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5 Metrics to Optimize Your Web Push Notifications Strategy

It’s one of the simplest customer retention tools in recent times. And ANYONE can use it – it’s that easy to setup and use.

I’m talking about web push notifications.

(RELATED: Website Push Notifications: A New Way to Follow Up with Website Visitors (Without Getting Their Contact Information))

Once you have your web push notification strategy in place, the next step is to monitor the web push notification metrics so you can optimize for better results and create a winning strategy based on these metrics.

And like any marketing channel, web or browser push notifications have a wide gamut of metrics associated with their performance.

Normally, when there are a lot of metrics to track, it’s tempting to keep an eye on everything.

But tracking every metric doesn’t necessarily mean you’re seeing the bigger picture. Or, you could be paying attention to metrics that might mislead you.

Which is why I’m sharing the five web push notification metrics to optimize and track to get a clear picture of your push notifications campaign and know if it’s heading in the right direction.

You can divide these five web push notification metrics into two categories:

  • The Usual Suspects
  • The Inner Circle

Let’s get right to it.

Web Push Notification Metrics to Optimize: The Usual Suspects

The usual suspects are the web push notification metrics you can track by looking at your push notifications dashboard or an associated analytics dashboard like Google Analytics. They are a direct consequence of your subscribers clicking on your notifications.

We’ll start with a metric I’m sure most of you are familiar with. 🙂

Web Push Notification Metric to Optimize #1: Click Rate or Click-Through Rate (CTR)

While emails have both open rates and click rates, web push notifications only have click rates, which is due to the nature of the channel itself.

CTR is the number of clicks you received on your notification versus the number of subscribers you sent the notification to.

You can track this from your push notifications dashboard.

Here’s an example of a push notification with two call-to-action (CTA) buttons that generated an 11% CTR:

An example of a push notification with two CTA buttons that generated an 11% CTR

And because push notifications reduce the number of actions a subscriber has to take to reach your landing page, the click rates for push notifications are higher than that of emails.

So, what does this all mean?

What CTR Tells You About Your Web Push Notifications

CTR for push notifications tells you what kind of notifications your subscribers are responding to. Similar to how email open rates tell you how effective your subject line is.

Click rates help you determine what tone of copy clicks best with your audience. It also tells you if they prefer visually impactful notifications with banner images

An example of a web push notification with a banner image

…and helps you determine if people are responding to your CTA

A web push notification with a CTA

The purpose of tracking click rates doesn’t just end there.

You can compare them with the CTR of your other marketing mediums and decide which one is more effective in various scenarios, allowing you to optimize your campaigns.

For instance, according to a study conducted by PushCrew, notifications sent to fewer than 5,000 subscribers have a whopping average CTR of 11%.

A graph showing push notifications sent to fewer than 5,000 subscribers have an average CTR of 11%

Website push notifications maintain a healthy click rate of 4-6% even when the number of subscribers is above 25,000.

Compare that to email, whose average click rate hovers between 3-4%.

Of course, the average fluctuates marginally across different industries similar to that of email.

If your average click rate isn’t meeting these benchmarks, you should also evaluate if you’re using the channel optimally.

Our next web push notification metric is…

Web Push Notification Metric to Optimize #2: Opt-In Rate

Opt-in rate gives you the number of people who subscribe to your push notifications versus the number of people who visit your website.

You can find the number of opt-ins by setting a goal in Google Analytics.

Your opt-in request is the first touchpoint your push notifications have with your potential subscribers. This is where your website visitors decide if they need a reason to come back to your portal or just block you from sending them notifications.

Here’s the anatomy of an opt-in request:

The anatomy of a push notification opt-in request

And here’s an opt-in request “in the wild”:

A push notification opt-in request from Dominate Web Media

Now, you may be wondering…

What the Opt-In Request Helps You Do

Tracking your opt-in rate helps you decide where to ask and when to ask. This web push notification metric helps you identify pages where people are most likely to opt-in.

For instance, it is not always necessary to flash the opt-in as soon a visitor lands on your homepage.

But where else will you put the opt-in request?

The placement and timing of your opt-in trigger depends hugely on the nature of your website.

For instance, if you’re a blog or a news website, you can trigger the opt-in once someone is about to finish reading a post or an article. By this time, the reader has not only spent some time on your website but also acquired value, be it information or amusement, from it.

If you’re an ecommerce website, you can trigger an opt-in when someone is viewing a product that is out of stock. Make a promise to notify them when new or similar products in that category are available.

The premise of an opt-in is to promise recurring value to a potential subscriber — give them a reason or two to keep them coming back to the website.

It’s important to note that the opt-in request can be triggered on one or many pages on your website. Your choice of page depends on what you’re trying to achieve with push notifications.

Let’s suppose you have a website for a SaaS product; you’re using push notifications as a marketing channel to distribute the content you publish on your website — it could be a blog post, a case study, or an ebook.

In this case, it isn’t necessary to keep the opt-in trigger on your Sign Up page. In fact, you shouldn’t distract someone who has reached your Sign Up page with an opt-in trigger.

On the other hand, you can place it on your blog, your case study pages, or even the Thank You page after someone downloads an ebook or a guide.

Which brings us to our final usual suspect among push notification metrics.

Web Push Notification Metric to Optimize #3: Time Spent on a Page

Time spent on a page helps you improve your landing page, as well as ensure that your communication is more accurate next time.

This metric is an indicator whether the landing page linked to your push notification met the expectations set by it.

You can track this by assigning UTM parameters to the URL attached to your notification and monitoring them in Google Analytics.

Simply put, this is your Expectation vs. Reality metric — it helps you take stock of what your subscriber expected while clicking on the push notification as opposed to what was actually there on your landing page.

Keep in mind, the expectation is set by the copy of your notification.

For instance, if your notification announces the arrival of a new product, it is best to link it to the product page. Instead, if it takes your subscribers to the homepage of your website, they will not only feel lost but might also unsubscribe from receiving future notifications.

Now, let’s say the landing page of your push notification has a low amount of time spent on the page? What do you do?

That’s where the time spent on a page-push notification metric comes in handy.

What Time Spent on a Page Tells You

One way to find out where you went wrong is to compare the average time spent on the page by visitors coming through push notifications against the time spent by visitors landing there otherwise.

A huge disparity will tell you that you need to work on writing better push notifications.

For example, let’s assume that the average time spent by your readers on a particular blog post is over three minutes. However, the time spent by people who reached that post through a particular notification is under 12 seconds.

This means people who are landing on your blog otherwise stay longer. But people who came through the notification landed there, didn’t find what they were looking for, and left.

So, you need to look at your push notification and see how you can fix it.

Now let’s look at the other case. You have an ebook landing page which has dismal figures for downloads from people coming from all channels including notifications.

This means it’s not the push notification you sent that is at fault. In this case, you need to look at ways of improving your landing page first.

(RELATED: [DOWNLOAD] The 15-Point Landing Page Audit)

Next, let’s look at two metrics that can help improve all other metrics and bring you closer to your end goal.

Web Push Notification Metrics to Optimize: The Inner Circle

These are web push notification metrics that we often lose sight of when we are chasing the usual suspects.

They include:

  • Frequency and Timing
  • Conversion Rate

While Frequency and Timing are leading metrics that help you improve all the other measurements, Conversion Rate ties them all back to the bigger picture — your end goal.

Let’s continue with…

Web Push Notification Metric to Optimize #4: Frequency and Timing

How often you don’t send web push notifications matters as much as how often you do send them.

Unless you’re a news website breaking news every day, it is perfectly acceptable to not send notifications daily.

In fact, according to the PushCrew study, the CTR of a push notification steadily declines every time an extra push notification is sent in a single day by a particular website.

CTR of push notifications changes as frequency increases

While the time that you send a notification is not a metric per se, it is important to keep in mind. And if your business has an audience spread across the globe, it becomes one of the most key details.

So, remember to schedule your notifications according to the time zones of your subscribers. Also, find out the best day and time frame gives you the best click rates.

The PushCrew study also shows that 1 – 2 PM local time is the most popular time to send a website push notification. The peak continues till 5 PM after which it declines steadily over the evening.

In contrast, the highest click rates are for notifications which are sent later in the evening, with peak click rates occurring between 5  – 7 PM.

Push notification sends and CTR broken down by hour

While these benchmarks are a good place to start your trials, there’s also a chance that your target audience doesn’t stick to these norms. So, don’t hold yourself back from experimenting which time works best for you and your subscribers.

What Frequency and Timing Tell You

Besides helping you deliver at the optimal time, these are the web push notification metrics that’ll tell you if you are turning into spammers as you’ll see your numbers start to drop.

They will also stop you from waking up people in the middle of the night or sending untimely notifications.

And now our final metric…

Web Push Notification Metric to Optimize #5: Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate indicates the realization of your basic business goals. It could be the revenue you earned or the sign-ups you received.

These can be tracked by setting goals on your Google Analytics dashboard. Most of the time, they will overlap with the goals you’ve set for your website itself.

Let’s say that you sent out a push notification with a discount offer. Like this…

A web push notification with a 50% discount offer

…and you received a high click rate.

However, this alone shouldn’t make you happy.

Why? Well, is a high CTR your end goal… or are you looking to generate conversions? So, see how many purchases were made.

Click rates are merely symptoms of your success. Conversion Rate is the real deal.

What Conversion Rate Tells You

Conversion rate is the seal of approval that tells you that you have a winning web push notification strategy.

If at all your web push notification channel ever goes through an existential crisis, Conversion Rate is the metric that will help you get your campaign back on track.

(RELATED: 11 Ways You Can Wield the Power of Web Push Notifications)

You are now armed with five metrics to optimize your push notification campaigns.

Sometimes it takes tracking all five metrics to get your strategy in place. At other times, a combination of these helps turn the odds in your favor.

See what suits you best and push forward.

Megha Rajeev

Megha Rajeev

SaaS Marketer | MarComm and Branding Enthusiast | Content Marketing Lead at PushCrew.

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