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What is the best time to send push notifications to your users?

Team MessageFlow
7 min read
Push
November 3, 2023

Push Notifications have made their mark on digital communication as an indispensable tool for businesses looking to nurture meaningful connections with their audiences. Regardless of the purpose of your notifications, these bite-sized messages delivering promotional offers and essential updates, serve as a direct line of contact between brands and users. However handy they may be, one important factor significantly affecting their efficiency is the delivery time. That said, today, we'll zoom in on what's the best time and day to send Push Notifications that will truly serve their recipients.

In this article, we try to answer the following questions:

  • When should you use Push Notifications?

  • How often to send Push Notifications?

  • What's the best send time?

  • How do you make Push Notifications effective?

Now, think of all the time you spend to craft your message with precision, curate the content of your Push Notifications for maximum impact. That's all well and good, but if you won't factor in the time of delivery, the message may remain unheard in the digital noise. The timing of it should never be just an afterthought. You must prioritize this aspect in order to generate the most user engagement possible.

This is a perfect opportunity to discuss the various facets of Push Notification timing, exploring the optimal moments to send these messages, making sure your communication hits the right note with your audience. 

Understanding user behavior for Push Notification strategy

Organizations running cross-channel communication involving Pushes need to dig deep into user behavior patterns in order to unlock the code to increasing the engagement rate. Let's have a look at key factors playing a role here.

Different user segments and their habits

To make the schedule of your notifications just right, it's essential for you to recognize that not all users march to the same beat. Understanding different user segments and their habits is the key to sending messages that resonate. 

Consider the night owl who appreciates a good deal in the wee hours versus the early riser who checks their phone with their morning coffee. By devising user segments based on demographics, preferences, and behaviors, you align your Push campaigns with the natural rhythms of diverse audiences.

Time zones and its impact on user engagement

In our interconnected world, where distances blur and borders fade, the influence of time zones on user engagement remains profound. Understanding this aspect is crucial for businesses aiming to communicate effectively across diverse geographical regions.

A promotional Push Notification at 5 PM may be perfectly timed for your audience in one part of the world but could be lost in the midnight shuffle for another segment. The global orientation with strong local foundations, MessageFlow's glocality, becomes imperative when navigating this multifaceted challenge.

General best practices for sending Push Notifications

Now that you have a better understanding of the role user behavior plays in the issue of Push Notification timing, let's dive into some overarching guidelines to find the best time at which your users will be most receptive to take your messaging strategy up a notch. Here are three key considerations.

Peak usage hours - best time of the day

Timing doesn't simply equate the hour on the clock. It's more about syncing with the rhythm of your users' daily lives. Identifying peak usage hours lets you find the golden window when your audience is most receptive. Whether it's during the morning commute, the lunch break, or the evening wind-down, understand the importance of hitting the right chord at these crucial moments.

Avoiding inconvenient times

Respecting your users' time is very important. Sending a Push message at the wrong time can turn  into an unwelcome interruption. Consider the natural cadence of your users' daily routines, steering clear of moments when they are least likely to engage. Striking this balance ensures your messages are welcomed, contributing to a positive user experience.

Frequency considerations

While the usefulness of Push Notifications is undeniable, bombarding recipients with an incessant stream can lead to fatigue and disengagement. Figuring out the right frequency is an art, not a science. Fine-tune the flow of your messages, ensuring each notification adds value without overwhelming your audience. The goal is to communicate efficiently, making each interaction meaningful and relevant to the user's journey.

Industry-specific best time to send Push Notifications

A key factor influencing your Push Notification timing strategy will be the specific industry you operate in. Let's see how you can build maximum engagement in some of the most popular scenarios. 

E-commerce

Shopping patterns

Understanding the ebb and flow of shopping patterns is instrumental in optimizing your Push Notification campaigns. In the e-commerce sector, certain days or times may witness heightened user activity, such as weekends or evenings. By aligning your messages with these peak periods, you tap into the natural rhythm of consumer behavior, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Cart abandonment and recovery

Cart abandonment is a common hurdle for e-commerce platforms. Crafting a strategic Push Notification approach for these scenarios can be a game-changer. Rather than bombarding users immediately after they discontinue shopping, employing a well-timed follow-up message can reignite interest. Message timing becomes a powerful tool in the recovery process, helping you convert potential losses into successful transactions.

Social media apps

Peak socializing times = perfect time to send

Understanding the peak socializing times within your target audience is fundamental. Different demographics exhibit varying patterns of engagement, whether it's during lunch breaks, after work hours, or late-night scrolling sessions. Aligning your Push Notifications with these peak periods ensures that your messages enter the social stream when users are most receptive, enhancing the likelihood of interaction.

Content engagement

Crafting Push Notifications that resonate with your audience's content preferences requires a nuanced approach to timing. Whether you're contributing to a trending topic or promoting user-generated content, knowing the best time for your notifications can amplify the visibility. Utilize the ephemerality of social media trends by ensuring your messages coincide with moments of heightened content engagement.

Personalization of the notifications you send

Planning your Push Notification strategy won't be complete without a degree of personalization, which helps adjust and improve the overall user experience. 

User history and behavior analysis

Understanding the unique patterns of users requires you to immerse into their history and behavior. Analyzing when they most frequently engage with your app or website unveils schemes that become the foundation for adding personalization to your Push messages. Leverage the wealth of data at your disposal to determine peak usage hours, ensuring your communication stays in line with individual user rhythms. This knowledge will transform your notifications from generic alerts to personalized, timely invitations.

A/B testing for the right time to send

Experimenting with different timing strategies allows you to identify the sweet spot for each user segment. MessageFlow, with its commitment to best-in-class service, facilitates A/B testing, enabling you to refine your timing approach based on real-time data. Whether it's trying different days, hours, or intervals between messages, A/B testing will guide you toward the optimal timing formula for enhanced engagement.

Common mistakes to avoid when you schedule your Push Notifications

In the pursuit of effective Push Notification strategies, avoiding common pitfalls is as crucial as embracing best practices. Let's look at two critical mistakes that can hinder the success of your timing strategy.

Overloading users with notifications

With how potent Push Notifications are, the temptation to overuse this tool can lead to user fatigue. Harassing people with a constant stream of notifications risks desensitizing them and, in turn, diminishing the impact of your messages. Maintaining a balance and respecting the delicate rhythm of user engagement ensures that each notification remains a valuable interaction rather than an intrusive interruption.

Ignoring user feedback on timing

User feedback is a gold mine of insights, and overlooking it, especially with regards to timing preferences, is a missed opportunity. Users are the best judges of when they are most receptive to notifications. Ignoring their feedback on timing preferences can result in misalignment and reduced engagement. Actively seeking and incorporating user feedback ensures that your timing strategy remains dynamic and responsive to the evolving needs of your audience.

Final thoughts on best time to send

As we come to an end of this exploration of Push Notification delivery timing, let's recap the key points you need to consider in order to improve your communication strategy:

  • Understanding user behavior: Tailor your messages to the unique rhythms of diverse user segments, ensuring your notifications resonate with their preferences.

  • General best practices: Handle the delicate balance of peak usage hours, avoiding inconvenient times and fine-tuning the frequency of your messages for optimal engagement.

  • Industry-specific timing strategies: Recognize the nuances within different sectors, whether it's aligning with e-commerce shopping patterns or capturing the socializing peaks in the world of social media apps.

  • Personalization in timing: Take advantage of user history analysis and A/B testing to design personalized messages that transcend the generic notifications and resonate with individual users.

  • Avoiding common mistakes: Steer clear of pitfalls such as overloading users with notifications and ignoring valuable user feedback on timing preferences.

There isn't a single best time for sending Push. As your business explores cross-channel communication, remember that you must first understand what works best for you and that finding out the optimal send time is both an art and a science. Embrace experimentation, conduct A/B testing, and steadily refine your approach to discover the day and time that fit well with your audience's journey.

As you consider the time, keep in mind that in comparison to SMS, Pushes show a tendency to have a significantly wider window of efficiency. With the former channel, brands avoid evenings, for example, which isn’t the case for Push Notifications. They also perform well late in the day. The same goes for bank holidays and other special occasions, when you can expect considerable engagement from users as well.

If you're looking to automate your notifications and reach, consider the capabilities of MessageFlow. With its top-notch API, globally-tested technology, and commitment to exemplary support, we provide the essential instruments for scalable, cross-channel communication, including Mobile Push service. If you have any questions or are eager to explore how our platform can enhance your communication strategy, feel free to contact us at contact@messageflow.com Your journey to mastering Push Notification timing begins here, and we're ready to assist, should the need be.

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