Website notifications go by a few names, but whether you know them as web pushes, browser pushes or desktop notifications (even though that one is not strictly accurate) it all refers to the same thing.
In this guide, we’re going to look at a couple of the high-value use cases for website notifications across different verticals, and the sort of engagement rates you can expect from them.
What’s the purpose of a website notification?
To drive traffic to your website.
Yes, you can go a layer deeper than this and look at attributing particular goal completions to a notification campaign (purchase made, account created and so on), but these are all things that happen on-site.
The primary goal of any successful push message is to encourage people to engage with it and visit your website, and from there you nudge them along the funnel towards whatever goal you have in mind.
They are a concise and highly visible way to get your customers’ attention and nudge them back on-site.
When used correctly in this way, push notification is a hugely impactful channel.
Website notifications can be sent to mobile users too!
Website notifications are not just for engaging with desktop users, although that is a common misconception.
You can send a push campaign to mobile users, and it renders exactly the same as an app push. So if you have invested resources in a slick, mobile-responsive website web push can offer you that same level of connectivity with mobile users, without needing to actually build and market an app.
There is one important thing to note here: permission is given on a browser and device-level.
So if a customer has opted in to receive push notifications using their smartphone or tablet then you can only send a campaign to that device. And the same goes for anyone who gives permission using their desktop.
Of course, it is possible to have customers who are opted in on multiple devices.
The reality though is that the vast majority of customers tend to have a preference for using a particular device over others.
If you’re interested in learning more about the opt-in process and how to optimise it, then we recommend reading this detailed article.
Although there are some hard, creative restrictions on what you can and cannot do (which are set by the individual browser providers), there’s plenty of flexibility around when the permission request is made and where the customer is on the website.
One word of caution however, not all web push providers are the same. Many of the cheaper, budget solutions are extremely limited in this regard, which will have a knock-effect on your ability to acquire addressable users and set a low ceiling on potential ROI.
So be sure to ask plenty of questions when researching!
Website Notifications: the core use cases by vertical
Any brand with a website can benefit from using web push as an engagement channel.
The following list is in no way exhaustive, but it will give you a sense of how brands within particular verticals typically use them.
With that said, let’s look at how push is best used, and where it can strategically fit into your customer engagement and marketing operations.
Note: We’ve included engagement statistics on how this channel performs across each vertical. They are taken from our multichannel benchmarks guide, which you can download through the link below.
Download our Multichannel Benchmarks Guide and see how your campaigns measure up to competitors
eCommerce website notifications
Web push is a phenomenal outbound channel for eCommerce brands, perfectly complementing existing email strategy. In 2020, we saw that the average CTR for eCommerce push notifications was 2.51%.
Abandoned cart recovery
For a long time, email was the only show in town when it came to cart recovery. Not anymore.
Don’t get us wrong, email will always have a role to play in re-engagement. But over the last few years, we’ve seen web push emerge as a hugely impactful alternative or complementary channel.
It’s a use case which really showcases some of the channel’s biggest advantages over other outbound tools. Its visibility is perhaps the first thing to note. We tend to either click-through or dismiss notifications as soon as they arrive.
The result is that each notification gets its own window of time to engage and convert.
So when you send a cart recovery push, it means you aren’t competing with potentially dozens of other brands all vying for attention (as you would with an email).
The ability to deliver the push in real time, or deliberately set a specific time-delay on it, is also a key factor. With some straightforward a/b testing it’s possible to identify the right strategy within a relatively short period.
And lastly, you can deeplink the push to bring the customer directly back to where they left off, with their pre-populated cart ready to be purchased.
The average CTR for abandoned cart recovery campaigns in 2020 was 7.14%.
Promotions (daily deals, price drops)
Naturally, website notifications are well-suited to promotional campaigns too.
For best results, it’s recommended that you segment your audience in terms of their interests and inject dynamic content to really personalise your messaging.
From there, the usual marketing best practices around discounting, timeliness of the offer and so on all still apply.
And don’t forget to deep link to the exact product or category, you’re promoting.
The average CTR for promotional campaigns in 2020 was 4.49%
Publishing and media website notifications
The digital publishing industry is all about increasing readership to drive up advertising revenue or encourage paid subscriptions.
So web push has become a must-have channel in this vertical. In 2020, we saw that the average CTR for digital publishers’ push notifications was 2.49%.
Breaking news alerts
When we start working with a new publisher, this is typically the first use case we recommend they implement.
We also advise segmenting your audiences in terms of their interests. Throughout the day, your editorial team might send several breaking news alerts, each related to a specific section of your publication e.g. sports, politics and so on.
The average CTR for breaking news campaigns in 2020 was 5.30%
Read how Ireland's national broadcaster. RTE, has driven record traffic levels using push notifications
Promote sponsored content
With uncertainty over the future of advertising due to the phasing out of 3rd party cookies, publishers are looking to sponsored content as a way of generating revenue.
A well-timed web push campaign, sent to the right audience, is an ideal way to make sure that you are getting as many eyes on that content as possible.
Travel & Hospitality website notifications
There’s no getting around it, 2020 was a very difficult year for everyone working in travel and hospitality. Even so, brands in this vertical continued to engage with their customers where possible. In 2020, we saw that the average CTR for travel and transport push notifications was 3.58%.
This is an example of where push notifications can be a really nice compliment to an email campaign. We recommend building out an automated journey that engages customers at regular intervals in the lead up to their trip or experience.
You can also deeplink them directly to their booking confirmation on the website, should they need to cancel or rearrange it.
Upsell and cross-sell
Driving revenue through upsells and cross-sells remains a priority for many brands in this space; from hotels, as in the example below, to airlines and tour operators.
This is another area where automated journeys can be hugely effective, connecting with customers a specified number of days out from their booking and advising them of additional services or products available to enhance their experience.
Financial services website notifications
With more people banking online than ever before push notifications have become a way for banks to connect with customers in real time on the devices they use most often.
In 2020, we saw that the average CTR for financial service push notifications was 7.61%.
Re-engage loan application drop-offs
Web push has proven to be a very effective way of re-engaging customers with partially complete applications.
It is possible to layer in propensity data from your back-end solution so that these messages are only sent to those customers whose applications are likely to be approved when complete.
As part of a cohesive multichannel strategy, we recommend adding push notifications into the mix. It’s an ideal complementary channel alongside email and SMS to ensure that important messages reach your customers.
It’s particularly impactful when the message is urgent. For example, you may want to alert customers about a new scam that has been discovered. Or it may be far more benign, like letting a customer know that their latest e-statement is available to view.
Sports betting website notifications
Another industry in which push notifications are now seen as essential. Sports betting operators have developed a wide range of use cases for this channel, driving results at every stage of the lifecycle, from account registration to long-term retention. In 2020, we saw that the average CTR for sports betting push notifications was 3.03%.
Big game odds
Promote odds on the day’s biggest games, segmenting your player base in terms of their preferred sports and bet-type.
This tends to be the first use case we advise operators to start out with. It’s a quick win, leading to immediate ROI.
The average CTR for big game campaigns in 2020 was 5.70%
It’s a highly competitive industry, and players often have multiple accounts with various operators. To ensure that your brand stays top of mind, it’s important to engage players that are at risk of churning before it’s too late.
For best results, we recommend building a multi-step journey where a push is sent at intervals of 3 days, with each sequential push offering a better incentive.
The average CTR for player re-engagement campaigns in 2020 was 4.4%.
Online Casino website notifications
The goal of every CRM team at an online casino is to nudge players back on-site and keep them entertained. Web push is an invaluable channel, allowing you to personalise the content to reflect each player’s favourite game or type of game. In 2020, we saw that the average CTR for online casino push notifications was 4.41%.
Engage with players and encourage them back on-site with a reminder of their current balance.
This can be a particularly effective way of re-engaging with players who have been inactive for a certain number of days. It’s also possible to automate this campaign so that it’s only sent to players who have a balance within a specified minimum value (e.g. over $10).
More and more operators are building out loyalty programs as part of their retention strategy. And whilst on-site messages inform players that they have moved up a tier, web pushes are used to remind them they have points left to spend, and even how much time left they have to redeem them before they expire.
If you’d like to learn more about web push notifications and how they can help your brand connect with customers and drive business goals, then get in touch. We’d be happy to showcase the full range of use cases we’ve developed for specific verticals, and the potential impact they can have on your brand’s performance.