3 Strategies to Bring Customers Into the App With Push Notifications

Increase frequency, use emojis and send messages in the morning, according to Rovertown
Push notifications
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Strategizing how to deploy mobile app push notifications, with guidelines such as increasing frequency, using emojis and sending messages in the morning, can lead to a dramatic change in app sessions, according to a new report from Rovertown, a mobile app platform for convenience-store retailers.

“Push notifications are an essential aspect of any modern mobile app and engagement strategy,” said Tyler Cameron, head of strategy and analytics at Rovertown, St. Louis. “Unfortunately, best practices have not been widely disseminated within our industry. Rovertown’s new report bridges that gap and offers valuable insights to both novices and experts alike.”

The report reveals the best practices for mobile app push notifications based on an analysis of more than 78 million push notifications sent by dozens of convenience retailers between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023. The report offers guidelines for character count, emoji usage, dayparts, message phrasing and more.

To download the full report, click here.

“Driving results doesn’t always mean investing more money into your app,” said Cameron. “Many retailers aim for a 5% annual improvement in their KPIs [key performance indicators]. By consistently adhering to these guidelines, retailers can establish a strong foundation and very likely surpass their yearly objectives, at no extra cost.”

Below are three strategies for retailers to focus on first.

1. Frequency

While push notifications can lead to more in-app sessions, more isn’t always better, according to Rovertown. Sending notifications on a daily basis becomes less effective every day. When retailers send notifications on consecutive days, in-app sessions go down 52% compared to the previous day; however, when a customer did not get a notification one day, they are more likely to interact with one sent the next day. This strategy in timing leads to an in-app session increase of 129%, according to the report.

Push notification open rates and app sessions are highest on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the report found. They gradually decline as the week advances, and the weekends experience the lowest levels of engagement.

2. Emojis

Push notifications with emojis performed 47% better than the average standalone push notification.

Another effective messaging strategy is through contests—notifications with contest messaging performed 28% better than an average standalone notification. Terms like “contest,” “winnings” or “giveaways” encourage greater engagement.

3. Time of Day

Open rates are highest in the mornings and evenings. To maximize app engagement, Rovertown suggests sending notifications in the morning between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m.

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