Blackberry is credited as the first to embrace and utilize the push notifications service. It had a simple function back then – informing Blackberry device users of incoming messages in their email inbox. Push notifications today are a far cry from a decade earlier. Whether you see them as a corporate feature or small business tech, push notifications are now ubiquitous, more sophisticated, and serve far more purposes than just alerting users of an unread email.
The modern push notifications software is now leveraged for boosting sales, improving user engagement, supporting massive marketing campaigns, increasing website traffic, and more. Once it was limited to mobile phones. Today, push notifications are sent to desktop and laptops via the Web, with its reach greatly extended along with its function.
There are many popular push notifications SaaS platforms in the market. The tricky part is to pick the best push notification software that addresses all your needs and flexible enough to meet changes in your requirements. When choosing a push notification service, the following features are a must-have.
1. Quick Installation with Support and No Vendor Lock-In
Setting up your web push notifications can be confusing. While you’ll have a few questions here and there regarding installation, you will require a good and reliable support team to get you through the setup process as well as the initial stages of its implementation. Also, you will need their expertise from time to time even if you become well-versed in push notifications and its nuances.
You also have to be wary about vendor lock-in. You don’t want to be stuck with a SaaS service or software when there are other better options that you can access and use. Settling with a vendor that has a lock-in policy makes it difficult for you to switch to a competitor that offers a better deal or provides more useful features without shelling out a substantial amount of money.
2. Support for All Browsers
Pick a push notification software that supports all browser and website types. Check with your potential software vendors and see if they support popular browser platforms such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera among others. The more browsers they support, the wider the reach of your push notifications becomes.
Another important thing to consider is the software’s compatibility with both HTTP and HTTPS websites. Almost all web push notifications solutions only support HTTPS websites. That said, there is a workaround that enables the use of push notifications on HTTP websites. If the vendor insists that you stay on HTTPS, better move on and find someone that does.
3. User Segmentation
You can’t launch a push notification campaign to all your visitors, subscribers, and contacts and expect positive results in return. That’s like emptying a shotgun clip with the hope of hitting your target with a random shell. It’s a complete waste of time and resources.
Your push notification platform should allow you to effectively segment or group your audience based on their actions or attributes. For instance, you can segment your audience based on the browser or device they are using. Or you can group them based on their geographical locations.
User segmentation helps you to quickly filter your audience and identify the content they can resonate and relate with. Segmentation helps you personalize your notifications in ways that prompt users to respond and/or react the way you intend them to.
In a list of 2019 push notifications statistics compiled by Business of Apps, 85% of all push notifications in 2017 were segmented. This is a huge increase compared to 65% back in 2015.
4. Trigger Web Push Notifications
Trigger web push notifications are activated when your visitor or user has performed a specific action. For instance, when a user leaves the checkout page without completing the purchase, a cart abandonment notification is sent to his device or browser.
Naturally, the message in the notification would ask the user to return to the site and proceed with the purchase. A link to the checkout page is included. You can further enhance the message by adding images of related products, promos, and discounts based on the user’s purchase history, previous visits, and other interactions.
Triggers are not just activated when a person exits the site or closes the app. Triggers can be set when a specific user visits a specific page a number of times or views similar products within a specific period. You can set a goal for certain visitor types and the software automatically sends a notification whenever that goal is met.
Trigger web push notifications empower your users or visitors to complete tasks, thus drive more conversions and boost your sales. That is a feature you certainly want to have at your disposal.
5. A/B Testing
To create the best, most empowering push notification messages, you have to measure and analyze a few metrics that matter. Metrics such as open/click rate, conversion rate, and clickthrough conversion rate help you assess the performance of your campaign, thus the effectiveness of your messages. Other metrics that you will encounter are revenue from conversion and cost to send (critical in calculating ROI).
A/B testing helps you identify ways to improve your campaigns through thorough experimentation. You can work through several creative ideas for your campaigns. You can experiment with two or more test campaigns on actual users. Each test campaign features different wording, buttons, color, and images. After the test period, you can analyze the metrics and find which campaign variant is proving effective and why so.
You can go deeper into the details and gain more insights. For instance, Test Campaign A has better open/click rate but Test Campaign B shows a higher conversion rate. Further analysis showed that while Test Campaign A attracted more clicks because of its attractive visuals, Test Campaign B proved to be more effective with its content which led to better conversion.
A/B testing helps you discover combinations that can yield more results, thus better and more rewarding push notification campaigns.
A Double-Edged Sword
Push notifications has been proven to be an effective business tool, no doubt. App and web push notifications have certainly made its mark in helping business organizations enhance engagement and increase sales. Utilized carefully, push notifications have helped improve app engagement. In a 2018 push notifications study by Localytics, push notifications statistics reveals a rise of engagement from 2.75 in January 2017 to 3.75 in April 2018, roughly a 30% increase.
That said, app and web push notifications can be a double-edged sword. They can be harmful as they are beneficial. On the one hand, they can do all these wonders for your business. On the other hand, a significant portion of the population finds them so intrusive and annoying that it often leads to the uninstallation of apps or unsubscription from a service.
Finding the right push notifications software is essential. But finding the balance in timing, frequency, and velocity is the key to its success. Understand and follow the rules of push notifications to ensure success.