Do you notice whenever you arrive on any website of any significance, you are immediately asked if you would like TO SUBSCRIBE to notifications on that website?
The answer will inevitably be yes.
Now, most of us in the past would just click NO and move on. But what if this is the one website where you want to know more, want to read their blogs and get that special discount when they are ready to give it to you. Every once in a while, you may actually want to get push notifications, or those pop messages that show up in your browser and smartphone.
I would say probably 80% of those seeing a push notification don’t have a clue what it is or what it means? And when they start seeing little images and messages showing up on their web browser or phone, they think to themselves, “Why Am I Getting This Message? What Devil Has Entered My Computer?”
Push notifications show on the desktop and mobile like the message is randomly appearing, like a bot. But it is not a bot, you actually signed up for that push message!
Most people get their first push notification by accident. They don’t realize they are clicking yes. It could just be they clicked accidentally and subscribed. It’s not until they start seeing these message popping up all the time and start to think, “oh do I have some weird add-on or virus?” And if they actually knew how to turn it off, they probably would.
What Is Push Notification?
Push notification has been around for quite a few years.
So what is it?
Push notifications are broadcasts sent by marketers and website managers that include small amounts of text and or images that ride a browser network to your desktop, tablet or smart phone. They show up typically right in the bottom right of your computer, even if you are not surfing… It just appears. And they show up on your smart phone as messages sent directly to the phone which are not Text/SMS.
Push notification requires an app to run. And for desktop and mobile it is already built into Chrome, Safari & Firefox browsers. Nothing for you to do but agree, not agree to get it per website. It just works. It also can run on Android and IOS apps. Just remember they are website based, meaning you had to visit that website with that browser and agree to it, or you aren’t signing up for it.
I had no inclination to really look over how push works, other than get myself off of a few notifications. And it is not easy to get off of push notification. Some allow you to turn them off right in the screen, but most make you did down deep into the browser settings to turn off specific websites. For Chrome it is settings/advanced/content settings/notifications. There you can turn them off.
What Push Notification Service Should You Use?
I was oblivious to the whole push revolution until I started to work as a Digital Marketing Director and took a closer look at the tech and how it works. We are at a point where there are free push notifications services as well as paid services and it can run on any site, especially WordPress sites.
For several websites I work on, push notification has surprised me in that as many as 5% of visitors to these sites agree to get them everyday (trust me that is better than most email list conversion rates). And once you set it up, it is as easy to send a message out as Twitter!
The service we started to use recently for our speed dating business is called One Signal. One Signal is free, though they do use our meta data for their business, which I am assuming is anonymous data. I don’t know about the other ones, because One Signal worked well for us.
Push Notifications & Segmentation
What I have found so fascinating about push is the level of segmentation you can use in broadcasting a message. That would be why click through rates would be higher than email or social. It’s pretty obvious, if you tailor marketing messages to what people want to read and know about exactly, people respond better.
One Signal lets you send messages to segments based on a variety of options, including by desktop vs. mobile, by operating system, by how often you visit a website, by days and timing and user sign up per page. You can even send a message to one specific person on one specific device you target and identify in your database.
Let’s face it, push notification offers much better segmentation than email or social networking. Those mediums don’t work like this. You don’t have the tools and controls or the database to know this stuff about your visitors and a way to act on the data.
I had a hunch when I started to work with this service that they allowed open segmentation, where you could tag people as you were signing them up. Sure enough you can with One Signal! So, I undertook a project to segment our speed dating business through this service this December.
So, now when you visit a pre-dating.com page, like http://www.pre-dating.com/los-angeles-speed-dating/, and you agree to get notifications, you will get messaging, but just Los Angeles events… But the possibilities are actually endless.
If I knew you were a female, 25 years old and single, and tagged you for push notification, I could send just people in your segment a highly targeted message!
Think about that. If I am right push notification is going to be an important part of the future of web marketing and we are just at the infancy!
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Thank you for reading this column. Let me know if you have any questions about how this push notification tech works! Please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.