Home Comprehensive Guide on How Web Push Notifications Work

Comprehensive Guide on How Web Push Notifications Work

The clickable rich content messages sent to you through the browser are known as web push notification. You need not be on the browser or web page to receive the notification. You will keep receiving the messages at their own time and pace as set by the marketer.

What is web push notification?

The concept of web push notification had first come into the picture way back in 215 by Chrome. The particular version then had two new APIs that allowed websites to push short messages as notifications to their users in real time even after the browser was closed. The best part of web push notification was it was permission-based and opt-in. The website business owner was asking for opt-in permission to send the further message to the user at regular intervals and frequency.

Slowly vendors started creating web push notification tools through which you can send your users the messages. The upgraded version allowed web browsers to send messages as notification similar to apps – this was something that was definitely missing and was required as well.

Web Push Notifications

From the time web push notification has come into the picture, online marketers have opened doors to brand new possibilities. Web push notification has given new meaning to their marketing strategies and given them the brilliant opportunity to tap the target audience real-time. Through this, you can keep in touch with your users and subscribers effectively and on-the-go.

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Therefore, as the name suggests, push notification is literally ‘pushed’ into the browsers through the backend server using vendor created tools. These are alert messages that appear where the eyesight goes mostly, either on the right-hand corner of the browser screen. However, the browser needs to recognize and allow the push notification to make it appear on the browser. Today almost all popular browsers allow web push notifications to appear.

The best part of web push notification is that your messages will get delivered to the users’ device even when he is not browsing your website. Now with digital platform changing so rapidly, web push application tools are allowing images and videos to be included in the push notifications. However, it is always advisable to keep the content within 100-120 characters. Your content has to be crisp, lucid and extremely compelling so that you can ensure your user clicks on it.

How does web push notifications work?

The fact is simple. You just cannot let your visitors land on your website and leave without conversion. You must draw something out of them. This is where the best part of web push notification comes:

  • Target
  • Engage
  • Re-engage
  • Retarget

With web push notifications you can do all this and more and create impactful conversions.

So how does it work? The answer is simple. Web push notifications appear on the browsers – Chrome, Firefox or Safari, as a pop-up. It can be viewed from desktop, laptop, tablets or mobile devices. The user will be first asked permission to allow notifications in the future or not. Once the user clicks on ‘allow’ or ‘yes’, your future messages will keep popping up and reaching his device as and when you trigger them.

Your compelling messages should be action-oriented compelling them to take some prompt action. The push notifications tools are built in such a way that even if the user is offline, your message will get sent. One of the most important features of push notifications is the pop-up blockers cannot block them.

How does web push notification work technically?

The tool is JavaScript based that needs to be integrated with your website. The API pull from the backend to the application that push out your message to appear on the user’s device. It is the JavaScript file or the .js file that will receive the push on the device. So here are the steps:

Web push notifications steps

How web push notifications started?

  • The year 2003

Blackberry was the first operating system to launch push emails. The objective was to save the time the business executives take to check their emails for instant notifications. The attempt was an instant hit. People loved the idea of push email – getting sharp and compelling short meaningful messages on-the-go.

  • The year 2009 – 2010

Apple was the first to launch Apple push notification. This was soon followed by Google – the unique concept of the cloud to device messaging solution.

  • The year 2012

C2DM was replaced by GCM and new features were added to web push notifications

  • The year 2015

Chrome launched support for web push notifications followed by Firefox

Industry-wise web push notification engagement

What are the browsers that support web push notifications

Browser push notifications

Top 5 Industry

What does a normal push notification contain?

Usually, a web push notification must have the following aspects:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Call to Action
  • Image or video (optional)
  • Brand logo
  • Landing page


The title is the first line that your user will read. Therefore, you need to have a copy that is catchy and compelling.


Within 100-120 characters you need to convey your message to your user. Whether it is an upcoming sale, a software update, a shipment delivery notification or a limited period discount offer – the reason you are choosing web push notification over other marketing medium means it has some sense of urgency in it. Therefore, you must create a copy that will be attention-grabbing and convincing. The copy in one single sentence must convey the entire message and compel the user to click on the call to action button.

Call to Action

Call to action is the button that will be clickable and take the user to the landing page or simply accept future messaging. It can be a word like ‘allow’ or ‘yes’ or something similar to ‘yes, am interested’ or ‘let’s talk’.

Image or video (optional)

These days push marketing tools are allowing marketers to include images and videos as well to make it visually appealing and attention-grabbing.

Brand logo

Your brand logo is a must to ensure that your user is able to relate to your brand.

Landing page

Push notifications today come with a landing page where you will take your user after they click on the call to action button. The landing page must talk about the message in the shortest way possible. It can have a discount coupon cope, a short software update, details of the offer or shipment details. You can also include a lead capturing form for lead generation purpose. However, many marketers do not prefer landing pages. They try to include the entire message in the notification tab and deliver the entire message at one go.

Why push notification is popular than email marketing

You must be wondering how this new kid in the block became so famous as any other digital marketing medium. To know that you need to understand the benefits of web push notification. But first, you need to understand how it is better than even email marketing, the king of digital marketing medium.

One of the reasons why web push notifications are so popular because its conversion rate is so high. The data above clearly shows the stark difference between email marketing and web push notification. Through web push notification marketers can build their marketing campaign list 30 times faster than they can through email campaigns.

Given below is a comparison we have drawn between SMS, email and web push notification:

Push Notifications Comparison

What are the key benefits of web push notifications?

Easy to integrate

Marketers find web push notification easy to handle. Everything is done by the service provider tool. Therefore, you simply need to integrate the two and voila! You are ready to roll.

Push notifications CTR

User-friendly interface

The service providers are going out of their way to provide user-friendly tools to the marketers. They want to ensure that marketers spend a minimum of the time on the tools and get the maximum benefits.

No app required

Creating an app is an expensive process. Sometimes your browser is enough to get you your business done. Therefore, with web push notifications your users do not require an app. They will get the notification messages after the allow you permission.

Opt-in process

The best is that the entire process is opt-in and you are asking the user for permission before sending any notification. This way you can keep your website free from any spam complaints.

Guaranteed delivery of the message

Your user need not be online always to receive your message. You can trigger the notification with a pre-set timer and it will reach the browser on the set time and date.

Real-time messaging

Consumers today want to enjoy everything on-the-go. Thus, push notifications does just that. You can reach your user with your message as and when you want them to get it.

Timer set messaging

The push notification tools allow you to send messages with a pre-determined time and date. The logic is simple. You cannot send a discount offer on a weekday morning when you know your user is busy with meetings or work. Such messages must be read at leisure. However, an important shipment update can be sent anytime or a software update can be read at any time. You need to plan and strategize your campaigns accordingly and trigger.

Smart copy

Creating a web push is much faster than creating a full-fledged email campaign. You can spread your message among your target market in just 100 characters. Be crisp, lucid and compelling in your copy and you can ensure high click-through rates than any email or social media campaigns.

Monsoon flash sales

Impacts of web push notification on industries

Few industries have immediately taken to web push notifications almost immediately. Among that are:

  • E-commerce
  • Travel & Hospitality
  • Sports
  • Media
  • Banking & Finance

E-commerce industry uses web push notification to the maximum followed by Travel. As an e-commerce portal owner, you can send notification on your upcoming flash sale or deliver the shipment delivery status or discount on the next purchase and the coupon code. It was revealed after a study that 1.61 billion people shop worldwide online. They need to know shipping details, status, future discount offers and flash sale offers on the go. This is where you can use push notifications.

Another reason why e-commerce marketers are using the web push notification is to stop cart abandonment. Almost 72% online shoppers have the habit of abandoning the cart in the middle of the shopping for various reasons. E-commerce portals can save on cart abandonment and send vital information on shipping and delivery on-the-go to their customers.

Similarly, travel portals can send discount coupons and holiday plans to their prospects and customers according to their buyer persona. Travel industry and sports industry are also avidly using web push notifications followed by Banking and Finance industry.

Who are the top web push notification service providers?

There are a number of high-end and basic tools available. However, there are a few distinct ones that we have picked out for you so that it becomes easier for you to select.


Pushmaze is one of the most affordable tools available in the block. The best part about this tool is unlike other service providers you will not be charged as per the number of subscribers. Instead, you will be given a monthly subscription of a fixed amount.

With Pushmaze you can:

  • Send scheduled push notifications
  • Get versatile JS and REST APIs
  • Segment your subscribers as per their location, interests and purchase behavior
  • Send image notifications
  • Reach multiple users at one go


This tool provides both web and mobile push notifications services. Their tool supports browsers like WordPress, iOS, and Windows 8. The tool is the affordable and popular amount the marketers. They offer rich formatting, multiple language push and geo-targeted tapping among other features.

Amazon web services

Amazon offers web push service that is well-known for being fast-paced and innovative.

Closing Thoughts

What matters to you as a marketer is the high amount of conversion and branding? This is followed by customer and prospect engagement. Web push notifications ensure you get that and more. You are reaching your customers in real time, you are delivering your messages and you are getting conversions higher than other marketing mediums like email and SMS. All this without even having an app. So imagine the amount of benefit you can reap out of this unique marketing tool.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Marry Ann

Marry Ann is a branding consultant for PushMaze, a service that lets you send trackable push notifications for users. She mainly passionate about building brands in all aspect of online marketing.

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