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The Definitive Guide to Push Notifications for Beginners

There’s a new way to compete on the web today.

What is it?

Web push notification.

You may have received some push notifications in your web browser or smartphone before.

In this article, you’ll learn what web push notification is and how to use it to boost conversions on your website.

What Are Push Notifications?

Push notifications are alert-style messages that appear at the top or bottom-right corner of your web browser.

On a smartphone, they appear at the center of your screen.

Push notifications provide value and convenience to browser and smartphone users.

Push notifications allow marketers to reach prospects and customers directly.

I’m a big fan of push notifications both as a marketer and a web user.

Push notifications let me become aware of major developments, messages or updates immediately.

A push notification is sent from the server of the merchant, marketer or developer directly to the browser or smartphone of the user.

What are Web Push Notifications?

There are two kinds of push notifications:

  1. In-app push notifications
  2. Web push notifications

In-app push notifications are those notifications you receive on your smartphone. They appear at the center of your smartphone screen.

In-app push notifications are sent from the apps you use.

For example, the alerts you receive from Facebook that appear at the home screen of your smartphone when you’re not using it are examples of in-app push notifications.

You can also see these types of notifications when you’re in another app. In that case, the notification appears at the top or bottom of the screen.

In-app messages often include a deep link to take you back to the application.

For example, an in-app notification from Facebook about a new friend request will take you back to the app to decline or accept the request.

Now let’s talk about web push notifications.

Web push notifications come from a website instead of an app.

Web push notifications are delivered in web browsers. With an amazing technology like GrowthFunnel Push Notification, they can also be delivered to the home screens of smartphones.

You don’t need to build an application to send web push notifications. You can send push notifications from GrowthFunnel and re-engage prospects and customers as mobile apps do.

You can send web push notifications to Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. These browsers have a combined global market share of 80%.

Web push notifications let you reach web users who are not on your website. You can send them messages that bring them back to your site.

For example, let’s say you subscribed to receive push notifications from GrowthFunnel when you’re on the site today. Days later, you can receive a push notification from us even if you hadn’t visited our site since the day you subscribed.

Elements of the Perfect Push Notification

What are the elements you should expect to see in a perfect push notification?

A perfect push notification should contain:

  • Headline
  • Description
  • The landing page’s URL
  • An icon

The headline gets push subscribers’ attention to the message or description. It’s what will ultimately make people visit your site when they click on the push notification.

Spend enough time writing a catchy headline for your notification. A catchy headline will make your message stand out among other notifications in users’ browsers and smartphones.

Surprise your push subscribers. Come up with something they’ve not seen before. That’s how you get their attention.

The description is the next element subscribers will see in your push notification.

How do you write a description that makes people click?

Use action words.

Action words make people act.

Use action verbs.

Action verbs are verbs that express physical or mental action.

An action verb tells readers what to do. Words like “learn,” “discover,” “see,” and “read” are action verbs.

Each sentence in your description should include two or more action verbs.

I’m a big fan of action verbs. You’ll find lots of them in this article.

If you’ve written a headline that hooks your push subscribers, you need an enchanting description to make them act.

The URL is the next.

If you plan to send subscribers to a landing page on your site, you should include the URL in the push notification. There’s a space for that.

So, what’s next?

An icon.

It helps subscribers know that it’s your message. An icon is that small image that appears alongside the notification.

The below screenshot shows how your icon will appear in Chrome and Firefox browsers. In Chrome, the icon appears on the left side. In Firefox, it shows on the right side of the desktop.

GrowthFunnel has an innovative push technology that lets you create push notifications under 4 minutes.

All you have to do is write the headline and description. Include a target URL and upload an icon. There are options to include some tracking parameters.

You also need to get your timing right.

Timing is important when sending push notifications.

Send your push notifications when your subscribers are active online. You’ll get more engagements from your notifications when you do that.

Don’t send push notifications when subscribers are sleeping and expect to see great results.

You should know your subscribers really well and where most of them are based.

Send notifications early in the morning and a little bit late in the evening if most of your subscribers don’t stay online during work.

But if most of your readers spend most of their day online, it means you can send your push notification during work hours.

Top Use Cases of Push Notification

One of the most interesting things about push notification is that all kinds of businesses or startups can use it.

It doesn’t matter the kind of business you run. You can use push notification to boost engagement with prospects and customers and increase revenue in the process.

I’ve decided to write top use cases of push notification for these five types of businesses:

  1. eCommerce
  2. B2B companies
  3. Web publishers
  4. Banks
  5. And hospitality businesses

Note that you can use push notification for any business. These are just examples.

Reading how these businesses can use the push technology will tell you a lot more about the technology. You’ll be able to apply some of these use cases to your own business too.

Web Push Notification Use Cases for Ecommerce Businesses

Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are examples of e-commerce businesses online. These sites are marketplaces people buy and sell goods.

How can these sites use push notification to boost sales?

Send cart abandonment push notifications

About 70% of your customers will abandon their carts.

What you do after customers have abandoned their carts is crucial to gaining some of those lost sales.

When you reach customers who abandoned their shopping carts through email, you’ll have to wait for them to check their email messages.

Push notifications let you get in front of customers much faster and more effectively.

When you send a cart abandonment push notification, customers see it immediately if they are online.

If they are offline, they see it once they come back online.

Through the push technology, you can notify customers about the products they left in their carts if they’ll love to complete it.

Send season or weather-based offers

If you’re a fashion enthusiast like I am, I’m sure you like to wear clothes that fit the current season.

For example, we’re currently in Fall. Amazon is selling clothes that are suitable for the Fall season.

An e-commerce site that sells clothes shouldn’t wait for customers to visit the site. The site could send subscribers push notifications that showcase some weather-based offers.

Send push notifications to promote new collections

Most e-commerce sites sell a variety of products. An e-commerce site could be so huge that it’s hard for customers to know when there are new products they may want to buy.

If you have an e-commerce site that sells 20 products, it’ll be tough for potential customers to recognize new and old products.

With push notifications, you can notify customers about new products.

Send push notifications offering mouth-watering discounts

Everyone likes to buy goods cheaper than their regular prices.

If the regular price of a product on your site is $100 and you decided to cut 30% off, it means the product now sells for $70. You should tell your subscribers about the change.

Push notification is the fastest way to do that.

Such discount is mouth-watering. It gets people to act quicker.

Send push notifications that retarget customers

Let’s assume that a group of customers bought shoes. You can retarget these customers by sending them attractive clothing offers they can’t resist.

They’ll buy even quicker if you offer them discounts.

There’s nothing wrong with retargeting customers who bought before.

Retargeting with push notifications isn’t limited to customers. You can also retarget visitors who are yet to buy on your site.

You can reach them again with incredible offers through push notifications.

Web Push Notification Use Cases for B2B Businesses

B2B businesses can use push notifications to boost engagement and sales.

How can a B2B business use the push technology?

Send push notifications that promote new content

It takes five to seven site visits to convert a B2B prospect. It’s hard to convert a prospect who hasn’t visited your site more than once.

Because most B2B products and services are expensive, it requires more time to convert B2B customers than B2C customers.

Some B2C products cost $10. It wouldn’t take much thinking to buy a product that costs $10.

But a B2B customer who is buying a product that costs $800, or maybe $100 per month needs more time. The customer needs to learn about the B2B brand and its products.

B2B businesses can use push notifications to keep prospects coming back to their sites.

Send push notifications when you publish new content. The more repeat visits prospects make to your site, the easier it becomes to convert them.

Send push notifications to notify customers about product updates

B2B businesses like SaaS companies need the push technology.

SaaS companies constantly improve their service to be better for their customers or users.

When most SaaS companies improve their software like fix bugs or add a new feature, what they often do is write a blog post about it.

For example, the screenshot below shows HubSpot announcing an upcoming product update.

Few users will see this blog post.

Why not send a push notification instead?

That sounds smarter because most of your customers will see it when they come online.

Send push notifications to collect feedback from customers

A B2B company that wants to improve its products should collect feedback.

Feedback helps B2B companies grow. Feedback helps B2B companies recognize new opportunities the competition may be neglecting.

Many B2B companies are already collecting feedback through emails.

Push notifications can help you collect feedback faster than emails because your push subscribers will see it immediately it’s sent.

Emails take some time. Some people won’t respond until days or weeks later.

Web Push Notification Use Cases for Web Publishers

Content-heavy sites like the Huffington Post and Mashable are using push notifications. They realize the opportunity it presents them to reach readers before the competition.

For example, here’s a screenshot of Mashable asking me to subscribe to receive push notifications from them.

Mashable is a smart publisher by using web push notifications. Most digital publishers are yet to take full advantage of web push notifications.

Send push notifications to notify readers of real-time news

We live in a fast-paced world. Things happen very quickly. Web readers want to stay on top of current events.

Most people rely on Twitter to get real-time news.

Twitter can be a big distraction. You can help your readers by sending them push notifications about the latest breaking news.

Doing that will help them avoid getting distracted while at the same time become aware of the latest events in their industries.

One of the breaking news I just got from Mashable says that Twitter is redesigning its site and it’ll look whiter than the current design. That’s big news for ardent Twitters users like me who love white space.

Send push notifications asking free readers to become paid subscribers

Publishers like the New York Times and the Washington Post are my favorite publications where I read the news and great writings online. I’m a paid subscriber of both sites.

Most of the content on these sites may be about politics, but they are interesting to read. There are also other exciting topics.

Publishers running paid publications can use push notifications to gain new subscribers.

Send occasional notifications that ask push subscribers to become paid readers.

Send push notifications to notify subscribers of interest-based updates.

If you’re operating a digital publication that covers several related topics, some readers might only be interested in a few topics.

For example, I’m a digital marketing expert and writer. I visit marketing publications like Search Engine Land and Social Media Examiner.

But I’m not interested in every topic these sites publish.

For example, I’m less interested in articles on advertising. I don’t do much advertising online.

I care about topics related to inbound marketing like social media marketing, push technology, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and others.

These sites can send me push notifications whenever there is new content related to any of the topics I’m interested in.

Web Push Notification Use Cases for Banks

It’s no longer wise to keep your bank apps on your smartphone because of the numerous data breaches happening today.

If your bank app gets hacked, your funds could get stolen.

Web users are relying more on web browsers to conduct bank transactions these days. Web users are also installing fewer apps on their smartphones.

For this reason, some banks have turned to web push notifications.

How are banks and fintech companies using web push notifications to communicate with their customers?

Send push notifications to notify customers of credit card or ATM transactions

When customers withdraw cash using their ATM cards, or they conducted credit card transactions, they should receive a push notification in their web browser or smartphone.

When there are unusual activities, subscribers can quickly detect and report immediately.

Customers will feel safer doing online banking transactions than in-app transactions.

Send push notifications to notify customers of relevant promotions and offers

TD Bank is currently offering a $300 bonus to customers who open a Premier account and receive direct deposits of more than $2,500 within 60 days.

Bank promotions like this are common. Push notifications are one of the most effective ways to promote new account offers.

Banks are more likely to convert more customers when they allow them to apply for the promotion online.

Send push notifications to confirm when a new ATM card has been dispatched

Customers lose their ATM cards. Sometimes, their ATM cards expire.

For most banks, it could take a few days to send a new ATM card to the customer.

Banks can send push notifications to inform customers when their new ATM cards are dispatched. It lets the customer know immediately that they’ll be receiving their cards soon.

Banks using push notification is a great way to take customer service to a greater level.

Web Push Notification Use Cases for Hospitality Businesses

UK hotel group Ashley Hotels is one of my favorite hotels that use the push technology on its sites.

The group has eight hotels in its portfolio, and they are all using the push technology.

So, how can you use web push notifications to build a successful hospitality business?

Send push notifications that promote incentives

There’s a reason why successful digital-based businesses use incentives like discounts. It’s because they work almost 100% of the time.

You can tap into the power of discounts to grow your business too.

Don’t stop marketing to old customers. Give them reasons to come back to your hotel.

Send customers push notifications with discounts offers in them.

Discounts bring people back.

Send push notifications to promote loyalty program packages

If there’s a slight decline in booking, you can turn to push notifications to help you raise engagement and sales for your hotel.

How do you do it?

Create loyalty programs or membership packages to offer push subscribers.

For example, you can send a push notification that tells them that they will qualify for a 50% discount on weekdays if they join your membership program.

Some customers will surely want to take advantage of the program to enable them to book for lower prices. You can make the offer available for a limited time to create the fear of missing out (FOMO) in customers.

Send push notifications to ask for feedback

The perfect time to ask for feedback is minutes after a customer checked out of their hotel room.

When you reach out this time, the customer is likely to respond because the experience of being at the hotel is still new in their minds.

Customer feedback is essential to providing the best service to hotel customers. That’s why you need feedback.

Push notifications can help you collect feedback because every customer will see it.

Start using GrowthFunnel to send out push notifications

GrowthFunnel is one of the best push technologies available today.

It’s free to start using GrowthFunnel to send push notifications.

Sign up here today to get started.

After signing up, the next step is to click the Push Notification icon located on the left side of the screen.

After doing that, you’ll be taken to the Notification dashboard, where you’ll be able to create a new push notification.

Simply read the quick guide to learn everything you need to know about creating and sending Push Notifications.

What are you waiting for?

Sign up for GrowthFunnel today.

Comments (2)

  1. Very informative article. Thank you very much. What should I consider before choosing push notification provider? I am using Shopify platform and would like to integrate this app by my own, I do not have a lot of IT knowledge. Maybe you have tried different applications by your own? Would be interesting to hear the review on this one: firepush