The Complete Guide to Push Notifications on an Ecommerce Site
During the day, you are repeatedly faced with push notifications. Their coverage and application fields are impressive. For e-commerce sites, it is a tool for informing subscribers and an effective way to attract cheap leads.
In this article, we will see what push notifications are, how they work, and how to use tools with the maximum business result.
Push notifications, what they are and why you need them
A push notification is a short, small, pop-up web notification that appears on the screen of a computer, smartphone, or laptop. It informs users about application updates, discounts on products, an application that may interest them, etc.
The structure of a push notification is quite simple:
- Title with a maximum length of 65 characters.
- A picture of 192×192, 360×240 pixels, depending on the service used.
- The main text of the message, up to 240 characters long.
- A link to the site.
- A CTA button.
Push notifications come in different forms.
Types of push notifications
1. Web push notifications or browser notifications are messages that the user receives on the desktop of their PC in the lower right-hand corner. They linger on the desktop for a while. The time depends on the sender’s setting. You can view them in the Notification Center.
2. Application notifications are notifications from applications installed on the PC. They inform about updates, new messages, etc.
3. Mobile notifications are messages from applications that are installed on your smartphone.
How push notifications work
A push notification service is used to send notifications. Every modern operating system is equipped with it. The Push technology itself is a method of sending information on the Internet from the application server for sending notifications to the operating system’s notification server.
In order for the system to work, a push notification service is required in the device Operating system. The mailing service server must also be registered on the OS server.
After the message has gone through such a difficult path, the user will receive push notifications on the desktop in the lower right corner and can view them in the Action Center.
It sounds complicated but it is actually quite simple.
Initially, this technology was used exclusively in smartphones. On iOS, push notifications have been used since 2009 based on the APNS server (Apple Push Notification Server). Android OS uses a FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging) server. The purpose of push notification was to simplify user interaction with a smartphone.
The potential for advertising and sales in this technology was considered in 2015. The technology then began to be used in order to send a browser push notification.
In addition to stimulating e-commerce sales, push notifications enable news resources to drive traffic to the site. In the B2B segment, such notifications can inform customers about new products and special offers. But in B2B, you won’t be able to achieve wide coverage. This is because notifications are often blocked on corporate computers.
How to launch effective push notifications on your website and not harm
Just imagine, the average person receives 63.5 smartphone notifications per day. Now add in the PC notifications as well. You can go crazy.
Therefore, it is important that your web push notifications do not annoy the user but rather encourage them to go to the site and take advantage of the offer.
How to choose the content and frequency of mailings based on the specifics of the business and target audience
1. For notifications to work, they must be useful for the subscriber and be interesting to them.
Start creating a push notification campaign by analyzing the interests of the target audience and segmenting it. For example, look into the target audience’s gender, age, location, and interests.
The combination of gender, age, and interests will allow you to speak the same language with your customers and offer them relevant products. A few people at the age of 18 will be interested in the offer on false teeth. Likewise, it is difficult to imagine a grandfather who at the age of 70 will be interested in braces.
Given the location of a person, you can send them promotions and offers with the name of their settlement. If the online store has retail outlets, you can inform subscribers about the beginning of a sale, promotions, and discounts, or about new products at a point of sale near their home. You can also remind them of the forgotten products in the basket.
2. If you have a youth audience, feel free to use slang. In fact, this technique can be applied to all audiences. If you speak with the client in their language, it inspires confidence.
3. Use triggers. A trigger is something that encourages the subscriber to perform that targeted action.
It can be:
- Benefit – stimulates to make a purchase
- Desire to be part of the whole – a person wants to be a part of the world of cool, modern, successful people, so they need to get your product
- Open-loop – intrigue makes a person go to the site and find out the end of the message
- Scarcity – stimulates to buy now, while the goods are in stock
- Exclusivity – an offer not for everyone but only for the elite (for example, Beats headphones for those who appreciate real sound)
- Conspiracy – this offer is personal for a specific subscriber and no longer for anyone else (Shh, just for you today a 40% discount on everything)
4. Every newsletter should have a clear purpose. Based on the goal, content and graphic material is formed.
Purpose of sending web push notifications for e-commerce
- Informing about promotions and discounts
- Newsletter of the company, image content
- Informing about new products
- A reminder of a forgotten item in the cart
- Sending out useful tips for using the company’s products
- Maximum traffic to the site
If you are doing a promotional email, the headline should be about customer benefits. For example, BEST DEAL! IPAD PRO 256GB ONLY $849 $599.90. If reporting a discount, show the old price crossed out. So the user can understand the benefits of the purchase. You can also specify the amount of savings. Furthermore, you need to strengthen the desire to buy in the text of the message. Write down the strongest product benefits. After reading the information, the subscriber should think that they would be a fool if they did not take advantage of the offer. To enhance the effect, use a timed offer and add a call to action button. Thanks to this, the user will immediately go to the site, and not postpone it for later or forget.
If you want to inform users about new products, indicate this in the title. It is better to use stylish text in push notifications about new products than a selling one.
The stylish text sells but it is more beautiful and melodic and less informative than selling text. Create a sense of intrigue, let the person go to the site and find out the main characteristics of the new gadget, for example.
Stylish Text – “The innovative iPhone 11 Pro Max camera makes your shots vivid and rich. Its stylish design will highlight your status and style. Thanks to the improved battery, it will keep the charge even longer. ”
Selling Text – “Thanks to the innovative iPhone 11 Pro Max 12MP triple camera system: 1200 ultra-wide-angle, wide-angle, and telephoto, your shots will be bright and rich. Super Retina XDR display with a diagonal of 6.4 and a resolution of 2688 × 1242 will not fade even in bright sunlight.”
Be sure to use the call to go to the site.
To attract traffic, intrigue the subscriber. For example, the headline is “Tim Cook makes an urgent statement”. The text of the message – “Apple will no longer be …” The person triggers an interest, they want to know what will no longer be done by Apple and follow the link to the site. For traffic, create informational content first. You can also analyze topics that users are interested in using Google Trends and create content in this direction. Topics of course should be tailored to the specifics of your business. Read on for a helpful related article – How to use Google Trends for SEO.
Reputation mailings are the least readable of all content. To increase the click-through rate of your notification, post your accomplishments in a storytelling format. For example, How we won the World retail awards. This is much more interesting than Walmart won the World retail awards. The final headline will inform subscribers that you have received an award but it will not lead to visits to the site for details.
In newsletters, also announce the usefulness of information for subscribers.
5. Frequency of mailings. For e-commerce sites, you need to do mailings as new promotions and discounts appear. One notification should equal one share. You don’t need to send more than 1 notification per day. Ideally, test different mailing schedules and see which option has the least unsubscriptions. You can use analytics to select a schedule and see which days you have the lowest traffic to the site and create push notifications these days in order to activate clients.
6. Time and days of mailings. In order to find the most optimal time, it is necessary to conduct tests. Then you can estimate what day of the week and time of day you have the maximum number of views of push notifications. But while there are no statistics yet, analyze the target customer. What time are the maximum traffic on the site and the most conversions? Plan your first newsletter during this period.
If subscribers live in different time zones, consider this when choosing when to send the notification. Segment clients by geo principle and create a separate mailing list for each time zone. It is unlikely that the user will click on the notification that came to them at an unreasonable time.
How to start sending push notifications
1. Select a service for creating web push notifications
The most popular are Letreach, Push Monkey, Sendpulse, Pushcrew, Pushwoosh, Pushover, OneSignal. Services have a fairly simple interface. It is possible to view how the finished result will look. You can do this by segmenting users by device, region, subscription dates, browser types, and viewing the statistics. Some services provide an opportunity to do A/B testing of mailings so that you can choose the best option. Read more in the article – How to Do A/B Tests and How Can They Work for SEO.
The monthly subscription fee is not high. On average, it is $30-$50. OneSignal is a completely free resource. Although, you can contact the developers and order premium options for a fee if you wish. Its disadvantage is the lack of a detailed manual for connecting the script to the site and using it.
In order to choose the appropriate service option, you can try them for free during the test period.
Let’s create an example of sending web push notifications using the Letreach service.
To start using Letreach, you need to register and add a script to the site header. If you cannot do it yourself, the script can be sent to the site administrator.
If the site is on Shopify, you will need to add a script to the site through a separate Shopify tab.
2. Customize the appearance and text of the notification for collecting subscribers
The service offers 5 different options: Side Scroll, Top Safari Style, Bottom Scroll, Dialogue Pop Style Converting Native Opt-in. By clicking on each of the options, you can see what the finished notification looks like. In the future, you can change the template for subsequent mailings. Ideally, try doing one mailing to a test group of subscribers using each of the options. Send the most successful notification format to the rest of your subscribers. This will essentially be an A/B testing.
3. For the subscription form, write the text that explains to the user the benefits of subscribing to notifications
Create a corporate design for your website notification by adding corporate colors.
The disadvantage of the newsletter subscription form is that it appears immediately when the user visits the site. During this time, they will not have time to get acquainted with the resource and will evaluate the benefits of the subscription, the probability of refusal is high.
So go to the Sub Option tab and add a subscription option for users who opted out when the first subscription form appears.
4. Then go to the Automation section and enable RSS Auto Push
This option allows you to generate mailings automatically via the site’s RSS feed. Thanks to this tool, you can make mailings according to the interests of the target audience.
In order for the user to be able to subscribe to the RSS feed, they need to click on the RSS icon on the site. You need to add it.
5. Start building your subscriber base
This is the most difficult stage. The user must decide whether or not to subscribe to the newsletter immediately after going to the site. Therefore, it is important to explain that if they agree, they will receive push notifications that will bring specific benefits to them in the subscription form.
You can use a giveaway to collect subscribers for a push email, similar to social media. At the same time, in order for the user to really subscribe to push notifications, announce that they will receive the detailed conditions of the competition in the notification, where you will also announce the winner. You can inform people with a banner on your website and with the help of targeted advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. If you have good traffic, a banner at the top of the site will suffice.
You can also use ads from popular bloggers or attract celebrity brand ambassadors. But this is the most expensive option. Although barter is possible as payment. You offer a product or service to a blogger for free for advertising a subscription to your notifications
After you have collected subscribers, create your first mailing list. To do this, click New Notification.
Be prepared that in the first months of the launch of the notification distribution, you may have a lot of unsubscriptions. It’s okay because it will help you study your target audience. Analyze the reasons for unsubscribing. If we have increased the frequency of mailings and people began to unsubscribe more and follow links less often, then the messages become perceived as spam. Make submissions less often. Unsubscribing can be caused by irrelevant content. Experiment with titles, text, pictures.
Arranging messages. For a notification to be read, it must grab attention. Think carefully about the design, headline, message text, and of course the CTA button. It will tell the user how to proceed with the information received. Use large pictures. The design should be in the style of the site. Don’t forget that most people have advertising blindness. If you want to grab the attention of your subscriber, get creative.
The appearance of a push notification depends on the brand of the user’s device and the browser used. Therefore, be sure to test the appearance of the newsletter in different browsers so that the user receives a relevant notification.
By default, your logo is shown as a picture in Letreach push notifications. To set the image of the advertised product, you will need the Premium version of the service. You can simply replace the logo with a picture in General Settings.
6. Add UTM tags
UTM tags are special small pieces of code that are placed in a URL. They can be generated automatically or manually.
They are necessary in order to get detailed information about the traffic source and evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign in Google Analytics. UTM tags provide the possibility to segment users by type.
Letreach creates UTM tags automatically.
7. Add CTA Buttons
Important! To add a button, you must have at least 48+ subscribers.
8. Activate the Interaction Settings “Don’t hide until the user interacts with the notification”
This means that the push notification will not disappear from the screen until the user closes it. To add it, enable Advanced Options.
9. Send the notification
Before starting the mailing, the service will show the final result of the template. If you spot a mistake, you can always fix it.
In this case, the template shows the result before changing the picture. However, the subscriber will receive the letter that you planned to send.
Analysis of the effectiveness of sending push notifications
You can evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign using service analytics. It shows the number of notifications sent, the number of views, and visits to the site in absolute terms. When you click on the number of views and conversions to the site, you will see the percentage.
In the Overall Stats section, you can see analytics by user platform, device, or location.
For e-commerce, the main purpose of sending web push notifications is for sales. To view conversion rates or bounce rates, you can use Google Analytics.
How much money does push notifications bring?
Mailing income depends on the cost of the product and its popularity with customers. Neil Patel has recently started using push notifications. 10,496 of sent notifications brought him income in the amount of $672,291.24. This means that every notification brought in an average of $64.
This is a service industry. Now, imagine the potential profitability in e-commerce.
Push notifications are a cheap source of traffic and customers to an e-commerce site that generates high income. For this tool to work effectively, plan your mailings carefully. Use large, eye-catching images, catchy headlines, and website navigation buttons. Make your messages stand out and bright. Don’t send too many emails to prevent subscribers from seeing notifications as spam. Choose the time of mailings taking into account the period of maximum activity of your users and their time zone. Taking into account all these nuances, the results of push notifications will pleasantly surprise you. For more helpful tips on the topic, see Ecommerce SEO: A Complete Guide.