Based on push statistics for iOS and Android, an average US citizen gets 46 push notifications every day. The opt-in rate for this format is high for Android (91,1%) and IOS devices (43,3%), meaning that people are actually loyal to such kind of notifications and voluntarily subscribe to them. Currently, pushes feature one of the highest CTR (4.1% on Android, and 1.7% on iOS) along with pretty much decent reaction rates (11.4% for Android and 5.5% for IOS). Still, only 8% of advertisers have managed to interweave push traffic in their ad campaigns by 2019. Let’s take push notifications apart to discover the best push traffic sources and how to use them in order to boost ad campaign outcomes.

push traffic stats

What is push traffic?

Push notification traffic is a new traffic source that quickly gains recognition among affiliate marketers because of its affordability and high quality, human-generated impressions. It will be easier to understand what is push notification traffic if we point out straight away - there are two types of push notifications: mobile and browser.

  • Mobile push. The ad arrives at the user screen as a notification from the app. It automatically appears at the lock screen but in order to receive it, the user has to enable notifications on the device first.
  • Browser push. These are cross-platform notifications that come from websites where the user has enabled a subscription. They typically deliver website news and integrate into the web browser after the consent is given.

What do these units look like?

Push ads often resemble system notifications (mobile or browser) and include 3 essential elements: text, media content, and buttons.

  1. Text. Usually, the text doesn’t occupy a big part of the push, containing only a couple of lines, approximately up to 250 characters. Instead, push includes a link that leads the customer to the main page with an offer that contains a full description.
  2. Media content. It can be a picture, GIF or video. Pushes can be implemented only with text, but media content will make the ad visually attractive. For iOS, all media content must be pre-loaded into the application.
  3. Buttons. If necessary, you can integrate buttons in the push ads for convenience. The buttons will help the user to act fast upon offer: go to the app, apply a discount, or share the news with a friend.
web and mobile push ads

Both types of push notification traffic will suit a multitude of advertising purposes: from direct advertising to content delivery. Even though mobile and browser pushes are suited for different environments, it is easy to launch an ad campaign on both. Although previously it was an absolute must to have an app to start a mobile push campaign, now it’s possible to obtain mobile push traffic from affiliate campaigns.

Push traffic affiliate marketing

Here is an essence of affiliate push programs: after push technology is integrated into the app, it can send pushes with offers. However, the app publisher can send pushes on behalf of different advertisers to the same pool of users. Customers, in turn, receive notifications with links that lead to the target (advertiser’s) landing. Since customers understand which app sends them notifications, they trust it and don’t ignore incoming ads. This is one of the best advantages of push traffic affiliate marketing for those advertisers who can’t afford to build their own app.

According to the STM forum survey, in 2019 push traffic along with traffic generated by native ad formats will be most sought after by affiliate marketers. The reason for this is that push traffic is affordable and accessible across all trending business verticals including eCommerce, retail, and entertainment. Compared to emails (2%), push ads achieve much higher open rates (from 3% to 8%). That’s why affiliate push traffic exchanges currently feature format as the most trending.

push traffic open rate

Dynamic push messaging is usually used in broadcast campaigns - those that take into account the interests and demographic data of users. Segmented push campaigns receive much higher open rates since they also involve personalization for every recipient.

Which verticals are best for push ads?

Push traffic is destined to work across all evergreen verticals. At the same time, if you plan to advertise within a very narrow and specific business vertical, it is worth to keep in mind its specifics. Some industries may generate great traffic volumes during the peak activity seasons and produce humble results when the season is down. Depending on the traffic type and quality, seasonal traffic volume fluctuations results may vary. The only way to even out these factors is to work with multiple push traffic providers at the same time.

Push notification traffic: best use cases

Mobile push notification traffic sources are especially beneficial for advertisers who strive to automate user-brand communication at every touchpoint. Applying these, you can contact the user at the most appropriate time or create effective sales funnel that will convert potential customers when they are most inclined to make a purchase. Here is a bunch of examples:

 Idea 1. Send out seasonal express sales messages, hot offers, and discounts.


push sales messages

 Idea 2. Make updates ‘what’s new in stock.’

push questionnaires

 Idea 3. Send push messages with questionnaires to motivate your brand followers to visit.

push updates

 Idea 4. Advertise to your customers when they stay in the vicinity of your shop, at the concert or other topic-related fairs.

push geofence

 Idea 5. Use push notification messages to remind your customers about the abandoned shopping carts.

push lottery

 Idea 6. Send out useful information for your customers to educate them and build brand authority.

push reminders

 Idea 7. Encourage sales by asking users to support you through social media or by rating your brand. Provide them with a discount in exchange to get better results.

push notifications

 Idea 8. Organize a competition or a lottery that motivates engaged users to visit your shop or win the prize.

 push discounts


What are the benefits of pushes for advertisers?

As we already found out, push traffic is a high performer in many regards and performance metrics: open rate, opt-in rate, and engagement. It’s time to find out how exactly these tiny ad units manage to reach these results, so let’s review their advantages in more detail.

  • Reach. Push mobile notification arrives even if the user screen is not active at the moment, which guarantees that potential customer will notice the message no matter what.
  • Fraud-free high-quality mobile traffic. Push ad gets directly transmitted to the user whose subscription number is attributed to the device. This eliminates fraud and drives engaged audiences to the app.
  • Engagement. Push ads can quickly return users to the application or webpage, offer them valuable services, educate, and inspire your audiences with interesting content.
  • Personalization. Programmatic advertising helps pushes hit the right customer at the right stage of their customer journey. It helps to individualize push message for every customer and raise the likelihood of conversion.
  • Automation. All marketing processes can be automated, and purchasing of push notification traffic is not an exception. SmartyAds demand-side platform helps to target audiences depending on geolocation, language, time of activity, OS, browser, IP, or demographic and behavioral data (enabled by data-management platform connection).
  • Cost efficiency. Even though push traffic is fairly inexpensive, advertisers have additional opportunity to safeguard their budgets from overspending. Setting the frequency capping to “1” on SmartyAds DSP will mean that one user will see only one push notification in a day. 
  • Geofencing campaigns. Pushes can work exceptionally well even in brick-and-mortar shops as a part of geofencing campaigns. This function helps to target users on mobile devices according to their geodata, show the ads to the passers-by and encourage them to visit the store. As a result, the geo-push ad works 3 times more effective than an average push ad unit.
  • Improved conversions. Detailed reporting on SmartyAds demand-side-platform will help advertisers find the most converting push scenarios that work for each audience segment. Additionally, the platform supports JS Tags, Iframe, HTML Tags, VAST, VPAID and MRAID functionality that helps to track how users interact with your push creatives, how many notifications are sent, and how many are delivered.

The outcome

Push notifications that for a long time served solely for a content delivery now actively conquer the market as trending ad format. Push ad delivers the messages to your customers more effectively than ever: arriving directly to the user screen, it captures the user's attention in a second. Apart from this, pushes can work well for affiliate marketing campaigns that generate push traffic across various business verticals.

SmartyAds demand-side platform connects advertisers to the widest pool of top-notch publishers using algorithmic buying protocol. This way advertiser gets access to a huge and steady amount of push traffic globally which removes the need in traffic partner maximization and significantly reduces the cost per impression. Join SmartyAds DSP to simplify the process of purchasing push advertising space and easily maximize the capacity of every served impression.

Push ads can push your ad campaigns higher! Contact us to find out more.

Written by
Irina Kovalenko, CMO of SmartyAds
August 2019