So if you're like most brands, you post a new piece of content, say a blog post and ... wait.
Humm, what! Really? Okay, so you'll send out an email to your subscribers to let them know there's a new post. Which, still works, partly (more on that later).
What if there was a different way? Something which is still relatively new in the ever-changing world of marketing and provides a new channel to grow your subscribers. Heard of Web Push Notifications?
Like traditional app-based push notifications on your phone (think Twitter), web push ones work in a similar way. Both send notifications even when you're not on the app or website.
And, that last point is key.
Here's how a web push notification I sent looks on Chrome. As you can see, it is similar to app push.
Once a visitor to your website subscribes (opts-in) to notifications, the door to engagement is powerfully open. You could say it is one of the easiest customer retention tools, both easy to setup and use.
Now, the opt-in rate and reaction rates on web push are not as high as on app push, but that doesn't make them any less valuable to brands. (See Accentage's 2017 annual report on push notifications to see how web vs app push perform across platforms, markets, and industries. Their study is annual and provides detailed data.)
As web push is relatively new, there isn't as much data out there, so be careful when looking at reports or blog posts which refer to studies on opt-in rates, etc - most are citing numbers which are for app push.
Even if web push doesn't perform at the same levels as app push, it is still a perfect way to nudge visitors to revisit your website, keep them informed about new content, target product offerings, and most importantly re-engage with your brand.
This is especially important for small and medium-sized companies where an app isn't an option due to cost or it doesn't fit within their brand strategy. (Mobile-responsive website vs mobile app is a discussion I'll leave to the mobile pros. Here's a good link if this is a discussion you're having at your company )
The point being, a mobile-responsive website will have a greater reach than an app, hence if your brand can take advantage of the higher engagement rate of push notifications (without an app), then a web push notification option is a good compromise.
This makes web push notifications very attractive as it gives businesses of all sizes the ability to send push notifications without investing in an app. In essence, reaping the benefits of push notifications - real-time, personalized, in the moment communications.
Any company with a website has the groundwork needed for web push.
And, it opens up a new messaging (marketing) channel in your arsenal with very little additional cost and time. Even more, web push reaches across all devices, be it desktop, mobile or tablet.
Convinced? Get on the bandwagon now. As entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk once proclaimed: “Marketers ruin everything."
Web push is now where app push was five years ago. Meaning, as more marketers start using web push more and more, its opt-in rates will most likely slowly drop.
A word of guidance from Neil Patel, use web push wisely. Only engage (a.k.a. push) when it is meaningful, useful and important for the subscriber.
Brands that start now to encourage their web visitors to subscribe may have higher opt-in rates than brands who try later.
And, if you're afraid that over time you'll gradually lose your opt-in web push subscribers, look for smart ways to convert them to your traditional email subscription lists. Remember, web push is consent-based, meaning it is GDPR compliant as subscribers do not provide their contact information.
As with any marketing channel, no one approach should be viewed in a silo. As a brand, you'll want to see how each channel can work in unison towards an overall strategy. Let's briefly go back to email. According to Leanplum, a combination of web push and email can lead to a 3X number of sessions (re-engagement).
If this is the case, then it will be a definite boost to your email marketing. According to a study by MailChimp, the average email open rate (one of the best ways to tell whether your email strategy is working) across all industries hovers at around 21%.
If web push can help increase these rates, through a multi-channel approach all the better.
With time and through testing, you'll find how web push yields the best results and in what combination with other marketing channels such as email works best for your brand.
Okay, so you're convinced web push is a perfect channel for your brand, how exactly do they work?
That's the beauty of it. Web push notifications are relatively simple to set up.
You'll just need to find a provider (tool) which meets your brand's needs. Here's a list of a few which I have looked at:
There are many out there. You'll need to research, ask around and find the one that matches your requirements.
When shopping for the right provider, you'll want to check which browsers are supported (most cover Chrome, Firefox and Safari), integration with your website, pricing and dashboard features. Also, if images and videos (rich push) are important for your brand, ensure the tool you select lets you add them in notifications. (One key thing to remember, browsers do not support web push on iOS.)
Other important features to consider are segmentation, triggered notifications and geo-location. For example, if alerting visitors of a new product is an important marketing strategy, then you'll want to segment pushes to those who subscribed when visiting a specific type of product.
You'll also want to send push notifications when the user is active. This is where geo-localization is important. As web push is time sensitive, you'll want to avoid sending someone a notification in the middle of the night!
Triggered notification will help you optimize your marketing campaigns and better integrate push within your overall marketing channels approach.
Once you've made your tool choice, successfully integrated the selected tool on your site and tested it (don't forget this step), then you need to set a strategy on how to effectively use web push within your marketing strategy.
Check out this blog post to understand the key metrics to follow when starting out with web push.
Here are a few tips on creating push notifications:
First and foremost, don't send a push unless it's of real value to your subscribers.
Keep the content in the notification short and to the point. Crisp. Lucid. Compelling.
Ensure there is a clear call to action and a link to the appropriate web page or a lead capture landing page if lead generation is the goal.
Build your brand by including your logo.
And, that's it.
Now, the fun begins.
As with any new marketing channel, you will need to experiment and utilize the data provided through the tool's dashboard and your own website to see what works best for your brand and subscribers.