What Are Push Notifications

What Are Push Notifications? A Simple Guide for Epic Results

What are push notifications? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you all about it. But first, picture this…

Imagine getting free traffic on autopilot every time you publish a new blog post without the time-consuming SEO campaigns. If you’re running a WordPress site, you already know how much work it is to promote your content and get readers to keep coming back to your content.

The good news is that there’s an effortless way to generate repeat visitors on autopilot:

  • Even if… you’re just starting and your fan base is still tiny;
  • Even if… you’re running an e-commerce store with hundreds of promos every month;
  • Even if… you have a mega blog that’s already generating a ton of SEO traffic;

The answer is:

WordPress push notifications!

In this article, we’re going to show you how to get repeat visitors instantly every time you hit publish:

The best part?

It’s completely free, and you don’t have to wait around for search engines to start sending you any traffic.

Let’s dive right in.

What Are Push Notifications?

A push notification is a short, clickable pop-up message that appears on a subscriber’s device and redirects the subscriber to your content with one click:

what are push notifications

The best part is that the notifications pop up even if the subscriber isn’t using a browser. It’s like an email blast, but with a web push notification, your subscribers don’t need to be using an app to see your message.

In short: WordPress push notification is a simple way to send out a clickable link to your content to anyone who opted in.

With push notification sequences, your audience now has no excuse to ignore you. And unlike social media websites, there is no algorithm throttling your reach to get you to pay for ads.

The coolest part about web push notifications is that you can use them to complement your lead magnets and email opt-in forms! 

Pro Tip: If you’re not using lead magnets yet, you should start creating lead magnets with OptinMonster to boost your conversions.

We recommend using PushEngage to get started with push notifications for free. Every time you publish a blog post, PushEngage will automatically send out a push notification to all your subscribers.

In the next section, we’ll show you exactly how to set it up in 15 minutes or less.

How to Install Push Notifications In Your Website

PushEngage is one of the best push notification plugins for WordPress. You instantly reach up to 2,500 subscribers with just the free tier. If your blog grows to more than 2,500 subscribers, you can quickly scale by upgrading your plan.

Now, let’s start growing your audience with web push notifications for free.

Step #1: Create a Free PushEngage Account

Head over to PushEngage and click on Get Started for Free:

Get started with PushEngage

Select the Free plan or whichever suits your needs the best:

Step #2: Sign Up for PushEngage

Signup for the plugin with your user details or your Gmail ID:

Create PushEngage Account

And just follow along with the instructions and finish setting up your account.

Step #3: Install the WordPress Plugin

NOTE: If your website isn’t built using WordPress, you can install push notifications using other methods. We don’t cover those methods in this article but check out our installation guide if you’re interested.

Once you sign up, you’ll be taken to the PushEngage dashboard:

PushEngage Dashboard

Head over to Site Settings »Site Details:

PushEngage Site Settings

Click on the Click Here For Setup Instruction button:

PushEngage Installation Settings

Then, click on the Install WordPress Plugin button:

PushEngage WordPress Installation

If you’ve already set up your site’s URL, PushEngage will install itself automatically on your site.

Step #4: Connect Your WordPress Website

To finish off the setup process, you’ll need to copy your API Key:

PushEngage API Key

Finally, head over to the PushEngage plugin in your WordPress dashboard. Under the Setup tab, paste the API key:

Finish PushEngage setup

And that’s all!

You have successfully set up push notifications on your website. Next, we’ll show you how to use them effectively.

How Do Push Notifications Work?

Let’s get a little bit technical now and explore how push notifications work.

The simplified version is that every time a new visitor enters your website, they get prompted to become a push notification subscriber.

Push notification opt-in

Next, you use a web push notification service like PushEngage to create and schedule the notifications you want to send out to your subscribers. You can choose to either send it to every subscriber on your list or to specific segments of your subscribers.

You’ll want to start by creating a Drip Autoresponder:

Create a new drip autoresponder

Finally, your subscribers receive your notifications when their device comes online and take the suggested action.

Push notification example

This is all perfectly true, but this is only a small part of what happens in the background. So, let’s take a look at the technical details. But first, if you haven’t already, get started with PushEngage today.

First off, PushEngage has servers that connect to your subscriber’s devices and send them your push notifications. Now, these servers don’t store any personal information such as the name or email address of any subscriber.

So, what do these servers store? 

To PushEngage and our servers, your subscribers are a unique hash number generated based on your subscriber’s device and browser. Besides, the server can also store the geolocation of your subscribers.

Now, you won’t have direct access to these servers. You can only use the PushEngage Dashboard to create, optimize, and manage push notification campaigns.

In other words, PushEngage is your service provider. This means that you don’t need to know anything about coding or how to maintain the original servers. We take care of all that for you. All you have to worry about is setting up your campaigns and making a profit!

By now, you’re probably wondering how personalized push notifications work if the servers only store a hash number and no personal details. This is where the service provider API comes into play. For you, that would be the PushEngage Javascript API.

You can use this API and connect it to any other CRM or database you might have. This allows you to use the personal details of your subscribers to send them personalized push notifications. 

You can also use the PushEngage API to send out advanced campaigns such as cart abandonment campaigns.

What Are the Different Parts of Any Push Notification?

Now that we understand how push notifications work, let’s a look at the different parts of a push notification that you can customize (or can’t):

anatomy of a push notification

#1. Push Notification Title

The title is the most prominent text on the push notification. It’s restricted to 60-80 characters for clear visibility. The purpose of this title is to attract the subscriber’s attention. So, it’s important to have the entire title clearly visible.

Check out our push notification copywriting guide to create killer titles that your subscribers will love.

#2. The Domain

The domain on a push notification is just the URL of your website. You can’t change this either. But unlike the browser icon, your domain needs to be clearly visible as it adds to your brand recognition.

Now, there is an option for you to store the push notification data on a subdomain of PushEngage. If you use the subdomain, then this part of the push notification will display the URL of a PushEngage subdomain instead of your brand. 

We don’t recommend using this option as it can lower your brand value.

#3. Push Notification Content

The notification content contains the largest portion of text in the entire notification. It’s restricted to 120-150 characters for visibility just like the title. While you can work in more character, we recommend keeping it short and sweet.

Typically, this part serves as a way to offer more context about the title or to complete an offer. Don’t bother using a call to action in the text itself. With push notifications, you can add call-to-action buttons.

Pro Tip: You can use regional languages to make your push notifications feel more personalized. Read this case study on how Phooto used local languages in push notifications to boost their engagement.

#4. Notification Large Image

The large image is the belle of the ball and it’s the first thing you spot in any notification. It’s typically a 360×180 image that serves as the most attractive part of a push notification.

Optimize your push notifications with attractive images

The notification image is also entirely optional. You can choose to not use one if you like. Using a notification image can make your push notification feel like an advertisement. This can cause the notification to be ignored by many subscribers.

But if you do it right, images can improve CTR (click-through rates) by up to 62%. Check out our study on the impact of images in push notifications by industry.

If you’re not sure whether you should use a large image, we suggest A/B testing the notification with and without the image.

#5. Push Notification Icon 

The push notification icon is like the site icon on your website, but for your push campaigns. It’s an image that’s 192×192 or larger to represent your business. Typically, this will be your site icon and you can only set this one time for all your push notifications.

Pro Tip: If you rebrand at any time, remember to change the push notification icon in PushEngage as well. Also, remember that you can’t use animated images for your icon. So, GIFs won’t work here.

#6. Call to Action Buttons

Every push notification supports up to 2 buttons. We recommend using customized call-to-action buttons for your campaigns. You can even add separate URLs and button icons for each CTA.

Engaging Push notification CTA button icons

Check out this list of web push notification tricks for some nice CTA ideas.

#7. Browser Icon

The smallest part of the push notification is the browser icon that denotes which browser your subscriber is using currently. It’s one of the most overlooked parts because you can’t change this in any way and for the most part, a subscriber won’t notice the browser icon either.

#8. The Browser Label

The browser label is just the text version of a browser icon. Like the icon, you can’t change the browser name label.

#9. Time Stamp 

The timestamp is a simple way for your subscribers to know when the message was received. It’s system generated and you can’t change this either.

Different Types of Push Notification Opt-ins

Every push notification campaign begins with consent. It’s an extension of Seth Godin’s idea of permission marketing. The idea is very simple: before you send your web visitors any content that they may or may not want to see, ask for permission.

The process of getting permission to send any push notification is called “opting in”. So, before you can send out a push notification campaign, you first need your website visitors to opt-in and subscribe to your notifications.

If you’re a content creator on YouTube, then you’re already familiar with how subscribers work. The only difference is that you don’t own the list of your YouTube subscribers and you can’t control the notifications you send them.

With PushEngage, you do own that list because that information is stored on your domain. Now, there are two types of opt-ins you can use for your website:

  • Single Opt-ins
  • Double Opt-ins

The primary difference between them is very clear. Single opt-ins ask for permission to send notifications only once. Double opt-ins ask each subscriber to confirm their decision. 

So, which one should you choose?

We’ve observed that single opt-ins can get up to 150% more subscribers than double opt-ins. Check out our article on how to increase your opt-in rate if you’re struggling with this.

From a legal point of view, GDPR requires you to only have a single opt-in. But with double opt-ins, you get way better engagement because your subscribers actually want more of your content. In terms of sheer opt-in numbers, though, single-step opt-ins are way more effective.

Another point to consider is that you NEED to install an SSL certificate on your website to be able to use single opt-ins. But you can install two-step opt-ins even without a secure website.

So, if you have an SSL certificate installed, use single opt-ins. If not, check out this article on how to install an SSL certificate on WordPress websites.

What Next?

That’s all for this one. 

If you’re just getting started with push notifications, check out how to create your first welcome message using PushEngage. A welcome message is great for re-engagement and repeat visitors to your website.

Also, if you’ve already started using push notifications, we realize that it can be difficult to come up with campaign ideas. The longer you use a traffic source, the harder it becomes to come up with new ideas. Check out some push campaign ideas that our customers are already using. You might just get the inspiration you need! 

If you’re an eCommerce website, check out cart abandonment campaigns next. If not, send out your first drip push campaign. These are some of the highest converting campaigns for most of our customers.

And if you haven’t already, get started with PushEngage today!

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8 comments on “What Are Push Notifications? A Simple Guide for Epic Results

  1. Thank you for sharing good information. Very Nice Article it helps me a lot to how to use Push Notification in our blog.

  2. This is a great information you have share, As I’m newbie into Blogging, it can surely make a difference. Thank you so much

  3. can i send web push notifications when a user hits a specific site? for ex. my website sells socks; when a web push opted-in user visits amazon i trigger a web push notification to them. i think not, but thought i’d check anyway.

    also i thought a site needs be be https to enable web push notifications. can i still enable web push notifications on a http site by creating a https page?

  4. you’re actually a just right webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing.
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    trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a wonderful task in this subject!

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