Web push notifications, as you probably already know, are one of the greatest marketing assets out there today. What makes them so indispensable to all kinds of marketing endeavours is their flexibility to different platforms, as well as the subsequent non-intrusiveness that is reflected in the messaging. Web push notifications are the gates that hold behind them, the enormous potential of direct, highly targeted brand communication capability. The only issue that you as a marketer or business owner actually face is opening those gates.

When it comes to taking any big step – getting your user to enable notifications for instance – two elements play a vital role in what follows. The time and the place. The importance of proper timing, as well as situational context cannot be stressed upon enough when it comes to web push notification opt-in. You may have a developed a great idea and an even better message for your notification; but time and place must be factored in so as to increase chances of a positive response from the user.

How to ascertain the ‘WHEN’ for your web push notification message

Knowing about the right time to ask users for notification opt-in mainly comes down to two driving factors:

  • How long have they been there

When the user opens your site/app, there may be a ton of things that they may expect to find. A glaring push notification request is not one of them. Unless your platform requires the user to go through a tutorial of some kind, there is absolutely no need to make your presence felt right off the bat. You must first allow the user to spend a fixed amount (ten minutes minimum) of time on the site/web app, because the more they linger, the more it familiarises them with your offering/s. And it also becomes, by extension, more  likely for them to opt in to your notification request.

  • What have they been doing

Once users begin using your site/web app, it is only a matter of time before they begin to make use of its intended features. And that is the time when you make your move. Consider for instance that you have an e-commerce website, on which a user has just arrived. When the user begins clicking on listed products, it implies a generated interest on their part. This creates a situation wherein they will be more receptive to a notification opt-in request.

How to ascertain the ‘WHERE’ for your web push notification message

Having the right time is a crucial aspect of opt-in situations. Winning users over however, also depends on where you choose to play your cards. Knowing the right place to request opt-in, depends chiefly on two factors:

  • Based on the type of page: Different types of pages on your site/web app have different implications, with regards to user intent, and the subsequent likelihood of opt-in:

Check-out page: This is the page that opens up right after your user has clicked on ‘Purchase’ or ‘Buy Now’ with regards to any product on your eCommerce retail platform. The decision to make a purchase reflects a certain confidence in your site. This also means that the likelihood of a positive response to your notification request has increased. This is something you can take advantage of, by asking them to opt-in for ‘more updates’.

Tracking page: This is the page that your users are redirected to, once they have completed a purchase from your site. Take for instance an online bookstore. Once the user has made a purchase, she will likely receive a conformational email, one that will also include the option to track their order. Should they opt for tracking, a new page will open, displaying the necessary information. And this is where you can make your move, with a subtle yet direct statement: ‘Allow notifications to get real-time tracking status of your order’.

Out of stock page: If your user clicks on product that they like, and it happens to be out of stock, they will land on a page telling them exactly that. This page may be your last chance before the user decides to have a look on another site. The setback presented by this situation can be fixed. How? A simple web push notification message of course. Something along the lines of ‘We’ll let you know as soon as this product is back in stock. Would you like to enable notifications?’ Realistically speaking, user response in such situations is usually negative; but trying will definitely give you a chance to salvage the situation, and open up a line of communication with the user at the same time.

  • Based on situational motivation: There are some situations during a user’s interaction with your site/web app, that present more compelling reasons for positive opt-in response than others:

Pricing trends: This is one of the most important factors affecting the buyer-seller paradigm. Cost benefit is something that every user looks at before making a purchase of any kind. Conversely, high pricing is also something that main cause users to hold back on their decision. Take for instance an online flight booking site. Flight tickets, due to being expensive, may cause weariness in the mind of the user. And that is exactly where you can try to pitch your tent. Just put in a notification request along the lines of, ‘Enable push notifications, and get regular cost updates on XYZ flight to ABC location.’

Staying up to date: Once users get comfortable with your site, they will naturally want to stay more informed regarding their preferred products (and similar offerings). This makes it highly likely that they will respond well to a notification request that offers to ‘keep them updated’ regarding the latest trends, offerings, news, etc pertaining to said products.

What is the right time when your visitors are most likely to subscribe?

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst


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