In this article, we’ll go over what you need to know about push notifications so you can determine if they’re right for your business model.
You’ve probably visited a website lately and saw a not-so-attractive pop-up asking if you wanted to receive “push notifications.” As a digital marketer, you may have thought about whether or not you should add push notifications to your site.
Well, there are some pros and cons to this.
Right now, the savvy digital marketers are all over it. I’ll explain…
What, Exactly, Are Push Notifications?
Push notifications are browser-based notifications that websites send to people who’ve chosen to receive them. On a desktop or laptop browser, they usually appear in the lower, right-hand corner.
If you click the “Allow” button on a pop-up that asks if you want to receive push notifications, you can expect to see a little message from that site magically appear on your browser window at some point in the future. That will happen even if you’re visiting a different website.
A Classic Case of Interruption Marketing
Pop-ups “interrupt” the user at the moment. That’s why they’re considered an example of interruption marketing.
Consider this scenario: a user who opted to receive a push notification from xyz.com is using Quickbooks Online at 10AM. That person is doing some accounting work.
Then, all of a sudden, a little pop-up appears in the bottom corner of the screen. It’s a message from xyz.com notifying the user that a new blog post has been published.
That notification interrupted the user.
Before you decide that push notifications are right for your business, ask yourself if people in your target market will respond positively to interruption marketing.
What About Mobile Support?
Push notifications are supported on mobile devices, but there’s a catch.
They’re generally supported on Android platforms. It’s a different story with iOS, though.
Some push notification solutions support iOS. Others don’t.
That’s because Apple has some fairly stringent requirements for people who want to send push notifications to a Safari browser. They have to obtain a developer’s license and then register to send push notifications.
So, depending on your push notification software, you might or might not be able to send notifications to iOS users. That’s something to think about as you decide whether or not push notifications are right for your business.
If you do opt for push notifications, it’s best to equip your site with the HTTPS protocol.
Why? Because you’ll probably make it easier for visitors to opt in to receive push notifications.
Some push notification software will allow a one-click opt-in solution if the site is using HTTPS. On the other hand, if the site is using HTTP, then the software will insist on a two-click opt-in solution.
You could lose some subscribers between that first and second click. That’s why it’s a great idea to go with HTTPS instead of HTTP on your site if you’re using push notifications.
You’ll also get a few SEO benefits if you go with HTTPS over HTTP.
Adding Push Notifications to Your Site
As you can imagine, the technology behind push notifications is advanced. That’s why you might need to get some help from a professional developer if you want push notifications on your site.
The good news is that there are push notification plugins available if you’re using WordPress.
Push Notifications for WordPress by PushAssist is one option. You’ll have to fork over some cash if you want to enjoy the full benefits of the product, but it does support iOS.
OneSignal is another solution. You can’t beat the price: it’s free.
How to Use Push Notifications
How should you use push notifications in your digital marketing efforts? There are several ways:
- Time-sensitive notifications – Send people “limited time offer” notifications that incentivize them to make a quick purchase. That’s a great way to raise some revenue over a short period of time.
- Personalized notifications – Segment your recipients based on their interests. Then, send personalized messages to people in each segment.
- New blog post notifications – If you don’t publish new blog posts very frequently, then a push notification is a great way to tell people that there’s new content on your blog. They might have missed it completely without the notification.
- Abandoned shopping cart notifications – Send push notifications to people who’ve bailed on the shopping cart before checking out. Offer a coupon code as a way to convince them to complete the transaction.
- Upsell and cross-sell notifications – You don’t have to always market to new customers. Send push notifications to existing customers with upsell and cross-sell offers.
- Request for feedback notifications – Want to know what people think about your business? Ask them.
Get Started With Browser Push Notifications Now
Push notifications can be a great way to promote your brand online. Just make sure you do some up-front research to determine if they’re right for your business. Then, be sure you don’t overuse them. They can make some people pretty upset!