Web push notifications are not new to marketers. They have been around for a while now and have helped brands fill this gap between re-marketing and emails. Check how you can use this marketing tool to get more subscribers and communicate better with your audience and boost engagement!
Just consider how brands target abandoned cart customers. Customers would only be interested if your re-marketing is seamless. They are not required to visit your site or open the email app to complete their unfinished purchase. A simple click on a web push notifications is enough to bring the customer back on the checkout page.
Where re-targeting through email requires customers to be more dedicated and of course, their email address as well, the same through web push notifications is a more hassle-free and “no need to share your personal details” experience. It’s for the businesses who want to engage their customers and serve them everything in the real-time and more engagingly.
If you are an online business looking to improve your utility communications, loyalty programs, digital marketing, website traffic, and customer engagements, web push marketing could be one of your best bets in 2019, and 2020 as well.
How to increase web push notification subscribers?
You need push notification subscriptions first
You can use web push marketing effectively only if you have enough push notification subscriptions. Since push notifications require your visitors to opt-in first, it’s something you cannot skip. You need them to click on the “Allow” button of a similar opt-in box like this:
Tips to Increase Your Web Push Subscription Rate
It is not only easy to opt-into web push notifications from a brand but easier to opt-out or blocks a brand. A simple click on the "No Thanks" or "Block" button in the same opt-in box, and your website is barred for good for the particular user.
You cannot even trigger further opt-in pop-ups unless the user manually unblocks your website from the browser settings. Not just that, users can block you out or opt-out of your notifications using the same browser setting even after opting-in at first.
So, a web push subscription strategy should not only be about getting opt-ins but also about retaining the subscribed users. Here are some tips to increase your web push subscription rate and retain the subscribers.
1. Use soft ask instead of a hard ask
Hard asks are the native opt-in boxes defined by browsers. You cannot edit or customize a hard ask box. They give three simple options to the users: Allow/Yes; Block/No; Close/X. Something like this below sample.
On the other hand, soft asking puts an extra step before the hard ask to prepare the users. It looks like a hard ask box but customizable in shape, size, and message content. So you can customize as soft ask box to personalize the op-in experience before users get the hard ask box, which completes the opt-in process. Here is an example of a customized soft ask box.
Using a soft ask box could a be a strategic move, where you can decide to prompt hard ask opt-in right after the user gives positive feedback in the soft ask step. If the feedback is negative, you can hold on for some time and again prompt the soft asking.
It would help you tackle with the notification block rates, as you cannot prompt a hard ask box after the user selects the block option. So design your soft ask boxes strategically and choose some precise words to represent your case. The best way is giving them a glimpse of what they are going to miss if they don’t allow the notifications.
Something like “We would want to keep you updated of your shipping status – Yes/No” will do the job if you want to push shipping status updates to your customers.
2. Leverage subscription overlays
Subscription overlay is yet another way to customize the native opt-in experience. You can customize the opacity of the subscription overlay to emphasize your opt-in box. You can also put some customized message on the overlay to engage the user or tell something important about your notifications.
You can customize the overlay text and put from an array many such strategic messages to grab attention and increase the chances for opt-in.
3. Don't just rush into an opt-in pop-up
Showing opt-in as long soon as a user lands on the website is not always a good idea. It’s better to let them browse a bit and then decide if they want to opt-in. If someone is leaving your site within a few seconds, there is hardly a chance they will subscribe. So it’s better to let them develop an interest first.
The perfect timing to trigger an opt-in box depends on the nature of your website. If it’s an eCommerce store, you can trigger the opt-in after a 3-5 seconds interval. Or if you run a blog, you can trigger the same after 2-3 seconds as there is a higher chance user might just bounce after reading the article.
You can create a similar kind of experience with your hard ask and soft ask intervals as well. You can experiment with the timings of soft ask prompts as per different user behaviors. For example, if someone is spending like 10 seconds on a product page that is out of stock, there is a chance he/she is interested. You can leverage the situation and prompt a customized soft ask something like this-
“Prompt: Seems you like this Sneaker. Want us to notify you once it’s back-in-stock?”
“Options: Notify Me / I don’t like it.”
If the response is “Notify Me”, prompt the hard ask immediately to seal the deal. If it’s negative, abort the hard ask, as you can still leverage some other situation anytime later. Maye a price drop alert, shipping alert, or a flash-sale alert will do the job.
4. Customize cookies duration strategically
It’s better to get an ‘X ‘(close) action from the users rather than a “Block” action. You can still re-prompt the hard ask opt after the close action, but not after users click on the “Block”.
The close action uses ‘Cookies’ to record the temporary response and triggers the opt-in box again after the cookie expires. To let your users have another chance to opt-in directly, you can set the cookies expiration duration strategically.
For instance, you can set the cookies to 1 or 2 days duration. The users committing the close action will get the prompt only if they are re-visiting after 1 or 2 days. Users visiting within the specified date don't see the prompt, and it saves irritation due to frequent prompts.
So decide a strategic duration for your cookies to expire, so the users don't get aggressive and block the notifications for good using the "Block" option. This does not only give you a second chance but also gives a cool-down time to the users. This will definitely increase your opt-in rate.
5. Offer a guided back-door entry into opt-ins
Even after all these customizations and cautions, if users still block you out, there are two ways to get the opt-ins manually.
One is in bowser setting, where users can manually block and unblock site from the notifications setting:
Two is from the top left corner of the browser, where users can visit the ‘site settings' to block and unblock a site manually:
Now, you can still leverage the above two possibilities to get on such users by using a custom widget or a guided overlay. For example, below is a screenshot of a website that uses a widget to not only remind the blocked users but also guide them on how to opt-in manually from the site-setting.
The triggers the hard ask opt-in as soon as the users land on the site. If they choose to block the notification on the official prompt, the site immediately pins a fixed widget on the page, which looks something like this:
Once users click on the widget, it opens a well-defined guide that explains how they can re-active the notifications from the settings:
You can devise a similar non-intrusive guide on your site and assist the users to opt-in again, even if they have blocked on the official prompt. Not just a widget, you can device exit pop-ups, footer links, header links, welcome mat, or anything that is non-intrusive but easier to notice.
Never overlook best practices: Relevance, Frequency, and Timing
These were a few of the top ways to improve your push notification subscriptions. However, you might just ruin everything gets mass opt-outs if you overlook the push notifications best practices. As users can always opt-out, it's crucial to adopt strategic push marketing practices; and not just spam randomly.
There are several best practices you can adopt, but there are three you must not snub at any cost:
- Relevance and value: Maintain the relevance and value proposition to the users. Send only useful notifications that bring value to them.
- Frequency: Avoid being insanely frequent with your notifications. Give them enough time to check out and act on your previous notifications before you trigger more.
- Timing: Know the best time to send notifications and stick to it. Consider the time-zones of the users while deciding the optimal time. You don't want to intrude in a US subscriber's good night sleep just because you also targeting the users from China and India with the same campaign.
If you can excel on these three fronts, you have a better chance to retain your exiting push subscribers. One of the major keys is segmenting the subscribers based on these aspects and creating separate campaigns for each segment. In this way, you can be relevant, valuable, infrequent, and well-timed.
If you are in the market looking for innovative ways to attract more clients and generate more quality conversations for your company, schedule a personalized demo today or test our tool for free for 7 days.