How WPBeginner Uses Push Notifications to Grow Return Traffic

At WPBeginner, we use push notifications to get more traffic to our website, and many of our readers have asked about their effectiveness.

Push notifications are like a hidden marketing technique that a lot of experts use to great success, but they are often overlooked by small business owners.

However, as you know, we regularly share our marketing playbook with our readers so that even small businesses can beat the big guys.

That’s why, in this article, we will share how we use push notifications on WPBeginner to grow return traffic. We will also tell you what software we are using and how you can replicate our techniques.

Note: This article is part of our WPBeginner Insider series, where we talk about the products we use to grow our business. WPBeginner Insider is published every other Thursday.

Using push notifications to grow website traffic

What Are Push Notifications?

Push notifications are messages sent by websites or apps. They allow you to send alert messages directly to a user’s mobile or desktop screen, even when they are not actively using your site.

Push notification preview on desktopPush notification preview on desktop

When a user visits your website on a mobile device or desktop computer, you can prompt them to opt in to these notifications.

Once they agree, you can reach them with updates, alerts, or offers, regardless of whether they are currently on your site.

Push notification preview on mobile devicesPush notification preview on mobile devices

To send these push notifications, you can sign up with a push notification service provider.

These platforms make it easy to manage subscriptions, send messages, and use automation and segmentation to personalize messages for your users.

Why Use Push Notifications to Grow Traffic?

Today, it is harder than ever for marketers to get their messages across. There is simply too much content out there competing for your audience’s attention.

Push notifications help you get the edge over the competition. They work across all platforms and devices. That’s why these targeted custom messages can be highly effective in bringing users back to your website.

Here are some of the main reasons to use push notifications on your WordPress website:

  1. Grow Subscribers Without Collecting Personal Info – Unlike email or SMS marketing, no personal info is collected when opting in to push notifications. This can help with addressing growing privacy concerns among internet users.
  2. Grow Your Subscribers Faster – With an average opt-in rate above 6%, push notifications boast a significantly higher engagement rate than other methods. This is especially true when you consider that the opt-in rate for email marketing sits at around 3%.
  3. Drive Repeat Traffic to Your Site – Because up to 95% of first-time visitors aren’t ready to purchase immediately, push notifications can nudge them towards repeat visits and closer to a purchasing decision.
  4. Higher Click-Through Rate Than Emails Push notifications have an average click rate of 28%, which is much higher than the 1-2% for emails. This is a more effective way to capture user attention and get people back to your website.
  5. Get an Instant Reaction – Users usually don’t respond to emails for at least 6.5 hours. By contrast, push notifications often get an immediate response, capturing the user’s attention on the spot.
  6. Easy to Setup and Manage – Simplicity is key with push notifications, making them an accessible tool for marketers without advanced technical know-how.
  7. The Most Affordable Marketing Method – Offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional methods, push notifications are an economical choice for businesses of all sizes.

That being said, let’s look at how we use push notifications on WPBeginner.

How We Use Push Notifications on WPBeginner

We use PushEngage. It is the best push notification software on the market that allows us to easily engage and retain website visitors even after they have left our website.

PushEngage websitePushEngage website

Here are some of the reasons for using PushEngage:

  • It is straightforward to use and has an intuitive interface for creating and scheduling campaigns. That makes it suitable for both experts and beginners alike.
  • It offers powerful segmentation and personalization options. We can send the right message to the right user at the right time, making our push notification campaigns extremely effective.
  • PushEngage offers multiple campaign types, autoresponders, effective retargeting, and more. These tools make push notifications more engaging for the users.

Want to add it to your website? We have a step-by-step tutorial that you can follow to add push notifications to your WordPress website.

At WPBeginner, user experience is as important for us as getting more traffic. We also want our push notifications to reach more users.

To summarize, we want our notifications to be less intrusive and more efficient to ensure that we get better engagement and ROI (return on investment) while providing helpful information to our readers.

Here are the types of push notifications we use to achieve this.

Two-Step Optin Notifications

There are two kinds of optin boxes you can add for your notifications. First, there is the usual single-step optin, which is a good start but easily dismissed by many users.

Visitors see this so often from different sites that they become blind to it.

Single step optinSingle step optin

Major browsers like Safari and Chrome only show two options: Allow or Block. If users click Block, then you cannot show them the optin popup again unless they reset their site settings. Users rarely, if ever, do this.

Also, you cannot customize the browser-based optins, which makes them practically unusable.

The second type is the two-step optin. These optins require an additional step for users to opt in, but they are highly customizable.

We use a custom optin through PushEngage to get users’ attention and provide a better experience for them.

Safari style push notifcation optinSafari style push notifcation optin

This kind of optin popup is much less intrusive. It allows users to decline politely and allows us to ask them again after some time.

It also enables users to choose segments they are interested in, making the notifications more beneficial. They can choose to receive notifications about WordPress SEO, eCommerce, or email marketing, for example, but not plugins and themes.

Once the user has chosen the kinds of notifications they want, they will be shown the traditional Allow or Block popup. Only then, they can choose to allow the notifications instead of blindly clicking the block button by default.

Drip Autoresponders for New Users

We also set up autoresponders to welcome new users with an onboarding series of drip notifications.

Unlike regular autoresponders, a drip setup lets you set up a sequence of notifications that will be automatically sent to users at pre-defined intervals.

Creating a drip sequenceCreating a drip sequence

We use this feature to send a series of onboarding notifications designed to point new subscribers to the right resources on our website.

Segmenting users during the opt-in process allows us to send more targeted personalized messages tailored to the user’s needs, making them more relevant and engaging.

These automated drip notifications help users uncover resources one message at a time. Sending them in intervals makes the information easier to consume.

We have a tutorial on how to set up automated drip notifications, where you can learn the whole process step-by-step.

Broadcast Notifications

To drive traffic, we send broadcast notifications every other day about the latest blog posts published on WPBeginner.

Broadcast notifications are manual notifications you can set up to share news from your website. We schedule them to match our editorial calendar for the week.

New push broadcast messageNew push broadcast message

These notifications allow users to be notified about a new article that they would otherwise miss.

These notifications have a high CTR and consistently bring a significant number of return visitors to our website. They also make sure that our readers don’t miss out on the latest news and helpful information from our website.

Broadcast push notifications allow us to customize the messages we send users about new articles. They are not too frequent and are highly relevant to our users, making them both practical and beneficial for our audience.

Alternative Methods for Push Notifications

Not all websites are the same, so your site may have different goals and needs than WPBeginner.

Here are some other types of push notifications that we have used on our other sites.

RSS Auto-Push Campaigns

If setting up manual broadcasts sounds like too much extra work, then you can automate your push notifications with RSS Auto Push.

It allows you to send automatic notifications for new articles as soon as they are published by sourcing data from your RSS feed.

Users who opt to receive notifications are already interested in what you publish next. Getting updates from your site will help readers stay up to date. Otherwise, these users may have to check your site manually, which is a bit inconvenient.

Simply log in to your PushEngage account dashboard, go to the Campaign » RSS Auto Push page, and click the ‘Create New Campaign’ button.

New RSS Auto Push campaignNew RSS Auto Push campaign

Next, you need to enter your blog’s RSS feed address and choose the time and interval when you want to send the message.

You can choose either ‘At Fixed Interval’ or ‘Specify Day and Time’.

Set up RSS auto pushSet up RSS auto push

Optionally, you can choose how many latest items from your feed to send and their intervals. Under the advanced options, you are able to customize the notification settings like character limit, image, large image, or more.

By using powerful headlines and engaging content, you can improve the click-through rate of these push messages.

Once finished, don’t forget to activate your Auto Push campaign.

Triggered Automated Push Notifications

Apart from drip and RSS feed, you also get access to a bunch of automation options with PushEngage.

These can be used to send automated but personalized custom messages based on the user activity on your website. This personalization makes them more relevant and engaging for your readers, leading to a more effective campaign.

You can find these automation options in your PushEngage dashboard by going to Campaign » Triggered Campaigns.

Triggered campaignsTriggered campaigns

For instance, if you run an online store, then you likely struggle with the issue of abandoned carts. According to our research, the average cart abandonment rate last year was a whopping 70.19%.

Luckily, you can use push notifications to get abandoning users back to your store to complete their purchases.

You just need to click ‘Create’ under the Cart Abandonment campaign. PushEngage will then automatically fill in important information like the product name, URL, image, and large image, using dynamic tags.

Cart abandonment push notificationCart abandonment push notification

You can then customize the notification message, choose when to send the notification, and more.

Related: Learn more ways to recover abandoned cart sales.

Push Notifications vs. Email Marketing – Which Do We Recommend?

At WPBeginner, we use both email marketing and push notifications to grow traffic and bring back users to our website.

In fact, in a previous WPBeginner Insider column, we showed all the methods we use to grow our email list.

As a marketer, both these tools provide different ways to reach your audience. Instead of just choosing one, we recommend using both of them together.

While email marketing works well for transactional content, push notifications outperform emails when it comes to easy subscriptions, urgency, higher click-through rates, and personalization options.

For a detailed discussion on this topic, you can see our comparison of push notifications vs. email with pros and cons and use-case scenarios for both platforms.

We hope this article helped you learn about the push notification techniques we use at WPBeginner. You may also want to see our tutorial on how to use email marketing automation or learn about creating automated workflows in WordPress for everyday website admin tasks.

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