Beginner’s Guide To Website Push Notifications

Briana Barkett wrote this on August 26, 2016

Web push is a brand new marketing channel that has been rapidly gaining attention and credibility as one of the most effective and powerful ways to re-engage website visitors.

There is a lot to learn about this form of digital marketing, especially if you are new to the world of web push. Thankfully, we have put together this guide that will walk you through all you need to know about web push notifications including what they are, how they are installed, how to send them, and more.

 

What are web push notifications?

Let’s start off with the basics. Web push notifications are short messages that are sent to users that have opted in to receive them (more on that process later). They have the same look as push notifications you are used to seeing on your smart phone, but instead are sent and received on desktop or laptop computers (as well as mobile devices). These messages feature an image, some text, and usually a call-to-action.

example push notifications Beginner's Guide To Website Push Notifications
How web push notifications look on desktop and mobile devices

 

As you can see, web push notifications look and operate exactly the same as push notifications you are used to seeing. However, with push notifications you are restricted to sending only via mobile, but with web push, you can target your audience both on mobile and desktop devices. In fact, users do not even have to have their browser open in order to view your notification. This increased visibility is just part of what makes web push notifications such a powerful marketing tool. Web push notifications are currently supported on four different browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera.

 

How are they installed?

Here’s something else to fall in love with when it comes to web push: it is incredibly easy to install these notifications- both for companies using them and for users who wish to receive them. We’ll talk more later about the process for customers, but for now let’s focus on the other end of things. There are three ways you may install Aimtell push notifications:

  • Shopify app: If you run a store on Shopify, the easiest way to install web push notifications is through our Aimtell app located on the Shopify App Store. We created a walkthrough of this process, which you can read here.
  • WordPress plugin: For those of you running your site via WordPress, you can easily add web push notifications via our Aimtell WordPress plugin. For help setting this up, read our walkthrough here.
  • Manually: The final way to install Aimtell web push notifications is manually. While this process is slightly more involved than using our app or plugin, it is still very simple. We break down this process step by step here.

 

What do you do after installing?

After you have set up your web push notifications comes the fun part: creating and sending out your campaigns. You will manage all of your web push campaigns via your Aimtell dashboard.

aimtell opt in gif Beginner's Guide To Website Push Notifications
Opting in to web push notifications is easy

Once you have installed Aimtell, users visiting your website will start being prompted to subscribe to your notifications. Here’s the good news: it only takes one click to turn a user into a subscriber.

Seriously.

When a new user enters your website they will be prompted to subscribe to your notifications. If they want to opt-in, they press allow.

That’s it.

No more typing in personal info or email addresses or clicking a link to confirm. It couldn’t be any easier than this.

If you want to control which page of your website sends the notification request, you’re in luck.

Our Prompt Management feature allows you to control when your users are prompted to subscribe to your notifications. Users may be prompted when visiting a certain page of your website, or may trigger the request when clicking a certain link, image, or button. If you need help setting up these features, read our guides here (for prompt management) and here (for manually triggering via link/image/button).

When a user chooses to opt in to your notifications they are automatically added as a subscriber. From your dashboard you may view your subscribers and can choose to group them into certain segments.

A segment is a group of people that you can market to (as opposed to marketing to your entire list of subscribers). You can segment people based on a huge variety of conditions such as their geographical location, links they visit, or last time they viewed your website. For example, you could have a segment of people located in California, a segment for people who have viewed your blog, and a segment for people who haven’t visited your website in 7 days. Once you create a segment, people who fit the given criteria will automatically be added to the segment. For more help on creating segments, click here.

 

How do you send web push notifications?

Sending web push notifications is easy. From your dashboard you will create your campaigns and schedule them to send.

guide Beginner's Guide To Website Push Notifications
The Aimtell dashboard

 

Here is what your dashboard looks like. To send a campaign you will click on ‘Notifications’ on the sidebar and then click ‘Manual Notifications.’ Clicking that will bring you to your list of campaigns. Select ‘New Campaign’ to get started. You will first type in a name for your campaign and then click ‘Create Campaign.’

sample campaign Beginner's Guide To Website Push Notifications
The manual notification screen

 

This window shows all of your customization options for your campaigns. To start off, give your campaign a title, image, and body (max 90 characters). Also input the destination URL you want. Clicking on the ‘Recipients’ tab will let you decide who to send the campaign to. Send to everyone, or send to certain segments you have created. Finally, select the schedule for your campaign. Pick a day and time, and decide if you want the notification to repeat. Hit ‘Schedule Push’ and you’re done! If you want more detailed info on setting up a campaign, click here.

When a campaign is sent, it appears on users’ desktop and mobile devices. When a user clicks on the notification, they will be brought to the URL you input when creating the campaign.

android push notification example Beginner's Guide To Website Push Notifications
Web push notifications deliver to mobile devices as well

Can you view your results?

Of course! No marketing strategy is worth it if it doesn’t produce results, right? Easily check results for any of your campaigns from your dashboard by viewing your list of campaigns and selecting ‘View Results’ next to the campaign you wish to analyze. Your results will tell you the number of messages that were sent as well as the number that were clicked. You can also filter your results based on segments you sent to.

Advanced features:

While there are plenty of customization options for sending manual campaigns, you can also choose to set up a second set of campaigns: triggered campaigns. These campaigns are sent as a result of an individual user performing a certain action. This action ‘triggers’ the campaign. You may send a notification when an item ships from your store for example. Or, you can target a user who has abandoned their cart for a certain amount of time.

The process of setting up a triggered campaign is easy. Navigate to your dashboard and this time, instead of selecting ‘Manual Campaigns’ from the ‘Notifications’ drop down, select ‘Triggered Campaigns.’ This will bring you to your list of triggered campaigns. You will see two example triggered notifications, one of which being an ‘Abandoned Cart’ campaign. Click ‘Edit’ next to this campaign to see what the set up process is for this type of campaign.

sample triggered notification Beginner's Guide To Website Push Notifications
The triggered notification screen

 

This window is similar to the one for setting up a regular campaign. You still input the title, body, and URL for the campaign. However, instead of choosing a segment to send to, you input the conditions needed to trigger the campaign. Select the ‘Trigger’ tab to do this.

triggered notification set up Beginner's Guide To Website Push Notifications
Setting the trigger is easy

 

Here you select the event category, action, and label. In this abandoned cart example, the event category is the cart, and the action is that the cart is abandoned. Finally, select the ‘Delay’ tab to determine when you want this notification to send. For example, you may choose to have the abandoned cart notification triggered when a user has abandoned it for two hours. Simply decide the amount of time you want, hit ‘Activate,’ and you’re done! For more help with triggered notifications, click here.

There you have it! You should now have a pretty good understanding of what web push notifications are, how they look, and how to send them. Pretty easy, right? In fact, you can get started sending web push notifications in as little as five minutes. If you want to get started, click here!

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