Top 4 Most Innovative Types of Push Notifications for Maximizing Customer Engagement

The first thing that resonates best with mobile users is push notifications, or better yet, creative push notifications. It is the best marketing tool for any brand with a mobile app since they allow you to stay in touch with your users & re-engage them to come back to the app.

The goal of push notifications is to foster interactions between the app and the user. They are used for several reasons: to provide information, to promote sales, to drive users to social networks, and more.

To accomplish this, marketing teams make every effort to retain users by placing creative and engaging content into the limited space allowed for push notifications. In fact, 73% of the users stop using apps within the first 48 hours of the download. For that reason, sending uninspired content just won’t work its magic.

Push notifications can be triggered by a specific event or can be sent whenever the app publisher decides. If the user allows push notifications on their mobile device, they will receive them even when they’re not in the app. Despite their important part of any mobile app, push notifications are an indispensable part of each company’s marketing strategy.

Some of the most important benefits of push notifications:

  • The technology of push notifications is quickly evolving from one message delivery system into a rich and interactive medium.
  • They are the first and, in most cases, the most important channel for communication used by app publishers.
  • Almost every larger app uses push notification technology for interaction and re-engagement.

Recent statistics show that push notifications can increase app engagement up to 88% while 65% of the users return to an app within the first 30 days after the push is enabled. Also, sending push notifications increases the app retention rate 3-10 times.

To help you stand out from the crowd, we’ve narrowed down a list of the top 4 most innovative types of push notifications to help you maximize your CTR and customers’ engagement with your mobile app:

1. Rich Notifications with Media

The first type of push notifications we suggest is called rich push notification and can help you drive significantly more engagement concerning your users.

Plain text has a way of fading into the background, even when the copy is on point. Luckily, with the latest advancements in iOS and Android’s OS, you can now include a rich media attachment to you push notifications, such as photos, GIFs, video, audio or other interactive elements. In addition, you can include a deep link for encouraging a clickable response from the user to specific messages. This helps users to easily complete certain actions while simultaneously providing value from your app (even when outside of the app!).

Rich push notificationsExample of rich push notifications

Rich media gives plenty of room for creativity. You can create more impactful and memorable campaigns that will resonate with your users, allowing you to break away from tradition.

However, you may see your click rate go down since rich push notifications have the ability to engage with users outside the app itself. This doesn’t need to alarm you. While generating fewer clicks, rich push has the ability to create long term engagement because users consume content right on the spot, rather than having to open the app.  

To sum up, rich push notifications are your dear friend in improving your engagement and retention rate. You can finally connect with your users on a much significant level, outside the app, showing some of your brand’s personality in the process.

2. Contextualized Push Notification (Using APIs)

You can now take your personalization process to the next level with contextualized push notifications. It is basically leveraging both public and private APIs for pulling relevant information into your messages. As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless.

The APIs will enable you to get personalized information from 3rd party data sources,  which you can further use for customizing your campaigns. Let’s say, until now, you’ve been creating 2 or 3 variants for your email newsletter to send to your general audience. Now, with these push notifications, you can create individual variants for each user which will be highly personalized. And here we don’t mean only personal info you have about your customer - but also data from a wider context such as the weather at the location your customer lives or works. Speaking to your users on a one-to-one level will boost your engagement rates. If we visualize the above mentioned, it will look like this:

Variants of push notifications

General newsletter variants vs. personalized variant using contextualized push notification

There are a lot of APIs you can use to your advantage that will bring some really valuable information into your messaging. Here are a few examples:

  • If you are a delivery app and your local sports team has lost a game, you can update your users by offering something to comfort them: “Oh shoot! The Bears lost the game :(. Time to get some ice cream sundae to soak up that sadness”.  
  • Or, if you own a restaurant, you can use a weather app API in order to send some timely messages. If it’s raining, your push can say: “Oh no! It’s raining again. Why don’t you order some pizza for a cozy evening at home?” On the other hand, if the weather is nice, invite people to your place: “It’s a perfect Monday afternoon & Joe’s Italian serves the most delicious rigatoni today! You are welcome to try them!

Contextualized push notifications

Example of contextualized push notification connected with API

Contextualized push notifications will allow your team to move a lot quicker and be extremely dynamic and flexible in the content creating process than they were before. Using the data from public or internal systems will help you deliver messages which will garner maximum engagement.

3. Behavioral Push Notifications

If you are hoping to increase your retention rate by sending push notifications, you have to take things one step further. You can try behavioral push notifications - messages sent in response to a specific action done by the user. A staggering fact is that these messages, sent by behavioral triggers, receive up to 800% more opens.

Taking into consideration that messaging is not a silver bullet, you must be careful about what type of content you send to users, and when you do it. These messages, however, are sent based on behavioral triggers which will make sure users get the message at the right moment.

So, what are behavioral triggers? In opposition to push notifications sent at a specific time, behavioral push notifications are triggered by a specific user action. So, if a user hasn’t used an app in several days, your mobile team can send a push to invite them back. This means that you can develop tailored campaigns based on specific actions in your app.

Some other real-time examples to see how this actually works:

  • You have a music app that contains all the previous user behavior (songs, artists or albums they’ve listened). You can use that data to analyze each user history and suggest new, similar artists, or bands they might like. You can also try to engage users for the opposite reason. If they listen to specific music for a long time (several hours), your message the next day can invite them back with similar suggestions, aiming to boost user engagement even more.
  • If you have a video streaming app, you can use the streaming history to send push notifications to users notifying them about a new episode of the TV show they watch or even suggest a related show that they might enjoy.
  • Or, if you have a travel app, you can communicate with your users by timely push notifications based on previous user behavior instead of emails. When your users browse by a location, you can send suggestions with similar homes or cities. Or, if they’ve already booked a place, you can inform them about some upcoming events or sightseeing places they can visit on the dates they’re in town!

Push notifications based on user behavior

Example of push notifications based on past user behavior

Supposing you have a wealth of data about your users’ preferences, you can do a lot with it. Use it to provide value by suggesting related media, topics, or whatever they’ve been engaged with. These recommendations, incorporated in the behavioral push notifications, offer you an accessible way to stay in touch with your users without being pushy or invasive.

4. Geofencing Push Notifications

In the process of sending push notifications, it is crucial to define the right moment and content to do so. One new way of doing this is by geofencing. It is the process that enables an unprecedented level of personalization by sending notifications based on a highly-precise location.

Businesses usually use geofencing technology combined with push notifications to drive sales from customers who downloaded their app. The app can then track users’ locations, with their permission of course. The next step is sending timely push notifications based on their location if it falls within the geofencing range.

Geofencing technology

This is an incredible possibility for brick-and-mortar businesses. They can define a physical range around the desired location and send geofencing push notifications whenever someone enters the range. This way they are combining their digital and in-person communication for truly seamless user experience.

These messages are extremely relevant and timely. The behavioral triggers incorporated in the notifications can be further combined with personalized details based on purchase history. You can go as far as offering individual coupon codes to regular customers who pass by your store.

Some examples:

  • Let’s assume someone lives in New Jersey and is a big New York Giants’ fan. If they walk past the home of their favorite sports team, the MetLife Stadium, they will get a push notification by SeatGeek offering tickets.
  • Another way you can use geofencing is to make sure you (and your business) are not losing any money. For example, if your drivers are on a business trip, you can use geofencing to make sure they are not leaving the designated route while on the road.
  • To give you an example of a success story, let’s talk about Uber using geofencing. Uber wouldn’t be able to run without GPS and location services. When a user requests a ride, Uber geofences around that specific location to see how many cars are available and the estimated wait time needed for a driver to arrive. However, Uber takes geofencing one step further. They are utilizing customers’ location, if permitted, to send push notifications even when the users are not using the app:

Geofencing push notifications

Example of geofencing push notification by Uber


With the continuous increase of mobile apps use, push notifications are an opportunity you cannot miss. They are less intrusive than other customer engagement forms and can be effectively used to bring in more traffic and add user value by delivering useful information in real-time. However, mind that it is indispensable that the information you deliver is suitable and compelling. If not, the push notifications can become irritating and annoying, leading to negative perceptions about your app and business in general.

To sum up, innovative push notifications have become a winning marketing strategy for many businesses. Therefore, sending relevant, well-crafted, and timely push messages to people, who have already shown interest in your business, can turn out as a great marketing tactic. Through attentive planning and focus on your business goals, you can take advantage of push notifications to increase and maximize your customer engagement.


If you need support with the process of enabling push notifications or selecting the right systems for the complete process of marketing automation, do not hesitate to contact Alite International. We have been working with multiple large organizations in supporting their move towards full marketing automation. Send us an email on