What are website push notifications?
Website push notifications are messages sent as prompts by a website to a user’s web browser and are similar to push notifications sent by mobile applications. However, the main difference is that website push notifications can be sent to and accessed on desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
This article will examine how important website push notifications are in the world of online marketing especially when done correctly. How do push notifications work and what methods can be used to help optimize marketing campaigns? These are a few questions that we will have a closer look at.
The success of a business depends on how well you can encourage customers to engage with and buy your goods or services. The bridge between a potential customer and your business is the communication channels which are available; such as SMS, emails, social media platforms, both website and mobile app push notifications.
How important are these communication channels?
· Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. According to go-gulf.com the majority of time spent online is done on social media platforms. “Social networking is the most time-consuming activity for an Internet user. A normal Internet user spends around:
- 1. 22 percent of his/her time on social networking sites,
- 2. 21 percent on searches,
- 3. 20 percent on reading content,
- 4. 19 percent on emails and communication,
- 5. 13 percent on multimedia sites and 5 percent on online shopping.
92 percent of Internet users have used the internet for sending e-mails and for using search engines. 83 percent for getting more information related to health or hobbies. 82 percent for searching directions, 81 percent for getting weather information, 78 percent for information on new products, 76 percent for reading news, 72 percent for entertainment and 71 percent for online shopping.”
The only issue with social media as a channel for communication is that the rate of engagement is significantly low. This means that social media is not as effective as other communication channels when it comes to achieving a specific goal at a specific time. Social media is, therefore, better suited for brand awareness and promotion, and establishing a strong relationship between your customers and your business.
· SMS messaging — ‘90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes’. SMS is a great way of communicating important information such as expected delivery notifications because of the restrictions involved, such as limited character count. SMS messages should not be used for information that is likely to be used multiple times such as receipts as they are difficult to organize and search later on.
· Email marketing — According to the Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report, 2015–2019: “Worldwide email use continues to grow at a healthy pace. In 2015, the number of worldwide email users will be nearly 2.6 billion. By the end of 2019, the number of worldwide email users will increase to over 2.9 billion. Over one-third of the worldwide population will be using email by year-end 2019.”
“In 2015, the number of emails sent and received per day total over 205 billion. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3% over the next four years, reaching over 246 billion by the end of 2019. o Email use continues to see strong use in the business world, as well as among consumers. The amount of consumer email continues to grow mainly due to its use for notifications (e.g. for online sales) rather than simply as an interpersonal communication tool.”
The main advantage of email marketing is that it has a broad reach and information can be accessed at any time through search boxes, unlike social media and SMS messages that can be difficult to access later on.
Website Push Notifications: Just how do they work?
When a user visits a website, a pop-up notification appears usually at the top-left hand corner of the page prompting either a ‘block’ or ‘allow’ response.
Once the user clicks ‘allow’ you will be able to send push notifications from the website. The content of the message is limited to a certain number of characters and a URL needs to be included. Push notifications are sent in real-time, regardless as to whether the user has the website open or not.
How do I optimize push notifications?
Make sure the content is concise, straight to the point and relevant. With character restrictions, your content needs to be both brief and engaging. The main aim of push notifications is to increase the number of clicks, conversions, and sales; for that to happen you need to bear in mind the term ‘relevance’. If what you are saying to customers is not relevant and engaging, then the likelihood of increasing sales numbers decreases.
So, how do I keep my push notifications relevant and engaging? Time is money, therefore don’t waste time by waffling, instead, get straight to the point and explain what it is you’re offering.
Creating a sense of urgency can be a good of increasing sales. For example: ‘limited offer for latest iPhone X, ends in 2 hours.’ Make use of social proof as people tend to be easily influenced by reviews when considering purchasing a product or service.
What about timing?
When sending website push notifications, you need to consider the time of day and the different time zones.
According to Localytics, it’s better to send push notifications during the week rather than weekends. “Push message click rates are fairly consistent throughout the week but drop on the weekend. During the week, the click rate average is 5.8%, but for the weekend the click rate drops down to 3.5%. This means there’s a 66% higher click rate on push messages that are sent on weekdays. Tuesdays and Fridays, in particular, seem to be the most popular for actual click-throughs. People are near their phones more during the workday, and often seek out distractions for quick work breaks. Target your campaigns to send on days with the highest click rate to capitalize on this behavior and appeal to users when they’re looking for a 5-minute break.”
How often should I be sending push notifications to my customers?
Message frequency is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of your push notification campaign. With push notifications instant user engagement is the aim of the game, so you should avoid overwhelming and flooding your customers with too many notifications.
By keeping a close eye on bounce rates, click-through rates, opt-outs and time spent on your webpage you can optimize your push notification campaign to best suit your target audience.