Mobile and desktop devices are our touch points to the external world, and in many cases are our primary source of information and connectivity. But they can also be a distraction. With the use of communication channels, you can keep users informed and engaged but make sure they do not feel overwhelmed with too much information. One of the best ways to convey simple messages and opt-in to timely updates is mobile and web push notifications.
What are web push notifications?
Web push notifications are sent directly to a user’s desktop. They allow you to effectively engage and re-engage site visitors without knowing their email or other contact details with customized content at the right time. Before displaying a notification, permission needs to be acquired from the user by clicking an allow button on a dialogue window in the browser.
There are different types of messages that might be sent using web push notifications, for example:
- Utility, such as a reminder to complete a task or a process
- Updates about new options available, events, product updates, etc.
- Promotions featuring special offers for customers
Pro tip: make sure not to overuse the last feature. Address specific offers that are segmented and personalized and remember to track the progress of each campaign.
You can be sure that your message will not end up in the spam folder or be hidden by ad blockers.
Notifications and platforms – mind the differences
Notifications have many features that differ across operating systems and browsers. On desktop, notifications are displayed at the scheduled time even if the website is shut, while on mobile devices they appear just as in-app push notifications, also if the browser is closed.
In Chrome for Windows, web push notifications offer two unique features—large banner image and action boxes that can collect prompt responses from users. These features are not supported on Mac devices or Firefox. In MacOS, a browser’s icon (or a badge) is also displayed.
Web push notifications: example of use
Jumia is an e-commerce website in Africa. The results of their case study indicate that using web push notifications can result in a 38% open rate on mobile and 9x more recovered carts than before. Conversion rates from push notifications for cart abandonments on mobile and web outpaced native apps—7.85% versus 4.5% respectively.
On desktop, notifications are displayed at a scheduled time even if the website is shut while on mobile devices, they appear the same as app push notifications in the notification area, also if the browser is closed.
Not all browsers support web push notifications and available features vary across browsers and operating systems. To find out more about available features and differences between browsers and operating systems, check out our Available features directory.
Pick and mix multiple options
Web push notifications have many features that differ across operating systems and browsers, including:
- Title. Up to 50 characters, depending on the browser.
- Message. A bit of text up to 100 characters—if your message is longer, the excess characters will display as ellipsis.
- URL or abandoned shopping cart link—can be displayed or not
- Large image. It appears under the displayed message. This feature works only in Chrome for Windows and Android devices. The recommended size is 720×480 pixels, at 1.5 aspect ratio.
- Regular image. You can show it next to the title and ext.
- Icon image. This one can be added from a URL or uploaded from your computer.
- TTL (time to live). The notification will expire if a device does not come back online within a preset time. The default TTL is 7 days (up to 28 days). The value 0 value means now or never
- Checkbox: Send without marketing agreement
- Test option
Best practices for web push notifications
Notifications can be a useful tool to inform, update and connect with users and engage them, but when used incorrectly, they can be annoying and harmful from a marketing perspective. This form of communication often evokes mixed emotions and reactions. You can avoid it by following the tips below:
- Specify the content displayed in the notification. The text needs to be short and convey the most important information so that the user is sure what the notification is about and what action can/should be done.
- The message users get needs to be more valuable than the interruption they experience.
- Customize the information—adjust the displayed notification to specific users. This can be connected to time/ frequency of users’ activity or their preferences and habits. This will help to alert and inform them with relevant contents and updates to engage them more effectively.
- The time of displaying the message can be based on user habits as well as common behaviors. According to research, it’s better to send push notifications between 6-8pm, when engagement is at its highest (remember to adjust the time to user’s time zones)
- Use as much space as available but don’t overuse it. Small notifications are less distracting and still informative at the same time.
- A/B testing: to see what works best, try different designs and test them. See which option engages users most effectively and does not make them unsubscribe.
- Putting your website in the title or the body of the message is a waste of space. Browsers will include it in the notification so there’s no point in duplicating it.
- Sending multiple notifications in a short period of time is not worth the risk. Do not overuse the notifications, they can be too distracting to the users and make them cancel their subscription. It should be designed to let them know about something important or beneficial from their perspective.
If you’re looking for ways to connect with your leads and customers, web push notifications are the way to go. They let you avoid spam folders in a customer’s inbox or ad blocking software and send a personalized message with perfect timing.
P.S. If you’d like to know what option for web push notifications are available in Synerise, here’s a list of available features.