How To Create an Automated Welcome Push Notification for New App Users

by Michael Halka

Sending a push notification to welcome new users is a vital tool for increasing app retention and long-term user engagement. In fact, our latest data shows that 95% of new, opt-in app users churn within the first 90 days if they don’t receive any push notifications!

In addition to boosting retention, improving engagement and making a great first impression, a welcome push notification can also help:

  • Demonstrate the value users will get from using your app
  • Illustrate the steps required to get going
  • Prompt users to opt-in to push notifications and location sharing
  • Gather user preferences — or encourage users to set their preferences in the app
  • Create an early conversion by providing a deal, offer or coupon users can redeem right away

Best Practices for Welcome Push Notifications That Work

When you’re thinking about creating your welcome message, we’ve seen these tactics improve engagement:

  • Trigger your in app welcome message within 24 hours of “first open”
  • Add a call to action: this will help users know what to do next — and lets you track user engagement
  • Consider creating custom welcome messages based on the season: “Happy holidays and thanks for downloading! Opt in to push notifications to get personalized offers.”
  • Personalize push notifiations when you can
  • Make it a rich notification — notifications with pictures have 56% higher engagement than those that don’t

For more push notification best practices, see our blog post 5 Things the Best Mobile Notifications Have in Common >>

Welcome Messages That Got Great Results: Two Examples

Below is an example of the welcome message that Redbox uses upon the first app open, including a code for a free rental. Including the offer in their welcome message boosted the redemption rate of their offer by 300%. (Learn more about Redbox’s mobile strategy here.)

Here’s another example of a welcome message that Flipkart implemented to onboard users to their app. Note that they not only welcome users with a friendly greeting, but also give them some directive advice by asking them to login (which benefits both the user and the brand).

How to Create an Automated Welcome Message in Urban Airship

Urban Airship Engage makes getting started very easy by making the “first open” event automatically accessible as an automation trigger.

You can find the “first open” event in the automation drop-down in the Engage Message Composer.

Want to Take Your Welcome Message Automation a Step Further?

Using rules-based automation, you can orchestrate a sequence of messages based on whether the user has or hasn’t interacted with a previous message.

In this case, you can follow an initial welcome message with a subsequent message based on whether your user interacted with your initial message using “tags” as an automation trigger.

This automated follow-up to your welcome message can highlights another feature or benefit of the app a few days later. This approach is similar to an email drip campaign.

Technical Requirements

“First open” triggers are supported on iOS, Android and ADM devices, and works out of the box with SDK version 4.0+ for iOS and SDK version 5.0+ for Android/Amazon.

Download our benchmark report How Push Notifications Impact Mobile App Retention Rates today to get industry-specific data on push notification send frequency; build a smarter push notification strategy & maximize your user acquisition spend & push notification ROI.

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