Last update: September 2021

5 mins to read - 2021/02/22

Return on Push: How OpenBack Gets You More for Your Money

A robust mobile engagement campaign is a must-have for any mobile app, mobile game, or brand with a mobile app. But the quality of push campaigns can vary, which in turn can affect UX of your mobile app. This is a result of both failures on the marketing side of things, as well as technical shortcomings on the side of the platform responsible for sending the notifications. In the end, a mobile engagement platform is only as successful as the amount of revenues it brings in for the app. These revenues, set off against the cost incurred by the mobile app to license the platform, amount to your return on push notifications. According to a study by Campaign Monitor, every $1 spent on email marketing brings in $44 of revenues on average. How does this translate to push, and how can OpenBack help you maximize the return on your push investment?

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return on push

Return on Investment: Email Versus Push Notifications

The basic formula for calculating your Return on Investment (ROI) is:


There are plenty of resources on how to evaluate and boost your ROI for email marketing. However, talk about return on push is more scarce, despite evidence showing that when wielded correctly push notifications can bring about even great returns and higher rates of goal conversions than email. According to Digital Commerce 360:

A new study of 300 businesses—around 20% of which are retailers—finds that 72% of businesses say mobile and web app push notifications offer a greater or equal return on investment than email, and 44% say the ROI from the marketing channel is greater than email.

Push notifications can drive an increase in app opens of roughly 35%. This is obviously beneficial in terms of purchase conversions in the case of eCommerce apps or mobile games that are monetized through in-app purchases or gaming subscriptions. But sometimes the app open itself can be the goal. A push notification can drive an app open, which might result in the user viewing or otherwise engaging with ads. Push notifications can thus drive revenues to the app in both primary and secondary ways.

return on push notification investments

How Can You Optimize Your Return on Push Notifications?

Digital Commerce 360 surveyed 105 online retailers. They found that 26% of those surveyed said their push and in-app messaging marketing campaigns had been effective. These low numbers don’t seem to match with just how versatile push notifications are. Push technology has the capacity to connect with users on a personalized, real-time basis. And unlike emails, there is no risk of notifications being redirected to a user’s spam folder.

So where is the disconnect?

Low return on push notifications is a result of a failure on one or both of two fronts. The mobile marketing end, or the push notification platform itself.

Mobile Marketing for Higher Return on Push

If your push notifications are failing to gain traction, you should first look at your push notification campaign. What are you doing, and what are you not doing that you should? Have you segmented your user base according to their interests, behaviors, schedules, etc. and are your push notifications customized to reflect that? Have you performed A/B testing to optimize your push campaign? Are notifications written in positive and appealing language, with a few emojis thrown in for good measure?

It may help your click-through rate if you send rich push notifications, with images, GIFs, or video content. Otherwise, take a look at the frequency at which you’re sending notifications. Studies have shown that sending more push notifications (within reason) can boost app user retention rates by 3-10x. (Of course, always aim for quality over quantity.) Even just sending a weekly push notification can give retention rates a healthy boost, whereas mobile apps that didn’t send any push notifications in the first 90 days after app install saw a 95% churn rate.

With OpenBack, you have access to full metrics, and complete insights along the entire length of the push notification funnel. We provide metrics on whether the user interacted with your notification, how they interacted (i.e. did they click or swipe away?), whether a notification resulted in an app open or goal conversion, and much more.

For more information on our Metrics Dashboard, visit our Docs section.

deliverability openback

Platform Structure

Once you have optimized your push campaigns on the marketing end, it’s worth taking a look at the mobile engagement platform you use to send push notifications. Is it the most effective means of designing your push campaigns? Does it provide you with the tools you need to optimize the way you connect with your users? Or do delays and other flaws in deliverability detract from your potential returns?

With traditional mobile engagement platforms, the push token is sent from the device to the app backend, and then on to a cloud server. (APNS for Apple, or FCM for Android.) This is an inefficient and outdated system for many reasons, and cloud processing is the step where delivery failure stems from. OpenBack’s patented hybrid platform uses edge computing to process user data directly on the device. Instead of transporting push tokens from the device to a cloud server, all leveraging of data takes place solely between the app backend and the device itself.

openback delivery hybrid platform

This is a superior structure to the traditional triangle set-up of push technology for many reasons. Not only is the OpenBack platform compliant by default to all international data privacy regulations. This also means we bypass all the deliverability failures that stem from the inefficiency of the cloud server. Our vastly improved delivery rates translate into considerably higher click-through rates than the industry standard. And when combined with our set of metrics and 40+ data signals unique to the OpenBack platform, we enable you to laser-target your users with notifications that will achieve conversions and achieve your full potential in return on push. 

To calculate how much your revenue would increase per month using OpenBack, take a look at our ROI Calculator:

Otherwise, get in touch with one of our experts, and we’ll be happy to answer any further questions you have about our product.

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