Rich Push Notifications


What are Rich Push Notifications?

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Team Storyly
December 18, 2023
0 min read

What are Rich Push Notifications?

Rich push notifications are an enhanced version of standard push notifications. While traditional push notifications are limited to text and sometimes small images, rich push notifications can include various types of multimedia content, such as:

  1. Images: This includes both small icons and larger images that can make the notification more visually engaging.
  2. Audio: Some rich push notifications can include sound or voice messages. This can be especially useful for certain types of content or applications.
  3. Video: Rich push notifications may even include short video clips. This can be particularly engaging and eye-catching for users.
  4. Interactive Elements: Rich push notifications can also include interactive elements like buttons. For example, a music app might send a rich push notification about a new song, and include a "Play" button right in the notification.
  5. Action Buttons: These notifications allow users to take direct action from the notification itself, like replying to a message, accepting a calendar invite, or marking an email as read.
  6. Customized Content: Rich push notifications can be customized based on user behavior and preferences, leading to a more personalized experience.

Rich push notifications are typically more engaging than standard push notifications. However, they also require more data to send and can be more complex to create. As such, they should be used strategically to provide real value to users.

Rich Push Notifications Use Cases

You can use rich push notifications in a variety of ways, depending on what action you want your recipients to take. Using rich media such as videos and images can have a big impact on the performance of your notifications. You'll also stand out from competitors who stick to conventional text notifications.

There are many potential ways to use rich push notifications to connect with mobile users. For example, you can use them to:

  • Promote a new product or service offering with an accompanying image
  • Let your audiences know of upcoming events
  • Send updates about the news or other topics
  • Promote discounts, sales, or promo codes
  • Bring people back to their abandoned shopping cart to complete their purchase
  • Greet new users in an app and encourage them to begin or complete the onboarding process
  • Make unique product recommendations based on interests or order history
  • Indicate a nearby retail location that carries your products

Ultimately, there are many creative ways you can use rich push notifications and engage all types of audiences. With the help of rich media, you'll make your notifications more memorable than ever. You'll also keep more users from simply ignoring your notifications.

How do rich push notifications work?

Rich push notifications work similarly to standard push notifications, with a few additional steps due to their complex content. Here's a simplified step-by-step process:

  1. App Development and Permissions: First, the app that wants to send push notifications must be developed with the necessary code to support this feature. This includes the ability to generate and handle rich media content. When the user first installs the app, they are typically asked to grant permission for the app to send them push notifications.
  2. User Triggers or Scheduled Notification: The app then waits for a trigger to send a notification. This could be a user action (like abandoning their shopping cart), or a timed event (like a daily reminder).
  3. Creating the Notification: Once the trigger event occurs, the app creates a notification. For a rich push notification, this will include creating or selecting the appropriate multimedia content.
  4. Notification Service Provider: The notification is then sent to a push notification service provider (like Apple Push Notification service for iOS devices or Google Cloud Messaging for Android devices). This service handles the actual delivery of the notification.
  5. Delivering the Notification: The notification service provider sends the notification to the user's device. The device's operating system determines how to display the notification, including displaying any rich content. This could include showing a large image, playing a sound, or even displaying buttons for the user to interact with.
  6. User Interaction: Finally, the user sees the notification and can interact with it. They might tap on the notification to open the app, or they could interact with the content directly from the notification (like playing a video or pressing a button).

The differences between iOS and Android rich push notifications

If you plan on using rich push notifications, you may want to launch them on iOS or Android devices. However, there are some key differences between these devices to keep in mind. As a result, you may want to develop different notifications to connect with users on each platform.

The following are the specific differences between Android and iOS rich push notifications:

  • iOS — Rich push notifications on this platform allow for a variety of media along with the text. You can use images, videos, GIF animations, and even audio. Even if people aren't using iOS 10 to receive this media, you can send text notifications to users on older versions of iOS.
  • Android — While you can use rich push notifications on Android, you're limited to images and text only at this time.

What do rich push notifications mean for marketers?

Rich push notifications are invaluable for marketers. Unlike other marketing materials, rich push notifications offer marketers the chance to use brief and concise pieces of content to engage their audiences. They can then supplement other marketing efforts to drive certain actions through personalization. Just consider the fact that personalized push notifications can improve reaction rates by as much as 400%.

You can prepare your rich push notifications in a number of ways. First, start by determining who your audiences are and who will likely want to receive your push notifications. You can then segment your audience into different groups who might want to see different types of push notifications. The next step would be to automate notifications and send them to your audience segments. At the same time, you want to avoid sending them too frequently to the point where they annoy instead of engaging. Using images, videos, or other rich media will greatly enhance your notifications and help differentiate your brand.

Through the effective use of rich push notifications, you'll be able to attract and acquire new users. Certain notifications can also help maximize retention as you continue to bring people back. 

How to create clean, accessible rich push notifications

Whether you want to develop rich push notifications on Android or iOS, there are some general steps you can take. There are several key components of a rich push notification to consider when crafting your message and attaching media. These components are as follows:

A compelling message

The very first item to consider is something that's universal for every type of push notification: your message. Every notification must include a text copy that drives a specific action. Keep in mind that the character limit for push notifications is the same for rich notifications. This means you must not exceed 50 characters for your title and around 240 for your description.

Your copy should entice recipients to convert through a specific action. That might involve making a purchase, signing up for an account, or engaging with your brand in another way.

Attach high-quality rich media

Once you have your core message, you can begin developing rich media to complement it. Like other visual content, your rich push notifications should feature optimal quality without taking too much time to load. The larger your files, the longer it will take to load your images, videos, or other media. 

The following are some size limits to keep in mind for your rich media:

  • Images — 5MB
  • Videos — 50MB
  • Audio — 10MB

Although these are the limits in place, you should try to minimize the size as much as possible without sacrificing quality. This will optimize loading times and ensure people see your rich media.

Incorporate clickable CTAs

As you might with other types of push notifications, you should include some clickable calls to action (CTAs) in your rich push notifications. You can get recipients to perform actions more directly this way. As an example, you might include a CTA button that takes people to their shopping cart to complete their purchases. In other instances, links may go to a product page with a personalized recommendation or discounted product. These and other CTAs will encourage more immediate interaction with your push notifications.


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