Having a strong social media presence and engagement is great, that’s why they are used as channels or marketing hubs for many brands, companies, and individuals to have a continual conversation with their target audience.

But with social media it’s really difficult to get people back to your site and engaging with what you really want them to: your content, your products; and to build up an authoritative domain and a brand outside of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or TikTok.

This is a difficult struggle many brands face. The solution doesn’t have to be so difficult! A super easy strategy to increase engagement in your app or website is with a push notification widget.

Push notifications, unlike email, have a much higher opt in rate of 53.3%. Can you imagine if you could reach and convert over 50% of the audience who come to your site again? It truly allows you to create a following of repeat visitors you wouldn’t have any other way.

This article is all about push notifications. What to do, and what to avoid with them; how to craft a good message, what are the best practices, and how to implement them to keep your users engaged and always returning to you.

How to take your user from the lock screen of their device to you business!

Here’s how to use a push notification widget to build a following:

A quick summary on push notifications.

Push notifications are… well, notifications you can send from your website or app to any desktop or mobile device. Users will get them even if they are logged out. That means that you can “push” messages to direct your audience back to your content.

Push notifications have become a key feature of the web regardless of industry and markets. From social media to news sites, and from SaaS to eCommerce.

I’m sure you have seen them appear more than once at the corner of your screen or piling up in your mobile device lock screen.

Push notification best practices.

As you’ll notice while reading this article, push notifications are a tightrope act 🎪. While notifications are an amazing tool to keep users engaged and returning to your app or website, the danger is to overwhelm your users with too many messages, too pushy prompts, or too eager invites.

The key to convert notifications into visits is all about balance, and these best practices will help you find your perfect center and avoid a great fall. I’m here to support you, think of this post as a notification safety net.

When to ask users to subscribe to push notifications?

Push notifications are fully voluntary and require users to opt in. That means that, unlike other channels of communication, users have to confirm their subscription by clicking on a notification prompt or widget.

When setting up your prompt your first instinct may be to show it as soon as users get to your app or website. But don’t be too eager!

If your users don’t have time to read or even see your content how can they feel that they’ll need to visit you back? Set the prompt for push notifications to appear for visitors soon but not too soon.

Make sure to give ample time for visitors to take a look at your site to ask them if they want to opt in for your push notifications. A 75% of the page scrolls or between 7-8 seconds is usually a decent time for someone to understand what your site is about and what to expect.

Then, and just then, you can ask them if they want to get notifications.

push notification widget

How to craft a good opt in message?

Push notifications are an internet standard. But even though most users have probably found push notification prompts while browsing, that doesn’t mean that the messaging you use doesn’t matter.

To make it even more enticing, mention these are exclusive. You have one shot to get their approval so you want to make sure they take the opportunity now.

Don’t just leave your popup as “Opt in for push notifications?”. A basic rule of UI and UX design is that any choice you present users must be easy to understand. Users should know quickly what will happen when they click accept.

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The opt in game.

But usability is not your only concern. Your content may be top notch but, convincing users that they have a reason to return is vital. Even those users that are familiar with this kind of notification won’t subscribe if you don’t communicate any value.

When you ask for a visitor to opt in, create an offer that is too good to deny. Let them know that you will be sending them important, helpful information or valuable offers regularly. And then deliver on that promise.

To make it even more enticing, mention these are exclusive. You have one shot to get their approval so you want to make sure they take the opportunity now.

The art of the CTA.

A CTA or call to action is a word or phrase used to both describe an action, and entice users to take it. You certainly have seen them before as call to action buttons like: “subscribe”, “read more”, “learn more about…” or “try it for free now!”.

While action buttons are short and to the point (mostly for time and space reasons), a CTA may be an entire phrase.

A good message for your push notification prompt needs to be a CTA. Think what action you want your users to take (accept and subscribe to push notifications) and try to craft a phrase that describes that action in more enticing terms. Make your CTA for opting in inviting, descriptive, and easy to say yes to.

Some good CTA examples are “Receive the latest news from us directly.” or “Get exclusive new deals sent directly to you.”

push notification widget

How many notifications is too much?

As with all notifications, there can always be “too much”. Keep push notifications to a reasonable amount.

I had an Android phone once that fell from a table while on vibrate for all the notifications I was getting.

When you do send them, make sure it’s for something of real value and not just a very small, casual update. Avoid sending push notifications for every little piece of news, addition, or change that happens on your website or service. That’s is a good way to get users to change their settings and lose favor with your whole brand.

Users are interested in helpful and relevant content. For example, if your website is an eCommerce platform, only send push notifications for great, exclusive deals and the most anticipated new products.

If you’re a blog or content site, send your top performing content. The more of a rarity they are, the more value you provide to your users, and the more intrigued your followers will be.

push notification widget

There’s no magic number.

Sadly there’s no magic number or average of notifications that we can point out to be too much or too little. As I said before, it’s all about balance. But it’s also about what your users will expect from a business like yours.

The optimal number of notifications to send will depend on what your company does, and how users interact with your content regularly.

As a general rule, always consider that less is more. It’s always preferable to rely on fewer impactful notifications (at the right time and to the right user), than to shoot a whole lot of messages to an undefined audience of users and see what sticks.

The optimal number of notifications to send will depend on what your company does, and how users interact with your content regularly. You probably already track their behavior in some way and if you’re not you certainly should start to get those metrics.

A few examples.

Let’s examine how different services may tackle this issue, depending on their industry.

For example, news services need to produce content constantly and their business is to keep users interested, so they usually publish multiple articles in a single day.

To bother users for every single one would be too much, so the best strategy would be to notify a few impactful news that will guarantee visits. Maybe two or three daily notifications at the times of day that users are more likely to stop and read.

Another example would be mobile apps. Apps need to keep users informed about new launches, promotions and updates.

A single daily notification should be enough to cover that, considering that mobile apps already need to send other kinds of notifications for multiple types of user interaction (product alerts, service and purchase confirmations).

Any additional notifications then, should be kept to a minimum. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one messaging them.

The average user gets notifications across devices from marketers, apps and all other subscriptions they may have. I had an Android phone once that fell from a table while on vibrate for all the notifications I was getting. You don’t want your brand to be associated with cluttering their device.

Any app or web service is constantly improving their products so they will be regularly launching new features and fixing all sorts of bugs and issues.

A feature launch will probably be worthy a notification (or multiple notifications during a whole period of time) but bug fixes can skyrocket your notification tally and we don’t want that.

A common solution for that is to group several bug fixes in a single packet and notify your users based on new version instead of single issues.

Who should get your push notifications?

You may be thinking the obvious answer: my users! Sure, but who REALLY needs to get that notification?

In the previous section we already established that you need to be conservative on the amount of daily notifications you employ, but what if you have a lot of news to share? Is there a way to notify more without overwhelming your users? The answer is a targeting.

Digital marketers know that users and visitors aren’t a monolith. Even though the idea of an average user may be useful in some cases, the reality is more divers than that.

Users have many interests, they find different things relevant, and they subscribe to apps and services looking for different solutions.

If you track analytics you’ll notice that while some notifications will fit perfectly to entice one customer, they will fail when targeting another user. Users have many interests, they find different things relevant, and they subscribe to apps and web services looking for different solutions.

So who should get your notifications? The user that will react the most and get more value out of it, of course.

push notification widget

The art of segmentation.

Imagine the following: your support team gets messages all day about a bug in the android version of your app. Your mobile dev team quickly catches the bug and fixes it in record time.

So you want to report back that the bug is fixed but also to show off the value your amazing support and mobile dev team provide to your users. Who do you notify? Well, a user who doesn’t have an android mobile device probably won’t care much. That’s what segmentation is for: value!

Most of the ads you interact with online use segmentation to know what content to serve you. By using the same strategy with your notifications you will increase the chance to turn a potential lead into a customer and boost engagement.

As you track customer behavior and their reactions, you can (…) understand what kinds of notifications will be more effective in each case…

Segmentation is the practice of dividing users according to multiple profiles. As you track customer behavior and their reactions, you can use those analytics to understand what kinds of notifications will be more effective in each case, based on actual data (like demographics, location, language, devices, OS, browser, age group, google searches, marketing campaign). Segmentation allows you to filter your notifications and make better data-driven decisions.

With Beamer’s segmentation feature you can make the whole process easier and forget about the hassle.

Track user data and feed it to Beamer. Then, Beamer will help you to sort your data, study those analytics and easily create user groups. Use segmented notifications to target each specific profile. No other marketing apps required!

mock-push-segments

How to set up push notifications.

I already explained why push notifications matter and how to get the bests results while using them. But now let’s explore how to take them to your user’s screen.

Where to direct your users with each notification?

We talked about the importance of a good CTA but call to actions are promises that should be fulfilled.

Remember that a CTA is an invite, so think about what’s the party you’re inviting them to. You want to have somewhere and something for users to explore when they click on one of your push notifications. If you just drops them off at your app, website or a lonely page, they kind of need to figure it out on their own.

The most common practice is a details page. That means that if the notification is for a blog post, don’t take them to your blog but to the actual article, if the notification is for an offer take them to the items, if the notification is for a free digital product take them to the download screen, and if the notification is about support don’t lead them to your help resources page but to the actual support entry that will solve the issue your notification is about.

Still there’s a few other different things you can do: landing pages and newsfeeds.

Use a notification landing page.

Landing pages are self-contained sites that provide specific information. Think of them as a marketing welcome screen or ads in website form, that doesn’t contain all the details about your app or services but enough to showcase your product’s value and lead your audience to your regular sale channels.

Sure, landing pages are a digital marketing campaign staple but how can they help you in the notification game? Well…

For example, if you’re offering a sale on an eCommerce site, you can create a landing page for just the sale items. The notification could take them directly from the lock screen of their mobile devices to the offer without stops so your followers don’t have to scroll through your whole shop. Don’t forget to add a good CTA to make the whole process as simple as click here to purchase.

Another good example of a notification landing page would be one dedicated to a single feature of your app or service. If you push a notification for a new feature, instead of taking your customer to your regular website, why not taking them to a screen where they can learn all the details about that feature without distractions?

As an example, we at Beamer put our advice into action. We have different landing pages for each of our products and some of their main features.

That way, if a user makes a google search for a specific solution, they’ll find a dedicated page to arrive to. The same goes for our notifications.

If building multiple landing pages for specific notifications seems too hard and budget-consuming, you can use a service like Unbounce.

Unbounce is a web builder platform specifically focused on landing pages, that makes the whole task of creating them quicker and easier.

Use a notification newsfeed.

A newsfeed is a central platform where your notifications get stored and published. This way, users can scroll through the update they clicked the notification for, as well as plenty others, creating thus more opportunities for them to be engaged!

Seeing your notifications in context could make more clear what type of news they can expect to get from opting into your push notifications…

An example of this would be what happens when someone chooses to turn on notifications for an Instagram feed; they opted in to get updates because they were interested in the content available! You can create the same effect by adding a newsfeed to your site.

Beamer is a really easy-to-use newsfeed and notification platform. Users can click a “What’s New” tab or icon and a newsfeed will appear on any page of your site or app. Seeing your notifications in context could make more clear what type of news they can expect to get from opting into your push notifications when you ask them.

How to start using push notifications?

It may be strange to spend a whole post speaking about how to optimize push notifications and leave how to implement them for the end.

I wrote it this way because there are many different service providers that can help you out (Hubspot has a list with 12 of them). But if you want not to just use push notifications, but to implement what we have been discussing all along, think of Beamer.

Beamer is a complete suite of tools in a single platform. No extra apps needed! It includes a push notifications feature, plus an easy-to-install newsfeed for you to keep your updates in sync across devices.

You can manage notification opt ins, track metrics, target users with audience segmentation, and build a notification center. Keep your users engaged and take your messaging to the next level with Beamer.

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Push notifications are the best way to keep return traffic coming to your site and building a following away from your social pages, and instead where you actually want your users to be: engaged and interacting with your brand.

Use these tips above to maximize the potential of push notifications and keep followers updated and enthusiastic about your site or app. To make the notification game easier, try Beamer for free today and get your messaging strategy into action.