This blog is updated May 19, 2021
Mobile phones and the Internet changed our lives, in more ways than one. As flip phones and pagers evolved into sleek smartphones and laptops, brands realized that the best way to engage with consumers is on the devices they use every day.
Enter web push notifications.
What are web push notifications?
What Are The Advantages of Using Web Push Notifications?
Web Push Notifications Extend Your Marketing Reach
Who Can Use Web Push Notifications?
How To Start Using Web Push Notification On Website
What are the impacts of using Web Push Notifications?
What are the different platforms web push notifications support?
The Anatomy of a Web Push Notification
What types of web push notification campaigns do businesses use?
Web push notification infographic
Web Push Notifications vs. Email
Tracking and Measuring Web Push Notification Performance
How to Optimize Your Web Push Notification Campaign
How Samsung created a High-Converting, Multichannel Notification Campaign for Galaxy Note 9, using Insider Tech
Burger King Experiences 25% More CR than the Industry Average with Personalized Web Engagement
If you’ve subscribed to a brand’s web push notifications, then you’re no stranger to the messages that periodically pop up at the top right of your desktop screen.
Web push notifications (also known as browser push notifications) are actionable messages sent to a visitor’s device from a website via a browser. These messages are contextual, timely, personalized, and best used to engage, re-engage, and retain website visitors.
Unlike website overlays or forms, browser push notifications don’t ask you for personal information like your name or email address.
Browser push notifications can help marketers and eCommerce managers keep their web push opt-in subscribers engaged and extend the reach and effectiveness of their other marketing efforts.
Let’s look at some of the advantages adding web push notifications to your marketing mix.
Let’s say a user is on your website and navigates to their favorite social media site. Guess what? They don’t have to be on your website to receive a web push notification from your brand— pretty sweet, huh? All they need is an Internet connection.
Unlike other marketing channels, web push notifications offer users a seamless opt-in experience ―they simply select `Allow’. Users don’t have to worry about sharing their personal data, like their name, email, or phone number, and marketers can rest assured knowing web push is GDPR compliant.
Web push notifications reach a user instantly, without any transmission delays. All messages are sent and received in real time.
Since push notifications are sent in real time, they get higher engagement rates compared to other marketing channels. By offering discounts, targeted web push notifications help companies increase the number of users returning to their websites.
Personalizing messages and targeting a segmented audience offers users a great experience and can boost conversion rates. Web push notifications appear on a user’s desktop or mobile screen any time they have their browser open —even if the user isn’t on your brand’s website.
With website push notifications, you get access to a new channel that syncs perfectly with your traditional email marketing strategies. They also provide an additional avenue for fast and direct communication that doesn’t get buried in busy inboxes or non-stop texting streams.
People who opted in to your browser push notifications will be able to see all notifications (even the ones they missed) once they launch their browser.
For example, if you send a web push notification when a user isn’t on your website and they open their browser at 5:30 PM, that’s when they’ll see your web push notifications at the top-right corner of their screen.
Subscribers can also get notifications on their Android mobile devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Marketers in travel, publishing, restaurant & delivery, finance and insurance can use website push notifications to improve their down-to-funnel conversions.
From new content alerts to limited-time promotions to upcoming events, push messages contain short, crisp offers that drive engagement, conversion, and retention without the constraints of forms.
Just think about how many times you’re working in Google Docs, watching a YouTube video, and contemplating takeout—when suddenly you catch something out of the corner of your eye. An alluring offer distracts you from what you’re doing and drives you to a website you know and trust.
For marketers, getting you to their desired destination is half the battle. Those who have mastered the first part, send you deep into individualized product and content experiences when you get there—inching you closer and closer to conversion.
Okay, so you’re convinced about web push notifications’ power, but how do you start using them on your website?
Here’s an easy 5-step process to get you started:
Let’s say you have a customer who sees a request from your site to show web push notifications. This customer loves your products and is happy to receive notifications from you, so they opt-in with a single click.
Unlike email newsletters, users don’t have to fill in their name or give you their email address. And once signed up, they’ll start receiving notifications from you.
While most devices and operating systems (OS) allow web push notifications, it’s equally important to know what devices, OS, and browsers don’t support them. The following is a list of devices that support web push notifications.
Web push notifications consist of six key elements that determine their effectiveness.
1. Title: Up to 50 characters, the title should attract the user’s attention. You can experiment with statements vs. questions, word counts, and much more to see what converts best.
2. Description: The description is the actual message sent to users. It should be short and describe the immediate action the opt-in subscriber needs to take. The recommended character limit is 120 characters. However, browsers have not specified a maximum limit.
3. Icon: Brand icons add brand recall and authenticity to notifications. If a marketer does not add an icon, the user will see a default bell icon. Users receive multiple web push notifications, so it’s a good idea to add an icon to help differentiate your company from the rest. The recommended dimensions for icons are 192×192 px.
4. Website URL: This is the URL of the website that sent the push notification. The URL visible on the web push notification is the domain the user opted-in.
5. Image: This is the graphical and visual aspect of a push notification. Using an image in push notifications has proven to increase user conversion rates. However, it’s up to a marketer to decide on using an image or sticking to text only.
6. Call to action (CTA): CTA plays a vital role in a web push notification. It helps marketers determine a user’s intent—whether they want to engage with your company or not, based on the CTA they choose. It’s also an additional action users can take besides clicking on the notification. However, CTAs are only an option with Google Chrome, and there is a maximum limit of two per notification.
Congrats, you’ve got a web push opt-in, what now? You can start using web push notification messages for all types of campaigns.
Let’s look at the different types of web push notifications marketers and eCommerce managers can send and how they can the best fit messaging for their campaigns:
Bulk notifications aren’t new. They’ve been around since the dawn of web push notifications. These notifications are batch-and-blast messages sent to an entire user base and come with basic customization properties. Bulk notifications are a favorite with eCommerce, Fintech, and gaming websites, to communicate feature launches, special offers, and deals.
For example, an online retailer needs to announce a seasonal sale to its customers and active users. It uses bulk push notifications to notify them about incredible seasonal deals.
The downside of using bulk push notifications is basic customization that results in lower conversion rates. It might not bring in the same results as advanced push notifications, but still has positive outcomes.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to web push notifications. If marketers and eCommerce managers work on the assumption that all their users have the same set of preferences, they’ll see a high number of users opting out.
Segmented web push notifications are sent to users who are split into groups based on multiple factors, including gender, age, geography, purchasing behavior, or lifecycle stage.
Segmented web push notifications can result in higher click-through rates for marketers as they’re targeted to specific user groups and personalized to fulfill their requirements.
Sending notifications based on a user’s lifecycle stage or past purchase behavior can get higher conversion rates.
Let’s say an eCommerce company caters to customers across different geographies. The company segments users by regional and product preferences to create personalized marketing messages. Different notifications get sent to different user segments.
News & updates should be categorized based on a user’s interests. Send relevant, individually tailored content with predictive segmentation that factors in a user’s past onsite behavior and interactions with your messaging channels.
Related Content: Discover how to create a campaign that increases your monthly active users with Insider’s AI-backed predictive segments.
Marketers don’t need to monitor every web push campaign they send out personally.
With recurring web push notifications, marketers and eCommerce managers can set a specific date and time to send notifications and let technology take care of the rest. It’s also easy to change recurring web push notification frequency—daily, weekly, monthly, or any other custom timeframe.
Recurring notifications are popular with eCommerce, food delivery, and entertainment apps, where consistent reminders improve customer engagement.
Let’s say an eCommerce brand with a significant user base decides to run an ongoing `deal of the month’ campaign.
Instead of creating a new web push campaign every month, it sets a recurring web push notification for a specific date that goes out to a set of users they’ve identified every month.
Replenishment reminders are an example of recurring web push notifications and can drive repeat purchases with automated reminders. And, with machine learning, your understanding of individual users deepens, enabling you to perfectly tailor and time each message.
Conversion web push notifications have multiple applications across different industries.
Publishers can use them for subscription drop-offs, travel can use them for booking drop-offs, and finance can use them for registration drop-offs—and online education providers can use conversion web push notifications for browser abandonment.
These types of notifications can also help marketers and eCommerce managers engage with consumers who’ve shown intent to convert.
Cart abandonment web push notifications remind users of the items they’ve left behind and entice them to purchase with attractive offers.
Imagine a shopper has added a new biography to their cart, but gets distracted and doesn’t check out. You can send them a cart abandonment web push notification and remind them about the title that’s waiting for them. You can sweeten the pot by offering free shipping or a discount code.
Deliver high-performing real-time recommendations straight to customers’ desktops and Android devices. AI-powered predictive segments can boost your customers’ lifetime value (CLV) by taking account of each user’s history and behavior.
Send personalized product recommendations to opt-in subscribers and:
1) Increase conversions and conversion rates through individually tailored recommendations.
2) Provide relevant product recommendations, increase engagement rates on your website, and nurture users to purchase.
Pricing plays a significant role in a purchase decision. Price drop notifications allow marketers and eCommerce managers to create alerts based on changes in a product’s pricing, tapping into the principle of urgency and limited supply.
If a user visits a product page a certain number of times—say three times in 5 days—they will receive a price drop notification whenever there is a change in the product’s price. Price drop notifications work exceptionally well in industries like eCommerce, travel, and hospitality.
Price drop alerts help increase conversions, shorten the visitor-to-buyer journey, and provide customers with maximum value for their spend.
Imagine a user is planning a holiday in Paris and is looking for the best flight fares. They visit a travel website and find that New York to Paris flight tickets cost more than they want to spend.
Summer is still six months away, so the user starts keeping tabs on the tickets. They visit the website once a week to check if fares have dropped. Their frequent visits put them on the company’s radar.
When prices drop, the user receives a price drop web push notification. When the price gets close to their budget, the user books the ticket and the company doesn’t miss out on the sale.
No retailer wants to lose customers just because they ran out of stock. But it’s a common roadblock customers run into: they’ve found a product they love, but it’s not available.
How can a retailer bring these users back when their product comes back into stock?
With stock push notifications, companies can notify shoppers that their favorite product is back. Retailers can drive higher conversions with this well-timed engagement strategy.
Imagine it’s the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale weekend, and an eCommerce retailer is offering discount blasts on electronic products to attract customers. The company gets the soaring response they expected.
On Day 2 of the sale, their stock of noise-canceling headphones run out. The company did a quick stock reboot and began sending stock push notifications to all users who visited the product page and left without purchasing. By the end of the sale weekend, their second stock sold out.
Web Push API notifications inform users about what’s happening at the back-end of a purchase—like a delivery status, a new release, or a flight cancellation.
Let’s say a customer bought a sweatshirt from an eCommerce site. The company will use the web push API to keep them updated on the delivery status of their purchase. “Your order was received,” followed by, “Your product will be delivered in 48 hours.”
Web Push API notifications are a unique way for companies to engage and retain their customers and have multiple use cases for publishing, finance, eCommerce, travel, and other industries.
Let’s take another example of an airline company. Their flight from Istanbul to Cairo gets delayed by five hours. The company uses the Web Push API to send notifications to all its passengers about the delay. Three hours before the flight departure, the passengers receive another notification, “Have your tickets, visa, and passport? It’s time for check-in.”
Let’s run through a quick use case to understand the journey of a web push notification, how it works, and how marketers and eCommerce managers can benefit from it.
An eCommerce retailer is grappling with cart abandonment. The company decides to use web push notifications to plug the gaps in experience and increase customer conversions. To do so, the retailer tracks the purchase patterns of their customers.
Imagine a customer added a pair of running shoes to their cart but didn’t purchase them. The retailer waits one hour—to see if the shopper will complete the purchase.
When the company finds that the customer hasn’t purchased the shoes, they send a notification, reminding the shopper that the running shoes are still waiting in their cart.
Using Insider’s marketing technology, the retailer checks up on the customer after 24 hours to see if they’ve bought the shoes. If they still haven’t converted, the retailer can send the customer a web push notification with a voucher code—offering a 20% discount and free shipping on their next purchase.
It pays to send voucher codes to a customer like this one. Why?
The voucher works its magic, and the shopper purchases the running shoes. After the purchase, the retailer continues to engage with the shopper to build a high-value customer lifetime value (CLV) relationship.
Related Content: How to optimize CLV
Using Insider’s Architect, the company communicates with the shopper across channels with push notifications offering discounts, emails, and special deals. These personalized communications make the customer feel valued and increase their desire to buy more from the retailer.
Related Content: Learn how an AI-backed customer journey builder tool works.
We collected the best application of web push notifications in real life in this infographic. Bookmark it or keep it in your “ideas” sheet.
Push notifications and email are different in many ways, including length, content, open rate, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Let’s look at some key differences between the two, and where web push notifications outperform emails.
Tracking and measuring push notifications is a straightforward process compared to other communication channels.
Suppose a marketer launches a Facebook campaign. In that case, they’d have to measure multiple metrics, including attribution cost, when a user sees the ad, and when they convert —to quantify the campaign’s success.
Push notifications follow simple and clear-cut metrics. All marketers and eCommerce managers need to factor in are the following subscriber statistics:
These two metrics measure the average click-through rate (CTR): the total number of subscribers divided by the total users who view an opt-in message within a specific date range.
On the performance side, the notification metrics that marketers and eCommerce managers can measure include:
Now let’s look at how marketers and eCommerce managers can optimize their notification campaigns for maximum clicks and conversions.
Related Content: How to do A/B Testing
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was one of the most anticipated phones of 2018. To showcase and promote this high-end product, Samsung wanted to build an innovative and consistent customer experience across multiple channels—mobile web, desktop web, and apps.
Related Content: How to design experiences for the mobile web
Using Insider’s Growth Management Platform, the company came up with a web push strategy that targeted competing devices and promoted the Note 9.
Samsung used Insider’s messaging suite to send web push messages to attract new customers and reduce cart abandonment.
As a result of Cart Recovery Web Push Notifications, the Samsung marketing team boosted web push click-through rates by 14%. The cart recovery web push notifications’ conversion rate was 24% higher than the conversion rate Samsung achieved with standard web push notifications.
Push notifications have caught the attention of marketers and eCommerce managers in recent years. These short, crisp, and contextual messages can get optimal results when sent to the right users at the right times.
Founded in 1954, Burger King is the second-largest fast-food chain in the world. The brand is known for fast, personal, and convenient in-store experiences and wanted to take that experience and bring it to their website. Burger King wanted to improve key onsite metrics and engage each onsite visitor one-to-one.
Partnering with Insider, Burger King launched 11 onsite banner campaigns targeting users based on their behavior. Burger King launched these campaigns on desktop and mobile web, targeting users with web push notifications and onsite overlays.
The segmented and conversion push campaigns drove engagement on desktop and mobile web, resulting in 10.04% CTR, 66.7% more than the 6.7% industry average.
To learn about integrating web push notifications in your marketing strategy, request a demo with one of our digital growth consultants.
Christopher has a long history of driving value and creating personalized, omnichannel journeys that enhance customer experience. He's passionate about learning and development and has a keen interest in developing economies, especially ones with a lot of room for digital growth.