Getting direct traffic to your site is a difficult task. That’s a life! What is even worse is that 80-90% of user who visited your news portal will never return. Other web sites show better performance, the percentage of loss of users is lower, but it exists. There is no escaping the fact that you’re constantly losing users when they close your web site.

Web push notifications help to retain those users. Put simply, it’s an alternative to an e-mailing, which is less effective than notifications.  

What is a web push notification?

Web push notifications are short messages that are delivered on a user’s desktop or mobile screen. Users can choose whether they want to receive such notifications when they first visit a web site or install an app.

Pros of web push notifications

The user doesn’t have to enter any data (as you do to join the mailing list). Let’s face it, some users will be simply afraid to give their e-mail to the web site they visit for the first time. Others will not even waste their time on that.

To receive push notifications you have to press only one button – you save the time, the personal e-mail and avoid spam. The third point is also very important, because many companies use an e-mail to send lots of letters and spam, and it gets dull after a while. In this case, user’s confidence declines. 

Userbase for the web push notifications is easier to collect than for the e-mailing due to its simplicity. 3-6% of the web site users will subscribe to the web push notifications compared to only 1-2% who will join the mailing list. 

Everyday over 20 billion push notifications are sent in Chrome and all of them reach the end user. The time between receiving the first and the last user’s notification differs, but it will not exceed few minutes, especially if it is about the latest news. The resource is interested in informing its users ASAP. 

For instance, there are 200 00 of subscribers on the site 24tv.ua. The first and the last user receive the notification only three minutes apart. 

Even if the user is offline, he or she will get the push notification when switching on the device. And your notification will not get lost among dozens of letters that are stored at the e-mail.

To be noted, the time the user is offline may differ. For example, if your subscriber is offline for a week, it doesn’t make sense to send him or her out-of-date push notifications that are not interesting anymore. That’s why there is a so-called “lifetime of the notification”. For instance, on the web site 24tv.ua it is 8 hours. If the user is not online during this time, he or she will not get the notification, because the news is considered to be outdated. You can adjust the time, so that your notifications remain up-to-date and informative and don’t turn into spam. 

Moreover, push-notifications work with AdBlock and other antispam technologies, because users sign up for them willingly. 

Who needs web push notification?

  • Online shops – instead of trigger mailing about payment, sending goods, announcing promotions, sales, renewal of assortment and reminding the time of the renewal.
  • News portal – sending the latest news and interesting materials.
  • B2B services – trigger mailing to remind about extension of tariffs / services, announcement of new possibilities.
  • Travel agencies – confirming departure, mailing up-to-date offers, announcing new routes. 

And everybody from a pharmacy to a restaurant. Everyone who is interested in promoting his or her services. Another advantage in this case is the fact that since the user gives permission to receive such notifications he or she is already attracted.

Effectiveness of push notifications

Not only are push notifications simple in usage, but they also bring most of the traffic to your web site. For example, on 24tv.ua the conversion with push notifications is 5,8 million per month (number of followers is 200 000)! On the web site football24.ua the number of subscribers is lower – 50 000, but the conversion is 1 million per month. 

Another indicator that can measure the effectiveness of push-notifications is the CTR (put simply, the click-through rate of your notifications). A good rate for news sites is 3-5%, for promotional push notifications – 0,1%. On the site 24tv.ua this rate is 6-7%, which allows to increase the number of direct conversions to the site.

How web push notifications work

Your site collects users using the opt-in prompt. Before sending the notifications, you should create an informative headline and a short message text (1-2 phrases), select an icon and specify the URL. If you want, you can add a bit picture and buttons.

Let's be honest, the process of supporting the sending of push notifications takes more time than integrating this function into your site. You may either turn to the third-party service or do it yourself.

Each option has its disadvantages. If you decide to choose the third-party service, you will depend on it from the very beginning. That means that if the price for this service is raised, you will most likely have to agree. Otherwise, if you refuse to continue to use this service, you may lose a part of or even your entire userbase, which will actually be “hold in hostage”. If you decide to use such services, you should study all the offers to protect yourself from such losses.

An alternative option is to create your own service for the web push notifications. Of course, integration will be much more complicated compared to the third-party services, but it will have several significant advantages:

  • Price is one of the biggest advantages, because it will be much cheaper if correctly embedded;
  • You are the only owner of the userbase, you don’t share it with other third-party service and you keep it on your own servers;
  • Of no less importance is the speed of notifications. You will be able to scale up with the growth of the userbase. This will be difficult to do with other services; 
  • Integration with the project. In the case of the site 24tv.ua, we integrated the web push notifications function to the admin panel, where the content is created. Due to this, portal editors can create notifications in the familiar system, as well as track statistics and draw conclusions based on it.

Of course, there are some disadvantages. You will have to maintain servers and be ready to scale up in case of high load. On 24tv.ua we had to solve several problems with differences in the work on various devices, support of Apple Safari, the growth of subscribers and the collection of statistics and data analysis. However, this was worth it, because we managed to achieve very good performance compared to the third party services. For example, thanks to automated subscription management that removes old and non-working users, the percentage of users who receive notifications is bigger.

How not to send web push notifications

Keep in mind that push notifications should be brief and informative. That means that long headlines should be left behind. 

The best option is a headline with a length of 30 characters and a text with a length of 130 characters. Each browser has its own requirements for push notifications, and the amount of text depends on the size of the screen. So, in this case, it's better to write less than to write an interesting but long headline that nobody can see.

The more push notifications you send (that can turn into spamming), the fewer people will click through them. This is a fact. Therefore, it is important to keep a certain day standard – you have to demonstrate your advantages rather than bother your users.

There are some exceptions though. If your site informs about the currency rate – you may send several notifications in an hour. However, in most cases there is no need for such a frequency.

Don’t forget that you can not send messages to all of your subscribers. Split the users into groups depending on the platform used, browser language, region, page and subscription date.

In addition, it is a good practice to welcome new users by automatic notifications – write a few greetings and send them to newbies. It will not bring traffic to you, but it will earn you the trust of the users.  

Be creative. Your subscribers should feel that the messages are addressed to them. So include some personal information to the text, work on it and add only quality pictures.

How to use push notifications?

You can use push notifications the same way as e-mails, but the performance will be better.

You can effect a sale by sending notifications, and you will be sure that all the users will get the information about promotions and offers in time.

Not all push notifications should be informative. You can simply hold the attention to your brand. For example, the app “Teleportal” sends personalized notifications to their users. The user can choose certain shows and programs he or she wants to be informed about. Also, the user getі a push-notification with gratitude after participation in the app’s vote. 

Рush-campaign is a flexible marketing channel that can be combined with any advertising and PR action.

Overall, push notifications show better performance in terms of technology, speed, convenience and budget. Does this mean that you should give up on the e-mailing? Of course no.

Push-notifications are linked to the browser, not to the person, that is why this communication channel is rather fragile: communication with the audience is set up easily and quickly, but it is also easy to break, among other because of the technical issues. For this purpose, traditional e-mailing is more reliable. 

Thus, these two marketing channels can successfully complement each other, making communication between the company and the customers more flexible and effective.