push_bannerWhether being updated about the sta­tus of your online order or noti­fied that the run­ning shoes you’ve been eye­ing all sea­son finally went on sale, mobile push noti­fi­ca­tions fill a unique need, both for mobile users and busi­nesses.  Push pro­vides a mech­a­nism to drive timely, rel­e­vant mes­sages to mobile users who can eas­ily touch upon the noti­fi­ca­tion to launch the cor­re­spond­ing app to learn more.  Where as for busi­nesses, push pro­vides an effec­tive means of increas­ing app user reten­tion and engage­ment.  In fact, accord­ing to cus­tomer data I have ana­lyzed and cor­rob­o­rated by other exter­nal sources, app users who use push are two times more likely to be engaged than users who do not receive push mes­sages.  Despite the value of push noti­fi­ca­tions, few busi­nesses are mea­sur­ing its impact on their app ini­tia­tives.  Within this post I share how you can mea­sure push noti­fi­ca­tions and its impact on app user con­ver­sion and engagement.

There are two ele­ments that we can eas­ily mea­sure from a push notification:

1) whether an app was launched via push notification

2) unique cam­paign ID that was deliv­ered within the notification

Although hav­ing a push noti­fi­ca­tion cam­paign ID is not required to know if your app is being  launched via push, it cer­tainly does add value to under­stand which of your push cam­paigns are more effec­tive.   Below is an iOS exam­ple of how to add a noti­fi­ca­tion iden­ti­fier (aka cam­paign ID) into a push notification.


Noti­fi­ca­tion ID within Push Noti­fi­ca­tion Pay­load (iOS)

//Push Noti­fi­ca­tion Pay­load sent as JSON payload


aps”: {

badge”: 6,

alert”: “Here is my impor­tant push noti­fi­ca­tion message!”,

sound”: “ding_ding.caf”


ni”: 678


Here “ni” is an arbi­trary vari­able name and has a value of 678.   Keep in mind for iOS that the entire pay­load must be 255 bytes, so abbre­vi­at­ing or short­en­ing where pos­si­ble is some­times nec­es­sary (hence “ni” instead of “notification_identifier”).

To cap­ture this ID and deter­mine if the app is launched from a push noti­fi­ca­tion, we do the fol­low­ing while using our 3.x iOS App­Mea­sure­ment library.


Push Noti­fi­ca­tion Mea­sure­ment Code (iOS)

//METHOD within TrackingHelper.m

+ (void)trackNotifications:(NSString *)notif_id {

//Set even­tXX to the desired event to mea­sure push noti­fi­ca­tion launches

//Set eVarYY to cap­ture noti­fi­ca­tion ID (“ni”) found in pay­load — OPTIONAL

NSDic­tionary *over­rides­Dic­tionary = [NSDictionarydictionaryWithObjectsAndKeys:

@“event25”, @“events”, notif_id, @“eVar26”,nil];

NSDic­tionary *con­text­Data = nil;

[[ADMS_MeasurementsharedInstance] trackLinkURL:nil with­Link­Type: @“o” linkName:@“notification_launch” contextData:nil variables:overridesDictionary];



//CALL TO METHOD within didFinishLaunchingWithOptions

//inside [Your]AppDelegate.m

//Detect to see if the app was launched via push noti­fi­ca­tion and

//include pay­load “ni” (notification_id), if present

UILo­cal­No­ti­fi­ca­tion *launch­With­No­ti­fi­ca­tion = [laun­chOp­tions objectForKey:UIApplicationLaunchOptionsRemoteNotificationKey];

if (launch­With­No­ti­fi­ca­tion) {

NSString *notif_id = [launchWithNotification.userInfoobjectForKey:@“ni”];




//DECLARATION within TrackingHelper.h

+ (void)trackNotifications:(NSString *)notif_id;

Although in this exam­ple we explic­itly set an event and eVar to cap­ture the launch and noti­fi­ca­tion ID, we could instead do it via con­text­Data.  If we were going to do that, we could sim­ply just cap­ture the noti­fi­ca­tion ID as con­text­Data.  We would then cre­ate a Pro­cess­ing Rule within Site­Cat­a­lyst to map the noti­fi­ca­tion ID value to an eVar, but also include within the rule to set a push launch event.  Next let’s see what we can do with this information.


Report­ing Examples

To illus­trate the types of insights that are pos­si­ble with push noti­fi­ca­tion track­ing, let’s begin by com­par­ing push app users with non-push app users.  To do this, we cre­ate seg­ments for push ver­sus non-push vis­i­tors.  We eas­ily cre­ate seg­ments for push/non-push vis­i­tors by using a Vis­i­tors con­tainer and including/excluding the push noti­fi­ca­tion launch event.

Push Users


Non-Push Users


To mea­sure engage­ment per Unique Vis­i­tor we use three met­rics (App Launches, Time Spent, Screen Views) to cre­ate three cor­re­spond­ing cal­cu­lated  met­rics.  Com­par­ing these two seg­ments we see engage­ment for push app users is two to three times that of non-push app users, regard­less of the par­tic­u­lar dimen­sion.  Obvi­ously any other impor­tant engage­ment or con­ver­sion met­ric could be included in this comparison.

Next, let’s look at the effec­tive­ness of spe­cific push noti­fi­ca­tions.  After clas­si­fy­ing on the push noti­fi­ca­tion IDs found within the eVar, we can eas­ily com­pare the effect of any type of push noti­fi­ca­tion, whether mar­ket­ing (e.g. direct sell­ing), trans­ac­tional (e.g. order sta­tus) or event-triggered (e.g. check-in).


Here we com­pare side-by-side push cam­paigns and order sta­tus updates.   We can see the num­ber of launches these push noti­fi­ca­tions trig­gered as well as the down­stream impact on orders.  Inter­est­ing enough, the push cam­paign that had the low­est num­ber of over­all app launches “Valentine’s Promo” had the high­est con­ver­sion at 56%.  Also of note, even though trans­ac­tional mes­sages such as order sta­tus updates aren’t typ­i­cally intended to drive orders, it is an added ben­e­fit when it does occur, as shown above.



Given the poten­tial value of push noti­fi­ca­tions, it’s impor­tant for busi­nesses that deliver push to under­stand the effec­tive­ness of their efforts.  Although push noti­fi­ca­tions can be a valu­able tool both for cus­tomers and busi­nesses, if abused or sim­ply not fully under­stood, the fre­quency, tim­ing, con­tent or pur­pose of your push cam­paigns could poten­tially be a neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence for your app using cus­tomers.   By mea­sur­ing your efforts you’ll bet­ter be able to under­stand and opti­mize how push noti­fi­ca­tions can both drive your busi­ness for­ward and pro­vide a use­ful and pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence for your mobile app customers.


Update: Cus­tomer Suc­cess Story

Read how Live Nation used this solu­tion to mea­sure a 11% increase in ticket pur­chases and 142% boost in time spent within app.