Want to Grow App Engagement? Try Emojis and Contests

New report looks at tactics to boost push notification open rates and increase app usage.

May 22, 2024

Proper use of character count, emojis, contests, timing and message phrasing can help grow the effectiveness of mobile app push notifications, according to a new report issued by Rovertown.

The report, based on analysis of 78 million push notifications sent in 2023 by convenience retailer clients, highlighted several key success strategies, including:

  • Curiosity Drives Engagement. Short teaser messages and longer notifications that were cut off due to character count limits were shown to be 121% more effective than the average push notification.
  • Timing is Crucial. Notifications sent during morning and evening hours performed up to 178% better than the average push notification.
  • Beyond Price Points. Notifications highlighting contests performed 30% better than the median standalone push notification, while those focusing on a retail price point performed 32% worse.
  • Utilize Positive Phrasing. Push notifications with negative phrasing—such as “don’t miss out”—performed 9% worse than the median standalone push notification.
  • Emojis Matter. Push notifications with emojis performed 50% better than the median standalone push notification.

Retailers adhering to at least three key best practices—increasing frequency, using emojis and sending messages in the morning—experienced an average increase of 17% in unique app users, according to the company.

To download the full report, click here.