By: Karina Fabian, Newscycle Marketing Communications Specialist

When it comes to your mobile apps, it’s important to give your new user a good onboarding experience so they can get the news they want, and that can include breaking news sent via push notifications.

Push notifications are a great way to make contact with your readers, but they need to be wisely used. While push notifications have a lower churn rate than in 2015, still only 20 percent of users say they are truly valuable, according to Localytics. According to the Localytics most recent survey, readers receiving too many push notifications will disable the app. In general, staying under 6 is your best bet.

Of course, readers are more tolerant of push notifications they specifically ask for, which is why categorization and onboarding are so important. Here are some tips from James Kozlowski, Interactive Designer for Newscycle.

  • Select broad topics to start, then narrow if the volume warrants. “Narrow topics need dedicated readership or high value for your brand. Sports teams are a good example of a narrow topic. You should consider the volume of content necessary to maintain a topic.”
  • Include a mix of hard and soft topics. “Soft categories help bring in audiences concerned about frequent buzzing of their phone.”
  • Avoid overlapping categories. You should not have “sports” and “football,” for example.
  • Don’t include seasonal topics in your initial topic set. “Reserve these topics for items of intense and particular interest.”
  • When sending a notification to all readers, consider the 3 I’s: Immediate, Interesting and Important. “This is an editorial decision, but we recommend you keep some traffic to ‘all users.’”

Kozlowski says that when you have your topic list set up well, you can get away with more push notifications. “Utilizing different levels of alerts, news delivery is not overwhelming. Only interested users will get the notification.” Newscycle Mobile offers the ability to set different alert levels to more effectively manage push notifications.

Newscycle Mobile strives to make your push notification work easy. “Our old publisher tool was more about app configuration, but the new one is about the ongoing management of your apps. The key to the new user interface is analytics, content, app design flexibility, push and daily ease of use. It’s a totally new approach to managing your app and is designed to make your daily tasks easier,” said Kozlowski.