Last update: May 2021

4 mins to read - 2021/05/31

Tracking Your Push Notification Funnel and How to Use Those Metrics

Your push notification funnel is the foundational building block of a solid, robust push campaign. However, for many mobile marketers, terms such as “push funnel” and “return on push notifications” are ones they’ve never encountered. Too often, app marketers just blast out notifications, without any effort put into personalization or metrics analysis to improve with future campaigns.

One reason for this is that traditional mobile engagement platforms provide very few insights into what happens to push notifications after they leave the cloud server (APNS or Firebase). However, OpenBack does things a little differently. Our hybrid mobile edge computing platform allows for data processing directly on the user’s device, without any need for push tokens to be processed in the cloud. This gives mobile marketers exponentially control over timing of delivery, as well as more insight on user interactions with notifications. Most importantly, they can track app metrics for complete analysis on how notifications influence app opens, goal conversions, and much more.

This is where the push notification funnel comes in.

Download our NEW Metrics & Measurement Playbook to learn how to optimize your push campaign!

push notification funnel

What Is the Push Notification Funnel?

The above visualization is a sample funnel that shows how many users are interacting with your app, and to what extent. You can view this funnel on OpenBack’s dashboard, which displays data on a 30-day rolling basis. The 5 metrics that make up the push notification funnel are as follows:

  • Installs
  • Active Devices
  • Audience
  • Monthly Active Users (MAU)
  • MAU Resulting from Push Notifications

As you will see, each of these tracks a user’s life-cycle, from app installation to goal conversion. And, as you can see how your numbers change on a monthly basis, the push funnel because a key indicator of the health of your push campaign. And, by extension, of your app.

Installs and Active Devices (30 days)

Installs are the number of devices that have installed your app in the past 30 days. Since most free mobile apps – and mobile games in particular – have very high churn rates, this number isn’t all that useful in itself.

However, it becomes more interesting when combined with your Active Devices metric. If you see a very steep drop from your Installs to Active Devices, that means you have a lot of new users deleting your app within their first month. If you have a churn rate higher than 70%, this could mean you should revisit your user retention strategies.


This is the cohort of app users who are one step more engaged than Active Devices. These are the ones who are actively receiving push notifications. For iOS devices, this means they actively clicked “yes” when given the option. For Android, it means they just haven’t gone into settings to opt out yet. Either way, this section of your push notification funnel represents the users you are capable of communicating with, of sending notifications to influence them to use your app more.

For tips on how to improve your chances that your iOS user will opt-in to receiving notifications, read our blog post: Push Pre-Permission: Getting iOS Users to Opt-In to Notifications

MAU and MAU Resulting from Push Notifications

The MAU section of your push funnel shows you how many users are opening your app on at least a monthly basis. While DAU (daily active users) often shows more impressive numbers, MAU shows what users are using your app on a long-term basis, and is thus a more useful metric to track.

Finally, the MAU resulting from push notifications shows you how effective your push notifications are at getting users into your app. Compare your MAURPN to MAU. If MAURPN is considerably lower than regular MAU, then you should really be revisiting your push notification campaign to assess where the disconnect is. While there is not yet set-in-stone data that shows what how many app opens a healthy push campaign should result in, previous studies suggest that push notifications can boost app traffic by 88%.

push notification funnel

Combining the Push Notification Funnel With Other Metrics

When it comes to tracking metrics, the push notification funnel is really just the beginning. It can be helpful for marketers to assess their funnel in terms of another, more results-focused funnel. While the previous funnel focused primarily on users as an indicator of app health, this funnel focuses more on the life-cycle of the push notification. It asks the following question:

  • Does it deliver to the device when it’s meant to? (With OpenBack’s reliable delivery, this answer is always YES!)
  • Does the user interact with it? (i.e. if they either click or dismiss, we can assume they got some value from it)
  • Did they click on the notification, resulting in an app open? (This CTR metrics can be viewed in tandem with the final cohort of the previous push funnel – MAU resulting from push – to see how whether/how much your app opens from push notifications changes on a monthly basis.)

Finally, goal conversions resulting from push notifications tell you if your notifications are ultimately doing what they’re meant to do. Whether the goal is overtly monetary – e.g. purchase a higher-tier subscription – or if the goal is to engage more with the app – e.g. complete a level of gameplay – this is one of your most important goals to follow, to understand whether you’re on the right track or not. However, it’s equally important to track opt-outs and app uninstalls that are a direct result of a push notification, so you can fix what you’re doing wrong.

Ultimately, tracking your push notification metrics is the only way you’re going to gain insights from your results, finetune your push campaign to improve what’s working and remove what isn’t, and increase revenues for your app that’s sustianable in the long-term.

And as of this blog post’s writing, OpenBack is the only push notification platform that offers complete metrics to give the control and analysis that you need to build an app that’s sustainable in the long-term. To learn more about our metrics and our MAU-based pricing, read our Newsroom post: Return on Push: New Metrics & Active User-Based Pricing

Or get in touch with one of our experts with any further questions you have.

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