Web push notifications

Web push notifications

We all have seen the small pop up with a one line message and ‘Allow’ and ‘Block’ options when we open some url on the browser – either on our desktops or on our mobile phones. These are called ‘push notifications’.

In this blog, we will share about the history of push notifications, their
advantages & how they work. Please note, in this blog, we will cover only web push alerts or notifications (on mobile & desktops browsers).


Push notifications are best for:

  • Short or urgent, time-sensitive messages
  • Re-engaging your visitors/ customers
  • Nudging them to complete a purchase / subscription process
  • Adding another marketing channel to your strategy

History of Push notifications

How did push notifications get evolve? This simple info-graphic image provides some detail:


Advantages of Push notifications

While many companies use Email marketing, SMS marketing, social media and more (which are all great), push notifications is a channel that should be optimized too. Let’s take a look at how web push notifications compare to the other marketing channels:


(+) Allows for a lot more content & more customizable than push notifications

(-) According to PushEngage, Emails have an open rate of 15% – 30% while push notifications have a view percentage of 45% – 90%

(-) According to PushEngage, emails have a click rate of 1-3% while push notifications have a click rate of 5-30%

Social media

(+) People spend more time on social media than any other online activity

(-) Only 0.07% of Facebook audience interacts with your post as opposed to click through rate (CTR) of web push notifications is 5-30%

(-) Only  0.03% audience interacts with your tweet on Twitter


(+) 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes

(-) Considered low quality communication channel as no permissions are required from the user & phone numbers are easy to acquire

One of the critical reasons why push notifications are effective is because they are a permission based communication channel, especially web push notifications. This means only those who really want your notifications are those who enable it, making this channel high quality.

According to a recent survey of 1200 adults, nearly 70% of adults and more than 70% of young adults enable push notifications from their favorite brands’ apps. However, while this statistic highlights the effectiveness of app push notifications, as I mentioned earlier in the article, web push notifications differ from mobile app push notifications as web notifications also include desktop. 48.7% of total internet usage worldwide still uses desktop which means web push notifications enable you to reach out to this chunk of global users.

According to Business.com, if reach is the goal, mobile websites are performing much better than mobile apps. This means web push notifications become even more critical as it gives you the ability to send push notifications without investing in an app.

Data from Kahuna suggests that push notifications have high-engagement rates with click-through rates as high as 40%.

Listed below are the industry’s engagement rates .


How does a web push notification work?

For push notifications to work, there are three essential things necessary:

  1. HTTPS – Web notifications can only be installed on HTTPS to prevent attacks. Although it’s not impossible to be implemented on a HTTP site with a few work-arounds.
  2. The browser should support Service workers .
  3. Your website should be registered on the notification server like Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) which will return the API key.

There are also two ways you can shoot out  push notifications:

  1. Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
  2. Plug-n-Play Services

Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

This literally means do-EVERYTHING-yourself – from building the functionality to tracking & analytics. Here’s how it works:

You either go for a web push service provider which sets up your account in very few minutes which have been given in plug-n-play services section. Or, you can go for the hard way, but yet relatively easy, of manual implementation in your web-app. And even if you go the hard way your web push notifications will be up and running in less than a day.

Read- How to add Chrome Push Notifications to a Web App

Plug-n-Play Services

There’s a much simpler way of sending push notifications to your customers, though. You can easily opt in for a plug-n-play solution for your business for a low cost. Here are some options:

A user can always see the list of push notifications he has subscribed for and can manage subscriptions, even disable the ones he no longer requires. On Chrome, he can do this via Settings > Advanced settings > Content Settings > Notifications



Web push notifications can be customized to suit your brand tone, style & design.

To look like this:


We hope we were able to give you a brief introduction to web push notifications. Do you have something to share? We’d love to hear it in the comments section below.

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