The Beginners Guide to Web Push Notifications

Answers to everything you wanted to know about Browser Notifications

The digital marketing channel of Web Push Notifications is newer than most existing channels. Even though it has gained significant momentum over the last year, there is still a wide gap in strategic implementation between this newer method and others. Marketers are still discovering use cases for web push, but it has been observed to increase repeat visits, user retention, and re-engagement. This guide will tell you all that you need to know about Web Push Notifications.

What are Web Push Notifications?

Web or Browser Push Notifications are clickable pop-up messages that appear on a subscriber’s browser. They can be accessed on all devices, including desktop, android mobile, tablets, etc. They are different from in-app notifications because they are sent by websites instead of mobile apps.

Why are they Useful?

Web Push Notifications work seamlessly because they are easy to install and set up. The best part is that subscribers can be anywhere on the browser and still receive these messages. As long as the subscribers are online or have their browsers running on their devices, the messages can reach them even when they aren’t on a particular website. The only caveat is that they should be online or have their browsers running on their devices.

Conservative estimates have pegged the click rate from Web Push Notifications at 4-8X times that of email. It is a strictly permission-based medium. Subscribers will receive notifications if and only if they have opted in. These characteristics make Web Push Notifications an extremely powerful channel for both communication and marketing.

what makes them handy
Why Your Business Needs Push Notifications?

Instant Subscribers

Not Everyone is willing to share his or her personal information on subscription forms, and for this reason you can miss out on opportunities for outreach. With Push Notifications, you don’t have to rely on capturing lead information. Add subscribers with a single-click permission and engage them without asking them to reveal any personal data.


Returning Visitors

Increase your website’s returning traffic and re-engage past visitors with a simple push message. No more waiting for your subscribers to visit your website and navigate to your desired landing page. Send proactive clickable messages directing them back to your website from anywhere on their browser.


Better Outreach

Push Notifications are likely to perform better than SMS and email. People don’t have to read their SMS and emails can end up in a spam folder. This isn’t true for Push Notifications, which land directly on users’ desktops or mobile browsers, demanding attention.


No Mobile App Necessary

Web-based push notifications work in a similar way to in-app push notifications. Users receive push messages right on their mobile devices, displayed as a notification. All that’s required to receive these messages is a device connected to the internet.

Which Industries Use Push Notifications?

Push Notifications are mainly used for re-engagement, retention, and promotions. This makes them the most preferred marketing automation channel for media publishers, bloggers, and e-commerce industries. They aren’t, however, restricted only to these domains, and have been found to yield positive results across many different industries. It is possible to see how various industries have managed to gain a foothold using push marketing over time.



According to a survey performed by PushCrew, more than 22% of Web Push Notification users are in the e-commerce industry. Notifications are commonly used to promote sales and time-sensitive deals, announce new products, and deliver personalized promotions. They are also used to remind the user about an abandoned cart, or to upsell or cross-sell in various situations.

E-commerce use cases


Education and training websites use Web Push Notifications to connect with their subscribers online. Notifications are sent out with information on new courses related to what they’ve already signed up for, course materials, and even reminders about quizzes. They also come in handy for sharing mock quizzes on the eve of a test.

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Education Industry

Travel & Hospitality

Similarly, the Travel and Hospitality industry has seen a recent boom in the usage of notifications, both mobile and web. Whether they be reminders to check-in or announcements about scheduling changes, push notifications allow businesses to keep customers updated with timely, crucial information. Triggered campaigns can be set up to help customers by reminding them about deals and booking offers, or to upsell or cross-sell based on their recent transactions.

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Travel & Hospitality Industry

How Do Push Notifications Work?

At the core of Web Push Notification lies services like Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM), Apple’s APNS, which enables notifications on Safari, and Windows Notification Service for Microsoft Edge.

To further illustrate how these services work, let’s take the example of FCM. It’s a messaging solution that makes it possible for both mobile applications and websites to send notifications to subscribers. The application servers send the content of the notification along with subscriber information to FCM. FCM verifies the information and then sends the notification to the end users’ devices. Upon receiving the notification, the devices send Click and Delivery data back to the application. This data helps websites and apps track the performance of these notifications.

Although FCM falls under Google’s umbrella, it also works with other browsers that support Push API like Mozilla Firefox and Opera. This enables the sending of push notifications to a web app via a push service. It also helps web applications receive notifications sent by a server.

How PushCrew Works
How web push notifications work

The Anatomy of Push Notifications

Web Push Notifications typically consists of a title, a message, an image, and a URL. Choose an image that adds context and emojis that communicate your message in fewer words. With Chrome 48, notifications now have the capability of adding up to two calls to action as well. This allows the sender to guide the subscriber to three different landing pages with just one notification – to one landing page by clicking on the notification itself; to the other two by clicking on the CTA buttons. That is not all – there is also the capability of adding big images to grab more attention, turning them into Rich Push Notifications.

So, write a crisp title and copy within the recommended character limit. Then provide the correct URL and CTA and hit send. Your first Web Push Notification will be on its way to your subscribers.

Anatomy of Push Notifications

What Browsers support Push Notifications

Why is the Opt-in process most crucial?

Once you set up Push Notifications on your website, your visitors will begin seeing a small opt-in box on their browsers. This box will ask them if they want to receive notifications from your website. Once they give their permission, they are added as subscribers and you can begin sending them notifications to engage and target them to return to your landing page. Customize the opt-in message to add more context to the messages. This helps in setting up the expectation and reduces unsubscribes.

How to Create your Opt-In Strategy
Opt-in process most crucial

The Dos and Don’ts of Push Notifications

  • Schedule notifications according to time zone based on geography and industry.
  • Test various types of notifications and message frequencies.
  • Segment your audience and send personalized and relevant notifications.
  • Track user website behavior and understand their interest in your site.
  • Write crisp notifications that convey the meaning in as few words as possible.
  • Use Rich Push Notifications to add more context and improve communication.
  • Spam your subscribers with too many notifications.
  • Bombard them with messages at odd hours.
  • Indulge in clickbaiting.
  • Flood subscribers with generic messages that have nothing to offer.
  • Repeat send the messages to the same audience.
  • Send notifications without defining the end goal.

Push Notification Case Studies

CreditLoan saw a 350% increase in user engagement using Push Notifications. Their repeat traffic grew, resulting in visitors spending more time on their website than ever before. Push Notifications also helped them achieve a CTR of 8% as compared to 1.5% using emails.

CreditLoan: Achieved a 22% Increase in Revenue

Freeflys uses browser Push Notifications to communicate offers that expire. Notifications are perfect for sending time-sensitive deals as they are immediately delivered on the users’ browsers if they’re online. If they aren’t, you can set an expiry time to the notification so that users don’t see them if they come back online after the deal has expired.

Push Notification Case-Studies

The SEO-Hacker website increased return visits and click-through rates through Web Push Notifications. While their email newsletter sharing an article received only 5% click-throughs, a notification on the same piece garnered 18% click-throughs.

seo hacker case study

Key Statistics

  • Small-sized organizations (up to 25 employees) comprise 60% of Push Notification users.
  • For notifications sent to less than 5,000 subscribers, the average CTR is a whopping 10.85% (the average click rate for emails hovers between 3-4%).
  • Website Push Notifications maintain a healthy click rate of 4-6% even when the number of subscribers increases above 25,000.
  • Wednesday is the best day to send a Push Notification if you want a higher click rate. The average CTR on Wednesday stands at 6.21%.
  • 26% of Website Push Notification users surveyed say that they use it to promote their website content and land subscribers directly on the blog.
  • Most top industries prefer to send notifications between 2PM - 7PM on weekdays.
  • More than 74% of the relevant audience believes that more than 5 notifications in a day is too many.
  • 53.1% of subscribers preferred notifications with big images over plain notifications.
  • 39.8% subscribers wanted more relevant and personalized notifications.