Web push notifications are clickable messages that are sent to a subscriber’s browser from a website. You are probably more familiar with Push notifications you get from native mobile applications. For instance, when you get a new email, your email app will pop up a message on you screen to alert you and so that you can click on it to directly go to the email. You probably receive lots of notifications from other apps such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc.
The reason most apps use push notifications is to increase engagement with their users. These notifications provide real time alerts to the latest content and information relevant to the user.
On mobile app these are the default way the applications communicate with their users due to the much higher response rate over email and text message
According to a recent survey “Push notifications produce twice as many open rates and click-throughs than email”
“Web” Push notifications
Recently due to the advancement of browser standards Web push notifications can now be received by your browser (i.e. Chrome, Firefox etc). This means that any web application or website can now ask its users to subscribe to Web Push notifications.
Web push notification also have the huge additional benefit that they can now be received not only on mobile and tablet devices but desktop and laptop computers as well.
You may be thinking that these notifications can only be received when a user has the website open in the browser, but this is not the case.
Introducing service workers
Thanks to servicing workers, notifications will still be shown even when the website is closed. This is especially important for engagement as it will encourage the user to reopen your website and attract their attention.
Service workers are small bits of code that are supplied by a website that run independently of the website in the browser even when the website is not open.
This is what enables web push notifications to work as well as other functionality such as intercepting network requests, caching or retrieving resources from the cache. I will write a more in-depth blog post on.
How do Website Push Notifications work?
When you download a mobile app, you have to give permission to receive notifications as part of the installation. With web notifications you must explicitly give permission to receive notifications from the website.
When you land on a website for the first time an opt-in box will be shown asking for permission to send notifications. If the user clicks allow, they will be added to the website subscriber list.
Now that a user has become a subscriber you can send them push notifications. A push notification can include a title, message, image and URL. Generally, the URL will link back your website to the new content to which the notification was about.
Should you use web push notifications?
If you have a website on which you regularly publish new content whether it be products, news, jobs etc or you just want to make users aware of new offers and opportunities, push notification are crucial to getting your customers to re-engage with your website.
If you would like any more information on Web Push Notifications or would like to implement them on your site contact us and we will be glad to help.