Push notifications have been credited with driving higher app engagement and retention rates, but how many app users actually opt-in to these messages? A recent study from Appboy [download page] takes a look at various app categories, based on the behavior of 1.6 billion users on more than 500 apps in the first half of 2016.
One of the interesting findings to emerge from the research is that opt-in rates are higher on Android than iOS apps. On average, 59% of users opt-in to push notifications on Android devices, compared to 40% on iOS devices. The analysts note that this is likely a function of the way permission is sought on the operating systems.
Looking at various app verticals, the study demonstrates that for Android apps, push notification opt-in rates are higher for the medial and health and fitness (71%), food and beverage (66%), utility (66%) and B2B and finance (65%) verticals, while lowest for the education (52%) and gaming (51%) verticals.
For iOS apps, medial and health and fitness apps had again the highest opt-in rate (54%), followed by travel and transportation (50%) and food and beverage (47%). With just a 26% opt-in rate B2B and finance apps had the lowest average of the iOS apps, less than half the average for this vertical’s Android apps. Interestingly, though, retention rates for B2B and finance apps are higher on iOS than Android, suggesting that push notifications aren’t always a cure-all for retention issues.
Turning to direct open rates (users opening an app in response to a push message), the analysis finds that for Android apps, travel and transportation (23.9%) and social and messaging (10.8%) apps have the highest rates, which the report’s authors attribute to the more transactional nature of their messages. Food and beverage (4.3%), media and entertainment (4.6%) and retail and commerce (4.7%) apps, by contrast, see the lowest open rates on Android devices.
Direct open rates on iOS devices averaged just 2%, less than a third of the Android average (6.1%), although total opens were much more similar (9.1% and 10.8%, respectively). On iOS devices, social and messaging sported the highest direct open (2.8%) rate, while medial and health and fitness apps had the highest total open rate (14.2%).
For more benchmarks, view the chart above (click to enlarge) and download the Appboy study here.