A Definitive Guide To Understand How Web Push Notifications Work
Web Push Notifications or Browser Notifications are clickable rich content messages sent to your device by a website or a web app. Web Push notifications can be delivered to your device, mobile or desktop, even when the user is not on your website.
These notifications can only be sent to users who have opted-in to receive these notifications. Web push notifications are supported by Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Edge. You can learn more know more about Safari Push Notifications and Edge Notifications here.
As these notifications are delivered directly to the user’s device, users don’t have to be present on the website to receive these notifications. This makes web push notifications extremely visible and also easy to respond to.
Web Push Notifications are best used for delivering time bound content and engage users. Some of the popular use cases of retargeting with push notifications include browse abandonment, retargeting users abandoning shopping cart, activating dormant users with offers, retaining users with personalized content and more.
Check out these 10+ cart abandonment templates, that help bring back lost sales.
Just like native app notifications, web push notifications are meant to facilitate timely flow of information. To subscribe or opt-in to these notifications, users are not expected to download and install an application. Users can simply subscribe to these notifications by clicking on the Allow button on the permission prompt.
Web push notifications are used by marketers to build, engage and retain their audience. Businesses across categories are increasingly relying on web push notifications as a solution to build and engage their audience. Online retailers and publishers now heavily use web push notifications as a communication channel to engage their audience. The primary reason for this adoption is also the plummeting performance of email, SMS and display ads.
Some of the popular use cases are :
Web push notifications are delivered even when the user is not on the website. On Desktop, these notifications are delivered to the browser, right next to the task bar.
The user must be an active subscriber to receive these notifications. It is important to note that Apple is yet to support web push notifications on iOS. Check out this article to know more about iOS push notifications and stay up-to-date on the status of web push notifications on iOS.
Progressive Web App is an amalgamation of all the best features of websites and native apps. They address the shortcomings of both the browser and the native apps, combating flaky networks and device space. With push notification web app, all thanks to service workers, makes it possible to receive timely notifications anywhere, anytime despite network issues.
Know all about Progressive Web Apps (PWA) in this in-depth guide.
Once you've enabled web push notifications on your website, your site visitors will start seeing a notification subscription prompt. You will be able to push notifications to this audience once they subscribe. They can subscribe by clicking on the "Allow Button".
There are 6 key elements that constitute a web push notification - Title, Description, Landing Page URL, Icon, Banner Image and Call To Action Buttons. You can also make use of emojis in web push notifications to express yourself better. It is important to understand features of Web Push Notifications like Banner Image and Call To Action Buttons are only available for Chrome. Here is a breakdown of how each of these elements-
Recommended Dimensions : 360*240px. Size of the banner image should be less than 240kb or less. Check out this notification preview guide to know more about how web push notifications looks across different devices.
There are three actors involved with delivering a web push notification, along with a fourth, optional, component for advanced functionality.
Additionally an SDK (OS client library Software Development Kit) can be added to a web app for extended segmentation and analytics capabilities.
Check out these welcome notification templates to engage the users from day zero.
Web Push notifications can be targeted and personalised to select segments of your user base, and even personalized for specific users. As compared to email or SMS, in the context of web push, users are not required to do away with their personal information. Segmentation basis a user’s browsing and purchasing pattern ( events and properties ) can be used to create powerful audience segments. Marketers / developers would need an interface for writing messages, selecting the target audience and pushing or scheduling notifications.
Publishers can build repeat traffic by leveraging web push notifications. They can build this infrastructure themselves, or leverage existing tools such as iZooto. Increasingly, web developers opt for iZooto for these services instead of building them, so that they can focus on building their web apps. Building and maintaining a cross-platform web push notification service is bound to consume significant resources and time. SaaS Platforms such as iZooto are best suited because:
Marketers follow a simple process and answer 3 simple questions before sending a web push notification -
Currently, only Chrome, Firefox on Android OS, Windows, OS X, Linux and Safari on OS X support web push notifications. All Chromium based browsers also support web push notifications. None of the browsers support web push notifications on iOS.
On Desktop or the large screen, web push notifications are supported by Chrome, Firefox and Safari across Windows, Mac OS and Ubuntu.
For example - while segmenting your subscriber base by their recent activity, it can you help you identify your most active and dormant subscribers. Further, pushing out personalised notifications to subscribers will help build a strong recall and encourage loyalty amongst them. It could also allow you to send follow-up campaigns to your most unengaged subscribers — the ones who haven’t done any activity in the past few days.
By default, web push API can only be used by websites operating on HTTPS protocol. For websites operating on HTTP protocol, subscribing to web notifications is a 2-step process. The subscription process involves the user subscribing to a secure subdomain such as yourdomain.izooto.com or notify.yourdomain.com. Since this is a two click process, the opt-in rates are far lower as compared to HTTPS, hovering around 1% - 3%.
It is important that users are convinced to subscribe to web push notifications before they are prompted. There are multiple ways of educating the end user. Here are some of the recommended approaches :
1. The user should show intent before a site asks for permission : Most of the marketers and developers commit the mistake of asking permission on page load time. This is not an ideal experience and impacts the opt-in rates adversely resulting in more users actually blocking than allowing for notifications.
2. Using a custom opt-in prompt : Brands can use their own custom opt-in prompts which resonates with their website to trigger a sense of trust and favourable impression. Most push notification service providers provide a wide range of options where you can play around with the logo, text and color.
A custom prompt also has an additional value. It allows you to explain the value of enabling web push and gives you the option of prompting again if the user declines.
Do not feel the need to receive notification from a particular website? Check out this guide to turn off chrome notifications.
One of the most frequently asked questions is how many users subscribe or opt-in for web push notifications. All the leading browsers - Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, edge, UC browser and other Chromium-based browsers now support web push notifications. The permission or opt-in process is similar across the browsers. Users are required to grant explicit permission to a website (web app), hence opting-in to receive push notifications. It is important to understand that the capability of web push notifications is only for websites operating on HTTPS protocol (with an SSL certificate). Subscription or opt-in rates usually vary from anything between 5% to 10% of total unique visitors, depending upon the implementation. Marketers often use a double opt-in process to ensure that users opt for notifications instead of blocking them. To convert your website visitors into subscribers, it is critical to design the right subscription UX with web push notifications.
Click-through rate for push notification is defined as the number of clicks on a notification divided by the number of subscribers who have viewed the notification. Marketers often use Notifications Clicked/ Notifications delivered to calculate CTR's. For example, if a notification is delivered to 100 subscribers and receives one click, then the click-through rate for the notification would be 1%. Most marketers use this metric to understand the effectiveness and success of their push notification campaigns. There is no pre-set benchmark of click-through rates of push notifications. CTR's of push notifications depend on multiple factors including -
‘One size fits all’ doesn’t work very well with Web Push Notifications. Assuming that all subscribers will have the same preferences can result in a high number of users unsubscribing from notifications. It’s common knowledge that sending targeted notifications can help you engage better and get higher click rates. Also by narrowing your focus and targeting selective segments, your subscribers will find your notifications to be much more relevant and keep them from churning away.
For example - while segmenting your subscriber base by their recent activity, it can help you identify some of your most loyal subscribers. It could also allow you to send follow-up campaigns to your most unengaged subscribers — the ones who haven’t done any activity in the past few days.
Similarly, if you planned to target recent subscribers with a “Subscription Date” segment, you might encounter higher engagement and lower bounce rates (due to definite recall) than you would if older subscribers were targeted. Click Through Rates on notifications targeting a specific audience can be as high as 40% also.
Check out this article to know the secret to triggering emotions with web push notifications.
While the adoption of web push notification has been nothing short of crazy, the question on the impact of web push implementation still exists in the minds of marketers.
Well, here is the short answer – No.
There is no negative impact of implementing web push notification. The fact that Google has been pushing for it aggressively, definitely suggests that there is no possible negative impact.
Read this detailed data-driven post on the impact of Web Push Notifications on SEO.
We analyzed over 55K transactions where the journey had started off from a click resulting from an organic search result. Know how what we found and see how web push notifications help optimize micro funnels.
Learn more about industry-specific use cases of web push notifications.
You can read more about how these use cases of web push notifications for small businesses to delight users.
If you are a retailer, give this article a read to know how you can boost the retail stores sale with web push notifications.
If you are an ecommerce merchant, then definitely check out these drool worthy use cases- ecommerce marketing using web push notifications.
An effective Web Push Notifications campaign can easily outperform Email Marketing when executed well. Here are tips you can follow to ensure that your web push notification campaign is a success:
Personalized messages teamed up with behavioral data perform much better. The messages are highly targeted, timely, and personalized. For example: An e-commerce site sends you a message that those shoes you were browsing last week are now available in your size. When you tap in, the message takes you right to the product page for the shoe with your size checked.
A Call-to-action (CTA) can be added to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as "Buy now", "Know more" or "Share on Twitter".
We all know “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Notification with an image and call-to-action is worth a lot more than that. Along with call-to-action buttons, Chrome Rich Notifications capture mobile user’s attention and offer powerful ways to interact with push notifications, providing more data for personalization and creating refreshing experiences for users.
While subscribing to notifications, there are few properties that are captured by-default at the browser end - with one of them being Location. Websites can use location data combined with behavioral data to send relevant notifications such as:
Internet is everywhere and so are your users – prospects and clients. Clearly, you can no longer afford to ignore that “international-time zone-user-set”. Especially, in such cases, communicating with users across different timezones is a key challenge. More than often marketers not paying heed to this, end up irritating customers. End result – user churn. It is for this reason, understanding your audience is extremely critical. There is fair amount of sensitivity attached to receiving notification on the wrong time – we help you take cognisance of that. Read this detailed guide to know best time to send web push notifications.
You can check out these 6 web push notifications experiments to see what works for you.
There are couple of points to keep in mind before taking that “Make or Buy” decision. Building a web push notification platform will, in fact, make it a second product altogether within your core business - a product that demands continuous resources to -
When making that rather important “Make or Buy” decision, ask yourself - are you ready to put in that amount of resource, time and money?
Your sheer focus rightfully needs to be spent on your core business/product, which, as we all know pretty well, isn’t web push notifications. So why not let the “others” take care of it, the ones for whom building web push notifications is the core product? They’ll help you do a much better job at it, don’t you think?
Signup on our Web Push Notification tool and start owning your audience.