Push notifications work as a digital mailbox with a bell that rings whenever an important letter arrives. It alerts the customer about critical messages that require their attention. 

The evolution of push notifications has seen a remarkable expansion beyond smartphones, infiltrating various digital touchpoints. From their inception on mobile devices, they were added to web browsers, allowing websites to engage customers even when they’re not actively browsing. 

This expansion extended to smart TVs, offering tailored alerts for new content or personalized recommendations, enhancing customer experience. Smartwatches joined the fold, leveraging push notifications to deliver immediate, glanceable information, transforming how consumers interact with their devices, from health updates to app alerts. The trend reflects a broader trend towards real-time, personalized communication, reshaping how we receive and interact with information in our digital ecosystem. 

Let’s have a detailed look at what a push notification is, what are its different types, and what’s the benefit of using them –

What is a Push Notification?

A push notification is a short message that appears as a pop-up on a customer’s device. They can appear on a desktop browser, mobile home screen, or in a device’s notification center. 

Push notifications are distinct as they can appear on a device’s lock screen even when an app is inactive, ensuring real-time visibility and prompting instant interaction. Unlike communication methods such as email, they serve as an effective means for delivering timely reminders, updates, promotions, and various other messages.

What is a Mobile Push Notification?

Mobile push notifications are brief messages or alerts that mobile apps can send to a customer’s device, even when the app is not actively in use. consumers can customize their notification preferences for each app, allowing them to stay informed and engaged with their favorite apps while controlling the level of interruption they receive.

Two major mobile operating software that support push notifications are iOS and Android.


Push notifications on the iPhone are short messages or alerts sent to your device from apps or services, even when the app is not running. These notifications appear on your device’s lock screen, as banners at the top of the screen, or within the notification center, depending on your device’s settings.


Push notifications are short messages or alerts sent to your Android device from apps or services, even when the app is not running. Push notifications on Android inform you of events, such as new messages, updates, reminders, news, or any other relevant information from installed apps.

How Do Push Notifications Work? 

Push notifications work through a combination of technology and services. Here’s a simplified overview of how push notifications function:

  • App Registration – When you install a mobile app, it often registers with a push notification service provided by the platform (e.g., Apple Push Notification Service for iOS, Firebase Cloud Messaging for Android).
  • Server-Side Trigger – Events or updates trigger a notification from the app’s server or a remote server (e.g., a new message, news update, or reminder).
  • Message Generation – The server generates a push notification message, typically containing content, a title, and other relevant data.
  • Message Delivery – It then sends the message to the push notification service linked to the specific device, which manages the delivery process.
  • Token Exchange – The push notification service identifies the target device using a unique token (e.g., a device token for iOS or a registration token for Android).
  • Delivery to Device –  The service delivers the message to the target device using the token, even if the app isn’t currently active. This allows for real-time updates, personalized content, and timely alerts, enhancing customer engagement and providing a direct channel for communication between businesses and their audience.
  • Device Handling – When the device receives the push notification, its operating system decides how to display it. The notification might appear on the lock screen, as a banner, or in the notification center, depending on the customer’s settings and the app’s configurations.
  • Customer  Interaction – The customer can then interact with the notification by tapping on it. Depending on the app and the notification type, this interaction could open the app, display more information, or perform a specific action.

Now that we have understood the functioning of a push notification, let’s discuss its various types –

Different Types of Push Notification 

Push notifications serve various purposes and can be categorized into different types based on their content and goals. Here are some common types of push notifications:

1. Promotional Notifications

Promotional push notifications are used by businesses and marketers to promote products, services, deals, or events. They can include discounts, special offers, and marketing campaigns

2. Transactional Notifications

These notifications are generated in response to a customer’s action or an event, providing important transaction-related information. Examples include order confirmations, shipping notifications, and payment receipts.

3. Reminder Notifications

Reminder notifications help consumers stay organized and remember important dates, appointments, or tasks. They can be for events, meetings, bill payments, and more.

4. Personalized Recommendations

These notifications are driven by customer behavior and preferences. They provide personalized content recommendations, such as movie suggestions, book recommendations, or product recommendations.

5. Location-Based Notifications

These notifications are triggered when a customer enters or exits a specific geographical area. They are commonly used for marketing purposes, offering deals to consumers near a particular store.

Different types of push notifications bring different benefits. Let’s have a look at some of them –

Benefits of Push Notification

Push notifications offer several benefits for both businesses and consumers. These benefits contribute to their popularity as a communication tool. Here are some of the advantages of push notifications:

  • Real-time communication – Push notifications provide instant communication with consumers, delivering important information, updates, or alerts in real-time. This is especially valuable for time-sensitive messages.
  • Increased customer engagement – Push notifications can increase customer  engagement with apps, websites, or content. They remind consumers to interact with an app which can lead to higher retention rates.
  • Personalization – By using customer data and preferences, push notifications can be highly personalized. Tailoring notifications to individual consumers’ interests and behavior can make them more relevant and engaging.
  • Improved customer experience – When used thoughtfully, push notifications to enhance the customer experience by providing valuable information and features. For example, they can offer news updates, location-based services, and personalized recommendations.
  • Enhanced customer support – Businesses can use push notifications to support and assist consumers. They can notify consumers about order status, provide tracking information, or offer help through chat or customer service.
  • App retention – Push notifications can help improve app retention rates by re-engaging consumers and encouraging them to return to the app. This is especially important for mobile apps.
  • Increase sales and revenue – Push notifications help you drive conversions that has a significant impact on your bottom line.

Even though push notifications bring many benefits for businesses and consumers, overuse or irrelevant notifications can lead to customer annoyance and opt-outs. Balancing the benefits of push notifications with customer preferences is vital to their successful implementation.
To improve their push notification efforts, companies use tech platforms like MoEngage.

About MoEngage

MoEngage is an insights-led customer engagement platform that empowers marketers and product owners with AI-driven insights to create omnichannel experiences that consumers love.

MoEngage’s exclusive Push Amplification™ Plus technology enables you to connect with a larger audience. With MoEngage’s Push Amplification™, you can benefit from:

  • Achieving a threefold increase in delivery rates.
  • Establishing direct collaborations with leading device manufacturers like Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo.
  • Experiencing a substantial 40% boost in reaching previously inactive customers.
  • Utilizing precise measurements of delivery rates.

For more information on MoEngage’s Push Amplification™ Plus, please get in touch with our team today!