What is Web Push?

Web push is a method to send messages to subscribers through a web browser. In terms of both visibility and delivery, it’s nearly 100%. Web push can send messages to subscribers in real-time, at the moment they engage with their web browser.

Web push is a fairly recent option for Internet marketing and e-commerce – and a powerful one.


Web push is a message sent from an application to a web browser in real-time. It is more commonly referred to as “Web Push Notifications.” Web push is sometimes referred to as: “browser notifications, browser push notifications or desktop push notifications.”

How did Web Push start?

Push notifications were once only available through mobile apps, but this ability has now been added to most major web browsers.

Web push notifications were introduced through the Google Chrome web browser, version 42, in April 2015. They are now available through almost all operating systems, browsers, mobile, tablet, and desktop.

At the time of this writing, it is estimated that more than 100K websites are using push notifications.

How are they being used?

There are many purposes for using web push notifications such as:

  • Contacting your subscribers in real-time.
  • Sending your subscribers timely updates.
  • Sending your customers updates post-purchase.
  • Marketing.
  • E-commerce.
  • As an adjunct or replacement to email.
  • For monetization purposes.
  • And more…

Targeting consumers using desktop browsers on the web remains the place to reach the largest audience. With email performance declining, Web push is a must for subscriber engagement and e-commerce in today’s web marketplace.

How does Web Push work?

When a visitor arrives at a website with web push activated, they will be presented with an opt-in screen. Here is an example of a default web push opt-in screen:


Most push notification opt-in screens only offer a simple text-based subscription prompt. Another variation in a different web browser may read: “(website-URL) would like to send you push notifications.” The specific text may vary among browsers but all are similar and brief.


Key points to note:

  • Users do not have to input any personal information. They simply “opt-in” or “opt-out.”
  • Users can opt-out at any time.
  • If a user chooses to opt-out and “block” messaging, they will not be shown an opt-in screen again. There is little chance of getting them back.


 Download the Web Push Guide PDF


2 Reasons to use Web Push today

  1. Marketers can message their subscribers on or off their site – in real-time
  2. Unlike email, which is easily ignored, Web Push Notifications have nearly a 100% reliability of being delivered and seen. The subscriber will receive and see your message whenever they interact with their web browser.

For web-based and mobile marketing, web push is truly huge. Push messages can be sent to users in real-time – no matter what website they may be visiting. In a study by Thankx.com, they discovered that push notification open rates range between 47-80%.

This is nothing short of game-changing for web marketing!


Web Push + Email Marketing = Marketing Success

While Web Push is superior to email marketing when discussing deliverability and open rates, using them together can prove to be a wise marketing decision. There are three important things to know about Web Push and email marketing:

  1. Email marketing is not dead. Yes, it is declining in effectiveness, but it is still useful and an important part of online marketing nonetheless.
  2. Web push isn’t a substitute for email – it’s a necessary addition to your email marketing.
  3. The most effective marketing approach will use both web push and email marketing.

Email and push notifications aren’t a “one or the other” proposition for your marketing strategy. Each has its own distinct purpose. Web Push and email should be used in conjunction to help you extend your reach and abilities to engage the hyper-connected audiences of today.

When part of an effective marketing strategy, push notifications can drive user engagement by improving the user experience. Engaging your users enhances your opportunity for generating or improving your overall marketing results.


Types of Notifications

Most of the push messages marketers send most often, will fall into two main classifications. These two types of push messages are referred to as: transactional and engagement notifications.

Transactional Push Notifications:

Transactional push notifications are used to deliver information users need to receive at a specific time.

For example, your bank uses transactional push notifications to send you activity updates such as purchase transactions or suspicious activity. An e-commerce website might send you a confirmation message immediately following a purchase you have made.

Engagement Push Notifications:

Engagement push notifications are messages you send to encourage a specific user action.

For example, you might send a message notifying your subscribers for any of these purposes: a new product, free download, sales or discounts.

When using engagement push messages, personalizing those messages is an important consideration. Every user is different. Therefore, engagement notifications should be personalized to the uniqueness of each user. The messages a user receives should be highly relevant to them.



When using engagement push notifications, first and foremost, your mission is to provide value to the user.


Top Benefits

Incorporating web push notifications in your marketing strategy holds many benefits. The short of it is, adding web push notifications to your business will:

  • Get users on board
  • Delight your users by providing value
  • Improve your marketing results (and/or drive sales)
  • Keep your users engaged

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