Last update: May 2021

8 mins to read - 2017/04/27

How Location Improves Mobile Notifications

When marketers create a notification campaign, they start by determining the type of content, who send it to and when is the right time to send it. While all of this may be important, many marketers fail to consider WHERE the end user will be when they receive the message. Location plays a vital role in how the user will think and interact with their mobile devices; getting this wrong will almost certainly lead to a wasted message or lost conversion.

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Example 1

We’ll look at delivering a new feature/new content push notification to all app users based on a specific time.

The user would get a notification on their device to watch new streamable content via the app. This would be pushed out at a specific time by the mobile marketer, for example at 5pm in the evening, and would do an average job at getting a user to click and engage with the app.

If location was factored into the mix, the overall interaction experience could be improved.

The improved push notification would be delivered at 5pm, when the users are in a specific location (e.g., home), which would encourage them to watch or stream some new content via the app.

This way only users who match the criteria in the moment will receive that push notification, as it should be the optimal time to engage. In this case, users who are at home are likely to be connected to wi-fi and lounging around (potentially looking at their phone already), and are more likely to see a message come through and positively interact with it. Any other users not in the specified location would receive the notification at the next best opportunity.


It’s never been about delivering the most push notifications; an app doesn’t win any prizes for sending the most messages. The main objectives are to engage with the user base when it’s convenient for them to open the app or to send a gentle reminder of why they should use the app. Enabling location as a variable to trigger a message will not only make an app look smarter, but it will increase open rates and message interactions.

Recent Findings

Our customer, an entertainment app, frequently sends messages to 10M+ Android devices globally encouraging more time spent in-app. Recent testing with the location trigger resulted in a 9.5% increase in click through rate from a previous campaign (which did not include location).  A few of the intriguing findings included that although they sent far less notifications, more users clicked, which led to better conversions (paying customers). Delivering location-specific content also led to a higher amount of time spent in-app following the notification. These types of outcomes prove the importance location plays and shows the value of contextual triggers.

To those who run their own mobile app companies or have built various apps, creating notifications using location triggers isn’t as difficult as it may sound. OpenBack Smart Push Notifications is an easy-to-use solution built for marketers and developers alike. The platform offers an interactive message composer and out-of-the-box options for targeting users with contextual triggers (shown below).

Once the trigger is enabled, choose to target based on user device country, exact location (on a map) or by home vs work.

The push notification goes out to the specified users and waits until the device enters the valid location to trigger. OpenBack’s feature-rich platform will also tracks all of the data and offer dashboards to view the performance of every campaign.

In my point of view, every marketer tasked with creating notifications need to be considering location for every message. Something as simple as user location could mean the difference between success or failure of any campaign.


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