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9 Min Read

An Uncomplicated Guide To Push Notifications For Health & Fitness Websites

Namraata B
PushCrew Alumna

The global fitness and health club industry generates more than 80 billion U.S. dollars in revenue per year. In 2016 alone, the market size was estimated to be $ 83.15 billion! And this industry is growing exponentially with more and more people taking the path to staying fit. From adopting healthy lifestyles, which include eating healthy to working out, people are ready to shell out more money to look after themselves and their loved ones.

If you have a website related to health and fitness with a growing subscriber base, you’re also aware of the rising competition, trying to lure your subscriber base to their product or service.

The best way to cushion this blow is by keeping your subscribers engaged with your website. “But we already publish great content and send out fortnightly newsletters,” you might be telling yourself. But what if we tell you that it’s not going to suffice? You see, most promotional emails lay unopened in your users’ inboxes. We all know that reading and decluttering our inboxes is tedious and avoid it for the longest time.

This is where web push notifications are a gem, as an effective channel of communication. These little clickable messages appear on your subscribers’ device screens instantly. There are many benefits of using these as a part of your marketing mix. One being, they help in grabbing users’ attention immediately, leading them to your website.

In this post, we’ll be shedding some light on getting web push notifications right for your website, and the best practices you’d want to include when sending them to your users.

1. Identify the role of Push Notifications in your marketing strategy

Push notifications are a great tool to keep your users engaged with your website. But, before you get started with push notifications, you need to have a plan of action. This is important because you need to figure out how this channel will blend well with your current marketing strategy.

To help you with this, start by analyzing your target audience. Make a note of their age groups, purchase or browsing history, and their geography. This step is crucial to group your users into various segments based on certain parameters. While some of your users prefer doing cardio, a certain segment may prefer Yoga or even cycling! You can make an assortment of user personas and chart out quick strategies for your segments.

Once you segment, you can customize your push notifications. This helps your content stay relevant to your users, ensuring that they remain engaged with your website. For instance, you can easily send a personalized push message about different kinds of dumbbells to people who have been browsing about weight training on your website.

Think about different types of push notifications you’d want to send your users and the value they’ll create.

2. Craft power packed notification content (as toned as your 6-pack)

Does your website help users get that toned and godlike 6-pack or achieve a healthy body by paying attention to food habits? Then this very detail should be given its due in the content of your push notification as well. Let your users know how serious you are to help them achieve that figure and well-being. Your crisp notification content coupled with attention to detail, correct punctuation and grammar, will have an impact on the actions of your users (and the right kind).

Keep your tone affirmative, friendly and motivating, while ensuring that the length of the message and title convey your message promptly. Please remember to keep in mind the character limit, while writing your message. You can also add relevant emojis to shorten the text while conveying the right message across.

Example: Have a new post on swimming styles for achieving toned arms? Then send your subscribers a push notification like the one below. With the 🏊‍  emoji, you’ve reduced character count and added some visual fun in your message.  


Craft crisp notification content

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A/B test to understand what types of messages your audience love. You can do so easily by using Google Analytics or even looking at your click rates, to make it simpler.

3. Work out an opt-in request method (like our workout schedules)

We set our fitness goals well in advance and then take steps to follow up with them. Similarly, we recommend you to outline an opt-in strategy to systematically grow your subscriber list.

In case you’re wondering what an opt-in request is, it’s a permission box that pops on your visitors’ screens, asking them to either allow or deny permission to receive push notifications from your website.




Persuade your visitors to grant the permission by triggering the opt-in requests on the following pages:

– Checkout page (If you have one)

– After browsing through your exercise categories

– After reading a post

– After watching an exercise tutorial

– After browsing through your website for 20 seconds

For best results, do a dry run with different opt-in styles and pages to figure out where your traffic is most drawn to.

4. Become popular with a toned body and a welcome notification

When a visitor turns into a subscriber, give them a pleasant reason to remember you by setting up an automated welcome message. This message can be about an exclusive discount, a coupon code or even thank them for subscribing! A warm welcome message will be the stepping stone to building a good rapport with new subscribers. Alternatively, you can also set up welcome drip push notifications to add a stronger impact.

Example: This welcome message will excite your new subscribers with a 3 day free trial pass at their favorite gym!



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5. Add images for motivation and visual appeal, of course

When it comes to fitness, we subconsciously seek images to justify to ourselves about the goals we’ve set. Images persuade users about the validation of your notifications and lead to more clicks and a higher engagement rate.

So, show them to make them believe by adding that image of those toned arms achieved with pull ups. Your push notification images are of two kinds. You can use Big Image (supported by Chrome 56 and onward) or you can use the thumbnail image for your notification.

Example: Send a push notification on that guide on how to get leaner legs. Add a big image to place importance on your message and to convince users that they too can get lean legs by following your advice.



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6. Be cautious about your frequency and timing

Too much of anything, including exercise, isn’t a good thing. The same rule applies to the frequency of sending push notifications. Send one too many in a day or even a week and you’ll see the unsubscribe tide rising! You’d also want to refrain from sending notifications at wrong times, like when a certain segment might be asleep. This is why you should have a schedule in place to keep your notification frequency and timing in check.

Best days to send notifications

Our report, The State of Web Push Notifications, indicates that one should avoid sending notifications on Mondays. But, Tuesdays and Fridays work well for sending your notifications. Our best day to send notifications winner is Tuesday! The report shows that Wednesdays tend to give you an average click rate of 6.21%. We still suggest that you play with the best days and times to send notifications, to find the perfect mix for your website and industry. For instance, sending a notification on Friday about Perfect Date Ideas For The Health Conscious Couple would catch the attention of the right people (segmentation is healthy for your website!).

Best times to send notifications

Our report implies that a notification sent between 1 PM to 2 PM local time is great to send notifications (tell users about the unhealthy food items they must avoid during their lunch breaks). 5 PM to 7 PM too is a good time period to send notifications.

Master your notification timing and frequency by scheduling your notifications as per segments’ local time zones. Also, do not spam users by sending too many push notifications. Instead, send one notification a week. Test and see which days and what timings fetch you an awesome (and healthy) click rate.

7. Lead the way by using Call To Action buttons

You want your users to perform certain tasks or take a specific action. Do this smartly by using Call-to-Action buttons. These actions can be signing up for your newsletter, reading a post or buying those protein supplements. Your users can click on the notification itself or the CTA buttons to land on the same or different pages on your website.

CTA buttons deliver higher conversions, better engagement, fab online visibility, and a whole lotta love with social shares! They also give your users actionable options to choose from, that suit their needs or requirement. 

Example: In the notification below, upon clicking on the notification, subscribers would land on the post itself, with the list of food items that help in getting 6-pack abs. When they click on the first CTA, they’ll be redirected to the page with all categories listed. While clicking on the second CTA would take them to the products page from where they can shop. 



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Keep this guide within reach when you’re sending push notifications to your website users. Ensure that you are constantly keeping your users in mind, knowing where their needs and interests lie and accordingly, personalize your push notifications. Just like how all our bodies have different shapes and sizes, push notifications too need to be tailor-made for different segments. This will keep your users engaged and will have them return to your website often! Subscribe to The Marketer’s Last Mile to stay abreast with the best push notification strategies.

Read The Beginner's Guide to Web Push Notifications


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Shanaz from VWO

Hi, I am Shanaz from the VWO Research Desk.

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