What are push notifications

29 March 2019
Reading: 5 min

In this article, you will find out what push notifications are, why they are used and what types of these notifications exist.

Push notifications are not innovation. They have been used for a long time, but only recently they began to be used in commercial purposes. Before that, their major destiny was to notify a user of an operating system or a device about system events.

With time, the push technology has evolved, and now it implies news updates in the shape of short messages which are sent to user browsers or mobile devices.

Push notifications allow reaching about 90% of the audience thanks to the fact that this technology is supported by many operating systems, browsers, and platforms.

What are push notifications

General information and the role of push notifications

What are the push notifications? These are brief messages sent to newsletter subscribers’ computers or mobile devices. It is believed that they can drive a user back to the promoted resource more effectively than paid search ads or other mass communication. You can flexibly customize the appearance and structure of push notifications, and that allows developing various commercial strategies.

Usually, a push notification appears above all windows and apps opened on a device, stays there for some time, and then disappears itself. A user needs to assess the value of a message, read it through and decide on entering the website for a relatively short period of time.

It is important to note that users subscribe to push notifications themselves. However, the subscription process is simplified as much as possible. Users normally subscribe just by tapping on the screen “Allow notifications” button. Besides, you can adjust some parameters of these notifications (in browser settings).

What are push notifications

If we talk about browser push notifications, they usually appear right after a user enters a website which allows sending these messages. Besides, they appear as every news comes out. On mobile devices, they appear even if a browser is closed at the moment.

A subscriber has the right not to send any personal data to subscribe to push notifications. First, this makes the subscription process faster and easier, and second, it increases the credibility of a resource. This is because many other newsletters require email addresses, your name, phone number, etc.

Thus, this much-simplified procedure forms positive user relationships as well as the fact that they do not have to share any personal information.

Especially since you can unsubscribe from newsletters with just one click.

What are push notifications

What does a standard push notification consist of

The structure of notifications can be flexibly adjusted and consist of the following:

  • a header (the subject of the message) – the maximum length is 65 characters;
  • the message body itself – up to 240 characters;
  • links to follow;
  • an image.

The structure of push notifications can also be changed at your will, and this makes push notifications as diverse as possible.

Thanks to this diversity, you can explore a range of possibilities to communicate the necessary message to potential customers. Images are important to attract subscribers’ attention. Buttons, in turn, are required to drive a user to the target website.

The correct header, that is, the message subject, is of great importance. After reading it, a user normally gets the idea of what he is offered and whether he needs it at all.

Buttons allow segmenting customers. For instance, you can post two buttons where the first one leads to the women’s trainers section and the other one – to the men’s section.

The competent push messaging should be creative and diverse, as monotypic notifications will quickly become boring and make the communication with a customer uninteresting for him.

What are push notifications

Types of push notifications

These notifications are currently divided into the following types:

  • Browser notifications: they are accomplished via expedient add-ons and API technologies;
  • Mobile notification: they are sent via mobile applications;
  • Designed for personal computers: they are sent via computer software regardless of the browser.

Browser push notifications are demonstrated in a browser on the resource where users subscribe to them. They can appear on PCs, smartphones, and tablets.

What are push notifications
Browser push notifications

Mobile notifications, accordingly, appear on mobile devices when sent by applications. However, you cannot make these notifications interchangeable. This way, if you send computer browser notifications to Android devices, they will look bulky and not cause positive associations of a user. This is particularly noticeable on smartwatches as they will occupy the whole screen and then appear not in the full shape.

What are push notifications
Mobile push notifications

Which push notifications are most effective

According to some statistical data, nearly a half of users subscribe to mobile push notifications (the vast majority of them use Android), and nearly 20% prefer to receive them in a browser, and the same share – on a computer. The remaining share of the target audience chooses less popular push notification platforms.

This tells us that we should not neglect any share of the potential target audience. Though mobile notifications are ranked first, if you only consider them, you risk losing 40% of users of other platforms (including Telegram channels which are becoming more popular). Here we can conclude: you should try as much to reach the maximum audience via push notifications. Luckily, modern technologies let you do that.

Well, if we try to summarize all of the abovementioned, we can undoubtedly conclude that push notifications are a very efficient and flexible tool. If you correctly appreciate your users’ needs and try to reach your target audience as much as possible, then push notifications can become a very powerful marketing tool in the right hands.

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