We're wondering if there's research on the engagement levels of different push mediums, i.e. CTR's of email vs. iOS notifications vs. android notifications vs. etc.

Had a google, and a search here, and nothing seems to pop up. If there isn't research, what is your personal experience?

A second, more opinionated, question: Does the engagement level per medium depend on the content, or does one medium always get better engagement?

Edit: Potential answer to first question:

Push provider Xtify has revealed some top-level engagement metrics: 30-60 percent open rates and 4-10 percent interaction rates (with spikes as high as 40 percent). Purely for comparison, this is significantly higher than the level of engagement that could be expected when sending emails (average open rate 20 percent, click-through rate 5.4 percent), although not as high as SMS (studies vary but open rates are typically >95% and click-through rates for URLs where included is often in the high teens).

Source: Do Push Notifications Increase Engagement?

  • +1 for interesting question, but be aware that open rates signal different things across different media. 95% open rates for smses just tell you that there isn't a delete button on the list view, not that 95% of people actually read them once opened. It certainly isn't comparable to an email open rate, since the interaction workflows are so different between the two.
    – Racheet
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 11:06
  • Comparing response rates of different media without controlling for the content being delivered won't be very useful. The response rate for push notifications may be higher than email if the former tends to be content the user wants while the latter tends to be ads. Also, the process of opting in/out for emails and push messages is different, leading to different populations signed up. You need a study that tries sending the same messages in different ways, with similar sign-up process, to answer this question.
    – user31143
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 6:42

1 Answer 1


1. Sending out any notification that wasn't asked for is bad UX

This is true regardless of the push medium used so let's discuss this right up front. Letting users know that they have full control over when and how you contact them earns a lot of empathy points. I can confidently say (without any data backing me up) that respecting a user will increase engagement more than the type of push medium chosen.

Don't send stuff to users by default and then make them figure out how to turn it off after they hate you.

Do make it easy for users to see the value in opting in...



2. Volume does not make up for low engagement

This is true regardless of the push medium used (although email seems to be the biggest offender due to its low conversion rate)

If a user is repeatedly inundated with very important thing that is exactly what you have been looking for and will make all your dreams come true then you will quickly lose your audience. I thought everyone knew the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf yet still companies think that the solution to low email click through is to send more email. This is not a good strategy. It will always fail in the long run and is hard to recover from once you've damaged your brand as dishonest and/or spammy.

3. Be informative, relevant and entertaining

It is nearly impossible to truly engage anyone by sending them irrelevant dull content. You must know your users, understand them, empathize with them in order to communicate in an engaging way. This too is true regardless of the medium being used.

Ultimately how you empathize with and relate to the user will engage more people than the type of push medium you choose.

Assuming that you are already doing all of the above, stay tuned for part 2 of this answer...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.