7 Push Notifications Best Practices


Sending messages via push has become a business standard in mobile games.

“Hey! Your pets miss you.” To which I reply: I don’t really care, don’t distract me with this messages again! *push notifications=switched off*

This kind of messaging can be annoying most of the time, but it doesn’t have to be like this. There are proper ways to send the kind of messages players are craving for.

Now, do you know how to do it the right way? It’s way easier than you probably think. The techniques I’ll share are based on common sense. Ultimately, what you have to be able to do is answer a simple question. Will this push notification be welcomed by the player?

There are several things you have to keep in mind when you send messages to your increasingly harder to get players if you want them to become loyal players who genuinely enjoy playing your games.


Learn Push Notifications Best Practices


1- Good Push Must be Adaptable

A message telling you that the “Air defense upgraded to level 3” might be not a pleasant way to wake you up in the middle of the night. So don’t do it.

Whenever you can, give the player the ability to tell you if they want to receive push messages, and if they do, give them the power to easily control when the messages are delivered.


a push notification that's not helpful


2- Good Push Matches your Needs

Send them push that carry value for the player such as “Chief, our shield is about to run out!” to give them the heads up in case they want to take action to anticipate to an enemy attack.


3- Good Push Customizes the Experience

Because not every kind of message carries the same value to all players, some only care about certain type of push notifications. Why am I being pushed that “Your pet misses you” anyway? However, I might just be interested in notifications whenever my “pet needs to be fed”.

Give players a preference center to customize your content, and they will love you for it. Let them tell you what they want, how much of it they want, and when they want to get it. It can build a stronger sense of loyalty.


a relevant push notification


4- Good Push Keeps Reliable

Ever receive messages with typos or filled with unrelated content? It’s unprofessional and leaves a bad image.

Marketers need hands-on visual tools to finesse push message content and preview the messages across devices. Consistent communications over time is a key element in building a strong brand. Marketers traditionally go to great lengths to ensure consistency in voice, tone and appearance.


push notifications best practices



5- Good Push Conveys Valuable Messages

What good is it for you if you send messages that are received by a stone cold reaction? If this is the case, it means you’re not sending the right push for your players. Conversely, has a “new character been unlocked” that she’s been anticipating for a long time?

Increasingly, players expect an interesting payoff when they engage from a push message. The goal is for players to look forward to your push communications so they welcome them, and respond to them by engaging in your game. Upon opening a message, the player should be transported into an environment that is directly related to the content of the notification.


6- Good Push Learns how to Serve Better

Upon receiving the nth notification about “reaping my crops” and not taking action, should tell you about that player sees no value in them. Is he returning to the game every time “the pickup truck arrives to the farm”?

Every time a push message is sent out, the obvious question should be, Was it effective? Did the customer respond to it? Good Push requires that player responses are monitored and analysed in order to finely tune their successful engagement. How many game opens occurred, how much time was spent in the game, which messages caused immediate game opens versus delayed game opens.


7- Good Push Accounts for Situation

When you deliver good push, the player is more likely to share with you his location, which may prove very useful in deciding when to send messages. Every player has a particular play pattern. Some might play while commuting, others during lunch breaks at work, or while at home for a couple hours after dinner.

Good push should be smart enough to adapt to your players current situation, including their ever-changing locations. With a change in location comes a change in context, and an opportunity to deliver something fresh and engaging through push messaging if everything else is fully considered.


With great power comes a great responsibility

Being able to whisper directly into the player’s ear is an insanely powerful tool.

Angering or upsetting players makes your relationship fade away and hurt your long-term success.

When you find the sweet spot for good messaging, players will see push as game added value.


In closing

It can’t be denied that push messaging conveys the best opportunity for mobile game developers to engage with players, and keep them coming back for more entertainment.

The goal for good messaging is to provide more value that will result in a augmentation of the gaming experience.

Push messaging is powerful, but it must be part of a communication strategy, not implemented as an afterthought. Use it wisely!

Now, did you find this best practices list useful? If you liked it and have friends that could benefit from reading it, send them a link! I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.