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Last update: April 2019

4 mins to read

OpenBack: A Unique Approach to Mobile App Push Notifications

In a digital society supersaturated with content, consumers are savvier than ever about what they spend their attention on. Ignoring push notifications has become second nature to anyone with a smartphone, and even the small fraction of ads that make it through a user’s ‘attention firewall’ have a few seconds at most to spark interest. With such a narrow window in which users will actually engage with push notifications, it’s crucial for mobile apps to identify challenges and do what they can to maximise user retention.

The Three Challenges Faced by Push Notifications

In the attention economy, there is a right and a wrong way to do things. Every application has a diverse user base, and to send them all the same notifications in the same way is a waste of time – yours and theirs. Ultimately, communicating effectively with your users all boils down to three main challenges.

Moment Versus Timing

Timing of push notifications is a key pain point, with apps often sending out notification blasts without taking into consideration that users may have time zone and scheduling constrictions. Push notifications might be delivered only to fall to the bottom of a long chain of spam messages… or they might not even go through at all.

And if a notification reaches its target at an inopportune time – for example, a user who is woken up by a ping on their phone at 3:00 am, or receives a notification while stuck in 5:00 pm rush hour, is not going to engage. And chances are they’ll be annoyed about it too. Ideally, an app should real-time data to gauge when is appropriate, and send out their push notifications at the moment of maximum convenience to the user, not the app.


When done right, marketing provides value to both customer and client. If someone receives a notification tailored to their needs and interests, they can save money on something they were planning to buy – for example, if someone buys a tent on Amazon, they might appreciate being shown ads for hiking boots, or outdoor cooking sets. Similarly they might find use out of being introduced to a service or experience they wouldn’t have known to look for otherwise – say, a six-week survivalist course, or a flight sale to a popular backpacker’s destination.

But personalisation is a delicate balancing game. If done badly – for example, if a user buys a tent on Amazon and is then spammed for months afterwards with ads for similar tents – they will feel harassed, and may pull back from further engagement. When done right, push notifications should put the user first, using their personal data to tailor an experience that drives engagement and motivates click-through.


It is often said that we’re living in the golden age of television. With well-written, engaging Netflix series monopolising our attention – at the moment, there are more Emmy-worth series at our fingertips than we could watch in a lifetime – competing for user interaction seems like a daunting task.

This is where going that extra step to provide well-written, feature-rich content really pays off. Is your video entertaining? Is it contextually relevant to the user’s needs? Does the text use emojis effectively? Does it pique their interest enough for them to watch through to the end? With standard notifications garnering a disappointing 4% click-through rate among users, apps need to take every advantage they can get to distinguish themselves from the crush.

OpenBack: A Unique Solution to Key Stumbling Blocks

Every app utilizing push notifications is going to have to address these issues in some way or another, and there are a few solutions out there to choose from. But when it comes to providing the best push notification campaign, custom-made for each device user based on their device-side data, OpenBack stands out from the crowd.

Trusted by over 400 apps and with major brands such as DreamWorks and Ultimate Rugby among our clientele, OpenBack provides a multi-language platform for you to launch your smart-push notifications. With our machine learning-based platform, you can be confident that your notifications will reach their destination 100% of the time, which will boost user click-through rate 4x.

With our edge-computing and machine-learning technology, your app will have full control of delivering push notifications, rather than users receiving notification blasts at random from a cloud server. Our SDK is easy to integrate and use, and you’ll be able to measure and manage your push notifications even after delivery, to keep your communications relevant and accurate.

Feature-Rich Smart-Push Notifications in Real-Time

With OpenBack, you’re guaranteed to hit your mark thanks to attention-grabbing tactics including interactive button notifications, rich media, and alert sounds. We offer native, fully customisable in-app messages with fast-loading video and images. Our platform supports data streaming as well as advanced deep links, while taking up less battery power device-side.

But where we really shine is in our intricate use of device-side triggers (25+ of them, finely calibrated to know to send video content when a user has their screen unlocked and their headphones in, for example) that allow you to gauge the appropriate moment to launch your message campaign. Our machine learning can estimate based on time zone and device activity the times that a device user would be at home, at work, or asleep.

While our tech can predict your general user population that will be most receptive to a particular ad campaign, it will also give you an estimated number of likely user engagements you’ll get based on the triggers you opt for. Not only do we provide you the metrics to maximise your user engagement, but we go one step further to give you the tools necessary to analyse the results of your campaign, and figure out how to improve it.

GDPR, HIPAA, and COPPA Compliant

Of equal importance to our advanced tech is the fact that OpenBack is the only smart-push notification platform that keeps your users’ data safe and secure – that is, data stays where it belongs, in the individual devices. At no point is your users’ personal information stored in an external server, where it would be left vulnerable to hacks or manipulation.

While your users themselves might not be aware of how their data is being handled from day to day, this means that OpenBack provides solutions that are fully compliant with federal data regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR laws, as well as the United States legislations HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act).

While competitor push-notification platforms’ standard packages default to selling user data to third-party advertisers and researchers, OpenBack doesn’t resort to legal loopholes or consent forms asking users to sign away their data privacy. Users’ personal data stays in their complete possession at all times, abiding by data protection laws across the globe.