Tools & Facts

WordPress Push Notifications for Your Visitors

Promoting the content on your business website is crucial. A meticulously crafted article is ultimately a waste of resources if not enough people notice it. You’re most likely already promoting your content through social media and email campaigns, but only a small percentage of websites take advantage of push notifications. Those that do often can’t get them right. Here’s how your business can benefit from using push notifications on your websites and how to avoid the mistakes made by others.

75% of devices (74% for mobile and 85% for desktop) support push notifications. They were popularised by smartphones, which is very important considering that most websites receive more traffic from mobile devices. For this reason, sending WordPress push notifications won’t negatively affect your users, regardless of their device of choice.

The first question that arises is one we also asked in our article about successful newsletters – do you need push notifications in the first place? The answer is similar. It all depends on your business model and the purpose of your website.

A brochure website with the goal of promoting your brand won’t benefit from push notifications. On the other hand, running a blog organically presents an opportunity to utilise them by notifying your visitors about a new article.

Sending a notification about new articles is a good default use case for push notifications, but how are they different from a mailing list? What other purposes can they serve?

Benefits of push notifications

Your visitors have to opt-in to receive push notifications, just like with newsletters. The major advantage they have over mailing lists is that open rate is through the roof.

While some of your visitors won’t see the notification for various reasons (i.e. they might have turned them off globally and your notification expired), the majority will immediately notice your message.

This is a big advantage over a mailing list. Newsletters usually have an open rate of about 20%. Since more people see your notification, the click rate is also higher.

Because of their nature, push notifications are usually short, which is in-line with what people are used to on social media these days. They might not want to read your newsletter, no matter how good it is. A short notification that pops up in their browser is more appealing. 

Most visitors leave a website and never come back. There are several reasons for that, but it doesn’t mean you can’t convert them into clients. Push notifications can help you persuade some of them to come back, potentially increasing your traffic and retention rate. 

Common mistakes

PushCrew researched that 31% of users dislike push notifications. This is a significant number, but it doesn’t mean they were totally against them.

45% said they receive notifications at the wrong time, while other commonly cited reasons were a lack of personalisation and a feeling of being spammed with too many notifications.

Almost half of businesses using web push notifications are sending out vague messages to their audience. People frown up plain text without personalisation. 70% of users stated they like emojis in their notifications and 53% enjoy big images.

How to utilise WordPress push notifications

Just like with any content, your push notifications have to be useful. Our first rule is to always create content with your visitors’ interests in mind. Depending on your business type, you can push various notifications to your users:

This is not a comprehensive list since you’re only limited by your own imagination. As long as you follow the rule of only displaying important notifications with proper segmentation, your visitors will love them.

WordPress push notifications plugins

WordPress push notifications are gaining popularity and getting in on the trend early can be beneficial. It’s possible your competition still didn’t pick up on them and you can make your site stand out.

While there is plenty of WordPress push notifications plugins, only a few were tested beyond version 4.9.9 and received updates in the recent weeks.

Subscribers is our plugin of choice for push notification. It enables you to send notifications to Firefox and Chrome. You can have up to 200 subscribers for free. It offers a premium version which introduces functionality like A/B testing, detailed analytic reports and support for additional browsers, including Safari.

Take advantage of WordPress push notifications

We believe there is a lot to gain from using web push notifications as long as you follow our guidelines and don’t make the mistakes listed above. Almost everyone owns a smartphone and notifications are our daily driver on these devices. It’s time to take advantage of push notifications on your website.

Originally published Jan 23, 2019 5:01:59 PM, updated August 13 2020.

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