Browser push notifications are a relatively new form of communication with customers when short messages are delivered directly to the user's desktop. They lead to the sender's site and contain a header, the text message itself and a small image.
Do not confuse push notifications for websites with mobile push notifications that have been used for a while now. Also, though they are called "browser" or "web" notifications, push messages may be delivered even when the browser is closed. This type of "pushes" have already been available for some time in Apple Safari, but became really widespread only in the spring of 2015, when sending push notification option was built into Google Chrome.
1 Push Notifications in Internet Marketing
Today "pushes" are the latest trend in online marketing becoming yet another channel – along with SMS and email – to deliver a message to the user. At the same time, "pushes" are not inferior to the SMS' readability level (reaching around 90% due to the notifications delivery directly to the desktop), but wins in the costs. Moreover, the average conversion rate is much higher than that of email (according to some sources, it can reach 30%).
Regarding marketing goals, push notifications are the best suit for customer retention by encouraging users' repeat visits to your site. This technique can be used roughly for any types of sites. However, first of all, push messages work great for:
- Online Media - to send the latest and / or popular news;
- Business and medical services, as well as any other services that deal with the urgent delivery of an important notice;
- Announcement services (including weather forecasts) - to report on the upcoming event (exhibition, webinar, conference, etc.);
- E-commerce - to send transactional, trigger and advertising messages.
But remember: when using push notifications in marketing it's essential not to go too far. In order not to become spammy, push messages should contain relevant content and – even more importantly – be perfectly timed. Then they can be a powerful and effective marketing tool.
2 Why is it important to send push notifications from the website in a timely manner?
- To increase the deliverability rate.
In most cases, the average push notifications deliverability rate is 40-50%. Knowing when the destination computer is turned on, you can significantly increase this figure.
- To increase the CTR.
The average ratio showing how often people see your "push" and end up clicking it is around 15%. By delivering your message at the proper time, you can increase this number twice.
- To maximize engagement.
Kahuna.com research shows that using data about your target audience to set the delivery time of based increases user engagement for a staggering 384%.
- In order not to annoy users and not to turn into spam
Mistimed "pushes" may catch the recipient in the middle of important work, thus causing a backlash. Repeating this situation, you could end up very poorly, e.g. with a massive unsubscription. We don't recommend sending over 6 "pushes" per day – this is exactly the case when less is more. And better.
3 Choosing when & how to send push notifications from website
When we talk about web push notifications, the actual addressee is the user's operating system. Thus, it's obvious that you should send "pushes" when the most of your recipients' computers are on. After all, CTR is a lot higher if "pushes" appear when users are online than at the moment of connecting to the network (the moment the computer is turned on).
You can calculate the best moment or moments to send out your "pushes" by using one or several time-tied specifications, for example:
- the number of new subscribers;
- the total number of visits to the site;
- the duration of user sessions and the activity of users on the site,
You can get this information using Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrika, Clicky, KISSmetrics, and many other web analysis tools. You can even use Mailchimp mailing service that has a built-in feature for calculating the best time for mailings.
Averaged values show that, say, new subscribers' activity peaks in the afternoon (16.00-17.00, mostly on weekdays) and evening (after 21.00, especially on weekends). Collecting the timing data on when your target audience is the most active is your primary task. Actually, the success of your push campaign wholly depends on how you will perform your research.
Having determined the time of your TA's activity, you have to choose the appropriate method of sending your push messages: simultaneously during the "rush hour" or breaking it into several stages. The first method would be the best option if there is a clear visible activity peak, as well as if your TA is located in one or several neighboring time zones. The second tactic works great when your TA is scattered across different time zones and demonstrates several peaks of activity.
Depending on the chosen method, you need to adjust Time-to-live (TTL) setting. Time-to-live is the period when the users who have been offline will be "pushed" upon connecting to the Internet. It's reasonable to set TTL for each push campaign individually. However, the prevalent rule can be summarized as follows: a message's TTL should expire before the next push is sent out. Thus, when the user connects to the network, he won't receive half a dozen "pushes" from you at once.
For example, you have set up three push campaigns per day at users' activity peaks: at 9.30, 16.30 and 21.00. Accordingly, TTL of the first "push" should not exceed 6-7 hours; TTL of the second one should be around 3 hours; and the third - 12 hours. This will minimize the risk of a specific user getting two or all three posts.
4 "Push" Wisely
For your website, sending out push notifications is a simple and effective way to return and keep the user – but it works only when used wisely. For that, you need to study your target audience thoroughly and, if necessary, segment it, sending a relevant message at the proper time. Also, it's important to personalize "pushes", making them short, attractive and valuable to the user. And since there is no limit to perfection, periodic testing, regular results analysis and constant optimization of push notifications are a must.
Creative Copywriter at DIGITAL BEE
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexsakhno