3 Ways to Use Push Messaging for Increased Engagement

Push notification example from House Finder reading, "welcome to House Finder! We'll be your guide to finding your perfect home in Austin, TX."

As we settle into our new decade of the 20s, marketers are faced with a digital world that’s transforming rapidly. While desktop browsing ruled the early days of the internet, the introduction of the smartphone catapulted mobile browsing to popularity. According to Mary Meeker, consumers are now spending at least 3 hours browsing mobilly to every 2 hours on desktop, and that ratio is becoming more and more skewed every year. In 2017, young consumers spent 66% of their browsing time on mobile apps and in total mobile apps are projected to yield revenue over $188.9 billion in 2020. It’s obvious mobile apps are the future of digital marketing, but what isn’t so obvious is how to garner engagement for your business’s app. Blueshift is here to help with our top 3 ways to use push messages for success.


Worldwide, 28% of users will delete an app during the first 30 days post download. With users you may know little about, how can you provide compelling comms that keep your app installed? The key is to take full advantage of the welcome series — beyond simply treating it as a formality. From the moment a user downloads and opens your app, you can be collecting rich customer data to inform your comms. Use the welcome series to provide a personalized push series, and also extend this experience to email and other channels available to that user.

Personalization needs to be beyond just surface level as well. With the rich data you’ve collected, location and interest based personalization is already possible. The result is a seamless introduction to your brand that leaves users:

  1. Informed about your brand
  2. Comfortable with your brand and your app
  3. Excited to further engage with your brand
  4. Most importantly, loyal to your brand


So you’ve made it over the 30 day mark — whew! A user might’ve made their first purchase, or has at least seen decent engagement with your app, but now is not the time to pull back on messaging. That being said, you have to tread a fine line with the frequency of your push notifications. “Spamming” customers is practically a kiss of death for their brand view. It’s annoying and builds a one-size-fits-all reputation for your brand. While users can’t report these messages like they would spam emails, they can disable notifications and never open your app again.

Like with your welcome series, these notifications should be packed full with value for the users. Now that some time has passed and the customers have spent ample time in your app they’ve left behind enough data to create an endless scroll of recommendations — if you have the technology to power it. Additionally, browsing done on your mobile site and engagement from other channels can be used to entice cold users back to the app. Some of the most successful retention notifications utilize:

  1. Location data for local offers and products
  2. Analytics to craft offers based on LTV and purchase propensity
  3. Behavioral data (from all channels) to populate 1:1 recommendations


Given that the average consumer has over 80 applications installed on their mobile device, it can be an uphill battle to get your most valuable users’ attention. One extremely effective way to utilize push messages for engagement is to make your message timely and hyper relevant. By this, we don’t necessarily mean cheesy gimmicks for every holiday or trending hashtag, but something more valuable. These messages should capitalize on an urgent need of your customers, like an impending weather event, big game, or important holiday. With the accurate location data and implicit (or explicit) preferences you’ve gathered on customers this should be a breeze with AI on your side. Segment by your most valuable customers, or maybe those who haven’t been back in awhile, and deliver a personalized message that hits them right when they need it. Businesses that can deliver the perfect addition to a holiday gift, a great jersey for the home team, or content that is up-to-date and informative, will wind the hearts (and wallets) of consumers.