Nidhi Prakash
Nidhi Prakash 11 April 2022

Factors That Influence the Push Notification Delivery Rates on Android Devices

Push notifications have emerged as a great tool for marketers. It helps them to speak to consumers instantly; however, not without challenges. This article is all about challenges in deliverability of push notifications and effective solutions.

There are several advantages to Push Notifications. Lately, it has emerged as one of the most powerful communication channels to engage and retain app users. It helps drive customer loyalty and increase a customer's brand affinity. 

Having said that, it comes with its own set of  challenges. To start with, deliervability is a prominent concern. There are numerous factors that may hinder the delivery rate of Push Notifications on Android phones while impacting the overall business.

As per statistics published by Mobile of app, there are over 2.8 billion active Android users, which is equivalent to 75% of the global market share. And not-to-miss research by MoEngage states that around 40% to 70% of Push Notifications go undelivered in Asia’s fragmented Android market. 

This simply demonstrates a huge opportunity missed on both customer front and business growth.

Keeping the concern in mind, we have curated this blog post where in we have discussed key challenges associated with push notifications delivery on android, its crippling effect on businesses, and how these issues can be overcome.

Top 10 Challenges in Push Notification Delivery and Possible Solutions

First things first, let's understand how the Push Notification delivery rate for Android is calculated:

Here, there's an important distinction to note: 

  • "Sent" notifications are only those Notifications that have been accepted by FCM to attempt delivery. 

  • "Impressions" are those numbers that actually show how many Push Notifications have been delivered to the users' devices. 

Note: Not all Notifications that are accepted by FCM are delivered to users' devices due to various reasons. 

1. User Behavior

Segmented campaigns are found to be way better when compared to broad-based campaigns in terms of deliverability. MoEngage rolls out 15 billion messages for its client base every month. According to research by MoEngage, the delivery rate for a broad-based campaign is around 33%. On the other hand, the delivery rate for a segmented campaign goes up to 48%.

Push Notification Best Practice: Drive segmented campaigns based on user behavior instead of sending broad-based campaigns that cater to everyone and, by extension, no one. 

2. Recency

There's a direct correlation between user activity and the delivery rate. For example, the delivery rate for active customers within 24 hours can be as high as 80%, and for users who are active in the last seven days can be as much as 65%.

Push Notification Best Practice: To prevent customers from exiting the app, brands should introduce real-time triggers and send relevant Push Notifications. This powerful strategy can boost the delivery rate to over 98%.

3. Device Manufacturer

One of the biggest challenges mobile marketers face with brands like Oppo and Vivo is that these brands come with a built-in custom OS on top of the Android. This limits the background network access of the app, preventing Push Notifications from getting delivered. That said, other brands such as Samsung, Xiaomi, and Motorola have relatively better delivery rates of 51-55%.

Push Notification Best Practice: To ensure successful Push Notification delivery, brands should leverage MoEngage's Push Amplification™ Plus, which can give a Push Notification delivery uplift of around 44%.

Push Amplification™ Plus gives a higher Push Notification uplift because the factors that impact Push Notification Delivery via FCM don't restrict Push Notification delivery since they are routed through the OEM's internal system channel. 

4. Device Activity

The frequency of device activity can affect delivery. If the devices’ usage frequency is low, the Push Notification will not get delivered. For example, for phones such as Oppo and Vivo, the delivery rate deteriorates within the first to the second week due to the custom OS features.

Push Notification Best Practice: To make the most of the Push Notification strategy, brands should try to boost user activity. Sending personalized notifications can boost the customer's interest in the app.

This will prevent them from migrating to the competitor's app and keep the churn rate at a minimum. According to an analysis done by MoEngage, Samsung, Motorola, and Xiaomi devices have a sustained Push Notification delivery of 2-3 weeks.

5. Older Android OS Versions

Android Nougat is known to have the highest delivery rate. Previous OS versions (think: Lolipop, Kitkat, Oreo, and Jellybean) have a history of lower delivery rates. 

6. Device Network

Various research points in a direction that there's an explicit correlation between network latency and delivery rates. For instance, WiFi and 4G have a lesser network latency and hence, a higher delivery rate, whereas 2G and 3G have higher latency.

7. Message Time To Live (TTL)

Time To Live (TTL) allows you to set a time frame to deliver a Push Notification. This comes in handy if the TTL time frame is high. The GCM/FCM will attempt to deliver the notifications again to users whose device is off. That said, this is not a viable option for time-sensitive campaigns such as flash sales.

8. Campaign Send Time 

Simply put, push notifications that are strategically scheduled will have a higher delivery rate. The idea is to catch the customer's attention when they are most likely to be active on the mobile phone. The more frequently and promptly your customers interact with the push notifications, the higher the chances of the delivery rate.

Push Notification Best Practice: Remember that the campaign send-time will vary according to the app’s genre and use case. For example, users of an ecommerce app will be more active on the weekends and more likely to engage with your app.

Whereas, a music streaming app could have users who are listening to music while commuting to work. It would be helpful to segment your users and A/B test to see when your users are most likely to interact with your Push Notifications and what kinds of notifications are garnering the most engagement. 

9. Business Verticals

Certain business verticals significantly impact the Push Notification delivery rate. For example, a health and fitness app may have a better delivery rate due to frequent usage as compared to a retail app. As per research by MoEngage, the recency and frequency of an app belonging to the following verticals can have a direct impact on the delivery rate (as shown below):

10. Customer Opt-Outs

Android phones provide users with an option to disable app push notifications on their devices. If a customer opts out of receiving push notifications, your push notifications go undelivered, hampering your campaign ROI.

Push Notification Best Practice: To ensure that the user does not opt-out of Push Notifications, marketers should make note of the following while creating an effective Push Notification campaign:

  • Drive a user-friendly onboarding experience
  • Send relevant, segmented, and personalized push notifications
  • Be mindful of the Push Notification frequency

Remember that every Push Notification that goes undelivered will lower opportunities to engage and retain customers, ultimately increasing the chances of churn and app uninstalls. 

The Takeaway

Push Notifications can boost app retention rates by 3-10x. On the other hand, a low push notification delivery rate can:

  • Affect your brand’s North Star growth metrics such as DAUs, MAUs, CLTV, Open Rates, etc.
  • Impact important marketing goals such as app engagement, customer retention, product stickiness, and so on.

So craft your Push Notification campaign keeping these important factors in mind from the very beginning and not as an afterthought. This can help avoid the risk of low push notification deliverability, which ultimately hampers customer engagement, conversion, and retention; and can negatively impact your bottom line. 

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