Apr 21, 2015 | Customer Loyalty Research

Push Notification Open Rate Statistics = 50-80%

Kane Russell — Marketing at Thanx by Kane Russell — Marketing at Thanx

Ever wondered how push notification open rates stack up with other channels? 


Recently, I asked Thanx's Product team to pull down some more usable data – this dataset looking at push notification open rate statistics.

What we found: (1) not surprising, (2) certainly interesting, and, well, (3) applicable. Let's take a look:

Push Notification Open Rate Statistics

In our study, we took a look at 17 different types of push notifications. Examples include: 

  • Transaction-triggered: a push notification sent to a customer immediately after s/he makes a purchase
  • Special offers: a push notification sent to customers with a special deal or promotion
  • Surveys: a push notification sent to customers asking them to provide feedback

Our data set included thousands and thousands of push notifications sent daily over the course of last year, giving us a sufficient number to make informed decisions. Our conclusion: 

Push notification open rates range between 47-80%.

Not totally surprising given that these figures jive with data published by push notification technologist Kahuna, which found that push notification rates range from as low as 20% to as high as 80%, depending on industry and deployment of push notifications. 

80%! Wow. What Makes Some Push Notifications So Effective? 

Here are the top three performing push notifications in our study – all registered an open rate ~80%: 

  • Reward NotificationThanx! You just saved $10 at <brand>! It'll show up on your credit card statement in about two days.
  • VIP Notification: You're a <brand> VIP! Open up Thanx to watch your card turn GOLD!
  • Beacon Reminder: You have a reward waiting for you at <brand>! Do you want to use it now?

What do you notice about all of those high-performing push notifications? Relevance. All of the above are: (A) timely, (B) targeted, and (C) relationship-focused. To be successful, especially marketing to millennials or using mobile marketing, relevance is the name of the game. 

Said differently, today's consumers less and less want to be "marketed to." Every time we as consumers receive an un-targeted email, a random SMS message, or a push notification not relevant to how we engage with our favorite brands, what do we do? We lose trust. We get annoyed. We go somewhere else. Smart brands with tons of resources (h/t Starbucks) have figured this out of course, and have focused on engaging consumers as individuals. Every other brand needs to follow suit: stop marketing, start engaging on a personal level. 

Now (and this is bragging, forgive me), the team at Thanx knew this when we built our product. Part of the reason we don't see the 20% push notification open rates other companies do is because we purposefully built our product to avoid irrelevant push communication. HOWEVER – our approach isn't rocket science. If you focus on relevance with your mobile communication, you will find success. Guaranteed. 

(OK, enough bragging) – one more point that's not just interesting, but applicable to all marketers here. Ultimately, it isn't the exact open rate that's interesting, right? It's the range itself. 

What Does A 50-80% Open Rate Mean For Marketers? 

Putting aside the intricacies of push notifications and considering the bigger picture: 50-80% open rate is remarkable!

Why? Well, according to MailChimp, email open rates for Restaurant and Retail are 25% and 22%, respectively. So, even at the low end of push notifications open rates, push is twice as effective at inciting a customer action. 

Basic ROI calculation, but let's say that every customer who opens a message is worth $1 and you have 100 customers in your database. For email marketing, you earn ~$25 with every message you send. With mobile, you earn $50. Alternatively, say you want to earn $50. You need 100 mobile customers to make this happen versus 200 email customers. 

At scale, as you add more and more customers, those numbers start becoming VERY meaningful VERY quickly. And thus, hopefully, the takeaway is clear: 

  • Use mobile as the focus of your customer communication strategy – higher engagement results in more revenue due to a more efficient use of customer resources. 
  • Use email as a secondary communication channel – email is ideal for long-form updates requiring images or links (e.g. a newsletter) or non-interruptive communication (come by our store in two weeks!).

Any other questions? Let us know. 

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