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Website Push Notifications

What Are Push Notifications?

Push notifications are clickable pop-up messages that appear on your users’ browser irrespective of which device they use. Subscribers can be anywhere on the browser and still receive these messages as long as they are online or have their browsers running on their devices, Push notifications are different from in-app notifications because websites send them instead of mobile apps. It is an instant mode of automated direct communication between a website and its end users. 

The digital marketing channel of push notifications is newer than most existing channels. Even though it has gained significant momentum over the last few years, there is still a wide gap in strategic implementation between this newer method and others. Marketers are still discovering use cases for push notifications, but it has been observed to increase repeat visits, user retention, and re-engagement. This guide will tell you all that you need to know about push notifications. 

The Anatomy of Push Notifications

Push notifications typically consist of a title, a message, an image, and a URL. Choose an image that adds context, and emojis that communicate your message in fewer words. With Chrome 48, push notifications now have the capability of adding up to two calls to action as well. This allows the sender to guide the subscriber to 3 different landing pages with just one notification – one landing page by clicking on the notification itself; and the other two by clicking on the CTA buttons. 

The Elements of Web Push Notification

So, write a crisp title and copy within the recommended character limit. Then provide the correct URL and CTA and hit send. Your first push notification will be on its way to your subscribers.

Types Of Push Notifications

Push notifications are of 2 types: Web Push Notifications and Mobile App Push Notifications. Both of these are essentially the same except the latter requires an app to be sent and received, whereas, the former is free of such conditions and can be sent to anyone provided they are on a browser.


Mobile App Push Notification


Web Push Notification

Send push notifications even when users are not using their mobile

Send alerts on mobile as well as desktops even when users are not on your website

Consumes a huge amount of mobile storage, and requires data pack to keep functioning in case of Wi-Fi unavailability

With zero installations required, users simply need to give their consent in a few clicks to receive notifications

Costly and time-consuming development process 

No cost involved as users’ browsers serve as the communication medium

Constructed purely for mobile devices

Effortlessly delivers notifications across all devices

Only contains a brand message and link

Contains messages, links, and images 

Requires regular updation of mobile apps

No updates required

How Are Push Notifications Different From SMS And Email As A Communication Channel?

SMS and push notifications share many standard features – both are received in real-time, right on the users’ devices, and should fit within the required character limit. Whereas, emails tend to get lengthy and lose users interest, push notifications don’t get lost in the spam folders or bulk SMS that most people just ignore.

  1. Cost-effective: Save money spent on sending a bulk of text with unlimited push notifications that can be sent free of cost too. This helps small businesses with restraints on their marketing budget.

  2. One-click subscription: The opt-in process is fairly simple for push notifications. Your first-time visitor needs to only click on “Allow” when the opt-in prompt pops up. And they get added to your subscriber list! No need for email IDs or contact numbers. This also saves your time filtering the fake Email IDs that many users give for subscriptions. Quick, real, and effective!

  3. High click-through rate: One cannot simply ignore push notifications – they enjoy a CTR of 8-10% vis-a-vis email and SMS. They are eye-catching, and users tend to click on them the moment they appear on their screens. Emails, on the other hand, lie unopened in the user’s inbox or maybe in their spam folder. SMS messages, similar to the other two mediums, are delivered instantly unless the mobile phone is unreachable. But both email and SMS still rely on notifications to remind the user that they’re lying unread in their inbox.

  4. Cross-platform delivery: Be it Breaking News, Sale Season or Live Scores, push notifications get the message across to your users instantly! What adds to this awesomeness is that they work on mobiles, desktops, and tablets! And your user need not even be on your website to receive your notification. Whereas SMS is restricted to mobiles and Emails can be accessed only when you open the inbox.

  5. Quick message composition: It’s easy to compose a push notification and hit send! The steadfast character limit ensures that your messages remain succinct. On the other hand, Emails require a lot of thought and editing before sending them out. This is because emails are longer, with more content. In SMS, you don’t require to have long text though. But you need to add links if any. Whereas in a push notification, just by clicking on it, your user lands on the page specified by you.

  6. High user engagement: Push notifications offer a lot of scope to send personalized notifications. You can benefit by adding strong CTAs to improve user engagement. Another element that goes hand in hand with delightful personalization is non-intrusiveness. Push notifications don’t interrupt user activity. In contrast, emails lay unopened for a long time and might not deliver urgent information. SMS can be personalized as well, but can be obtrusive and may annoy users.

Emails land in your users’ inboxes, waiting to be opened. But web push notifications take things a couple of notches above and reach your users in real-time, on both web and mobile browsers. It doesn’t need users’ email IDs, contact details, or even ask for a login. An opt-in is all it takes to become a subscriber. Moreover, these messages reach your users even when they aren’t surfing your website or de-cluttering their inboxes.

Types of Push Notifications Campaigns You Can Run

Everyone loves hand-crafted notes made especially for them. Push notifications are the closest any tech can come to that. Customers are more likely to click on messages that pique their interest and emotions. This means that there are certain kinds of push notifications that customers like receiving. These notifications keep your users interested, entertained, or even feel loved:

1. Rich Push Notifications

Use rich push notifications and add images, emojis and up to 2 CTA’s in your notification:

  • You can only write so much in your push notification message. Images help you provide added context to your users as well as increase the visual appeal of your notifications.

  • Rich push notifications are different from standard push notifications because unlike the latter, they enable you to add up to 3 clickable links on your notification – the notification itself and 2 CTAs. Multiple CTAs help in landing users to different pages for every option chosen. And, it also helps you understand what kind of CTA copy users find most interesting and click on.

  • Words sometimes fail to convey the intended emotions, especially when you have to adhere to the character limitations set by Google Cloud Manager (GCM). This is where emojis come into play – they have their own charm and influence. With an array of emojis available to be used today, your push notification can convey its theme and message with just one glance. Emojis also help you ensure that your users receive notifications in the exact emotional tone you want them to. They also eliminate the use of too much text, thus conveying the exact message even to users who may not read the entire text. Plus, seeing positive emojis in push notifications urges them to click on your notification.

2. Abandoned Cart Push Notification

At times, a customer adds something to their cart and forgets to check out. Retarget lost customers that failed to complete their purchases through cart abandonment notifications:

  • Funnel to recover abandonment cart: Schedule a series of automated notifications to be sent at the optimal interval, until they complete their purchase. Set up an entry trigger for each campaign, with a set of predefined logic and conditions.

  • Build unlimited campaigns: As retailers, you would prefer the flexibility and ease to set your campaigns based on different parameters, that work best for you. Build as many campaigns you desire and add your prospects in the different lists you wish to target.

  • Send notifications to the right target audience: Create a dynamic list of customers who added a product to their cart, but did not complete the checkout process. Each campaign can have custom audiences, based on different subscriber properties, that you choose. Categorize based on their location, platform, devices, and much more.

  • Track your success with engagement metrics: Don’t just get your visitors back to their abandoned cart, but also keep a track on how many completed their purchase and converted to customers by tracking total notifications delivered, number of clicks and the click rate for each campaign.

3. Action-based Push Notifications

Want to nudge users to purchase product/s they left in their cart? Try sending them something like, “You have 1 item in your cart. Buy before the stocks run out!” Action-based push notifications give users an extra push to complete the desired action. Nudge notification, maybe?

4. For-your-information (FYI) Notifications

Want to let your users know about trending news on travel? Then send them this travel news alert! Similarly, you can send messages on the latest weather report, stock update, brand level changes, updates about their field of interest, and much more. If this type fits your business goals, start pushing!

5. Triggered Push Notifications

Enhance your buyer’s journey through triggered push notification campaigns. With triggered campaigns, you can use push notifications as a proactive medium to follow your buyer’s journey. It enables you to push a series of automated messages based on predefined rules and real-time data collected after subscribers enter the campaign funnel.

Create different types of campaigns based on your marketing strategy – open-ended campaigns or closed campaigns. An open-ended campaign enables you to send a series of notifications without an exit trigger. Once the subscriber receives all the notifications in the series you’ve planned, the campaign ends. A closed campaign is where you lay out a predefined goal, and once your subscriber completes the action, they exit campaign. They no longer receive the remaining notifications in the series.

  • Personalize your automated communication: Add a human touch to your scheduled push notifications. Create different custom attributes and interact with your subscribers personally.

  • Determine your target audience: Create custom target groups of subscribers if you have a specific set of audience in mind.

  • Define entry trigger conditions and set goals to convert subscribers based on the page visited: This is the entry point for anyone becoming a part of your funnel. Based on the pages visited by the user, determine who are qualified to receive your series of notifications. Also, set predefined goals which act as exit points for your closed campaigns. This means subscribers convert and drop out of the campaign as soon as they hit a goal. Choose the desired final action or destination page where you want your buyer’s journey to end.

  • Define entry trigger conditions and set goals to convert subscribers based on element clicked: This is the entry point for your subscribers clicking on any particular CSS element – which includes any link or button on a specific page or throughout the website. Define the entry trigger and customize it further, based on your business goals. The goal set can be defined as a click on specific CSS element. This is the point where subscribers convert and drop out of the campaign, as they performed the desired action. You can set a payment gateway or checkout from the cart, as one of the exit triggers. This completes the campaign for a buyer journey.

  • Queue the notifications: Craft a seamless buyer’s journey by queuing series of notifications with the message you wish to convey. Schedule to send them after a specified time delay once the subscribers enter the campaign. You can also assign the intervals of time between each notification to be sent.

  • Track each campaign with in-depth reporting: Keep a tab on the number of subscribers converted and the conversion rate. Deep-dive into each notification delivered, clicks they received and their click rate.

6. Reminder Notifications

Is a user profile incomplete on your job hunt portal? Did a user add products to your store’s cart and leave your site without purchasing? Send them a reminder so that you as well as they do not miss out on exciting opportunities. This delights users, and they would want to remain loyal. This type of push notification is perfect for fitness junkies, job portals, educational portals, nutrition sites, ecommerce stores, and many more!

Example of reminder notifications

7. Interest-based Geolocation Notifications

These type of notifications are great for date match alerts, stores nearby, and lots more! For example, if you want to send your users deals on fine dining restaurants in their current location, then send them updates based on their preferences, in their vicinity! Another good example where interest-based geological notifications play a critical role is dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.

Example of interest-based geolocation notifications.

8. Mobile-friendly Push Notifications

Are your users mostly engaged on their mobile phones? Then send them mobile-friendly push notifications. Mobile-friendly push notifications allow you to send push messages right to the users’ mobile browser without having to invest in building an app!

Example of mobile-friendly push notifications.

9. Time-bound Notifications

Send time-bound push notifications to create a sense of urgency among users. Want to send your users a limited-time offer? You can send them notifications about a limited-period offer, a soon approaching expiry date, limited-period flash sales, and so on. Your users will be eager to grab the opportunity and utilize the offer. For time-bound notifications, you have to set a notification expiry once the offer period lapses so that users who come online after it’s expiry do not click through to find an expired deal.

example of time-bound notifications

10. Encouraging and Funny Push Notifications

Send users some love with funny push notifications or cheer them up with motivational ones. For example, you can send messages like “Congratulations! You have run 10 miles today! In two weeks you’ll be prepared to run the marathon!”

 

example of encouraging and funny push notifications

Why Should You Use Push Notifications?

Conservative estimates have pegged the click rate from push notifications at 4-8X times that of email. It is a strictly permission-based medium. Subscribers will receive notifications if and only if they have opted-in. These characteristics make push notifications an extremely powerful channel for both communication and marketing: 

  1. Offering Opt-in Choice: With push notifications, you can increase your brand’s visibility among its audience by adding subscribers with a single click ‘allow’. Give users the choice to access or deny the permission for your website to send them notifications, and ensure the opt-in message conveys what type of messages they should expect. If users click on the message without knowing its end purpose, most of them will opt-out without adding much value to your entire push notification exercise.

  2. Getting Instant Subscribers: Not everyone wants to share their personal information on subscription forms, and for this reason, you can miss out on opportunities for outreach. With push notifications, you don’t have to rely on capturing lead information as you can add subscribers with single-click permission and engage them without asking for any personal data.

  3. Increasing CTR: Compelling messages can grab your audience’s interest and engage them right away. They help you increase return visitors through targeted notifications and personalized messages. You can entice them by sending exciting offers or messages, nudge them to click on the notification, take them to your desired landing page, and have them perform the desired action. Push notification gets delivered right on the users’ browser, increasing the click-through rate to more than 25% than any other marketing channel.

  4. Capturing Leads: Many businesses suffer from low lead count because users are often reluctant to provide personal information or one or some of the form fields make them think twice before filling the lead generation form. So why spend time trying to gain subscribers with lead capture forms, when you can just add them directly to your subscriber list, with one-click opt-in permission? Push notification doesn’t require any email address, contact details, or any other information to get them added to your list. Discard the process of filling lead forms with too many details, and make it simpler for your visitors with push notifications.

  5. Increasing Return Traffic: You’ve managed to get customers to your website for the first time, but how do you retain them? One way is to send push notifications directly to the subscribers’ browsers to direct them to your desired landing page. No more waiting for your subscribers to visit your website and navigate to your desired landing page. Send proactive clickable messages directing them back to your website from anywhere on their browser. This can increase interaction with your website and get them hooked with different promotional offers, articles, and much more.

  6. Reaching a Wide and Genuine Audience Base: Isn’t it frustrating to chaff through the junk contact details that some visitors fill in on your website? Surely it would be better to create an audience base that is genuinely interested in getting updates from you? And this is exactly what push notification lets you do. Push notification requires opt-in permission, which means whenever a message is delivered, it is guaranteed to reach a real subscriber’s active browser. And since browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are used by a majority of internet users, rest assured that you will reach a wide audience base as well.

  7. Time-saving: If you’re a marketer, you realize the time and effort it takes to craft a newsletter or an email. It isn’t easy to write compelling copy, articles, offers, and illustrations on the go, but this isn’t the case with push messages as these are concise and less time-consuming to compose. Mind you; they still need an eye-catching title and a resonating message.

  8. Connecting at the Right Time: With push notifications, you can materialize on existing opportunities by connecting with your users at the right time. Send real-time push notifications when you are looking for instant responses – automate notifications for campaigns, set up expiry dates for time-bound messages, set up notifications based on different geographies, and time-zones your target audience follow.

  9. Improving Outreach: Push notifications are likely to perform better than SMS and email. People don’t have to read their SMS, and emails can end up in spam. However, this isn’t the case with push notifications since they are sent directly on your users’ desktops or mobile browsers, demanding attention.

  10. Eliminating Dependence on Mobile Apps: Stay connected to your mobile audience, without investing in building a mobile app. They receive notifications, just like in-app, right on their Android device. They just need to have a mobile device that supports either Chrome, Firefox, or Opera browser.

How Do Push Notifications Work?

At the core of push notification lies services like Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM), Apple’s APNS, which enable notifications on Safari, and Windows Notification Service for Microsoft Edge.

To further illustrate how these services work, let’s take the example of FCM. It’s a messaging solution that makes it possible for both mobile applications and websites to send notifications to subscribers. The application servers send the content of the notification along with subscriber information to FCM. FCM verifies the information and then sends the notification to the end-users’ devices. Upon receiving the notification, the devices send Click and Delivery data back to the application. This data helps websites and apps track the performance of these notifications.

Although FCM falls under Google’s umbrella, it also works with other browsers that support Push API like Mozilla Firefox and Opera. This enables the sending of push notifications to a web app via a push service. It also helps web applications receive notifications sent by a server.

the technology behind how push notifications work

Currently, you can add as many subscribers and push notifications on a single FCM key – Google has not specified any constraints. But in the future, Google just might limit these numbers. Therefore, you are strongly advised to create your own FCM account and add the FCM Project Number and FCM API key to your push notifications account.

Which Browsers Support Push Notifications?

Browsers support push notifications

What Metrics to Track to Optimize User Engagement?

After setting up push notifications, you would want to know if your push notification marketing automation is working or not? For this, you need to track more than just one metric to assess whether you are gaining or losing out. With many push notifications tools’ tracking and reporting feature, you can make informed decisions for creating future campaigns:

Subscribes and Unsubscribes Count

Track the total subscribes and unsubscribes on each day and total subscribers number to understand your potential outreach. With the advanced techniques of monitoring the subscriber count available today, keep tabs on the number of unsubscribes, as well as your inactive subscribers.

an example of the count of subscribers through push messages

Browser and Platform Distribution

Identify if your audience accesses your notifications either on their desktops or on their Android devices. Not just that, have an informed understanding of the browsers that work best for your push notification campaigns.

distribution of devices on which push notifications work

Open/Click Rate

Your goal isn’t simply to send push notifications but to ensure that it gets delivered to a larger subscriber base. Get updates on the performance of your latest notification, and track the number of clicks and click rate on your notifications. Push notification open rate stats tell you how many subscribers opened the notification from the number of successfully delivered campaigns. A good click rate tells you that the content of the notification is relevant to the subscribers who opened it. You’ll see an increase in the number of clicks when you send notifications that interest specific user segments. It also denotes how many users have opened your messages and reached the landing page. This can give a fair idea about the traffic on your website and how you can improve engagement. Tracking open rate and click rate help you understand what type of notifications work best for your user base, and has the ability to generate good ROI.

an overview of open or click rate of push notifications

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate tells you the percentage of visitors who engaged with the content and performed the desired action. It can be anything from making a purchase or referring a friend to sign up or reading a blog post. Boost your conversion rate by analyzing returning visitors’ past interactions by using push notifications. Gauge the type of messages that pique user interest and then send them similar or related notifications.

effect of push notifications on conversion rate

Welcome Drip Campaign Dashboard

Keep an eye on how many subscribers entered and completed the drip you created for your new subscribers. A welcome drip campaign is launched when a website visitor subscribes to your browser push notifications. These messages are to be scheduled in advance and set to launch when a predefined trigger sets off. You can automate a series of marketing push messages right after a visitor opts-in to your push notifications. You can also set specific intervals after which each notification is sent out.

dashboard with welcome drip push notification campaigns

Create your welcome drip campaign and see how each of the queued notifications is performing. The dashboard can reflect the number of notifications delivered, number of clicks on the notifications, and the click rate. A welcome drip campaign is important for each of your push notification campaigns as it helps you boost click rate, increase revenue, build a strong relationship with subscribers, give handpicked recommendations, promote a new product, service, feature or an upcoming event, create a wonderful onboarding user experience, and so on.

For instance, let’s assume that you have an upcoming webinar or an event. You can send drip push notifications with an invite, what the webinar or event is about, who the hosts or speakers are, and the benefits of participating with strategic set intervals. Set an expiry to your welcome drip to ensure that the notifications aren’t sent post the event. With this, you’ll see participation in large numbers! Post the event, set up a drip of push notifications about how the event went, press coverage and key takeaways. You’ll see a high engagement rate with this method.

The Rudiments of a Good Push Notification Strategy

1. Craft Compelling Content

Make sure you write the content according to your target audience. Know what questions your ideal audience is asking, and put out content that answers them. You can also use visuals to make your content more comprehensible. Any amount of advertising won’t help much if the content is not good itself. So make sure you write persuasive copies for your push notifications keeping the following points in mind:

  • Craft a Clear and Crisp Message: Write the message in a manner that strikes a conversation. Keep your users hooked with catchy one-liners and calls to action. Determine the right type of push notifications that work best for your business. Use simple and direct language. The message should easily convey what the notification is about. Tell the readers how they will benefit if they click the message.
example of clear messaging on push notifications
  • Use Scarcity to Create Urgency and FOMO: Create a sense of urgency by tempting users to click the notifications related to certain actions. Clearly convey what the users should do next if they intend to get a discount from your website or download a report that you’ve published. An action-oriented copy prompts users to take action. This gets more responses and conversions compared to a normal copy.
example of using scarcity in the content of push notifications.

2. Leverage your Email Marketing Strategy

If you have a good number of email subscribers, you can even embed a link of your triggered webpage in your email newsletters and redirect your email subscribers to a page where they can opt-in to receive push notifications.

3. Use Social Proof

Represent your brand on multiple social media platforms, and build an engaged audience. You can then provide a link to your page with the opt-in trigger in your profile’s bio, as well as run other marketing campaigns and advertisements. You can also add a statement mentioning your product’s or services’ performance and satisfaction level attained by existing users.

Doesn't look high resolution.

4. Send the Right Kind of Notifications

You can send a notification that is informative, time-bound, or simply a reminder. With A/B testing, find out what type of push notifications engage your target audiences more, and best suits your business and users’ needs. This is important because you should send messages that your specific users prefer. Also, consider the type of products or services you have to offer. Make sure your message depicts the right emotion. Spread out your notifications according to the nature of the content.

5. Segment and Customize

It has been found that common messages broadcasted to all the subscribers result in lower engagement. Adding a personal touch to your marketing plan always takes you an extra mile. Make your users feel special by sending them the most relevant content. Segment your users based on different parameters, to help you categorize the subscribers and increase the engagement rate. Identify the parameters that would help you segment customers better. Send specific pushes to the right segment.

6. Offer Easy Opt-in and Opt-out Options

Push notifications are a strictly permission-based medium and the opt-in acts as the first touchpoint with a new visitor. Similarly, these notifications ensure that it isn’t difficult to opt-out either. This way, the subscriber feels empowered to have the choice of receiving or avoiding messages, and you can target only the interested prospects.
Experiment with the timing of your opt-in message – it could be after 10 seconds of engaging with your website, or it could be immediately upon landing on your webpage. A/B test to see what works best for you.

You may want the opt-in to disappear after a couple of seconds; but at the same time, you don’t want to lose out on potential subscribers? Do not worry; just add a chicklet to allow a user to subscribe, in case they did not do so on their first visit. You can also customize the text, location, and background color to merge with your branding.

Why is the Opt-in Process Most Crucial?

The opt-in message is the most important of all the notifications you will ever send. It determines the conversion of a first-time visitor to a subscriber. Hence, it’s important to communicate what value your push notifications offer. 

Once you set up push notifications on your website, your visitors will begin seeing a small opt-in box on their browsers. This box will ask them if they want to receive notifications from your website. Once they give their permission, they are added as subscribers, and you can begin sending them notifications to engage and target them to return to your landing page. 

Customize the opt-in message to add more context to the messages. Based on what your business is and who your target audience is, time your opt-in message. Decide if you want the permission message to appear when visitors land on your website or when they have engaged with the website for a certain time. Also, state explicitly that it is easy to opt-out as well. This helps in building their trust in your brand. Learn how to create your push notification opt-in strategy.

customize your push notification opt-in process

Common Mistakes Made While Using Push Notifications

Push notifications are an exceptionally handy tool to engage your audience in real-time, and in a very personalized manner. A robust push notification campaign helps increase repeat visits and direct traffic to best-performing content. Sounds exciting, right? It surely is! However, many websites are not able to reap all the potential benefits of push notifications due to certain easily fixable mistakes. Here are a few ways you’re using push notifications the wrong way:

1. Sending Too Many Notifications: The most common mistake, and the most damaging one from a long-term point of view, that you can make while sending push notifications is inundating your subscribers with notifications. This might look beneficial in the short-term, where you see an overall increase in the numbers. But, using push notifications like this will prompt more and more subscribers to opt-out.

mistake of sending too many push notifications

Push notifications are a great way to talk to your audience directly and in real-time. The downside of this is that too many direct conversations with subscribers may lead to “notification overkill” and may result in subscribers either tuning out mentally or opting-out altogether. As a business, you need to understand your audience, their lifestyles, and their needs to figure out the frequency of your push notifications. The frequency will vary from case-to-case, which is why you need to be more selective with what messages you are sending via push notifications.

2. Not Automating Notifications: If you do not plan and automate your push notifications, chances are that your subscribers will receive them at odd hours and this may cause friction between your users and your campaign.

Schedule your notifications for a certain date and time, or based on the timezone of your audience segment. Plan it in a manner that users don’t receive them at odd hours or disrupt their productivity. Test out the best time of the day to achieve maximum engagement. Your strategy differs based on your business offers. Poorly timed push notifications are a sure-fire way to exasperate your subscribers, leading to fewer clicks and a higher opt-out rate.

A well-timed push can lead to a user’s delight. Imagine getting a notification stating, “10 Amazingly Inspirational Songs To Start Your Day” as you are preparing to go out for a run at 7 AM. A small change in scheduling can significantly impact your overall push notification strategy.

Scheduled notifications are time-savers for sure, and have a plethora of benefits too:

  • Be in two places at once: Suppose you have to attend a conference next month. You have many things to put in place and also prepare for the event. And, the thought of sending marketing messages to your users is also lurking in your head. This is where you can use push notification automation tool.  Simply schedule your push notifications in advance, and rest assured. The notifications will automatically get delivered to your target audience on the scheduled day and time. So, while you may be busy listening to the speakers at the conference, your scheduled push notification about where to find your company’s kiosk at the venue will be delivered to your users.

  • Time your offers right: You can schedule a series of notifications, that inform and excite the subscribers of an upcoming sale or event. Then, as the sale or event progresses, schedule to send urgency-based notifications that really harness the power of FOMO, like, “Time to panic. Today is the last day of the sale!”

  • Get rid of unread emails: With push notifications, you do not need to worry about your time-bound promotional emails to lay unread in your users’ inboxes. Get more people to participate in your sale with scheduled push notifications, without forgetting to send them manually later.

  • Align notifications based on time zones: Schedule notifications according to the time zones your subscribers reside in to reach them when they’re active on their devices.

  • Drive conversions by piquing your subscriber’s curiosity: Scheduling push notifications is also an impressive hack to promote an upcoming or even an ongoing deal, product, or feature on your website. Not only do they grab attention instantly, but they also create curiosity and excitement about what you’re promoting. For example, you can set a series of push notifications at well-planned intervals, before the launch and up to the end of the event. You’ll see more and more returning traffic on your website, eager to get more information and even make purchases.

3. Not Sending Onboarding Notifications: Familiarize new subscribers and customers with your website. On-board them with a series of notifications sent at different time intervals to explore different sections of your website. Create an onboarding funnel to keep them engaged, setting up a welcome journey that works as part of your goal.

4. Following the ‘spray-and-pray’ Approach: Every person is different! Seeing our audience and subscribers as a homogeneous mass is a classic mistake that most marketers have been guilty of at one time or another. However, users expect and demand high levels of personalization. Not catering to users’ preferences will only lead to “notification blindness.”

an example of notification blindness from 'spray-and-pray' approach

There are a variety of techniques businesses can, and should, implement to deliver uber-personal, relevant notifications to their subscribers. Websites can ask for preferences as soon as someone opts-in for push notifications. They can also track activities like pages viewed and then bucket their subscribers into different categories based on these activities.

5. Not Segmenting Audience: Categorize your audience based on different interests and actions, and also create a target audience persona to segment them accordingly. Send only relevant messages to your subscribers based on their behavior or attributes. Offer them value-based messaging to entice them into clicking and engaging with your website. If some segments of subscribers do not find your messaging appealing enough, this will affect your entire roadmap of using push notifications. Therefore, it is absolutely important that you segment your audience and deliver personalized notifications for each segment.

6. Not Tracking the Right Metrics:  If you’re only tracking click rates, you’re missing out on the actual conversions and value created by your push notification campaigns. As marketers, we tend to focus too strongly on immediate numbers. However, we need to be wary of vanity metrics that do not help us in making business decisions.

tracking the wrong metrics for push notifications

Decide on the website actions that you consider most important – purchases, free trials, form fills, ad clicks, and so on. Carefully sift through the data in Google Analytics or other analytics tools to find out how many of your website visitors, arriving via push notifications, are actually performing those actions. Evaluating your campaigns like this is the only way you can truly determine whether push messaging is working for you or not.

7. Not Using all the Push Notification Channels: Most of us are familiar with mobile app push notifications. However, many business owners and marketers may not be aware that the same functionality now exists for websites as well. What this means is that many websites who would really benefit from push messaging are not implementing it because they are not ready to invest in building an app. In addition, many businesses are not harnessing the full power of push notifications by just employing app notifications.

 

the mistake of not using all the push notification channels

If you have a mobile app, complement your mobile push notifications with website or browser push notifications. If you don’t have an app, don’t invest in building an app just to send push notifications. Rather, use your website to send notifications. In fact, some reports say for small and medium-sized businesses, mobile websites reach more people than apps do.

Do’s of push notification

Don’ts of push notification

  1. Schedule notifications according to time zone based on geography and industry
  2. Test various types of notifications and message frequencies
  3. Segment your audience and send personalized and relevant notifications
  4. Track user website behavior and understand their interest in your site
  5. Write crisp notifications that convey the meaning in as few words as possible
  6. Use rich push notifications to add more context and improve communication
  1. Spam your subscribers with too many notifications
  2. Bombard them with messages at odd hours
  3. Indulge in click-baiting
  4. Flood subscribers with generic messages that have nothing to offer
  5. Repeat send the messages to the same audience
  6. Send notifications without defining the end goal

Segmentation in Push Notifications

Segmenting your audience plays a significant role in your marketing strategy. Categorize your subscribers and send relevant content, based on user actions or attributes. To reap the maximum benefit out of your push notification campaign, choose a tool that allows you to segment based on:

  1. Page Visits: The easiest way to find out your user’s intent is through their site behavior. Categorize them based on various actions performed during a page visit, to deliver personalized messages. Segment them based on the page URL they visit, the referring URL, search keywords, referral types, query parameters, and much more.
  2. Element clicked: Curious to know how your subscribers are interacting with your landing pages? Just segment them based on the clicked element. This helps in categorizing them based on different click events, especially for instances like cart abandonment or engagement with specific CTA buttons.
  3. Subscriber Properties: Segment your subscribers based on different user properties. Target them based on their Operating System, Platform, Browser, or User-Agent. This makes it easier to identify the correct fit for your business goals.
  4. Geo-location: Planning a special campaign for specific geo-location? Make your task easier by segmenting your audience based on specific countries, and even further by region. It’s easy to include or exclude any country or region, based on your business requirements. Start creating segments and trigger notifications according to your business time-zone and region, just the way you desire.
  5. JS/API and Cookie: In addition to the Segment Creator, you have the option to create your own customized segmentation. If you are a developer, you can segment your subscribers based on the JS/ API variables in your code. Not just that, you can also manage it based on the Cookie key and value pair stored by your website on the user’s browser.

Push Notifications are mainly used for re-engagement, retention, and promotions. This makes them the most preferred marketing automation channel for media publishers, bloggers, and ecommerce industries. They aren’t, however, restricted only to these domains, and have been found to yield positive results across many different industries. It is possible to see how various industries have managed to gain a foothold using push marketing over time.

For any given industry, there is an uncomplicated way to plan successful push notification campaigns:

  1. Identify the role of push notifications in your marketing strategy
  2. Segment your Audience 
  3. Set the Opt-in Trigger, and Craft the First Message
  4. Add good visuals to your push messages and amplify its appeal
  5. Schedule your notifications, and time them well to keep their frequency and timing under check
  6. Offer special incentives to drive more traffic
  7. Use multiple lucrative CTAs

Push Notifications in Ecommerce

More than 22% of push notification users are in the ecommerce industry. Notifications are commonly used to promote sales and time-sensitive deals, announce new products, and deliver personalized promotions. They are also used to remind the user about an abandoned cart or to upsell or cross-sell in various situations.

an example of push notifications in ecommerce industry

Buy Whole Foods Online, a leading seller of whole foods, health foods, and superfoods in the UK and the rest of Europe decided to give push notifications a try to bring customers back to the website and to guide them to correct product pages. This is their most popular push notification:

an example of push notification from Buy Whole Foods Online's website

This particular notification recorded a click rate of 15.2% and 71 out of the 97 people who landed on the product page after clicking on the push notification actually converted and made a purchase. This tiny box of notification helped Buy Whole Foods Online clock a 3-digit revenue.

Push Notifications in Fashion Blogging

Powered by followers and social shares, fashion bloggers have become immensely influential and powerful. It didn’t take long for the world’s biggest clothing brands to grab this opportunity of having this formidable lot become their ambassadors, promoting their clothing lines and accessories. 

While your posts may be brilliant, with the latest trend updates, your blog might be struggling to get the well-deserved limelight. One reason for this could be the number of people getting the latest updates. How many subscribers actually click on your emails? 

This is when push notifications help you communicate with your subscribers instantly. They are clickable, instant, and unobtrusive. They are clutter-free and attention-grabbing. You can send a creatively written push notification about printed wardrobe pieces. Take a look at the example below.

an example of push notification on fashion blogs
Image Source

Push Notifications in Gaming

Approximately 18% of the world’s population use their computers to play games on a regular basis. So, how can you tap into this audience to increase traffic on your gaming website? A few years back, an email would have been the answer, but not anymore. Now, we have a much better alternative – Push Notifications.

So you have this cool new online gaming community page that you know will be a game-changer. But, no matter how many promo offers and gift packs you send, you are not getting enough traffic. The prognosis could be devastating if not taken seriously and your website could slowly fade into oblivion. To prevent such blows, you need to keep your readers and customers engaged, and make them return to your website.

For example, if you want to show off the cool new cover for NFS Payback while giving a discount for pre-orders, you can send push notifications like the following one:

an example of push notifications in the gaming industry

Push Notifications in Home Decor Websites

The home décor industry is forecasted to clock $664 billion in revenue by 2020. If you have a home furnishing and decor website and are looking to make sure that you don’t miss out on the action, you can use push notifications to create a loyal user base for your business, grab your customers’ attention, increase purchases by sending lucrative offers, and so on. 

For instance, you can send notifications about a new sale on living room furniture, a heads up on the status of an order, or even a new blog post of living room ideas:

an example of push notification related to the furniture industry
Image Source

Take a look at this notification:

An example of push notification in home decor industry
Image Source

Here, the notification itself and the ‘Shop Now’ button both lead the customers to the same page, where they can grab the offer. In this case, having a CTA and the notification that lead customers to the same page will place emphasis on the “Home Décor Offer” page. The CTA with ‘All Offers’ button takes your customers to a page with all your offers. 

Give your subscribers the luxury of taking an action they want by using call-to-action buttons. Your subscribers can click on the notification itself or the CTA buttons. Using a CTA button helps generate higher conversions, better engagement, increase revenue, and lead the subscribers to take different actions based on their needs.

Push Notifications in Education

Education and training websites can use push notifications to connect with their subscribers online, send updates to existing students in real-time, or you can nudge potential users to learn and engage.

With push notifications, online learning website can: 

  • Encourage a revisit to your page with mock tests or interesting facts
  • Re-engage with online learners by giving them valuable information and course updates
  • You can enhance their experience by delivering information like key strategies, tips, interviews, etc.
  • Once someone has completed a course, they won’t visit again. You could promote other courses to get them back

Within the character limit, you need to learn how to craft a persuasive push notification. In doing this, personalization is key. Yes, and you could also re-engage your users by asking questions. 

MyEnglishTeacher.eu, a website that offers one-to-one English lessons through various mediums like skype and live chat rooms, and resources like quizzes and videos to their students, got started with push notifications with the single aim to reduce the time spent on writing and designing marketing communications. MyEnglishTeacher.eu aims to help people from all over the world gain fluency in English. Here, take a look at what they did to win 160 subscribers in one day:

an example of push notification in the education industry

Push Notifications in Cosmetics

The subscriber list for your makeup and beauty website is growing, and you are publishing new content often or adding new products and have discounts for some. You are also sending email newsletters about the same. But, think about how many of them open their inboxes and read those posts, among all the other emails lying unread in their inboxes. It is a daunting task. This is why push notifications, as a channel of communication, effectively help you bring your subscribers to visit your site instantly.

Inform your audience about new products or other such information using push notifications. Have a new nail paint review published? Then send your subscribers a push notification like the one below:

an example of push notification in the cosmetics industry.
Image Source

Notice that using the nail paint emoji saved character count and added a spark of fun to the message. Another way Cosmetics websites can use push notifications to increase engagement and grab users’ attention is by welcoming the subscribers with a welcome notification that warms up their hearts and makes them proud for choosing to go for products that are cruelty-free. Use a personal tone that will help you build a good rapport with your new subscribers.

an example of push notification in the beauty industry
Image Source

Push Notifications in Travel & Hospitality

The travel and hospitality industry has seen a recent boom in the usage of notifications, both mobile and web – whether they be reminders to check-in or announcements about scheduling changes, push notifications allow businesses to keep customers updated with timely, crucial information. Triggered campaigns can be set up to help customers by reminding them about deals and booking offers, or to upsell or cross-sell based on their recent transactions.

LA Tourism, the official tourism marketing organization promoting Los Angeles as the premier destination for meetings, leisure travel, and conventions, started using push notifications to grow their website traffic, and increase customer engagement and retention. By segmenting the audience, LA Tourism managed to increase click-rate by 8% and reduced bounce rate by 43%.

an example of push notification in the travel & hospitality industry

In another instance, if a user is looking for cheap flights to Prague on your website, send them a personalized push message about the top 10 backpackers hostel in the city. It’s a way of telling them that you foresee and understand their needs.

Push Notifications in Job Portals

Finding the right market while building a website can be difficult. But the intelligent few who saw the growing number of job opportunities and the alarming unemployment rates came up with the idea of job portals. However, the tribe has now grown and multiplied. And with this, growing and retaining users on your job portal has become a very challenging task. 

As simplistic as it may sound, practicing a good push notification strategy can help you bring in twice the amount of traffic to your website. But that does not mean you just spray and pray that it would bring you results. 

Make sure you segment your users and send notifications that entice them to perform the desired action. For instance, when you are sending out a push notification about a recruiter looking for candidates, you could add a button that takes users to the recruiter’s website and another button that takes them directly to the application form.

You can also go that extra mile to customize and personalize your push notifications according to your users’ browsing activities:

an example of push notification on job portals

Push Notifications in Health & Fitness

The global fitness and health club industry generates more than 80 billion U.S. dollars in revenue per year. 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 the stage of technological progress that we are at, people neither have the time nor the intention to read promotional emails. This is where web push notifications are a gem – as an effective channel of communication. Have a new post on swimming styles for achieving toned arms? Then send your subscribers a push notification like the one shown below:

an example of push notification in health and fitness industry
Image Source

Create a sense of excitement among your users by sending welcome push notifications with exciting offers. Here’s an example for your reference:

example of a push notification with exciting offers

Conclusion

Before wrapping up, here are some stats on push notifications that can help you fast track your decision to use them:

  • Small-sized organizations (up to 25 employees) comprise 60% of push notification users.
  • For notifications sent to less than 5,000 subscribers, the average CTR is a whopping 10.85% (the average click rate for emails hovers between 3-4%).
  • Push notifications maintain a healthy click rate of 4-6% even when the number of subscribers crosses  25,000.
  • Wednesday is the best day to send a push notification if you want a higher click rate. The average CTR on Wednesday stands at 6.21%.
  • 26% of push notification users surveyed say that they use it to promote their website content and land subscribers directly on the blog.
  • Most top industries prefer to send notifications between 2 PM – 7 PM on weekdays.
  • More than 74% of the relevant audience believes that more than 5 notifications in a day are too many.
  • 53.1% of subscribers preferred notifications with big images over plain notifications.
  • 39.8% of subscribers wanted more relevant and personalized notifications.

Push notifications send direct messages to your visitor’s browser, widen your online reach without straining to capture details through lead forms, and let you connect with your subscribers easily through a single click opt-in. We hope that the stats above and this guide help you make a decision about whether or not to use push notifications for your business.

If you find this guide useful, share the word with your friends and colleagues, and bring them a step closer to achieving their business goals by using push notifications.

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