Last update: September 2021

5 mins to read - 2020/05/20

Notifications Are the Primary Mobile Interface Between Apps and Users

Without a doubt, 2020 is the year of the mobile phone. Between the unrolling of 5G, the surge in mobile games downloads since the world went into lockdown for COVID-19, and the expansion of the Internet of Things, it’s clear that mobile devices are a fundamental part of our lives. As people across the world self-isolate, our devices keep us connected, informed, and entertained in a huge way. Even the mobile industry’s biggest fans couldn’t have predicted how integral our devices would become to our daily lives. With our mobile phones our main conduit to the outside world, it is indisputable that push notifications are now the primary interface brands have with consumers.

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Mobile Devices Have Become a Pillar of Modern Life

According to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2020 report, smartphone users are on their devices for 3 hours 40 minutes per day on average. This is 35% more time spent on mobile devices (as of the end of 2019) than in the previous 2 years.

The report continues:

“In the US, there were over 106 million downloads of the top 20 IoT (Internet of Things) apps in 2019 alone… With major players in the industry working together to create IoT standardization, the industry is primed for growth. By 2025, there will be 25.2 billion connected devices, up 177% from 2018.”

This unprecedented growth of IoT apps blurs the line between communication from a device and communication in the “real world.” With brands able to communicate with users from their smart watches, car dashboards, refrigerators, etc., push notifications will ultimately become fully integrated into our lives. Rather than being temporary messages on our lockscreen, notifications will be part of an organic dialogue between apps and their users. Ultimately, notifications will be the drivers of the new phase of the mobile industry.

Notifications Are Primary Interface With Users

Gen Z (those born between 1997-2012) are the largest generation in US history, comprising 27% of the entire population. They are also digital natives, who grew up with mobile devices. As a market segment, they are incredibly discerning when it comes to the quality of the content they receive. Thus, it’s crucial to win over Gen Z on the mobile front. Otherwise, there is a real risk of a marketing disconnect with the upcoming generation.

Especially now, when all human interaction has gone digital in light of COVID-19, push notifications are the primary interface most of us have with the outside world. In the coming months, push notifications will serve as the main pillar of brands’ marketing campaigns. With the access push technology has to users’ real-time decisions and digital behaviors, notifications are the most personalizable. Meaning, they are able to speak directly to users’ interests. Higher levels of deliverability and CTR than other modes of digital marketing (say, promotional emails) means push campaigns are more able to pinpoint the right moment to reach out to users. This in turn will drive a more organic, human relationship between apps and users.

How Will Next-Gen Notifications Differ?

Generic, automated notifications will not be enough in the coming phase. As the primary interface with users, notifications must be dynamic, real-time, and hyper-personalized to bring the greatest benefit. Push campaigns must go through a rigorous process of mobile analytics, which includes:

  • A/B split testing
  • Targeting
  • Segmentation

The ultimate goal for mobile apps is to achieve optimal user engagement. They must do this through notifications that are an extension of the brand experience. The new cohort of mobile users don’t want their phones spammed with clunky pieces of marketing copy. They want to feel like apps are taking their preferences, interests, and schedules into account. They want a one-on-one relationship with a brand that’s dedicated to offering them up-to-date information. OpenBack offers this feature, with dynamic notifications that let the developer update typos or outdated content. Even after the notification has already delivered to the user’s device.

To read about how you can communicate with users in real-time and update information as it changes, read about OpenBack’s dynamic notifications.

Apps Will Prioritize Loyal Users

Also in the coming phase of mobile engagement, user acquisition will likely take a backseat. The engagement and retention of an app’s current users will take priority. On one hand, this just makes economic sense. User acquisition is costly, and the majority of a mobile app’s new users churn in their first 7 days.

With premium mobile engagement tools, on the other hand, user retention is cost-efficient and requires minimal effort. According to Mobile Marketer, the huge variety of brands users have the power to interact with, whenever they want, means the onus is on brands to distinguish themselves. Importantly, to reward users for their loyalty, brands must make them aware of their value through “mobile touch points at every stage of the buying process.”

Overall, the evolution of mobile engagement means that brands will need to have a long-term mobile strategy for handling their marketing campaigns.

“Consumer data integration is key. The end-goal is to connect with these consumers on a one-to-one basis.”

And to that end, dynamic notifications and push technology are the tools that will drive these next-gen user relationships.

Read more about how an effective push notification strategy will optimize app opens and traffic here.

We would love to hear from you! To learn more about dynamic notifications and how they can revolutionize your mobile marketing campaign, email us at

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