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Why Web Push Notifications Are Not Working For You (And How to Fix It)

Why Web Push Notifications Are Not Working For You (And How to Fix It)

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Web push notifications have been gaining popularity over the last few years – and it looks like it’s only going to get stronger.

According to recent studies, web push notifications have much better opt-in rates. To be exact, they are so good that marketers can build their marketing list 30 times faster than they can with email subscription.

Desktop usage still accounts for 42% of total internet usage worldwide. And website push notifications are a great way to reach these users.

The average click-through rates (CTR) of browser push notifications are much better than emails which still hover around 1-3%.

Here are the average CTR of web push notifications:

Average click-through rates for web push notifications

Image Source

But those types of mouth-watering results are only achievable when your visitors allow you to send them web push notifications – and click on your messages.

If you are not getting similar results from browser push messages, you may be making one of the following six common mistakes:

1. Your call-to-action doesn’t create a sense of urgency

The call-to-action (CTA) is arguably the most important part of your browser push message. But there are very few marketers who pay it the attention it deserves. It’s not enough to just include a CTA; you need to put intelligence behind those messages.


  • Use words in your CTA that makes it extremely obvious what people should do after they read your message.
  • Craft your CTA in a way that creates a sense of urgency and taps into your recipient’s emotions.

For example, if a customer adds items to their shopping cart and then leaves the purchase, try sending a push message that says something like;

“The items in your cart, they’re here today, but could be gone tomorrow, Checkout now.”

If you don’t know how to add urgency to your message here’s a list of CTAs that can entice users to take action:

  • Book today
  • Shop now
  • Start saving today
  • Save now
  • Book now
  • Check out now
  • See your offer now
  • Buy now
  • Reveal your offer today

2. You are not making your recipients’ feel special

If you want people to click on your web push notifications, you have to give them what they want, and you have to make them feel special. A simple way to make the recipient feel special is by personalizing the copy.

Many marketers have been incredibly slow to take up personalization as they don’t know how to start. Here’s a simple example to show you how. If a customer abandons a product in their cart, you can send them a message like – Hey [Name], your product (Gucci watch) is still in the cart. Check out now!

By just adding these personalization tokens to your copy you can make your recipients feel that the message is specially created for them. And, the personalized message will undoubtedly outperform the non-personalized one.

At Netcore, we conducted a study where we sent over 1,000 browser push notifications, half with the personalized copy and another half with a non-personalized message. The personalized copy had a 4% higher click-through rate.

If you don’t have the data like your subscriber’s first name, you can use certain words and phrases to make your recipient feel special. Given below are a few of them:

  • You
  • Your
  • Special coupon for you
  • Special offer for members
  • Exclusive deals for members only

3. You are not segmenting your subscribers smartly

No two people on your list have the same needs and requirements. But still, marketers send the same push message to everyone on their list. If you are making this mistake, it’s time you stop doing it.

In the previous point, I talked about how personalizing push copy can improve your click-through rate. But the question now is how do you personalize?

Well, it depends a lot on your segmentation strategy. You can start by segmenting users based on their on-site behavior, geolocation or devices. Once you have created the segments, you can personalize the content easily.

4. You don’t test your web push copy

Just because you are sending push messages doesn’t mean people will act on them; if you want recipients to take action, you have to use the right copy. Now the question is how do you nail the copy? Well, you must run an A/B test to find out. You should always take the time to craft two or more versions of your web push copy to determine which message encourages more recipients’ to click. To create copy that boosts your click-through rates, spend time A/B testing:

  • Headline variations
  • Body copy variations
  • Call-to-action copy variations
  • Rich media – images or GIFs

5. You are not giving visitors a reason to opt-in

Website push notifications are one of the most effective marketing channels for generating high ROI. But to get good results from this channel you first need people to join your list; as it’s a strictly permission-based channel unlike emails and SMS marketing.

For most marketers crafting a push opt-in pop-up copy and picking the best pages to show a push opt-in popup on is an afterthought, but it is often the difference between an opt-in and block.

Not only must you test to find out the best page to show your opt-in popup, but you also must continuously keep testing the timing. Ideally, you should test at least three different opt-in timings to get the right time to show an opt-in popup on your website.

6. You don’t test your delivery time

The biggest mistake most marketers make when sending browser notifications is not testing their send time. They forget that timing matters. You don’t want to miss the mark when it comes to the timing of your web push message.

Why is timing everything?

45% of consumers feel they are being spammed if they receive a web push notification at the wrong time.

So, instead of picking one best time to send web notifications you should experiment with different times and days of the week, and choose a time that works best for your subscribers.

Wrapping up

There’s no way to predict how many conversions you will get from your web push messages, but you have a much better chance of boosting your customers’ engagement by avoiding all the mistakes mentioned above. If you consistently send well-crafted, personable push messages loaded with value, your subscribers will take action.

Also, you can add other visual media, like Gifs and images to get good results from your browser notifications. Though it isn’t a must, it will improve your click-through rate.

Guest author: Reshu Rathi is the Inbound Marketing Manager at Netcore, an AI-powered growth marketing platform. She has been in the internet marketing industry for nearly ten years, specializing in content and product marketing, lead generation and engagement strategy. When she’s not working she spends her time in reading and running not simultaneous although that’d be very impressive. You can follow her on Twitter at @reshurathi or check out her blogs at Smartech Blog.

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