On February 4th, with Chrome 80, the quieter permission UI for notifications was released. And on 11th February, they rolled out a Chrome UX report flashing how users respond to notification permission requests. We analysed this data and unearthed some important revelations.
In the first go, some updates can seem knee-buckling, until the underlying meaning comes to light. While these updates have a lot of interesting additions, Chrome 80 left a lot of marketers scratching their heads. The Chrome 80 update on quieter permission UI for notifications, was a slap on the face for websites that used unsolicited prompts. It did get a lot of marketers worked up and retrace their steps.
While all of this was done keeping the users in mind, a lot of questions arose on what a good user experience felt like, when should they prompt the users, what prompts they should be using, and so on. With the Chrome UX report, a lot of things have gotten clarity. But first, let’s start from the basics before we dive into the findings.
While web push notification has seen a high adoption since its inception in 2015 and still continues to hit the engagement metrics, this update had marketers bummed. This update meant that the web push notification prompt would no longer be visible for some users and on specific websites.
With Chome 80, an icon would be highlighted in the address bar, which would not require the user to interact with the message while browsing the website, unlike before.
How notification prompts are displayed post Chrome 80 (on some websites)
Not every website is affected by this update. Here are 3 ways it gets enabled-
When users opt-in by enabling the ‘Use quieter messaging’ box under the notification settings
It gets automatically enabled for users who infrequently accept notifications
It is automatically enforced on websites with low permission accept rates
While you can do nothing much on the first two points, you have full control of the user experience on your website. Nailing user experience has become so tricky that you might even question the UX you are providing on your site right now. Well, Chrome rolled out a UX report to give us some guidance.
The Chrome UX Report aggregates data from over 30,000 websites to give us a better understanding of how users interact with notification permission prompts.
The report gives us a better understanding of the allow rate, block rates, dismiss rates, and ignore rates that websites receive.
Rick Viscomi, Web Transparency at Google, tweeted about the finding in the report. He also shares the average distribution by users' devices and concludes that phone users are more likely to click on ‘Allow’ compared to other devices.
We saw the report and got excited like a kid with a new toy. And since we strive to help businesses build and grow their audience to engage with them, we analyzed and interpreted the data at disposal. We dug our nails into the pool of data for 535 websites to know exactly what worked; the websites that are killing it, the prompt that works best, and the kind of non-native prompts that are stealing the show.
We also went ahead and looked at the kind of copies that are used on the non-native prompts that seem to have done the trick for them. Diving into the Chrome UX report data, we unearthed these findings-
Native prompts are default prompts that are displayed to the user to grant permission to send notifications. This is a one-click process. These prompts can not be customized and by default has the same text and CTAs.
With the data provided by Chrome, we drew out this graph-
Users clicking on deny is comparatively higher than users clicking on accept on the native prompts. 65 websites have an acceptance rate of 10%-20% and 52 websites have a deny rate of 40%-55%.
The native prompt is a one-step process where the user has to click on ‘Allow’ to start receiving notifications. On the other hand non-native prompt is a two-click opt-in but gives the luxury of customizing the notification prompt.
More than 93 websites get an acceptance rate of 60%-70% on non-native prompts. 56 websites get an acceptance rate of 10%-20%. The non-native prompt also gets better impressions and is seen to have a higher acceptance rate. And since the user has already shown interest to receive the notifications, the allow rates are comparatively higher.
Now that we have findings that support that non-native prompts perform better than the native prompts, we dug deeper to understand which non-native prompt performs better. And here are our findings-
Out of the 9 non-native prompts, 89 websites make use of the Dialog Box and receive an acceptance rate of 60%-70%. The dialog box leaves other non-native prompts benign with a great margin, followed by the Bell Icon which is used by 6 websites which get an acceptance rate of 70%-80%.
“There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” – Morpheus, The Matrix
Okay, so let's clear out the air. This update was predominantly to put an end to the unsolicited prompts asking for permission to send notifications. As marketers, we are guilty of pushing a bit too much to get the best results. Dabbling with different ways to try to build a marketing list, some of us have chosen instant gratification over long term benefits. And that is where things took a u-turn.
Don't get your potential audience annoyed. The idea here is to provide them with a seamless experience, build trust, and then ask them if they would like to subscribe to notifications that would help them stay updated.
Remember, it’s about them and not you. Here is what a good permission prompt looks like-
On the contrary, there are websites that shove the notification prompt as soon as the page loads. Give them a breather. Let them browse the website, that’s what they came for didn’t they.
Users bombarded with web push and email prompts at the same time
Hmm, if it was me, I would get irritated with the experience, and likely half of your readers who land on the page would as well. So how can you gun for better user experience for higher opt-in rates?
Providing better experience, in general, is what you should aim for. Here are a few things you can try out for a better allow rate on notification prompts.
Delay the prompt - Don't throw the prompt at their face as soon as the website loads. Give the reader time to browse and then display the prompt.
Google Lighthouse (opensource for improving the quality of web pages) has explicitly put it out that it flags pages that request notification permissions as soon as the page loads.
This clearly stresses the importance of giving readers a seamless experience on page load and not overwhelm them with notification prompts.
Wait till the user has scrolled to a certain point on the page (give users a chance to go a particular page) and then prompt them to subscribe for notifications.
Let them get a feel of your website, check out what can be expected from your brand and analyze if they can get any value from you.
Prompt them when the intent is high- reminders for online classes, for flight updates if they just booked tickets and so on.
What you can also think of, is showing the notification prompt in their subsequent visit, which makes sure that the user already knows what your site is all about and has show interest by returning to your site. With this, you know that the reader has been engaging with your website, and the chances of them agreeing to receive your notification are higher.
Gives the users some context about what they can expect from you if they agree to receive notifications. Here are 15 examples of what some high opt-in sites use on their prompts-
|Websites||Notification Permission Prompt Copy|
|https://keep.google.com||Turn on Google Keep reminders? You may need to allow browser notifications.|
|https://app.slack.com||slack needs permission to enable desktop notification|
|https://www.portafolhetos.com.br||Do you want to receive the latest offers?
Allow us to send you notifications and don't miss any offers.
|https://www.jobs77.com||Get notified when new jobs are posted and Get notified of the best job|
|https://www.freeads.co.uk||Alert me when I get inquiries.
Never miss a message again with notifications.
|https://www.ofertero.com.ar||Want to get the latest hot deals?
Let us send you notifications and don't miss any offers.
|https://www.squareyards.com||Allow updates from www.squareyards.com
You can turn it off whenever you like.
|https://www.shiksha.com||Get latest Admission alerts & Exam updates!|
Do you want to receive news, offers and free content about contest
|https://events.ragingbull.com||Get Important Updates About Our Upcoming Exclusive Events Notifications can be turned off anytime from browser settings|
|https://www.decathlon.com.tr||Discover new sports with Decathlon!
Do you want to be informed about sports specific offers and current campaigns?
|https://www.outback.com||What’s grillin’ at Outback?
Want notifications about mouthwatering offers and online orders delivered to you
|https://ceto.fit||Would you like to receive tips for losing weight?
The best tips you can see.
|https://www.foregon.com||Want to stay on top of news in the financial world and receive best tips?|
|https://hbrascend.org||Never miss a great read!
Turn on notifications from HBR Ascend to get updates when we publish something new.
Think beyond native prompts. One of the insights from the report is that non-native prompt, especially the Dialog Box performs really well. Give it a shot and see how it works out for you.
Example of a Dialog Box
These 4 websites have more than 90% allow rate. You can check them out to understand what they do different-
As a marketer of conscience, I know you will take the right step to prove users with a good permission prompt experience. Make the best use of the findings, and create an amazing subscription prompt experience for your users.
If you have any questions about the update, the findings or web push notifications in general, ping us on chat and we will be more than happy to answer them.
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