What is a Push Notification? 

The answer to what push notifications are can be found on your browser, regardless of the browser and even the device you are using. Push notifications are the clickable pop-up messages that show up and usually contain a CTA (Call to Action). Regardless of the types of push notifications, they are supposed to be non-invasive and useful for the user/valuable for a business’s conversion rate. These text messages can show up as Google Chrome push notifications on your desktop/laptop or as mobile push notifications on Android. They can be adapted to any system, even if it’s a Windows desktop Mozilla Firefox browser or an Opera for Windows Mobile. They are highly customizable and easy to implement, which are the de facto benefits of push notifications. 

Users could be on any part of the browser and can still be able to receive these messages – the only prerequisite is that they are online/have their browser open. It has to be stated that browser push notifications such as Chrome push notifications are different from the normal in-app notifications. In-app notifications appear only when triggered by a running application, whereas browser push notifications can be triggered at any point through browser usage, on any device, as long as the user agrees to receive these notifications – they have a more general use.

Push notifications are an instant mode of automated communication between a website and its users. Digital marketing channels that work with push notifications are newer than most of the already existing ones. Even though they have been observed to have the potential to increase repeat visits, user retention, and re-engagement, new use-cases are still to be found, according to marketing researchers.

How Do Push Notifications Work? 

Push notifications are usually made up of the following elements: a title, a message, an image, and a URL. An attractive and clear title is a must, as well as a not too long copy. Images are not strictly necessary, but they can be very persuasive if chosen correctly. A valid URL and a CTA, on the other hand, are not optional – they are vital for the efficiency of any type of push notification.

The core of push notifications in digital marketing is generally sustained by services such as Google Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) and Apple Push Notification Service (APNS). These enable notifications on a whole array of browsers. For example, Google’s FCM is a software messaging solution that enables both mobile applications and websites to send push notifications to current subscribers. The servers send notification’s content, along with subscriber information, to FCM, where verification takes place. Afterward, FCM sends the push notification to the eligible users’ devices. In turn, these devices send back Click and Delivery data back to the application. This entire process helps to keep track of the notification’s performance.

Why Should You Use Push Notifications? 

Push notifications have a clear advantage in digital marketing over email notifications – marketing studies have shown that the click rate of push notifications, regardless of the types of push notifications, is 4 to 8 times greater than that of the email. One thing that sets them above other types of notifications is that users will receive push notifications only if they have opted-in. Besides, opting-out is just as easy as opting-in – only a few clicks away.

1.) An increase in brand awareness: using different types of push notifications, you can increase your brand’s visibility among your audience by adding subscribers with single clicks. 

2.) Increased and better quality leads: as stated, with push notifications you don’t have to rely on capturing lead information – you can add subscribers with a single click. Also, you can engage them without having to ask for any kind of personal data. Requiring the user’s opt-in, push notifications also assure you that your message is delivered to real users.

3.) Increasing return traffic: When it comes to retaining customers, to send notifications is the right type of engagement. The proactive messages direct users back to your website from any browser. To do so, you can keep them intrigued with promotional offers and helpful articles. 

4.) Time-saving: using different types of push notifications, you can connect with your users at the proper moment. Real-time push notifications can be sent when looking for instant responses – you can even automate notifications for certain campaigns or customize push notifications for certain zones or time-zones.

5.) Improved outreach: In most scenarios, push notifications will perform better than the slowly outdated SMS or email notifications. If your user has a mobile device that supports either Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera, you are good to go!

Types Of Push Notifications 

There are currently three types of push notifications explained and used in digital marketing – Web Push Notifications, Push Notifications for Desktop and Push Notifications for Mobile: 

1.) Web Push Notifications are used to send alerts on mobile as android push notifications, as well as desktops. These have the potential to occur even when users are not on the website, per se – they just need to offer their click-consent click to receive these notifications. Web push notifications are sent directly to browsers, no app is required for their proper functioning. They usually increase website engagement and encourage repeat visits, both of which have the aim to increase conversions. 

2.) Desktop Push Notifications: Unlike web push notifications, desktop push notifications will only surface on the desktop of your users. These are driven mainly by products that you have already installed on your desktop and aim towards superior customer engagement. Even though efficient, desktop push notifications are more difficult to create in comparison to normal web push notifications.

3.) Mobile App Push Notifications: Similar to desktop push notifications targeted at existing desktop apps, mobile app push notifications for android are also targeted towards existing apps. Same customer engagement rules apply and are similarly difficult to develop, much like desktop push notifications. 

Using location with push notifications 

Location-based marketing is the most efficient way of bringing mobile users in through mobile applications and mobile push notifications. People tend to use an app more if it sends push notifications specifically triggered by their selected hometown or present location. Using location tracking for mobile messaging is not a privacy concern for users – it even started to close the gap between the digital and physical retailer landscape. 

For delivering a custom message to people near a retail store or a discount offer to users that accessed competitor stores, location-based push notifications can be extremely effective and can contribute positively to the user experience. They have a constant potential for engaging customers through your marketing strategy. They offer advantages such as:

1.) Higher efficiency: messages based on a user’s location become more personal and relevant, thus increasing their overall efficiency in mobile marketing

2.) Better ROI (Return on Investment): geolocation helps you send offers to people who are closer to your store or quarters, as such, you can easily analyze their response and get a quick idea about the effectiveness of your campaign. This optimizes your ROI.

3.) Engagement: сustomers are more likely to engage with your brand if they are provided with relevant offers. The right time and the right place ensure better overall engagement.

4.) New insights: using location-based messaging gets you to access to new data that can be used to discern which stores are performing better and which customer segments are more approachable

The elements of a good push notification strategies

Simply by leveraging push notifications, you will not reap instant benefits. For any type of push notifications to properly work, be them mobile push notifications for mobile applications or desktop push notifications, the entire process must be carefully thought out. Some of the most relevant elements that can make your push notification strategy a good one are often overlooked:

1.) Quality & accessible content

Content should be written following your target audience. It’s all about customization and generating a personal feel when notifications appear. Research the perks and quirks of your audience, know what your audience is asking, and create content that reaches towards them. Visuals can also be used, but only if they are relevant. Investing in advertising will not help if your content is outdated or low quality. Persuasiveness is key.

2.) Clear messages: Fancy words usually don’t belong in a push notification. Deliver the message in a clear and persuasive manner, thus, avoid using jargon that may make certain parts of your audience that receive notifications raise an eyebrow. Simple and direct language is the best and has the highest reach. Of course, don’t avoid smart phrases and an original CTA. The main idea is that relevant messages explain benefits in a very transparent way.

3.) You can use scarcity to generate urgency: A sense of urgency that tempts users to click the notifications can be created via scarcity principles. Express your limited offers and discounts as clearly as possible. Action-oriented copy works wonders in this scenario and will generate the most possible responses from your target audience.

Whatever type of push notifications you use, be them Chrome push notifications, Desktop or mobile ones, the opt-in message for these notifications should ALWAYS be the first notification you ever send. It will determine the possible success of the conversion of a visitor further along the economical funnel path. Only and only after they give their consent  (meaning they agreed to be added as your subscribers) should you begin to send them push notifications to increase customer engagement.

Depending on your business model, you may need to consider segmenting your audience. Different audiences may respond differently when notifications appear, regardless of the types of push notifications. Plan your opt-in messages: maybe you want the permission message to appear as soon as visitors land on your page, maybe you want to give them time to engage with your page for a while, first. Regardless, always state explicitly that they can easily opt-out. This will help create that sense of trust that any business needs from its customers.

Always remember that in order to keep customers in, they always need to know it is easy to get out.