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Last update: May 2021

3 mins to read - 2021/05/17

Time from Push Notification Delivery to Click: When Are Users Engaging?

Mobile push notifications are still a relatively immature marketing channel. Only recently are many mobile marketers really realizing the potential of the tool they have. This leaves a lot of unanswered questions, such as: how much time generally passes from the moment of notification delivery to the moment the user clicks?

However, the most popular default strategy is still to send out indiscriminate notification blasts to your entire user base, regardless of timing or user relevance, and hope for the best. OpenBack’s improved hybrid platform, which uses mobile edge computing and machine learning for a more streamlined notification delivery process, opens doors to a more personalized, meaningful mobile engagement experience. Utilizing this new potential for real-time delivery at the perfect moment, plus micro-targeting and personalization, we have been working with a new client to track results and statistics of notification tests, using billions of data points from a wide cross-section of users. We have tracked user engagement responses to a range of OpenBack’s unique data signals. And we have gauged user click-through rate (CTR) for different genres of mobile game, and different styles of notification content.

Now, we have done an analysis of anonymized sample results on the average length of time that passes from a notification being delivered to the lock screen and notification center/notification bar until the moment users actually click on the notification to open up the app. This is a first when it comes to exploring such in-depth user reactions, and it’s given us some fascinating insights that can be leveraged to improve the return from push notifications and the user experience.

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time from push notification delivery to click

The Window of Time from Notification Delivery to Click: A First Glance

The graph above depicts the average length of time the elapse from your push notification’s delivery to the moment the user clicks on it – for all clicked-on notifications. Right off the bat, you can see that few people click on notifications immediately. In fact, less than 30% of clicked notifications get clicked on in less than a minute. The window of time between 1 second and 60 seconds, the incline is very gradual. (Although it’s important to keep in mind that, for the purpose of this visualization, the length of time depicted on the Y axis increases continually between points.)

50% of your total clicked notifications will be clicked in the time between 12 and 15 minutes post-delivery. And 75% will be clicked by 1 to 2 hours after delivery. Once you hit that 2-hour mark, notification CTR levels out severely, with 25% of notifications spread out over the course of 6 hours. Roughly 97% of your push notifications get clicked on within a day of being delivered. Being clicked on after the 24-hour mark is extremely rare. And if a user hasn’t clicked on your notification in the time window of 3 days after delivery, they’re basically not going to click at all, ever.

What Conclusions Can We Draw from This?

First: that your users aren’t at your beck and call. App users are busy, and – as we all know – the world is full of distractions vying for their attention. Your push notification simply isn’t a top priority to anybody, and nobody is going to set aside their work or other obligations to attend to their device as soon as they hear the ping.

On the other hand, once you hit 15 minutes or so, the likelihood that a user will click on your notification decreases. When that initial curiosity and dopamine craving wears off – bar the likelihood that they just didn’t hear the notification, or they’re too busy to look at their device – chances that your notification will go neglected grow by the minute. In fact, only 10% of notifications get clicked after 8 hours.

How Can Using OpenBack Improve Your Notification’s Likelihood of Getting Clicked on?

There are two unique aspects to the OpenBack platform that can increase your CTR. First of all, this chart is the perfect illustration of why it’s so crucial to determine the perfect moment of delivery. If you don’t grab your user within the first 12 minutes, you have a 50/50 chance of losing them. And when it comes to your Return on Push Notifications, those odds are unacceptable and worse, a bad user experience.

OpenBack’s use of mobile edge computing means that that we are the only mobile engagement platform that can offer reliable, real-time delivery of notifications.  Where other vendor platforms can only deliver notifications using the mobile OS cloud servers – either APNS or Firebase, depending on whether the device is iOS or Android – with OpenBack’s default mode, being a hybrid of the mobile OS cloud platforms, and all data processing takes place device-side.

openback delivery hybrid platform

Since virtually all notification delivery delays or failures are rooted in the cloud server, OpenBack is the industry’ first mobile engagement platform where you can schedule a notification to deliver at a certain time and be confident that it will arrive when it should.

With this new ability, developers can pinpoint notification timing to an accuracy never before seen in the mobile engagement industry. And that means you can send notifications at times that users will be more likely to click. This can take some trial and error on the part of the marketing team, but a good starting point is to analyze users’ device behavior. Are there long periods where they aren’t using their device, indicating they are likely sleeping or at work? Are there times of the day where they’re on their device a lot, or perhaps scrolling aimlessly, like they’re bored? Such activity can tip you off when an appropriate time for notification delivery is, to maximize the likelihood of clicks.

Auto-Remove Signal

Another quite different feature of OpenBack’s that the results above illustrates the need for is the Auto-Remove Signal. This signal does exactly what its name suggests. Once engaged, this signal automatically deletes already-delivered notifications from devices, once a set amount of time has passed without the user interacting with it.

Once delivered, you can remove notifications:

  • After a certain period of time after the notification was delivered
  • At a certain server-side time
  • At a certain device-side time

This has a twofold benefit. First, it prevents your user from feeling spammed – if you can disappear notifications without their noticing, that gives you a chance to resend at a better moment. This both improves the user-app relationship and gives you a second chance at getting an interaction on a push notification.

To learn more about OpenBack’s delivery moment signals and how you can get the most out of your push notification campaign, get in touch with one of our experts for a free demo.

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