Not Sure Where to Start with Web Push? Start Here.

Web push notifications are about to blow up—make sure you know how to use them effectively

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The web isn’t going anywhere. While mobile apps have become increasingly popular over the years (more popular, arguably, than television), that doesn’t mean that web usage has cratered. In fact, time spent on desktop is up 37% since 2011, and there’s evidence that mobile web audiences may be growing even faster than many top apps. But apps have traditionally had a big advantage over web—the ability to communicate directly with users via mobile push notifications and in-app messages.

That’s changed. Web messaging is now a reality, making it possible for brands to use in-browser messages and web push notifications in their customer outreach.

Web Push example

Web push notifications in action

We’ve talked a lot about web push recently. What web push notifications are. How Appboy supports this new messaging channel. How brands can use in-browser messages to encourage users to opt in for web push. That’s because we think this messaging channel has the potential to be transformative, allowing websites to engage, retain, monetize, and support long-term relationships with customers in much the same way that mobile apps already do. But only if marketers use it effectively.

To help you get there, we’ve identified eight campaigns that work great with web push. See which ones fit your marketing needs and start taking advantage of this promising new channel.

1. Promotional campaigns

Imagine that your brand has an ecommerce website that’s aimed at women and it’s about to run a two-day sale on all wine and chocolates. But while the sale may be perfectly aimed at its target audience, it’s not going to be successful if customers don’t know about it. Some customers will visit your website during the sale and will find out about it on their own; others are on your email list and can be targeted with outreach that way. But many potential customers will likely miss the sale entirely.

Web push can help address that. This messaging channel allows brands to send eye-catching notifications to people who have visited their website in the past, even if they’re currently looking at some other site. That makes it possible to inform more of your web visitors about the sale, encouraging more conversions and higher revenue. (However, because web visitors have to opt in to receive web push, it’s important to make sure that you’re asking them to enable this messaging channel the right way.)

2. Re-engagement campaigns

Re-engagement web push campaign

Long-term success for today’s brands is built on strong, ongoing relationships with their customers. And those kinds of strong relationships are based on customers’ consistent engagement with your app or website.

When a previously engaged customer begins to visit your website less frequently, web push notifications can help reverse that trend. Because this messaging channel can reach beyond your website to communicate with web visitors in an attention-getting way, sending web push campaigns incorporating discounts and other incentives to disengaging customers gives you the ability to effectively encourage them to re-engage with your brand.

3. Preference-driven campaigns

Maybe you’re an ecommerce brand that allows customers to add items to a wishlist. Or a music streaming service that lets users tag their favorite musicians. Or you have an events website that allows customers to save events that they’re interested in. As long as your web presence gives web visitors the ability to indicate their preferences or interests, web push can be a major asset to your customer engagement efforts.

Using web push, brands can reach out to their web visitors with personalized notifications that are directly based on each customer’s preferences, making the outreach more likely to be seen as relevant and valuable by their recipients. That music streaming service can send customers a notification when one of their favorite artists releases a new single; that events site can use this messaging channel to remind customers about saved events an hour or a day before they happen, ensuring they don’t miss them. That’s great messaging—the kind of messaging that durable relationships are built on.

4. Abandoned purchase campaigns

For brands that conduct sales transactions via their websites, incomplete purchases can be a major annoyance. A customer visits your website, browses through the products or services that your brand offers, chooses one, adds it to their shopping cart… and then departs without finishing the buying process. Some of these customers will come back on their own, but many won’t.

Web push notifications give your brand a compelling way to encourage them to return and finish that purchase. Instead of sending these customers an in-browser message (that will only reach them if they visit the site on your own) or an email (which they won’t see until the next time they check their inbox), you can reach them at the time of your choosing with a web push message and nudge them toward finishing the purchase. To increase the odds that they take action, consider using send-time personalization to ensure that your web push notifications reach them at the time they’re most likely to engage with it.

5. Arrival notification campaigns

Arrival notification web push

As technology has advanced, convenience has been increasingly prioritized by brands and customers alike. Instead of having to go to a store in person, you can make purchases from that brand’s website or app. Instead of having to pick up your purchases and bring them home yourself, you can have them delivered. And the rise of on-demand firms has made it possible to have all manner of products and services brought right to you, wherever you happen to be.

Used effectively, web push can drive convenience even further by allowing brands to keep their web visitors up to speed on their orders. Customers appreciate being updated, as long as the information is useful. And because this channel can capture web visitors’ attention even when they’re looking at another site, it’s an effective way to let someone know that the futon they ordered has been delivered, or that the pizza delivery person should be there in the next 10 minutes, or even that the car they requested is stuck in traffic and will be arriving 10 minutes late.

6. Loyalty-focused campaigns

For many brands, their web presence is central to their audience loyalty efforts—think customers of travel and hospitality firms using the web to manage their loyalty rewards, or customers of financial firms accessing account statements and moving money around via web. This kind of interaction is at the core of the customer/brand relationship, but not every customer takes advantage of it.

Thankfully, web push gives brands ways to encourage customers to engage seriously with their accounts via web. Imagine that your brand has a customer who hasn’t checked their rewards account in a while, but is only one booking away from a free flight. With web push—in conjunction with triggered messaging—it’s now possible to send customers a message when they hit a particular loyalty program threshold, encouraging them to check their balance, engage with your web presence, and potentially make a purchase.

7. Social messaging campaigns

If your brand’s website has a social component, web push activity messaging can be a great way to encourage your web visitors to keep coming back on a regular basis. Social messaging—which keep customers informed when an online friend or an influencer they’re following publishes a post, shares an image, or carries out other notable actions—gives members of your web audience compelling reasons to return to your website. By encouraging those customers to engage with your brand’s digital presence regularly, this sort of web push campaign has the potential to increase audience retention significantly

8. Marketplace messaging campaigns

Marketplace Messaging web push

For brands with websites that include a marketplace component (think eBay or Wallapop), web push can play a role in keeping users informed about auctions and purchases they’ve expressed interest in. For instance, you could automatically send users a web push notification when bids for an item they’ve listed for sale top a set amount, or notify customers when a bid they’ve entered is topped by another potential buyer. This kind of targeted messaging can both improve the customer experience and incentivize additional engagement with your web presence, potentially boosting customer retention.

Anything else?

While web push has the potential to be a powerful tool for brands looking to encourage stronger customer engagement and higher retention, it’s important to be thoughtful about how you make use of it.
78% of customers will disable mobile push notifications or uninstall an app if they receive messages they’re unhappy with, and there’s no reason to think that they’ll show more tolerance toward web push. Consider limiting how many web push notifications customers receive using frequency capping or allowing recipients to select what sort of web push notifications they receive and how often using a preference center. By exercising restraint and giving customers the opportunity to weigh in on how they’d like to be engaged, you can increase the odds that your audience embraces web push as a messaging channel, allowing you to reach them more effectively.

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