Websites have been popping up their email subscription forms for a long time now. But of late, websites have started asking for a new kind of permission from their visitors – the permission to send them push notifications.
A relatively recent addition in the toolbox of internet marketers, web push notifications allow you to send browser notifications to your subscribers without asking for their email or other contact details. They make for an effective messaging channel to re-engage your visitors when they are away from your website.
What Are Web Push Notifications?
Web push notifications are the messages sent out to the users who have subscribed to receive such messages from your website. These notifications are sent to the browser on subscriber’s device, which can be a desktop, mobile phone or a tablet. Subscribers don’t have to be present on your website to receive these messages. You can send them any time and the subscribers will see these notifications near the task bar on their desktop. However, in order to enable you to send such notifications, your users must opt in to your push notifications.
Currently, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers support web push notifications on desktop, whereas on Android devices, they are only supported by Chrome and Firefox.
Web Push Notifications vs. In-Browser Messages
Given their similarities, it is easy to confuse web push notifications with normal in-browser messages or onsite notifications. While both these messaging channels are used to deliver messages on user’s device, there are some significant differences between the two.
Traditional in-browser messages can be sent only to the visitors that are present on your website. Once the visitors leave the website, or are active on some other tab, they will not be able to see these messages. Since these messages are delivered on your website, no opt-in is required for in-browser messages.
Web push notifications, on the other hand, are not limited to your website’s tab; they are pushed to the user’s browser, independent of your website. Once subscribed to your push notifications, users can receive them even when your website is not open in your browser.
Why Use Web Push Notifications
Just like with opt-in email, how your business uses web push notifications is only limited by your imagination. You can use them to deliver important updates (e.g. order delivery), to encourage a visit to your website, to send reminders about an event (e.g. an ongoing flash sale), to drive a specific transaction (e.g. download an ebook or use a discount coupon), and lot more.
Compared to emails, web push notifications have higher opt-in rates since users don’t have to divulge their contact details. The content delivery is prompt and sure; neither does the message land up in spam folders, nor are the visitors required to open an email to check the message. With higher engagement and direct communication with users, push notifications can give you more targeted traffic, more page views, and higher conversions.
For best results, segment your audience, personalize your messages, and make them clickable.
Adding Web Push Notifications to Your WordPress Website
Integrating web push notifications into your WordPress website is easy. There are several free and premium plugins available for this.
However, remember that web push notifications only work on SSL websites (those prefixed with https).
Once you have purchased an SSL certificate and updated your website to use https, find yourself a good WordPress plugin to enable push notifications. One popular plugin for sending free WordPress push notifications is SendPulse. Here is how to set up push notifications using this plugin:
- Go to the Add New Plugin page in your WordPress admin panel.
- Type ‘SendPulse’ in the plugin search box.
- Install and activate the plugin.
- Go to the plugin settings and enter the integration code (see below)
- To get the integration code, create a free SendPulse account. Go to the push section in your account and add your website there. When the website is added, you will see a piece of code below the website’s name. This is the integration code you need to enter in your plugin.
- After you’ve copy pasted the integration code into your plugin, save it, and go back to your SendPulse account. Make sure everything is set correctly (all checkboxes should be green). Click on the ‘Finish’ button and you are done.
- Now open your website as a visitor and you should see a prompt asking for your confirmation to receive push notifications.
Once you have your website configured to send push notifications, it will work for your mobile visitors as well; you don’t need to have a mobile application for that. You can send as many notifications as you want, without any cap on the number of subscribers. And all that absolutely free, without costing you a penny!