Push notifications on your smartphone are commonplace nowadays.

From web-based apps, such as news and social media, to built-in functions such as instant messaging, push notifications tip the role of navigating our devices out of our hands.

But these messages serve another purpose: to keep us engaged day after day. As a marketer, you likely know that push notifications increase engagement rates by up to 80%.

But, until recent times, they have been limited to native and downloaded apps.

This means that website marketers have had to make do with good old email marketing services.

Social media marketing can help stretch a thin advertisement budget pretty far – but it’s not the same.

This is where web push notifications come into play.

What Are Web Push Notifications?

Web pushes are notifications sent from a website or web-based app to any number of devices.

Depending on the push notification service you use, you can send messages to smartphones, computers, and tablets, via multiple browsers.

These notifications function like the ones you receive on your phone from your apps.

And, like a smartphone app, they can reach your customers regardless of when they visit your site.

This makes web push notifications a great way to boost your user rates.

They also work to re-engage users who have drifted to other sites or products.

In fact, with a massive 80% market reach, this new type of notification blows user engagement out of the water.

Whether you want to alert your users to:

  • Breaking news
  • Your weekly webinar services
  • Your next online learning course
  • Or even a plain, old weekly sale

Web push notifications can do this – and more – for your brand.

They help you keep the attention where you want it: on your website.

Their contribution to the bottom line of your business can be quite serious. Page conversion optimization is all about small tweaks.

It is hard to achieve a 20% increase by one change, rather you can make improvements with various small additions.

Implementation of push notification may the difference between your website loosing money and getting break even or start making sustainable profits.

Their use is very versatile, so let’s get into it.

How Do Web Push Notifications Work?

Like many modern marketing tactics, you have to have your users’ permission to send web pushes.

Website visitors can opt-in via a pop-up in their browser, like how websites advertise their email lists.

Once a user clicks “allow," your messages will come through their browser or operating system. (Note that not all browsers and systems allow for web-originated notifications.)

This is all well and easy once you have a web push notification service installed on your site.

The hard part is designing your ads to maximize clicks – rather than annoy your subscribers.

That’s where our 7 tips to increase your web push notifications come in handy.

Tip #1: Consider the Type of Web Push Notification

There are a few types of web push notifications.

Each serves a different purpose, and thus allows you to connect with your audience in a variety of ways.

Knowing how to leverage each of these notifications with your users will allow you to create the most targeted marketing strategy possible – and watch those clicks roll in.

Product or content notifications are often used by blogs and news sites to push out new articles.

They can also be useful for ecommerce and SaaS products that want to send offers based on past purchases, inform about new content or just add the email to the cold emailing tool.

Promote your new content to the audience.

Discount and sales announcements are often used by sites running their ecommerce stores on Shopify to send messages to their consumers.

Push notifications make it easy to advertise new sales, coupons, and discounts.

CTA allows for immediate engagement.
CTA allows for immediate engagement.

New feature announcements let websites inform users of the latest and greatest updates.

These notifications are also useful in bringing back users who haven’t logged on in a while.

Bonus: by adding a CTA button, you can ensure users click straight into your new platform!

Update and bug fixes are helpful for the web– or app-based sites to inform users when they fix annoying bugs.

While these notifications don’t sell products, they let your users know that you’re committed to creating a great experience.

Tip #2: Optimize the Structure of Your Web Push Notification

When you create a web push notification, it’s important to optimize each component.

Because you don't have a lot of space, bringing in clicks is about ensuring your message is enticing. This means catering to your customers - not to you.

Thus, you should keep in mind the six components of any web push notification:

  • Your title should have a gripping headline that encourages clicks (don’t be afraid to use emojis!)
  • A banner image will draw the eye in seconds
  • Your brand-specific icon lets viewers know it’s you
  • The description that includes relevant, exciting details
  • A landing page URL to invite users back
  • A call-to-action button (CTA) to coax users in

We’ll discuss a few of these points more in-depth below.

Adding Images

The human eye is designed to look at images, not words.

You can tap into this reflex by adding pictures to your web pushes. By making your notifications stand out from the crowd, you can draw the eye – and curiosity – of your users.

Thus, consider playing around with screenshots, GIFs, and even emojis.

Some web push notification services even allow you to include small video files in your pushes!

And, if you're using web pushes to inform your users, these files can give them added value.

For instance, a SaaS company may include a video tutorial of their new features.

By showing users what they have to look forward to, you can increase user engagement and show off at the same time.

Branding Your Notifications

Branding your notifications, such as with an icon or banner image, is helpful in letting users know it’s you.

By creating a branded look, you increase your company’s recognition with your users.

Calling Users to Action

One more web push notification tip about the structure of your messages: put your CTA at the front.

CTA, or call-to-action buttons, are the links and words that get your users back to your site.

From URLs to hyperlinks to limited-time offers, there are many ways you can drive traffic.

And, by making it easier for users to get to your site, you automatically increase the chances that they’ll click through.

Tip #3: Segment Your Notifications

Like most advertisements, web pushes get…well, pushy, if you send too many.

The same is true for sending notifications that your users don’t care about. (We’ll discuss relevance more in-depth later).

Thus, one effective web push notification tip is to target recipients via segmentation.

This approach lets you divide who receives which notifications, such as by:

  • User location
  • Shopping preferences
  • Viewing device
  • Type of browser

By targeting customers based on purchasing habits and interests, you increase your chances of getting more clicks on your ads. (And, by extension, increase your chances of gaining their business).

Subscribers offer a wide range of segmentation options.

For example, a nurse may have little use for your latest article on how to start an ecommerce drop shipping business.

But, that same nurse might be very interested in those new scrubs for sale on your online store.

Tip #4: Keep it Relevant

This brings us to our next web push notification tip: maintaining relevance.

Keep in mind that when users receive your web pushes, it’s a split second before they decide to dismiss it or click it.

The difference comes down to how relevant they find your notifications.

After all, no one likes to be inundated with irrelevant information all day long.

To minimize the “dismiss it” scenario, you can take steps such as:

  • Only sending messages when they’re important; for example, a flash sale or “Coming Soon” alerts
  • Triggering notifications when users make certain requests, such as tracking information
  • Being helpful by reminding users to return to their abandoned shopping carts
  • Sending pushes when users take set actions, such as sending “Related Products” alerts

By only sending relevant messages to your users, you can show them that your business cares.

This in turn leads to higher engagement rates - and, hopefully, sales.

Tip #5: Personalize Your Web Push Notifications

Personalization is essential to many modern marketing methods.

As when creating a page with a landing page builder or tailoring a perfect outreach email, making your site a welcoming place for your customers is important to retaining business.

Sending web pushes, then, should be no different.

In fact, due to the wide availability of consumer data today, it’s easier than ever to personalize messages based on your user segments.

By adding a personal touch to your web pushes, you can up your click rate, spread your brand name, and create positive user relationships.

Tips to tailor your web push notifications include:

  • Using consumers' names
  • Sending out coupons for items users buy often
  • Adjusting "New Item" pushes based on past purchasing habits and interest
  • Using emojis to your advantage

For instance, users who look at dozens of pages on running shoes may enjoy a “Just for You!” offer on sneakers. (If you add a winky emoji, all the better).

Or, for news sites and blogs, those same users might enjoy reading the history of the modern marathon. (Shoe emoji, anyone?)

There are many interesting examples of how push notifications can be leveraged.

This vintage clothing online store decided to develop a whole mobile app with push notifications, multiplying their conversion rates.

Use the Local Lingo

When you interact with your customers, you want them to feel not only understood but valued.

And, you want to make sure they understand you, too.

Communicating in your users’ local language or dialect lets you do that.

By sending (correctly translated) messages to your international or cross-culture customers, you can:

Tip #6: Time it Right

When you send your notifications can be just as important as what you send.

For some users, the promise of a free, limited-time $100 gift card means nothing if you wake them up at 2 in the morning. 👉  Unsubscribe.

Other users will sleep right through your message – and may get to their devices too late to partake in your deal. 👉  Unsubscribe.

Thus, timing your notifications is essential to minimizing user unsubscribes.

To do this, it’s important to consider the time zone of the user receiving the message, not your own.

Businesses that are headquartered in the U.S. and do a lot of business in the U.K., for instance, won’t do well to send their free breakfast coupons at 8 AM EST, and vice versa.

Create Urgency

Another tip to increase your web push notification clicks is to create a sense of urgency.

Push notifications are “now or never” marketing tactics. They require an instant response: if your user doesn’t click now, the message disappears.

Thus, using buzzwords such as “Only Two Hours Left!” or “Buy It Now or Never!” can greatly improve your engagement rate.

But you still want to be sure to limit your use of tiresome words, such as “Hurry” or “Limited Time Offer!”

While these may sound like buzzwords, in reality, they’re so overused they often have no effect at all.

Consider Your Intervals, Too

Additionally, you want to be aware of how often you send your web push notifications.

With a web push service, you can allow your users to select their preferences themselves.

For instance, some users may only want messages when they buy products.

These users are likely less interested in your notifications announcing the latest updates.

Others may get excited about notifications for new products and coupons you offer.

While your users may not receive as many notifications this way, they will receive the most relevant ones.

And in marketing, that’s what’s important.

Tip #7: Testing, Testing

In any marketing campaign, it's important to test your ads.

This process allows you to find where you're going wrong and could increase your marketing effectiveness.

Additionally, testing your ads also lets you find what you're doing right.

By knowing what works, you can capitalize on these strategies in the future.

With web pushes, you have to consider the whole package as well as the individual pieces.

From your headlines to your images to your content, tweaking even a single phrase can have a big effect.

You can A/B test your messages by sending out different versions of the same ad to different segments of users.

You can try out your messages or other types of social media content first to measure engagement there.

For successful testing, in-depth analytics is a must.

Whatever method you prefer, you'll be glad you did in the long run.

Learning these lessons early can only help you get a jumpstart on your future potential.


If we were to choose one tip from all of those listed here it would of course be testing.

While web push notifications have a great potential for an increase in engagement, sales, and overall conversions keep in mind the risks too.

Do not throw all the ideas and tests that you have in mind on all of your leads at once.

This way you are risking too many unhappy visitors, rather create segmentation lists and test your web pushes until you find that one formula that will raise your conversion rates to the next level.

About the Author
Vlad Falin is a founder and blogger at Costofincome.com where he writes to tens of thousands monthly readers about online business tools, digital marketing and productivity.