Web Push: Birth of a Marketing Channel
Get ready for your new favorite marketing channel!
Apple embraced "web push" at their 2022 developer conference in a move that will create the most important direct-engagement marketing channel since email. The beta version is currently available, and Apple says the official release will be in 2023.
So what is web push?
In general, a push notification is an opt-in, actionable alert that is delivered directly to a user's screen. Native apps use them to increase engagement, retention, and sales. Already, 61% of marketers say push notifications are their favorite tools.
Web based notifications
Web push brings notifications to the web where marketers can cultivate an audience through websites or progressive web apps (PWAs) such as those built on the Tapps' platform. Compared to native app notifications, web push will dramatically lower onboarding friction, increase consumer privacy, and expand the categories of use cases.
Web push has been available for several years but has had little impact because it did not include iPhone users and thus did not address the mobile web. Apple's support will reboot the channel to make web push as universal as email or SMS, but with significant advantages.
Let's look at some of the characteristics that set web push apart as a marketing channel:
With Apple's help, web push extends notifications to the web to reach almost anyone with access to the internet. This audience includes Android, Apple, and Windows users on both mobile and desktop, who can opt-in from any supporting website or PWA.
To subscribe users to notifications from an app, one must first overcome the challenge of getting the user to install the app.
Web push notifications have a more straightforward path because subscriptions come through web pages and PWAs that are distributed through shared links, SEO, social media, SMS, and email. Customers can can even subscribe directly from physical touchpoints such as QR codes and NFC tags.
Web push users give up none of their privacy with the service. They do not share their name, email, or phone number, and they don't need to allow cookies. Push with apps is less private because of the app login, while web push is refreshingly private by design.
Without email addresses or phone numbers, unscrupulous marketers have no database of private information to sell or abuse. At the same time, web push users will appreciate connecting with marketers that deliver valued services without requiring personal information.
Customers are in charge when they opt-in to web push. They manage the connection and mute it when they wish, thus lowering subscription barriers.
Marketers have to earn the privilege of sending notifications by providing relevant and timely content. A vital benefit of a well-managed push campaign is that it will yield a brand's most loyal and engaged audience.
Low friction onboarding
It's easier to subscribe new users to a channel when you can reach them over the web, don't require an app download, don't ask for personal information, and let them control the connection. There is low transactional friction, so the primary challenge is continually delivering relevant content.
Web push notifications are real-time, actionable, and with mobile, they appear on the most visible online real estate – the lock screen. They reach users even when not actively engaged online, and they don't get diverted to a junk folder as often happens to email.
Common statistics say push notifications have click-through rates of as much as 7x that of email, but there are no measures yet on web push that include the iPhone. We believe that web push will be among the highest engagement channels and will attract the most engaged and loyal customers.
One can depend on knowing a push message's exact click-through ratio (CTR). Alternatively, email metrics are increasingly less dependable due to privacy protections that hide open rates.
New use cases
Web push expands notifications to the larger mobile web audience and opens the door to subscriptions from even casual interactions. Consider the following use cases:
A music venue posts a QR code on the door to subscribe visitors to notifications of last-minute ticket releases.
A digital business card holder enables clients to subscribe to notifications about new product releases or discounts.
An influencer lets followers learn about unique recommendations or live streams on various platforms.
A connected packaging QR code allows a subscription to the most popular new recipe every week or a recall.
A festival PWA alerts visitors to announcements and specials during the event.
A musician's page allows subscribers to be the first to hear about new releases or tour tickets.
A digital brochure enables a subscription to product updates, videos, deals, etc.
A restaurant messages patrons when they serve an infrequent but popular dish or have table openings due to cancellations.
Tapps is web push enabled
Progressive web apps (PWAs) hosted on the Tapps' platform are already optimized for web push. They support a notification icon that displays consiently at the top of browsed, installed, and desktop versions of the app. The icon allows users to easily subscribe or pause notifications and view the most recent notification to judge its value. Notifications optionally include a title, description, image, and destination URL. And uniquely, every element of an app is conditional according to whether the user is opted in to notifications, thus allowing rich experiences crafted to incentivize push subscriptions.
Your customer's favorite marketing channel!
Web push promises an exciting future in consumer engagement. It may be the perfect channel for marketers and consumers who get the actionable, relevant alerts they want. With easy onboarding, customer-friendly privacy, high connectivity, precise metrics, and an engaged audience, it's time to begin planning your web push strategies.