Push notifications. What are they and why should you use them?

Push notifications. What are they and why should you use them?

Push notifications are nothing new, but it is true that they have gained strength and presence
thanks to the introduction of smartphones in our lives. But you should know that, although they are most often found on mobile phones, they exist for more devices.

Push notifications have revolutionized the way we communicate . Part of the success is that the recipient doesn’t have to be using the app to be notified of it. Every time the device receives new information, it will notify you. This allows the relationship between the user and the App itself to be much more comfortable and close. Next, you will discover what they are, what their advantages are and how to get the most out of their main uses .

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  • What are push notifications?
  • What are its utilities?
  • What are its advantages?
  • How to use push notifications?

What are push notifications?

Push notifications are the messages that are sent from a remote server to the devices that have the application installed. They are immediate so it is not necessary for the user to continually update the information to receive news.

An example to understand what push notifications are are WhatsApp messages . They automatically turn on the screen of our mobile phone (in the case of iPhones) every time we receive a new message. Today, practically all applications already have this technology installed. It is worth knowing that the forerunner in installing the push mode was BlackBerry, allowing emails to appear without the need for the user to open the application.


The Internet is beginning to bet on this type of technology more and more and it does so through a subscription system from which push notifications are allowed to be sent.

What are its utilities?

The use you want to give to push notifications is very broad and depends on the objective and the needs that we have at a personal or business level. Some examples of uses that applications give to this type of notifications are: to warn of new messages (especially in instant communication Apps or email), to alert of breaking news (frequent in digital newspapers), to inform weather or traffic in the city where the user lives (very typical of Google).

Push notifications can manifest in various ways. This may depend on the user’s personalization or the state of their mobile phone (vibration, ring, alert…) or how the company wants to display it (in the form of a banner , lower drop-down window…). The goal is always the same: to draw the user’s attention.

What are its advantages?

  • With the implantation of mobile phones in our lives we have become more impatient because we have all kinds of information at our fingertips and access to any place in just seconds. Push notifications allow notifications to reach us instantly.  Without having to interact with the application itself. That causes our attention to be diverted directly to that alert the moment it appears. It is a very simple and very effective way to attract the attention of users.
  • The information we receive is highly personalized . This is a logical thing. Each user receives the information that interests him and at the right time when he needs it.
  • Push notifications save battery! And this is something that interests us all. The last thing we want is for our mobile phone to turn off when we need it most. As it is not necessary to periodically open the applications from which we want to receive information, the battery that is used is less because less energy is consumed.

How to use push notifications?

Below, you can find a series of tips to get a correct use of this technology.

  • You have to be clear about your goal. It is useless to send all users the same message. If you tend to send notifications on a regular basis to people who are not interested in the content you are giving, these users will end up disabling push notifications or delete your app altogether. For example, you cannot send a user who lives in Seville news about something that is going to happen in Madrid. Notifications should only reach users who you think have an opportunity to attend.
  • You must not be pushy . A reminder can come in handy for your company to make a profit. Be careful if you are constantly alerting about offers, promotions or events, the user may become saturated. In this case, you will end up turning off notifications and that does not benefit anyone.
  • It is important that the alerts are easy to read. They have to maintain a relaxed tone to provoke a positive feeling in the user. They should not be very long. When there is a lot of text, the user tends to disconnect quickly. You have to be direct in the message and as visual and intuitive as possible. The language should not be robotic, remember that you are not addressing a machine but a person.
  • Plan the moment of sending your push notifications. There is no point in sending an alert to a user at 4am. The first hour of the morning of the daily days or the time of lunch and dinner are usually a success. Think about your habits and the hours you consult your mobile the most to select the best time. The more impact your notification causes, the more success you will achieve.
  • Another trick that works very well on a visual level is the use of emojis (emoticons). These give the message a more colorful, friendly and above all more expressive aspect. They allow us to forget for a moment that the one who sends it is a machine and we think that a person is speaking to us .

As you have seen, push notifications are a trend. The advantages they offer at a business level are endless if you know how to manage them properly.  Always think about the user who will receive your messages.