Technology May 31, 2019 Last updated May 30th, 2019 2,840 Reads share

A Detailed Guide to Using Push Notifications like a Pro

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As a business owner, you’re well acquainted with the challenges of attracting new customers and engaging and retaining with the existing users. The competition is at an all-time high across industries and how.

An average customer has too many choices to shop for similar products or to avail related services. This only implies how necessary aggressive marketing has become to acquire as many customers as possible.

To be in the game, brands are constantly striving to drive better results.

Defining the “push” strategy

Push notifications have emerged as a useful hack for modern marketers who believe in engaging with target customers across devices with timely and contextual messages, without asking them to reply to a text message or click open an email.

From travel sites and online beauty stores to news portals and clothing e-retailers, multiple businesses across domains have successfully enabled push notifications to nudge them to take action, which could include:

  • Visiting the website
  • Purchasing a product
  • Subscribing to the newsletter

The need for “push” on web and mobile

80% of customers use a mobile phone, while at a physical retail store, to compare prices, read product reviews or to find alternative options to shop from. In 2018, $1.8bn people worldwide shopped online, and the number is expected to reach $2.1bn by 2021.

Therefore, now is the right time for implementing a “push” strategy for your business.

The best thing about push notifications is they are the first point of contact with customers in the digital space – whether on desktop or mobile. And they don’t nudge the latter out of their comfort zone to take action, which means you have a pretty good chance of engaging your prospective customers successfully.

What is a web push notification?

A web push notification is a pop-up message your subscriber receives on their mobile or desktop browser. The benefit of a web push notification is that they allow your brand to engage with the user even when he or she is not on the website.


What is a mobile push notification?

Mobile push notification allows you to send your customers’ links to specific pages in your mobile app. When the user clicks on the push notification, they are directed directly to that page. You can re-engage with existing customers by sending them discounts with an effective call-to-action.

If you’re planning to use push notifications to bring back inactive users or constantly engage with the customers, here are some actionable tips:

  1. Cart abandonment recovery

Baymard reports an average abandonment rate of 69.23% which means out of 100 prospective customers, close to 70 of them browse through the website and add selected products in the cart and leave without completing the purchase cycle.

The “push” strategy enables e-commerce stores to hook website and app visitors with an exciting proposition they can’t say no to. A strong hook could include creating a sense of urgency in the message, offering an attractive discount or a coupon code applicable for a limited period.

The beauty brand Sephora uses notifications to remind the users about the items they browsed or added to their shopping cart but did not make the purchase. These messages could also be about the events or location-based offers along for a limited time period.


The online retailer offers a promo code to nudge the prospective customer to come back to the shopping cart and complete the purchase cycle.

  1. Location-based discounts

The tactic works best for those e-commerce players who have a brick-and-mortar presence. 34% of customers respond to push notifications comprising an offer based on their current location. The message here informs them of any ongoing sales at the store, and that increases in-store footfall and sales.


Starbucks gives deep discounts to customers who are near their physical outlets.

  1. Time-sensitive price alerts

The travel search site Kayak lets users set up price notifications. The moment the flight prices drop, the user gets the notification. They disguise the flash sale as breaking news. They can get away by sending it even at 5.55am because they understand the value a user finds in getting the best deals on flights, as soon as possible.


  1. Post-booking ancillary cross-sell

Use push notifications to cross-sell services like hotel and cab bookings to customers who have already booked their flight or train tickets from your website. Implement “push” to help them manage their trip better.


A push notification comprising details of 10 best hotels in XYZ city or 10 things to do in ABC city will attract customers who are traveling to those locations for the first time., an online travel agent, makes relevant recommendations to its customers.

  1. Order status updates

Once customers have shopped from you, keep updating them about the shipping status via “push.” Save them the stress of keeping a tab on their order and maintain transparent communication.

Similarly, when the order has been delivered, notify them and then ask for feedback via “push.”

GrubHub and Swiggy have incorporated a live delivery update feature that lets the customers know when their food is on its way.


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  1. Personal connection

Push notifications are useful in scenarios where there is a greater need for businesses to communicate with their customers on a personal level. 12 Minute Athlete does that well. Its mobile app lets users schedule their workout reminders. When it is workout time, the brand sends a mobile push message like “You’ve got this!”


  1. Increase subscriptions

Web push notifications are useful in getting more readers to subscribe to your blog. Send alerts to new and repeat visitors and ask them to sign-up, if they haven’t already., a leading digital marketing blog, has implemented push notifications to increase its readership.


  1. Share relevant content

When you’re looking to have more people read your articles, email is not always the most preferred platform from a marketing point of view. “Push” can help get your new post alerts to reach your audience in real-time and get clicks instantly.

Online publication Foundr magazine uses web push notification about their course “How to start a profitable online store in 12 weeks or less”.


Dos and don’ts of push notifications

Implementing a successful “push” strategy requires you to do the following:

  1. General messages hardly work. Personalizing the notifications leads to click-through rates as high as 25%.
  2. Too many push notifications on web or mobile in a day will frustrate your target customers. Fix a frequency according to the times your users are the most active and stick to it.
  3. Bring your copywriting skills into play. Your copy should be concise, easy-to-understand and highlight the most important value proposition.
  4. Use an omnichannel push strategy to increase the engagement of your notification. Ensure that the strategy includes both web and mobile push notifications.
  5. Send a push notification only when you have sometimes valuable to share.
  6. Emojis are in! More than 90% of internet users communicate with them. Therefore, add relevant emojis in your push notifications. But don’t overuse them.
  7. A/B testing push notifications is always a great idea. The more you experiment, the better you will understand your target customers, and that will help you modify your “push” strategy for better results.
  8. The ideal character limit of push notification is 20 characters. Try not to exceed that number.
  9. Include “push” in your annual marketing plan. Invest in a push notification software to make the activity a success for your business.

Wrapping up

There is no doubt that “push” is an effective marketing strategy – whether your business goal is to re-engage store visitors, increase sales or boost reader engagement.

As long as you maintain a sense of personalization in your push notification copies and send them at a frequency most convenient to your subscribers, you will witness a considerable boost in engagement, sales, and revenue.

How has been your experience of implementing push notifications for your app/website?



Manoj Surya

Manoj Surya

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