Expert interview: The underestimated potential of Web Push Notifications


Web Pushes –How to retain customers at the first click


Web Push Notifications have been used by media and online shops on their websites in a professional way for two years now. This marketing tool offers the possibility of retaining customers at the first click – even when they visited the site only shortly and have not left any data. Nevertheless, there are many marketing departments and editorial teams of publishing houses that have not implemented it yet. We have talked to IT expert and “Amazing Tools” founder Bernd Auer about the underestimated potential of Web Push Notifications.




First of all, would you like to explain briefly how Web Pushes work?


Bernd Auer: Web Pushes are messages via the browser, regardless of where the subscriber is currently surfing. The potential customer visits your website and a small window pops up, asking whether the customer allows your website to send them notifications, with an explanation of what they can expect from your messages. They click “yes”. From this point, they are subscribers and you can send them messages via the browser, regardless of the website they are currently visiting. Picture it like that: Somebody has a look at your shop briefly. They take a look around, say “quite nice” and leave again. And from that point, you can contact them, even if they did not buy anything or gave you their business card. It means that you start way ahead in the Customer Journey with direct and individual contact.


So that means you can continue to accompany the potential customer without having their personal data?


Bernd Auer: That’s exactly the trick. You do not need any personal data of a potential customer. Therefore, the inhibition threshold for someone to join is low. If you sign up for a newsletter, you have to be quite interested before you really state your e-mail address. Many more people accept Web Push Notifications. The opt-in rate is about 10 percent, so about 10 percent of the people visiting your website will receive your messages. And thus you can create a much closer connection to your customers. At first, they only click, then they might sign up for a newsletter and when they discover the right product, they buy it.


Then, why do only relatively few companies use this tool?


Bernd Auer: When I talk to heads of marketing, they often say “I never accept those notifications.” And then I say, “But 10 percent of your customers do.” Naturally, they are worried that they would “bother” their clients. There is a certain inhibition threshold, like there was for Facebook company channels. Companies also had to learn how to deal with them, and if I send the wrong messages to my clients, they will be irritated no matter which tool I use. Web Pushes are relatively new and one still needs to learn how to use them for one’s target group. We gladly support you in this process, because we already have best practices from different industries. If you are applying it in the right way, the click numbers and conversion rates are so high that it really pays off to take it into consideration.


However, the tool only works while people are online.


Bernd Auer: Web Pushes on Android mobile phones arrive instantly, because they are online most of the time. On a desktop computer, people might not be online at the time it is sent. Usually, messages are conveyed for three days after you clicked “send”. The message is delivered once the client opens the browser again. Of course you can also set a longer or shorter period. If you send a message proclaiming “Black Friday today!” on Friday morning, it will no longer be relevant on Saturday. Or “click here for the live stream of the press conference” – that would already be too late 2 hours later. That means that you can communicate with Web Pushes in a very direct way, because the message will be read a few seconds after it was sent – if your subscriber is online.


Which areas would you recommend Web Pushes for?


Bernd Auer: There are two large groups which could benefit considerably. On the one hand, online stores (Thalia and Interwetten, for example, already use them), and on the other hand newspapers like Tiroler Tageszeitung or Salzburger Nachrichten. For media, the obvious advantage is the enormous increase in clicks. Some media send 2 or 3 messages per day with a click rate of 4 to 6 percent. Others work in a more offensive way and send 15 messages per day. Thereby, the click rate naturally decreases, to 2-4 percent. However, the absolute amount of clicks increases. Everyone has to choose their individual approach. You can easily calculate your benefit yourself, if you have, say, 100,000 unique clients per month and 10 percent sign up. Now you carefully send 3 messages per day, and about 4 to 6 percent click on them. Through this channel, most of our partners reach 10-20 percent of overall clicks in a fast and stable way.

The advantages for online stores are obvious, too. Of course, special offers work particularly well. “10% discount on everything” can easily reach click rates of 10 percent and more. Usually, our online stores have a conversion rate of 0.5 to 1.5 percent. That’s also a fast way to earn money. Furthermore, you can, for example, send messages to shopping cart abandoners and remind them to complete their purchase. For example, the first reminder may be sent 15 minutes after the person has left your page without completing the purchase. That is the period of time when people probably compare prices to other stores. Another reminder might be sent after 2 days and then another one after 1 week. This is a very cost-efficient and effective way of retargeting. Many of our clients can thus reduce the retargeting budget a bit and supplement their measures with the far more precise Web Pushes.


You say cost-efficient– what does this tool cost and how is it set up?


Bernd Auer: In order to set up Web Pushes, we simply add a script to the homepage and place a file on the server. A motivated IT team can do that in 15 minutes. If you have an online store, you need a second script to see the conversion rate – that will take another 5 minutes. Costs start from 79 EUR per month and rise depending on the number of subscribers. It includes everything, not only technical support and design but also the part that is more important to most clients: Content-related support. If you have never used Web Pushes before, you do not know whether your KPIs are good or bad. We have best practices from many industries and help our partners to use Web Pushes successfully right from the start. Of course we do that in our own interest. There are no terms of notice and if the Web Pushes don’t get going, you simply cancel the order. And of course, we do not want that happening.


Does the client receive a statistical analysis?


Bernd Auer: Yes, you can see exactly how many people have received the messages, seen them, how many clicked on them and when people then bought something. Our partners receive a back-end where all this data is available. So you can see pretty fast which output you achieve through the Web Pushes and whether they pay off for you. Careful, spoiler: So far, it has worked out for nearly everyone.


Bernd Auer was born in Styria, and has been living and working in Germany for 7 years. In Austria, he worked in the business unit of various media companies (LoungeFM, kroneHIT) before moving to Germany and switching to the IT branch – turning his enthusiasm for good software into a career. Two years ago, he founded company “Amazing Tools” together with a partner. His company supports clients in the selection and use of good software solutions. They specialize in tools promoting sales for B2B companies (CRM) and online stores. To this purpose, the 5-person team makes use of Web Pushes intensively.


Guest expert: Bernd Auer