The past few years have seen an explosion in mobile application use. According to Statista, there were nearly 180 billion app downloads worldwide in 2015. And in 2017, that number is expected to grow to over 268 billion downloads.

With so many mobile applications saturating the market, a simple app download no longer meets the bottom line for successful businesses. This was confirmed in a survey conducted by mobile marketing automation firm Kahuna which revealed some troubling patterns. On average, 30 days after downloading an app only 23.1 percent of users were still using the app. After 90 days, that figure had dropped to only 11.3 percent of users still engaged.

Companies Must Adapt

Push notifications are one of the best sources to a marketing team looking to drive user engagement within their app. For a business to be successful, getting people to download the app is not enough considering the short attention spans of mobile users and the enormously cluttered app market.

Companies must adapt to this market through the use of push notifications.

Localytics put together these statistics to prove just how powerful push notifications can be:

  • Push notifications boost app usage by 88%
  • 65% of users return to an app within 30 days when push notifications are used (compared to only 23.1% of returning users when there are no push notifications)
  • 50% of users opt-in to push notification and find push messages useful

Knowing how crucial push notifications are to the success of an app, marketers now question how to harness the potential of these notifications. The key to success lies in creatively catching the user’s attention and encouraging usage of the app without being an annoyance. There are thousands of companies who use push notifications, but only a few who execute them correctly.

Here are some hot companies that are catching our attention with creative push notifications:

Triggers Interest: Waze


Users of this app are able to see traffic delays and changes in real-time. With the addition of push notifications, users are sent traffic updates instantly to help them with their commute. Waze does a great job of encouraging app usage through their push notifications by sending alerts that trigger interest, thus encouraging the user to open the app and get more important information. Users of Waze can now get automatic push notifications for any sort of delay – even before they leave the house for work. Not only do push notifications drive more traffic to apps like Waze and increase usage, they also function as a perfect way to get a user’s attention quickly in the case of an emergency.

Exclusive Deals for Users: NightUp


NightUp offers users the ability to plan their perfect night out in the Big Apple. Their push notifications are designed with creativity in mind to spark curiosity and encourage people to open up the app to find something fun to do. With marketing clutter hurled at consumers from every which way, it’s important for any business to stand out from the typical push notifications and create interest through unique notifications. NightUp currently collaborates with hundreds of venues to bring their users exclusive discounts, deals, and promotions. Through the app, venues can send push notifications to users about special deals for the night, which not only encourages the usage of NightUp, but also drums up business for the venue.

Geo-Fencing: Green Bay Packers App


With this app, fans can opt-in to push notifications alerting the user to bars and other locations near them that are currently playing the game. This incorporation of geo-fencing is becoming incredibly advantageous for a variety of businesses because it provides real-time digital interaction with the business while simultaneously driving traffic to the brick-and-mortar locations near the app user. According to Cyber Alert, with only 23% of retail marketers actively using geo-targeted mobile marketing, businesses that incorporate geo-location push notifications in their mobile strategy may get an early-adopter advantage.

Draw User’s Attention: Level Money


This app helps you manage your finances in a simple and easy way. After connecting your bank and credit cards, you enter your income, bills, and how much you want to save each month and Level Money will calculate your “Spendable” or available cash to spend each day. Level Money gets creative with their push notifications through fun commentary and cliffhangers that make you want to open the app to get more information. For example, your notification could include, “Boomshakalaka! You’ve spent less than 50% of your Spendable so far this week. Good job!” With this notification Level Money has made the alert fun while sparking interest among users, motivating them to open up the app and review their spending. With any app that deals with a less exciting topic such as managing your finances, it’s important to draw the user’s attention in these creative ways, leaving the user wanting more.

Does your business utilize creative push notifications to drive user engagement? Check out our App Development Checklist for more information on the entire application development process.