Push notifications are one of the foremost ways mobile app marketers use to engage with consumers whether to promote features, usage, or to pitch any sort of information. Some modern age marketers also use push notifications to enhance customer service.

But how do consumers perceive push notifications? Can app notifications truly act like the double-edged sword which ends up pushing your users away?

Our survey indicates that consumer behavior to push notifications has changed dramatically and mobile app marketers should be very judicious when it comes to using them. If you end up interrupting your users far too many times in a week, you run the risk of them simply uninstalling your app.

For example, a significant proportion of the users – 64%, will stop using an app entirely if it sends more than 5 weekly push notifications. So, app marketers need to tread with caution.

Key Takeaways

  • 43% of users said receiving 2-5 weekly push notifications will cause them to disable the push notifications.
  • 30% of users will stop using the app altogether if they receive 6-10 weekly push notifications.
  • 64% of people will stop using the app altogether if they receive more than 5 weekly push notifications.
  • 61% of users will use the app more often or at the same level if the push notifications are personalized to their stated preferences and likings.
  •  Older users (aged 30 and above) harbor a greater dislike for push notifications compared to younger ones (aged 18-29).

How Many Weekly Push Notifications do Consumers Want?

To know the precise number of push notifications that consumers like to receive from a mobile app, we asked them a few questions that are as follows.

For mobile apps, how many weekly push notifications from one app will cause you to disable push notifications for it?

As per the above data, users are highly sensitive towards push notifications with 13% saying they will disable the push notifications if they receive even ONE weekly push notification.

On receiving 2-5 weekly push notifications from an app, 43% of users will turn off the push notifications for it.

ONLY 12% of users are okay to receive up to 10 weekly push notifications and won’t disable them.

A big proportion of users, 87% will turn off the push if an app sends more than ONE push notification.

The users also demonstrated significant variation in their dislike for push notifications across various age groups.

Younger users (aged 18-29) appear to harbor a lesser dislike for push notifications compared to older users (aged 30 and above).

44% of users aged 30-44 and 57% of users aged 60+ will disable the push notifications if they receive 2-5 weekly push notifications from an app while just 31% of younger users aged 18-29 said they will do the same.

 On receiving only ONE notification per week from a mobile app, 20% of users aged 45-60 will disable push notifications while just 7% of users aged 18-29 will do the same.

While a significant proportion of the users can disable the notifications if they end up being too many, an uncomfortable number of notifications can also make users stop using the app altogether.

But how many push notifications can lead a user to stop using the app? To know the numbers we asked them the below question.

How many weekly push notifications from one app will cause you to stop using the app altogether?

Based on answers to this question, we found that users prefer disabling the notifications instead of stopping the usage of the app entirely if they receive more push notifications than desired.

Looking at the positive side, 92% of users won’t stop using the app completely if they receive only ONE weekly push notification.

So, pushing one app notification per week shouldn’t hurt an app marketer’s efforts by much, they can analyze the consumer’s response to it and can decide accordingly.

Even here, the age of the users is deeply correlated with their decision to cease the usage of the app. Older users are more likely to stop using the app compared to the younger ones.

ONE push notification will cause 12% of users aged 45-60 to stop using the app altogether compared to 4% of users aged 18-29.

34% of users aged >60 will stop using the app completely if they receive 2-5 push notifications while just 18% of users aged 18-29 will do the same.

That is indeed a significant difference. So, the age group of the users that mobile app marketers are targeting should be considered as a key factor in a push notification campaign.

Push Notifications Based on User Preferences

In the modern world, most apps let users decide the type of push notifications they would like to receive based on preferences like location, products, offers, etc.

To know how consumers feel about preference-based push notifications, we asked them the below question.

If a mobile app always displays content or push messages of your stated preferences (e.g. sports team, home team), will it make you use the app less?

 

A significant proportion, 61% of users will use the app more or at the same level if the app displays content or notifications related to their stated preferences.

On the other hand, 39% of users would not like preference-based push notifications and will use the app less if the app sends push notifications of their stated preferences.

The above data suggests that a significant number of users prefer push notifications based on their likings and preferences.

When it comes to the variation seen across different age groups, here too, we observed a notable disparity between younger and older users. 

  • App users aged 18-44: 68% will use the app more or at the same level while ONLY 32% will use the app less.
  • App users aged 45 and above: 54% will use the app more or at the same level and 46% will do the opposite.

Bottom Line: A greater proportion (68%) of younger users (aged 18-44) are not opposed to preference-based push notifications compared to older users. Even though the older users (aged 45+) are not completely averse to receiving preference-based push notifications either, a slightly smaller percentage of them (54%) will use the app more or at the same level if they receive preference-based notifications.

So, app marketers should push the younger generation with preference-based notifications for sure but they need to tread with caution in the case of older ones.

Suggestions for a Push Notifications Campaign in 2021

Marketers need to design a push notification campaign for mobile apps wisely because smartphone users are sensitive to the volume and quality of notifications they receive. Based on our findings, below are some suggestions for a successful push notification campaign.

  1. Start with one weekly push notification. 92% and 87% of users won’t stop using the app and won’t disable the push respectively if they receive just ONE weekly push notification. So, smartphone app marketers can safely experiment with a campaign by sending no more than one push notification at the beginning. 
  2. Analyze user behavior. Analyzing how users respond to the app’s push notification is the key to the success of a campaign, it helps app marketers know what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Consider user preference. Preferential notifications are the most requested ones that can make 61% of consumers use the app more or at the same level. App marketers can let users decide what sort of notifications they want to receive and could try to make the push notifications more customizable.
  4. Consider the age of consumers. The survey shows significant variation in the behavior of smartphone users based on age groups, older users are more hostile than younger ones while dealing with app push notifications. So, the age group of the users is one of the key factors that can make or break a push notification campaign.

Survey Details

Helplama surveyed over 500 smartphone users based in the United States with 47% of men and 53% of women.

Category of Users

We have divided users into 4 age groups:

  • 18-29
  • 30-44
  • 45-60
  • >60

Devices

The survey consists of a fair split of devices, 46.20% are iOS, 33.60% are Android, 15.40% are Windows, 4.80% are MacOS & others.