KickoffLabs Blog:

Here’s What You Need to Know About Website Push Notifications

By Josh Ledgard

Nov 15th, 2016


Are you looking for a new way to drive traffic to your website?

You’ve gone as far as you can go with email marketing (or have you? Check out the definitive guide to getting more email opens here).

You’ve done as much as is humanly possible with social media (or have you? Are you making these social media marketing mistakes?).

You’ve tried it all, short of hiring a skywriter (or have you? Here’s a supersized list of traffic hacks).

If you’ve tried everything and you’re itching for a new strategy to bring more traffic to your site, allow me to formally introduce you to web push notifications. This new form of communication is still catching on, but it will change the way that you interact with your audience forever.

Wow, that sounded really dramatic, but it’s true. Web push notifications are powerful snippets of content that are almost impossible to ignore. And, because it’s still relatively new to desktops, you’ll be on the cutting edge of this traffic-building trend.

Let’s discuss what web push notifications are and how you can use this tool to grow your traffic.

Check out this list of web push notification best practices!

What are Web Push Notifications?

Web push notifications are clickable messages that appear on a computer’s desktop.

Chances are high that you’re already familiar with the concept. If you have a smartphone, you’ve probably received a push notification before. Whether it’s an incoming text or a reminder to return to an app, push notifications are nothing new.

What is new, however, is web-based push notifications. They’re just like app notifications, minus the app. In fact, the subscriber doesn’t even need to be on your website to receive notifications. Instead, a website can send notifications directly to your desktop. These messages just pop up or slide in from the corner of the screen.

How to Get Users to Sign Up for Push Notifications

Push notification subscription is an easy process for the user. Here’s what I mean: Click To Tweet

Push notification subscription is an easy process for the user. On your website, you’ll offer the opt-in in the form of a prompt, like so:


Image Courtesy of Realtime.co

The user will then need to enable push notifications by clicking on the “allow” option. That’s it! They’re in. No fumbling around with email addresses or double opt-ins. They’re on your list, and you’re golden!


Should You Consider Push Notifications?

Heck yeah!


Image Courtesy of QuickMeme

Not only should you get involved with web push notifications, you need to start immediately.

Let’s take a look at the many benefits you can derive from adding push notifications to your list of engagement strategies.

Benefit #1: Increases User Engagement

One of the biggest reasons to go for push notifications is to increase engagement with users.

Let’s face it. People who visit your site for the first time may love it and want to return, but then they get distracted. There are so many shiny objects vying for our attentions. It’s highly likely that even the most well-intentioned users simply forget to return to your site.

That’s why you need to have a fail-safe that gently persuades users to return. In fact, you need more than one.

Push notifications works great in combination with a killer email marketing campaign, a remarketing strategy, and a Facebook paid ad campaign.

Be everywhere your customers are– starting with their desktop. But don’t just be a stalker because that’s creepy. Instead, offer useful content, provide valuable interactions, and give them the solutions to their problems.

With the perfect push notification, you can drive traffic back to your site. It’s all about finding an actionable angle. Create a sense of urgency with updates, news, and information.

Benefit #2: You Bypass the Inbox

I love the inbox and I’m a big champion of email marketing. However, I’ll concede this one fact: email inboxes are crowded spaces. The average person receives 121 emails every day.

It can be really difficult to stand out if your email is competing with dozens of others for attention.

However, push notifications have one major benefit over email marketing: no crowds. You’ll have less competition (at least for now), which brings me to my next point…

Benefit #3: You Become a Pioneer

If you get involved now, you can be a pioneer of push notifications.

Since the concept of web-based push notifications is relatively new, I wouldn’t recommend putting all of your eggs in this basket just yet. Some would-be users won’t be on board with the idea yet, so it’s smart to continue pushing a subscription to your email list in addition to web push notifications. However, once push notifications do catch on– and they will– you’ll already have worked out the kinks, and you’ll be an OG.


Image Courtesy of Tenor

Benefit #4: Subscription is Super Easy

As I mentioned above, subscription to web push notifications requires minimal effort. If your user can click a button, they can sign up.

With traditional email list subscriptions, the audience must click a button, enter their name, enter their email address, click another button, go to their inbox, click on a double opt-in button then, and finally make it to your list.

That’s a six-step process. Sure, it may take 5 minutes max (and that’s mostly waiting for the confirmation email), but it’s enough to deter some people who just don’t feel like going through all of these extra steps.

That’s why the one-step signup process of web push notifications is a brilliant supplement.

Notice I said supplement. A lot of your subscribers will do it the old fashioned, six-step way, but now, you don’t have to miss out on those who are not so inclined.

Benefit #5: No Need to Scream on Social Media

Yes, social media is still an important part of your overall marketing strategy. But, let’s be 100% honest here:

It’s difficult to get seen on social media.

That’s because most social media platforms are using a pay-for-play business model. Organic reach is flatlining, especially on Facebook, and with the noise on Twitter, it’s getting harder and harder to grab the attention of your followers.


Image Courtesy of Giphy

However, web push notifications allow for a more intimate (if I may use that word) interaction with your audience. For example, you won’t have to worry about Facebook’s algorithms. Your push notification will go directly to the end user, period.

Best Practices for Web Push Notifications


Image Courtesy of Giphy

So now that we’ve discussed the benefits of web push notifications, let’s discuss the three rules you should follow:

Web Push Notifications Must Follow These Three Rules

According to Google, your push notifications need to be timely, precise, and relevant. Here’s how that breaks down:

  1. Be Timely – The content should be immediately useful to the reader. For example, Check out our pop-up flash sale, going on for the next hour!
  1. Be Precise – The content needs to be specific and not vague. It also needs to show the reader how to act on the information.
  1. Be Relevant – The content should be user-centric. It must be something that the user cares about.

Your web push notification can’t just be timely and precise, if it’s not relevant. That’s simply annoying and self-serving, and it doesn’t help motivate the user to act. On the other hand, it can’t just be relevant and precise but not timely because why should the user act now, instead of later? What’s the big rush?

So to be successful, your web push notification should meet all three of the above criteria.

Types of Push Notifications

Here are a few examples of push notifications you can use:

Time-sensitive Messages – Your package has been sent or delivered!

Community Updates – Gary just answered your question “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?”

Shopping Cart Messages – Hey, you left an item in your cart. It’s selling out quick!

Blog Updates – Check out our latest blog post now:

Contest Updates – Congrats! You’re currently at the top of the leaderboard. Good job!

How to Get Started with Web Push Notifications

So, now that you’re sorta kinda completely convinced, here’s how to get push notifications on your website without creating one line of code:

Use a tool that does it for you. There are a lot of great tools out there. Here are some to consider:

  • Pushcrew
  • Roost
  • PushEngage
  • Aimtell
  • iZooto
  • Over to You

    We want to know what you think: Would you consider adding push notifications to your site? Tweet us your answer @kickofflabs.

    Don’t forget to download this list of best practices for website push notifications.

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