For marketers, emails and web push notifications form crucial and essential mediums for customer acquisition and retention. Each channel is unique in its own ways and can be used to increase customer engagement and conversions. Think of it like distant cousins in your family of communication channels.

When thinking of marketing campaigns and the outcomes you want to achieve, both these mediums can prove to be useful and successful. While we cannot compare the two, push notification has an edge over emails when you want instant engagement from the subscribers. Let’s look at some of the key differentiators between emails and web push notifications and decide the best platform for marketing campaigns.

Subscribers have control over push notifications

One of the biggest drawbacks of email marketing from a customer’s perspective is that sometimes you can hardly do anything to stop unwanted emails from spamming your mailbox. Many of the websites ask you to sign up or register with your email id. Even when you make your first purchase, you have to give your email id to the business websites. If some business sends you 5-10 emails per day, what will you do about it?

  • Click on the unsubscribe link

  • Mark them as spam

  • Add a filter to move them as spam

But there are many tactics businesses practice to keep sending you emails. Perhaps they will send it from another email server or sell your id to another marketing company. As a subscriber, sometimes you do not have control over emails. But with push notifications, you can have full control over them. If you don’t want to receive push notifications, unsubscribe and it is done. What happens in web push notifications is, your browser calls the shots and it decides on who can send you notifications. So, if you have unsubscribed there is no way that a business can forcefully send you one.

No fake subscription information for web push notifications

How many times have you provided a secondary email id for businesses when you know that you are needed to provide one for browsing the products or signing up on the site? Admit it, you don’t want to constantly receive marketing emails from businesses and so you provide them with an email id that you hardly open so that you can safeguard your primary email id. In fact, many subscribers provide fake email id and contact details to avoid spam emails. It’s not the case with web push notifications. You log in to your browser with an email id and when you opt for web push notification, the browser generates a unique registration key or code for every subscriber that is sent to the business website. That means, every user automatically provides the website with a 100% accurate email id.

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Instant delivery

When an online store sends emails, they are at the mercy of the subscriber. If the subscriber opens the email, there is no guarantee that they will click on the link. To keep it short, even though emails are delivered instantly to the subscriber mail inbox, you have to wait for them to open the inbox and hopefully click on the email. But when you have to tell something important to the subscriber can you wait for them to open it? Here is where the push notifications come in handy.

  1. Do you want to tell subscribers about the deals for the day? Never mind, push the message.

  2. Do you want to remind them of the items left in the cart? Push the message.

  3. Do you want to tell them that their favorite item is disappearing fast from the shelf? No matter, push the message.

The mobile device is always within the reach of the subscriber and the push notification is delivered instantly. Similarly, web push notifications are also delivered instantly to the user’s devices- desktop and mobile, by the website.

Simple to design a push notification

It takes a lot of creative thinking to design content for an email. Believe us when we say it is not easy to design a marketing email (we are not talking about the bill copy, welcome email, or the order copy).

  • First, you think of ways to present the message.

  • You start writing the copy, make changes, submit,make changes, submit, and finally, it is approved.

  • Then comes the template design that fits the email standards

  • You make sure it fits all the device and browser screens.

  • You fix any glitches and schedule to send it to subscribers in your email list.

All these take effort and resources. But push notifications are byte-sized. Yes, you need to be extra creative to grasp customer attention in the first 5 words. But nevertheless, it is easier than writing emails. Next, you add the link and send it to the segmented subscribers. The browsers handle how the notifications look so you needn’t worry about it.

Less crowded, higher clickthrough rate

How many times do you check your emails? Maybe once or twice a day. Let’s ask it this way, how many marketing emails do you receive? 10, 50, 100, or more! But how many push notifications do you receive? The answer is not much. This is the reason that web push notifications have a click-through rate of about 20-30% while the email click-through rate is a mere 3-5%.

Bottom line: Which is best for your brand?

So are we implying that push notifications are better than emails? Not necessarily so! Each has its own benefit even if they serve a similar purpose. There are certain scenarios when you can send a push notification or an email.

Push notifications look good when it is absolutely necessary to send them to the subscriber so that they benefit. For instance, you tell them about the deal of the day or send reminders about the items left in the cart. But will you send them a push notification asking them to read a blog that you just posted on your website? Absolutely no. This is where an email comes in handy. Emails are particularly used to send messages people can reference later on. It is something that doesn’t need an instant response.

With emails, you get enough room to build a campaign around a product launch, offer, or event. First, you introduce people to it through a teaser or a point. You start increasing their curiosity through subsequent emails until you make the final reveal. You want subscribers to click through.

But with push notifications, your message is quick and compelling. You don’t have time for an introduction. You directly bring out the point in an attractive way to get customers to click through the notification.

So first define the set of goals you want to achieve. Refer to the personas or behavior of the subscriber segment list. Figure out how you can guide them to get the desired outcome. Structure the email or push notification content based on it.

Knowing the goal and how you intend the subscriber to take action will help you decide if email marketing or web push notification is the best.

Segmented push notification is the best when you want to get a higher click-through rate. Here, you segment the subscribers based on location, interests, purchase histories, and preferences. A mobile app allows you to segment users and send personalized push notifications to subscribers in the list.

For business owners wanting to make the transition from a website to a mobile app, Swipecart serves the purpose. It has a powerful mobile app builder tool to help you build an interactive mobile app from your existing website without any coding knowledge. It is easy to use, fast to build and doesn’t cost you much.

If you want to take your online marketing to the next level, start it with a mobile app!