How Do I Add Push Notifications to My Website?

Man on cellphone checking his push notifications Web push notifications are a relatively recent marketing tool allowing users to subscribe to your website to receive news, promotions, be kept up-to-date with your Covid protocols, etc. One of the great things is that it is a simple one- or two-click process for the user, and they do not have to enter any personal data. Users can also have confidence that they can unsubscribe easily should they so choose.

What’s In It for Me as a Small Business Owner?

As a website owner / content provider, you have a new marketing channel to reach customers that might otherwise have browsed right past your website. Users can afford to be choosy with the websites they visit and will quickly move on to the next if they don’t quickly see what they want – for example, Sweor suggest that users only spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content! They also describe how 70% of small business websites lack a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage. Now if you added a pop-up inviting customers to subscribe to your site, you’d quickly be moving the needle in your direction! How many different websites do you typically look at when you’re researching new restaurants in town, or accommodation sites when you’re thinking about your summer vacation? Now imagine that a boutique hotel you were vaguely interested in invited you to subscribe to receive special offers… one week later and they send you a push notification with a 20% discount code – would that make them front-and-center in your mind? They would definitely be part of the conversation again.

What Does a Web Push Notification Look Like?

More than likely, you’ve received a push notification on your mobile device, be it weather news, traffic alerts, an upcoming calendar item, or information relating to one of the many apps in your phone. Web push notifications look very similar and will typically appear where these other notifications appear. Here’s an example:

Sample push notification on Android device

On your desktop, notifications appear typically at the top or bottom right-hand corner of the desktop screen. Here’s an example:

Sample push notification on Android device

OK – I’m Sold. Now Tell Me How to Set-Up Push Notifications on My Site?

Click Register at the top of this page. Enter a few simple fields and click to register. You’ll receive an email – click on the link it contains to verify your email address. When you log in, you’ll see a drop-down menu with your name at the top-right of the page. This menu allows you to set-up a welcome message to be sent when a user first subscribes, to edit the subscription pop-up message which they will see, and importantly provides a few small snippets of code which you’ll add to your website (under Embed Scripts). If you are not comfortable with the 4 steps on the Embed Scripts page, you should ask a web developer to assist you – it should take about 15 minutes to be set up.

How Do I Send Push Notifications?

From your dashboard, you can click ‘Messages’ in the header navigation. Click the button at the top of the page to send a ‘New Message’. You can quickly compose your push notification adding a title and body text. As you enter, you’ll see the previews on the right-hand side showing how the push notification might look on different devices, including Chrome on desktop, Microsoft Edge on desktop, and Chrome on Android for mobile phones and tablets.

Add a URL that the user will be taken to when they click your notification – this could be a page which shows more details on a specific offer, or a page on which they could purchase whatever you are promoting. You can upload a hero image and an icon too – again, the previews will show you how they might look on multiple devices. Not all browsers will display your notification in the same way, so this feature gives you a great insight into what users will see. Click ‘save’ at the bottom of the page.

Once you’ve created the message, you’ll be returned to the ‘Messages’ list. Click the ‘eye’ icon next to your message. This allows you to review your message. When you’re happy to send it, click ‘send now’ at the bottom of the page.

Published: April 8, 2022