story, all from your homescreen. Mic’s compelling rich push notifications stand out in a sea full of standard news alerts.


4. Strava

As an avid runner, I use Strava to log my mileage. One of the coolest features about Strava is that there are groups and runner communities for you to be a part of. Support and encouragement is a huge part of the sport of running. It’s very motivating to get kudos for your efforts.

Recently, Strava started tapping into rich push to include the profile image of the person who gave you the kudos so that it feels more authentic. This is just the beginning of the running app’s adventure into rich push, and it’ll be great to see how else Strava uses it to strengthen its athletic community.

Final Thoughts

Sending a rich push notification is pretty simple. So why aren’t more mobile marketers using them? We tend to be stuck in our ways and rely on what we know. But we also know this mentality doesn’t bode well in the mobile app world. Things evolve quickly and it’s up to us to adapt or risk losing out to an app that is providing the mobile experiences users demand.

My advice to all mobile app marketers is to start using rich push today. Not only should it help you with engagement, but it will also position your app way ahead of the curve in terms of user experience.