What Are Push Notifications? [Latest Guide]

What Are Push Notifications? [Latest Guide]

Are you looking for an effective way to keep your users engaged and attract them back each day? Try push notifications. It’s a lifesaver for helping you connect with your users directly and effectively in today’s digital age.

What are push notifications?

Push notifications, also known as push messages or push alerts, are brief messages directly sent by an application or website to computers or mobile devices. They can be tailored for various purposes, including sales promotions, transaction alerts, personalized content recommendations, and updates on new features. That makes push notifications a key tool for communicating with your users flexibly.

How do push notifications work?

Push notifications use push technology, aka sever push, where communications start from a server (your side) rather than a client (the user side). In this method, your users can subscribe to specific content channels you provide and then receive updates on topics they’re interested in. Whenever you create new content, it’s automatically sent or “pushed” to those who subscribe.

As the communications are started from your side, your push notifications will appear on your users’ devices in real time, no matter if they’re currently using your app or website. Your users can receive the messages and respond promptly when needed. This ensures your communication is always within reach.

What are the types of push notifications?

We can categorize push notifications into two main types based on their delivery media:

a. App push notifications

App push notifications are messages sent directly from applications to users’ devices. They work through operating systems—iOS, Android, Windows, or macOS. Once a user installs your app and agrees to receive notifications, you can start pushing app notifications to their devices.

app push sample

Designed by Freepik

b. Web push notifications
Web push notifications are messages sent directly from websites users’ devices. They’re managed through browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. You can start pushing web notifications after users agree to receive notifications from your website.

web push sample

Designed by Freepik

Except for delivery media, there’re other differences between these two types of push notifications:

  • Accessibility: Users need to download and install your app to receive app push notifications. For receiving web push notifications, all they need to do is visit your website and agree to receive notifications.
  • Capabilities: App push notifications support rich media formats like images, videos, and sounds, etc., increasing the possibility of users respond to your notifications. Users can respond directly from the notification itself, without opening the app. Web push notifications are not that advanced as app push notifications. Their capabilities rely on the browsers. They also lack direct access to device features, such as GPS.

Web push notifications are a great choice if developing an app is beyond your current resources.

What engaging content can you send via push notification?

Push notifications let you send content for different purposes and interact with your users directly. Here you’ll learn engaging content that fits your business and catches your users’ eyes.

How do push notifications benefit your businesses and users?

Having seen the breadth of push notifications you can send, let’s see how they benefit your business and users.

  • Instantly connect with your users

Push notifications enable you to immediately communicate with your users, enhancing the relevance and impact of your messages. Your users stay updated in real time and can quickly act when needed.

  • Keep your users interested and engaged

Push notifications motivate users to interact more with your app or website. They will feel valued by receiving messages that resonate with them, enhancing their retention rate.

  • Gain insights into user preferences to refine your strategies

Push notifications help you track user engagement and interaction and offer you crucial data to grasp users’ behavior and preferences. You can then optimize future campaigns for improved performance and engagement, sending messages that truly resonate with your users.

  • Boost conversion rates

Timely notifications nudge users towards actions like making a purchase or returning to an abandoned cart. Passive users will then become active customers. Your convention rates will also get boosted.

  • Offer a high return on your investment

Push notifications are a cost-effective strategy. All you need to pay is a budget-friendly service tool. They ensure your every marketing effort count, offering a high return on your marketing investment.

How do you send push notifications?

Let’s move to the crucial part you’re most interested in—how to send push notifications. Here’s a guide for you to send push notifications effectively:

send push messages

1. Choose a push notification service

Choose a reliable service. Push notification services commonly include features for sending effective messages, such as segmentation, automation, and analytics.

2. Obtain permission from your users

Send a request to ask for your users’ acceptance for receiving push notifications. To boost the acceptance rate, you can do that after users start to see the value in your app or on your website.

3. Categorize your users

Divide your users into groups based on their behaviors, preferences, location, or other relevant factors.

4. Create engaging notifications

Write tailored messages for each group to increase message relevance. Users will more likely respond to messages that resonate with them.

5. Schedule and send notifications to users

Send messages instantly or schedule them for a future time based on optimal times.

6. Refine your strategies based on analytics

Access the statistics shown on the service tool. You can focus on open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. These insights will help you improve notification content and pinpoint the best time to send messages.

Which push notification service do you choose?

Knowing how to send push notifications is just the beginning. The most important step is selecting a service. If you’re looking for one that is not only easy to use but includes features such as powerful segmentation and deep analytics, EngageLab is your top pick.

Explore below for the key features of EngageLab’s push service, and you’ll see why it’s worth trying out.

  • Seamlessly integrate your app or website

It’s straightforward to integrate your app or website with EngageLab: just a quick app or website configuration and SDK integration. The whole process will be completed within just three minutes.

  • Improve your user reach with high delivery rates

EngageLab push service offers stable and secure messaging through high-concurrency international channels and a multi-point backup system. It manages to extend user reach by supporting diverse platforms:

EngageLab App Push is compatible with Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) and Apple Push Notifciation service (APNs), channels from major brands like Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi, OPPO, and VIVO, and any messaging channels that’re developed by yourself.

EngageLab Web Push adapts to all mainstream browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera.

  • Offer comprehensive statistics

EngageLab provides complete data analysis across your message lifecycle:

message funnel analysis

loss analysis for platforms and channels

statistics on new users, active users, app uninstallations, notification acceptance, delivery rates, etc.

other after-effect analysis

  • Reach out to the right audience at the perfect time

EngageLab push service helps you pinpoint the ideal audience based on user aliases, tags, devices, and location, ensuring your messages reach the right audience. It can also guide you to determine optimal times for sending notifications, helping you identify when your users are most likely to engage.

app push

web push

Having explored its key features, it’s time to unlock the unparalleled user engagement strategies of EngageLab yourself. Why not take the first step today with the FREE version? You’ll see how it can transform your push notification strategy, at no cost. 😄


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