Notification CTR

Troubleshooting low notification click through rates

Click Through Rate (CTR) is measured by (clicks / delivered) * 100% and represents how many notifications were clicked based on how many were delivered to the FCM/APNS servers who then send it to your subscribers. It does not count:

  • swiping away the notification
  • clicking "Dismiss"
  • clearing notifications

Best Practices

CTR for push notifications varies widely among different platforms (Android, iOS, Web), vertical (news, games, travel, ecommerce, etc), type of notification (message from a friend, promotion, informative update), country, etc. Not unlike email, the variance is so wide as to make averaging a bit muddy.

To help with maximizing clicks on push, we regularly publish blog posts and best practices on how to utilize OneSignal to get the maximum engagement from users.

A common best practice to increase CTR and user engagement is to send subscribers messages based on topics they are interested in. If your site publishes a wide range of topics and you send more than 1 notifications a day, your users likely don't want to know about every push you send.

Websites can easily ask users what they would like notifications about using our Category Slidedown Prompt. This will allow you to group users by the different topics you offer so you can setup Segments and target users with the notifications they care about.

More actionable ideas with code available in our Use Cases & Best Practices docs and checkout the OneSignal Blog for updates. Common examples:

Troubleshooting Low CTR

There are a couple reasons that CTR could be dropping, below are common issues and fixes:

OneSignal not active on all pages of the site

If you removed OneSignal's code or Service Workers from your site, you will see a decrease in user stats and click rate. Make sure OneSignal is active and working on all pages of your site for best performance.

Another Service Worker

Web Push Notifications require Service Workers to run on the browser so the user can receive push. Adding multiple Service Workers on a website (for example a service worker for PWA) can cause issues with push being received and CTR.

Please see our Guide on adding multiple Service Workers to your site

If you have already fixed this or removed the other service worker, then users will need to return to the site for our service worker to be added again.

Too Many Notifications

This can be different depending on the platform and type of notifications you are sending, but if you are blasting users with notifications every few hours with content they may not be interested in, that usually leads to low CTR.

A good general rule for marketing is send 2 notifications a day. The first in the morning to let your earlybirds get a chance to start their day with something interesting or let them come back to it around the afternoon. Send the second in the late afternoon so readers can look at it after work or before bed.

You can use our Per-User Optimization Scheduling like Intelligent Delivery or Timezone based targeting to make sure you send at relevant times.

You would also want to space out the pushes based on user interests. For example, if you send tech articles and entertainment articles, I may not care about one of those topics. You would want to leverage Data Tags to segment users based on what they are interested in. See Use Cases & Best Practices for more.

Boring Notifications

Data shows adding flare to the notification gets more clicks. This can be emojis, images, icons, personalizations, localizations or just engaging words.

Some examples of this can be found in our blog and documentation:

Free Plan Limitations

Free plans can only target 10,000 web push subscribers. If you have over this, you may be sending to older devices. You can Delete Users to target newer subscribers or upgrade to a paid plan.