There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the potential of web push as a marketing channel. It joins email as one of the few 1-to-1 channels that brands can truly own, and it’s nascency means early adopters can get ahead of their competitors in building a powerful program.
But that nascency can also be daunting. There aren’t many playbooks or best practices available to guide marketers, and those looking to get their feet wet might be left asking questions: What are the best way to get opt-ins? What are “blocks”? What’s the best content and cadence when delivering browser notifications?
As early adopters ourselves at BounceX, we’re able to share some strategies and tactics that can help boost results, whether you’re looking to optimize an existing program or just getting one off the ground.
1. Beware of the Block
As anyone with email marketing experience knows, generating opt-ins is all about communicating a fair value exchange — is what I’m getting in return worth giving my email? If the answer is no, then the visitor simply closes the overlay and moves along.
But in the world of web push, collecting opt-ins is high stakes.
Push introduces the “block” button. If someone rejects your offer for a notification opt in, you might never have the opportunity to ask them again. Amassing too many blocks early on can pump the breaks on your web push program before it even has the chance to get started.
A healthy “block-rate” is considered to be less than 10%, and we’ve nailed down some effective tactics to help get you there.
First, don’t ask just anyone to opt in. Instead, ask people who’ve made a purchase or come to your site often—those who are clearly loyal shoppers. Requesting an opt-in from a first time visitor the moment they land is just asking for a block.
Second, utilize a two-step opt-in process. This means, when you decide to ask a shopper to allow pushes, behaviorally trigger opt-in messaging on an onsite overlay experience. More attractive, eye-catching and clear, these overlays capture both their attention and their opt-in.
And when you do ask, know what value prop they’ll need to agree, whether that be a discount, early access to sales or new collections, invites to exclusive events or unique content. With this strategy, brands can expect to see close to a 50-70% opt-in rate. You’ve got to give to get.
2. Introduce the Channel
Just like every first impression, your first web push message matters. But even more important than what you send, is when you send it.
Browser notifications are a new territory for consumers as much as they are for marketers. It’s important for your new contact to associate your notifications with the action they just took. Waiting for your next scheduled send days later can lead to a confusing experience and low engagement rates.
As with an email autoresponder, a user should receive their first notification almost instantly after clicking “Allow.” This helps them understand what exactly they’ve opted in to and helps them know what to expect in the future.
3. Introduce Yourself
Push is a new channel. Not just to your brand, but to marketing as a whole. That means that users aren’t necessarily used to receiving these types of messages on desktop…yet. Sending messages at a regular cadence will help them build familiarity with the channel. And this begins with the “Welcome Series.”
You’ve likely heard this term in relation to email, but it applies to Push notifications as well. New subscribers need to be taught to regularly interact with web push and, therefore, need regular touchpoints. Send them welcome messages with content like offer activations, brand value props, new items, best sellers and more.
These messages begin to teach shoppers to expect notifications and eventually respond to them with the next most productive action. Sending one or two notifications per month isn’t going to cut it. In fact, that leads into our next tip…
4. Diversify with a mix of behavioral and on-demand notifications
On top of the welcome series, brands need to send both behavioral push notifications (messages triggered based on a shopper’s onsite actions), and on-demand pushes notifications, (instant or scheduled messages sent to a select segment of your list).
Behavioral Pushes can include things like cart abandonment messaging and price drops on items that a visitors shopped previously. They are specific to individual shoppers. Meanwhile, your on-demand messages should encourage a segment of customers to spark a new shopping journey, and the link should bring consumers directly to the site’s shopping area.
We recommend sending at least 2 or 3 on-demand notifications per week. Many good instances to send an email are also a great opportunity to send a web push.
5. Fulfill Your Promises
Opt-in value props include notifications about sales, new releases and unique content. If visitors don’t receive these messages, they’re not getting what you promised them, leading to frustration and a poor customer experience.
When you promise shoppers something in your opt in request, make sure you follow through. This will train them to look forward to your notifications, leading to higher click-rates and conversion rates though that channel.