Do browser notifications work?

If you are a long-time reader, you know that this website is not just a publication; It is also my test playground. I love trying different methods and solutions to see what works and if I can get a return on investment (ROI) on the platforms or integrations I implement. One service that I thought was very promising was the integration of a Browser notification Service.

What are browser notifications?

Browser notifications are an increasingly common tool for websites to engage with users in real time. These are messages that can be displayed to users even if they are not actively browsing the website. This technology is based on improving user experience by providing timely, relevant and personalized updates. This is what the opt-in looked like Martech zone:

Browser notifications in Martech Zone

Once you click Allow and grant permission, we will send a push notification to each of our subscribers every time we publish a new article.

This is how browser notifications work

The magic behind browser notifications is a mix of modern web technologies, primarily service workers and push services. Service agents act as intermediaries and enable actions such as push notifications outside the direct area of ​​the website. They work as background processes in the browser and manage tasks such as caching content for offline use and processing push notifications.

Push services are an essential part of the notification ecosystem and work through HTTPS to deliver messages. The process begins with the website asking for permission to send notifications. Once granted, the browser generates a unique subscription for the user. This includes an end point URL and a set of keys that enable secure communication.

The subscription details are sent back to the web server, which stores them in case a notification needs to be sent. To push a notification, the server sends a request with the required payload to the browser’s push service, which is then forwarded to the correct user’s device. The service worker intercepts this message and uses predefined rules to display the notification.

The need for third party notification services

The reliability and security requirements of push technology require robust infrastructure and adherence to strict protocols. Here are some reasons why third-party notification services are not only helpful, but often essential:

Infrastructure requirements: Setting up and managing a push service infrastructure capable of managing live connections and messaging to countless users is both complicated and resource intensive. Security and privacy: Encryption standards require that messages be secure in transit. Third-party services are responsible for this security, ensuring that only the intended recipient can access the message content. Delivery security: Third-party services provide the reliability needed to deliver notifications effectively by queuing messages when devices are offline and delivering them when possible. Compliance management: These services manage various compliance and user preference aspects, such as: B. compliance with rest periods and the provision of opt-out mechanisms.

Browser notification best practices

To make browser notifications a winning tool rather than an annoyance, best practices are paramount. First and foremost, notifications should be optional so that users have control over what they receive. Once permission is granted, notifications must be timely, relevant and provide tangible value to the user.

Segmentation is crucial; Users should receive notifications based on their behavior and preferences. For example, e-commerce websites could use browsing history to inform users about sales on products they viewed or added to their shopping cart.

Industries that are well-suited to browser notifications include e-commerce, news and media, gaming, productivity apps, and travel. These industries may use alerts for sales alerts, breaking news, game updates, project deadlines, and travel itinerary changes. You may find that publications like mine may not be a good fit…and that wasn’t the case.

Why I canceled my browser notification service

With 7,000 browser notification subscribers and up to 20 weekly articles, I might get a handful of subscribers to click through. The service was quite expensive – on par with mine Email newsletter. But my email newsletter brings in thousands of visitors, while this one would only bring in a few visitors. I paid the bill for months simply because I had so many subscribers and didn’t want to lose them. Leaving meant there was no way of ever getting that audience back. However, the numbers never really got better, so I declined.

Your results may vary depending on your offer, industry, segmentation ability, and type of notifications you send. When used correctly, personalized, and following best practices, browser notifications can significantly increase user engagement and satisfaction.

That just wasn’t for me!

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