Push Messages: Best Practices to Keep in Mind

With push messages, you're looking to capture the attention of users in a matter of seconds and ultimately "push" them back to your app. The next time you go to schedule a notification, consider these best practices to ensure your messages are effective in reaching your members.

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Keep the Length of the Message Short and Sweet

Skip the "fluff" and keep your messages like a tweet, opting for clear and concise. Why is this important? In addition to grabbing and keeping users' attention, screen sizes can vary dramatically among devices, making the number of characters crucial to avoid being cut-off. On iOS, the maximum number of characters tends to be around 120, while Android displays as little as half of that.

Aim to keep your message as short as 60 characters or less. Before scheduling your push notification, use a character counter like the one here to help with the process. If you can't cover what you would like in such a short message, consider linking to a feature with additional information.

Don't Press Send Too Often

Before scheduling pushes messages several times a day, you may want to think twice (unless you're sending messages during a special event!). With tens or even hundreds of apps installed on a device, people can get overwhelmed with alerts. Although there's no magic formula, think about sticking with twice a week to keep their attention. Keep in mind that you can use tags to segment your messages and keep the content relevant for different groups of users. Read more about how to send tagged push messages here

Consider What Time It Is

It may seem simple, but always think about your local time zone. With push notifications, phones will often make a sound to alert users, making it important to avoid extremely late or extremely early hours.

Some great times to send push messages are mid-day (to catch them during their lunch break!), or right after work as they're beginning to wind down for the day. 

Use Words to Motivate

Your members are looking for ways to stay engaged. While it's good to send a variety of different types of push messages (including things like encouraging quotes and verses), some of the best messages use action words to get users involved. Encourage them to check out your latest app content, remind them to register for an event, or alert them of a new need in the community. You can even go beyond a message-only push by scheduling a push that guides users to a particular feature that's relevant to the message and drive them back to your app. For more on scheduling push messages, check out this article.

Examples

Below are a few screenshots of some great examples of push messages we have seen from our partners!

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