What Are Web Push Notifications and How to Use Them?

Web push notifications are often confused with in-app notifications and web notifications more generally. However, it has its own unique characteristics and unique advantages to marketers.

What Are Web Push Notifications?

Web push notifications are notifications that are sent through your website to your visitor’s browser, with their consent. These notifications are clickable, and usually contain links to sale items, offers and promotions, or to highlight new features or articles on the website. The content of these notifications should be highly contextual, timely and personalized, in order to engage and retain website visitors.

What Is the Difference Between Web Push Notifications and Web Notifications?

There are some important differences between web push notifications and standard web notifications.

Web push notifications can reach customers even if they are not currently using your website – as long as they have a web browser open, they can receive web push notifications. Web notifications, however, can only be sent to users who are currently using your website.

Another important difference is consent. Similar to mobile app push notifications, web push notifications require opt-in, and therefore users need to give their consent in order to receive them. On the other hand, web notifications do not require consent to be sent.

Both types of notification work across both desktop and mobile browsers.

How Do Web Push Notifications Work?

As mentioned above, websites using web push notifications need to ask for permission via a pop-up. If a visitor to your website clicks ‘Allow’, he or she would be added to your subscriber list, and considered a subscriber, rather than just a website visitor.

Now you can send them push notifications from your website. You can customize the title and the text of each notification, and specify a URL that the notification will redirect to when clicked.

These notifications are delivered in real time. Your subscribers will receive them even if they are not using your website at the time.

What Are Best Practices for Web Push Notifications

  1. Make every word count. Web push notifications have strict character limits, so it is important you get your message across in as few words as possible.
  2. Provide value. Give your subscribers a reason to click, or they will just dismiss it as another bothersome notification.
  3. Be clear. Vague messages will get lost in the digital noise. Get to the point quickly.
  4. Create a sense of urgency. Promote a fear of missing out (FOMO) by putting an end point on your offers. This will mobilize subscribers, driving conversions.
  5. Time it right. Consider your different subscribers’ time zones to avoid bothering them at unsociable hours. Also, think about the type of notification you are sending and when would be most appropriate to receive it. Lunch suggestions will not be much use in the middle of the afternoon, for example.
  6. Don’t be a bother. It is a tricky balancing act: do not send enough notifications and you will miss out on conversion opportunities, but send too many and you could end up annoying your customers. What is a marketer to do? There are no hard and fast rules about how frequently to send web push notifications. You will have to crunch the data – look at your click rates, time on page, bounce rates and opt-outs after every notification – and decide what is best for your brand and your subscribers.
  7. Make it personal. Dividing your subscribers into different segments will help you create personalized notifications relevant to them that will be much more compelling. You can segment your customers by asking for their preferences when they opt in, or by using AI-powered segmentation to analyze their behavior, such as pages browsed, items viewed, time spent on a particular page, and so on. This will build a full picture of your customer’s interests and preferences, and help you talk to them more personally.

Used right, web push notifications are an effective tool for generating conversions. Listen to your subscribers and you will soon reap the rewards.

Web push notifications are best used to engage, re-engage and retain website visitors. Leveraging an AI-powered marketing automation platform allows you to create more personalized and effective web push notifications. Not sure how? We are here to help. Get in touch with our consultants today for an exclusive discussion!