What Are Web Push Notifications and How Do They Work?

Web push notifications are a powerful marketing tool that’s used by many websites to attract more visitors and thus, increase traffic. They are often used to boost sales and conversions, too. If you are wondering how to best take advantage of them on your website, continue reading. In this article, we’ll let you know exactly what they are, how they work, and are pros and cons of adding them to your website. Or you can skip everything and simply get in touch with the knowledgeable team from WP Full Care. The last thing you’d have to worry about is your website’s maintenance as they’d handle all aspects of it.

What are web push notifications?

Did you ever notice messages that periodically pop at the top right corner of your screen while browsing? Well, what you’re seeing are web push notifications or browser push notifications. The fact that you’re seeing them means you subscribed to a specific website’s push notifications at some point.

A photo representing social media notifications coming out from a smartphone
Unlike app notifications that only pop up on users’ mobile devices, web push notifications are delivered on a user’s desktop or mobile screen anytime they have their browser open.

They are actionable messages sent to a subscriber’s device from a specific website via their browser. These messages are often contextual and personalized, sent in a timely manner in order to engage, re-engage, or retain website subscribers. Unlike forms or website overlays, these types of notifications don’t need your personal information such as name or email address.

These notifications can be a great marketing tool as they can help keep subscribers engaged as well as extend the reach and attract more visitors. Nowadays, they’re a part of many modern marketing strategies. They complement traditional communication channels such as SMS or email and they often outperform them.

How do web push notifications work?

Most modern browsers come with built-in support for push notifications which allows website owners to request visitors’ permissions to send them messages.  Once a visitor gives their permission, their browser will be able to receive notifications from that specific website.

If you want your website to send these notifications, you’ll need to sign up for a web push notification service. These services allow you to deliver notifications to users’ browsers based on criteria defined and set by you. For example, you can schedule notifications based on different users’ time zones or send different messages to different users.

What happens is that, once you send a message, your push notification service sends it to your users’ browsers. This message pops up as a web push notification on your users’ screens. Depending on the type of device or browser the user has, these notifications may look different. However, the message will always remain the same.

Should you add browser push notifications to your website?

Before you add these notifications to your website, you should first consider the pros and cons of using them. Here are the main advantages:

  • Browser push notifications are a simple and easy way to send targeted messages to users directly on their devices.
  • They work well both on desktop and mobile devices.
  • In order to view the notification, users don’t need to visit a specific site or open an additional application on their device. This makes it more user-friendly than social media or email marketing.
  • These notifications have up to 50% open rates on average which makes them highly effective. You can use this to your advantage and build engagement on your website.
A woman looking at her phone frustrated because of the number of new notifications
If you don’t properly use web push notifications, you can end up frustrating your users and creating an opposite effect than the one you’ve intended.

However, there are also downsides to using these notifications. Here are two main ones:

  • Web push notifications can end up frustrating or annoying users on your website if you don’t use them correctly.
  • Many users might already have these types of notifications disabled or blocked in their browser settings which can limit your reach.

As you can see, web push notifications have more benefits than disadvantages as long as they’re set up and used correctly. A high user engagement rate is enough reason to add them to your website. If this seems too much for you or you don’t have time to dedicate to your website management, simply get in touch with the experienced team from WP Full Care and they’ll take care of everything for you.

How to add them to your website?

If you decided to use web push notifications on your website, you first need to sign up with a web push notification service. One of them is PushEngage and we’ll take it as an example for this article. Why? Because it’s supported in all most popular browsers and it’s very easy to use. However, there are plenty more services to choose from you just need to do a little research.

PushEngage allows you to schedule messages, send cart abandonment notices, trigger event-based pop-ups, and many more. Once you activate your PushEngage service, you’ll be able to simply connect it to your website.

WordPress plugins
There are plenty of WordPress plugins that will help you easily manage web push notifications on your website.

To do this, go to the admin dashboard in your WordPress website and then install the PushEngage WordPress plugin, Once you activate this plugin, you’ll need to follow a few more simple steps and you’ll connect your website and PushEngage services. Now you’ll be able to simply switch to the Subscription Dialogbox tab and start configuring plugin settings according to your criteria.

The great thing about PushEngage is that it comes with different dialog box styles to choose from. Also, it gives you the ability to fully customize messages that are sent to your users. If you ensure to send the right messages to the right users, you’ll boost engagement on your website.

Final thoughts

We hope our article helped you understand what are web push notifications and how to add them to your website. As you can see, they come with plenty of benefits and they’re easy to use. So,  there’s really no reason not to at least give them a try and see how they influence your users’ engagement. Or simply hire professionals to handle your website’s maintenance, security, and development and your website will be the last thing you’ll have to worry about.


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