7 Reasons Why Push Notifications Are Better Than Email

Email marketing has been around a long time. A very long time.

According to various sources, the first mass marketing email was sent by Gary Thuerk (dubbed the ‘Father of Spam’) around 1978 when he sent out an email to about 400 individuals promoting some new machines for Digital Equipment Corp.

It was an unprecedented technique and it paid off – resulting in an estimated $13 million dollars in sales.

When was the last time you made $13 million dollars off an email blast of 400 individuals?

Chances are pretty high that it hasn’t quite happened for you. That’s ok, to your defense his email certainly had an easier time standing out.

It’s estimated that there are over 200,000,000,000 emails sent per day.

Yes. 200 billion.

Dr. Evil thinking website push notifications are better than email
Why send millions when you could send…..billions?
Image Credit(s): What A Geek


To put that into perspective, more emails are sent in a mere 24 hours than direct mail pieces delivered in an entire year by the USPS.

What’s more – half of those emails are spam. According to Commtouch’s Internet Threats Trend Report for the first quarter of 2013, an average of 97.4 billion spam e-mails were sent per day.

Don’t get me wrong. Email is still effective despite all of those stats. Truth is that it’s just not nearly as effective as it once was. That’s ok, though. Because there is a new kid on the block, web push notifications. With web push notifications, you can stand out from crowded email inboxes, and also not have to worry about ending up in a spam folder. With better visibility and an easier opt-in process, many are finding web push to be better than email.

Looking for more proof? No problem. Without further adieu, below is a list of 7 reasons of not only why push notifications are better than email marketing, but also why you should start leveraging this new marketing channel today.

1. Subscribers have control.


Most marketers cringe at the word. All consumers do.

One of the biggest flaws of email marketing is that subscribers are at the mercy of the sender to provide things they actually care about. After you’ve supplied your email to a contact form there isn’t much you can do to stop your email from being used, bought, transferred or sold.

If FakeSite.com sends you an email 5 times a day, what can you do about it?

Ask them to unsubscribe? Perhaps they ignore you.
Mark them as spam? Perhaps they send it from another email server.
Add a filter to move them to spam? Perhaps they just sell your email to another company.

The reality is that you don’t have control when it comes to email. But you do with push notifications.

With push notifications you control your subscription to a site. Don’t want to receive messages anymore? Easy – just unsubscribe. Done.

Since the permissions are handled by a neutral, reliable third party – your browser – you can call the shots on how can send you notifications.

Bruce almighty deciding email vs push notification
You decide if you want notifications or not.
Image Credit(s): Reddit

2. Visitors can’t give you fake subscription information

The fact that the browser helps handle the subscription on behalf of the visitor is not only great for the consumer, but you as the marketer as well.

It means they can’t provide fake contact details.

Admit it, you have a fake email that you use simply for those one-off situations you need to provide an email address but don’t want to constantly receive notifications from the user.

fake email subscription
Submitting a fake temporary email I just got at throwawaymail.com


It’s a common technique used by many consumers and it’s terrible for marketers.

Well, with web push notifications visitors can’t pick and chose their contact information. It’s built in.

That means all subscribers – 100% of them – will provide you with accurate contact information.

3. Push notifications are delivered instantly.

I check my email a lot. Probably too much. While I haven’t been officially diagnosed by my doctor – I’m pretty sure I have FOMO when it relates to work.

Missing out on push notifications
Fomo = Fear Of Missing Out


But I’m part of the minority. In fact, the majority of people (around 39%) check their email 1-3 times per day. So if you are sending an email – you’re at the mercy of the subscriber to decide when they want to check their message.

And that’s not always a bad thing. It’s just the way email works.

But sometimes we need to tell subscribers about something important. Something now. Perhaps a live video broadcast has started? Perhaps you want to show urgency to close that online ecommerce sale?

That’s where push can shine.

Push notifications are delivered instantly.

Phone in the pocket? No matter – here’s my push.
Watching cat videos on YouTube? No matter – here’s my push.
Sleeping? No matter – here’s my push.

Just kidding about that last one. Don’t do that.

Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

Spiderman receiving a mobile push notification
“Yeah hold on just a second, I got a push notification.”
Image Credit(s): Combined from: The Mind Trap & Escapist Magazine

4. Visitors can subscribe in one click

How many clicks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop an email subscriber?

A lot.

Steps to subscribe with email:

  1. Receive obtrusive pop up.
  2. Click in the email field.
  3. Think of which email to give you. Hmm. My real one? Fake one?
  4. Click the email field
  5. Start typing my email
  6. Hit submit.
  7. Second guess myself if I should have given that email (optional)

Steps to subscribe with push.

  1. Receive prompt
  2. Click Allow

Get the point?

Tom hanks subscribing to a website push notification with one click
It only takes one click to subscribe to web push.
Image Credit(s): Reddit

5. Notifications don’t require any special design

I tend to take a lot of time before sending out an email newsletter. Honestly, it’s a lot of work.

(Man I’m really sharing a lot about me today – are we becoming best friends?)

First you think of the message.
Then you need to start writing copy.
Then comes design.
Then splicing up the design to fit email standards (which are still circa 1902 it feels).
Then you test it on numerous devices/browsers to make sure it looks good.
Then you fix any design/css glitches and finally you schedule it.

All those steps take time and resources.

Since push notifications are bite sized – you can schedule them must faster. Instead of all the above it’s simply:

Write 2-3 lines.
Add link.

And because the browsers handle how the notifications look, there’s no need to even worry about design.

Web push notifications don't require graphic design skills
Website push notifications don’t require design skills.
Image Credit(s): Know Your Meme

6. Less Crowded = Higher Click Through Rates

Remember earlier when I mentioned that there are over 200 billion emails sent per day? Well, that roughly equals 100 emails per day per user.

squirrel inbox gif Website Push Notifications Are Better Than Email
“Ain’t nobody got time for that….”
Image Credit(s): Growth Hero



Now let me ask: how many website push notifications did you get in the past week?

The answer is probably not as many. In fact, you may still be confused about what web push notifications even are. (If that’s the case please pause and watch this 1 minute demo.)

Certainly a lot easier to stand out of the crowd when nobody else is there.

There aren’t a lot of stats about web push yet, but early stats show click through rates dramatically higher than email.

Beyond the rack saw 20% click through rates on average and we’ve had many clients see similar averages. On mobile, some have even reached more than 30% click through rates. These numbers simply dwarf the average email click through rate of 3%.

7. Push subscribers can’t be sold, bought or transferred (without your permission)

This one is a biggy.

As mentioned earlier web push notifications are made possible thanks to our neutral third party – the browser.

After a visitor has subscribed to a website, that website essentially receives a unique code which is what gives them permission to send notifications to the user. That code is tied a corresponding key, which must be used together in order to send any notifications. The key however, is never publicly shown so without it – the code is worthless.

To give an example consider the following sentence:

Xfc qvti opujgjdbujpot bsf bxftpnf.

If I gave that to you, it means nothing. But if I told you to take each letter and skip back one letter in the alphabet you would quickly find that it has a message:

Decrypted: Web push notifications are awesome.

Nerdy, yes. But without knowing the trick (ie key) you would not have been able to figure out the sentence.

What that all means is that nobody can buy, sell or transfer their subscribers without sharing their private key.

Cats not sharing push notification subscribers
They’re your subscribers – only you decide if you want to share.
Image Credit(s): Reddit

Wrapping up

Well, there you have it. 7 reasons on why push notifications are better than email. If you’re new to website push notifications be sure to sign up for a free trial account so you can start taking advantage of this great new marketing channel!


Tags: digital marketing, ecommerce, email, push notifications are better than email*, web push notifications.
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