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Jonathan Raveh
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Push Notifications
What’s The Problem with Time-Based Push Notifications?

Push notifications are a great tool to communicate effectively with app users. They can help sustain long-term relationships with the entire user base by prompting users to open the app and communicating important or time-sensitive content.

There are four main types of push notifications [1]:

  • Text Push – Messages with text content that are sent to a target audience.
  • Rich Media Push – Message with text and/or visual elements.
  • Interactive Push – Message that include action buttons such as yes, no, and snooze.
  • Location-based Push – Notifications that are sent based on a user’s geolocation.

In standard push notifications, the same content is sent to all of an app’s users without consideration of each user’s unique in-app activity. Time-based push notifications, in that sense, are ‘standard’ because they enable app developers to send specific content at certain times to their user base. Time-based notifications usually take into account user time zones, and can also be segmented by specific demographics. Scheduling a message so that every user gets a notification at 8:00am their time, does not make the notifications personalized. Data shows that both push blasts to the entire user base and time-based push campaigns are far from being effective:

With current low retention rates, app marketers must evolve. Time-based notifications only cater to a limited portion of users because triggering them does not depend on user context, but rather on an estimation of availability for the general population. Therefore, time-based push notifications are impersonal by definition. Improving push open rates requires finding the optimal time for each individual user to engage, as seen in the graph above. That means finding the time when each user is available, instead of assuming receptiveness at 8:00am or 3:00pm. By adding high quality context to the equation and allowing the push trigger to be context-based rather than time-based, Neura can dramatically improve the success of push notifications and turn them into a truly personal way of communication.