Push-notifications – a communication channel or complete user’s irritation?

According to users’ reviews on Facebook — the second option dominates. But I will tell you about 15 successful cases of the use of push notifications by Russian sites and groups on social networks.

Before describing the cases, I would like to clarify the situation with push notifications. The fact is that they are different. And not everyone knows the difference between them (it took me some time to understand that, but finally I figured it out). And after running for several times into “clean” push-notifications, many people simply hate this tool. Yes, it’s true.

 

Let’s clear up the concepts.

 

“Clean” push-notifications — this is such a hard thing. I go to the home page of the site, and I’m almost forced to subscribe.

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I close it, go to another page, but the invasion of privacy continues here.

And this thing lasts forever. If I press “block”, it will never appear on the website. Even if I would like to subscribe to push-notifications from this website, I won’t be able to do it.

What are the disadvantages of using “clean” push-notifications:

  1. They are intrusive. They are the first things that greet you on the website and pursue you until you block them.
  2. They are spurious and unclear. What can I understand from the text “The Website asks for permission to show notifications”? What notifications? How often? What are the notifications about? Why do I need them? Too many questions but no answers.
  3. They are difficult to unsubscribe, when you start to receive spam via “pushes”. It is difficult due to the fact that you do not even know what it is and where to find the option “deactivate/unsubscribe”. Some people, who do not know how to turn them off, reset the browser and automatically unsubscribe from all other (maybe useful) subscriptions.
  4. The problem of unsubscribing is aggravated by the ways of rejecting these notifications on various devices and in various browsers arranged in different ways.

Here they are, these push-notifications, that nobody likes, and some even hate.

They really spoil the impression of a new tool during the interaction with users.

But there are other absolutely different notifications. For example, guys from Russian service for push notifocation Pushall do it so, that notices do not provoke a tantrum.  

They used ChangeAgain to optimize their pages and increased average conversion rate by 23%.

The user has complete control over push-notifications.

 

How to reach the control over notifications

  1. The process of subscription is conducted not because of the endless appearance of the “allow notifications” window, but because of the user’s will, with the help of browser plugin installation or Push API usage (that thing described above, but the request appears only when the user wants it) or on other devices with the help of other methods.
  2. There is a catalog of all subscriptions and it is possible to turn off any subscription just in one click.
  3. There is a possibility in one click to remove the extension completely and get rid of notifications.
  4. It is possible to filter notifications. Want to receive notifications from the site only on specific topics — no problem.

 

People like to keep everything under control. And they don’t like it when the reverse situation occurs, that is typical for “pure” push-notifications.

 

Here is an example of proper use of push-notifications:

 

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It is the website sohabr.net that aggregates the information from Habrhabr, Geektimes and Megamozg. When the user understands that he or she likes the site and there is useful information, he presses the button “Subscribe”, where many different ways of getting information are provided. Push notifications is one of the options.

 

It’s simple, unobtrusive and convenient for the visitor. According to Oleg Karnaukhov (co-founder of Pushall) only 10% of users use Push API to receive notifications, even if they turn it on with the help of the button, this method is awkward. It is easier to install the browser extension or even use Telegram.

 

Can you feel the difference between right and wrong notifications now?

Do not be biased against this tool. If you do not like it – do not subscribe. But there are a number of people who will find it more convenient than E-mailing, tracking updates on social networks, etc.

 

Let’s move to Russian cases from different spheres.  We begin with Online Media.

Online Media cases

    1. Let’s consider the same example of Sahara that collects information from three sites at once. At the time of writing the article there were 260 people subscribed to him (although, when Oleg sent me the information about cases, there were only 200 people). With the audience of 200 people 1800 notifications were sent daily. The audience is growing, not decreasing — this suggests that push notifications are convenient for the target audience. The website sohabr.net has integrated directly with push service through API, so when a new article appears the subscriber receives the notification immediately. And due to the use of filters everyone adjusts the flow of notifications to fit their needs. Is it Convenient? Yes, it is!
    2. The Unofficial channel of the site 4PDA. More than 200 people receive notifications about new news from 4PDA.
    3. The Semi-official channel of the website meduza.io. It was created by official representatives, but they have not promoted it and informed their audience about it yet. Medusa gained 60 subscribers passively.
    4. The official channel of independent publication/edition about startups — Rusbase.vc. The channel of push notifications has not been promoted so far, but people subscribe to it gradually. Now there are 30 subscribers who receive daily notifications about new articles.

 

  • The official channel of the website Finanalize.com completely new channel, but it has quickly developed to 200 subscribers. It was due to E-mail lists, offering them to subscribe to the new channel of getting the information. You may think: “Why is there another source of notification?” But it makes sense: channel notifies the traders ‘ signals and does it for free. For the readers of the site — that is important information. And the speed of the delivery also plays an important role.

 

  1. And here is the negative case of the same annoying Iguides.ru (in the beginning of the article I’ve already checked their persistence). Therefore, such question as “How to disable push notifications from Chrome iGuides?” appears on the Internet. And the iGuides had to write a whole guide on how to disable these notifications.

 

The comments to the article show that a few days after the article came out, users wanted to turn off notifications…but they didn’t know how. And it caused a storm of negativity. And some of the comments gathered dozens of “likes” that reflected the opinion of visitors, and inefficiency of “pure” push-notifications.

 

The studio cases that translate series

 

The Russians like foreign series and are constantly waiting for their new episodes. A number of studios are responsible for the film voice over, some of them are numerous and quite large with the audience of many thousands.  The problem is that there is no fixed schedule of releasing the film voice over, so the users do not know, when there will be a new translated episode if their favourite series.

 

In this case, the notifications are very handy. As soon as the studio has translated a new episode, the subscribers immediately found it and went to watch or download the episode. At the same time some studios do not even have a website, and those who have them, do not have HTTPS, so they cannot use “clean” push-notifications.

 

There are several studios of the kind. Some of them were created by the official representatives of the companies, some had to be added unofficially, all for the sake of the user.

 

  • Baibako – a large studio, which translates a great number of series and works very closely with its audience. They are probably noted for the best voicing of “Doctor who”. All “Doctor Who” fans watch the voice over from Baibako. It has 1995 subscribers. The number of notices per day sometimes exceeds 10 000. After 2-5 seconds of E-mailing dozens of viewers come to download the voice over of their favourite series.

 

  1. Lostfilm.ru – the largest studio in the CIS. The channel was created unofficially, as it was not possible to negotiate with the representatives of the company. This channel has 1600 subscribers, and a daily number of notices are more than 5000.
  2. NewStudio – the official channel of another studio. It has 1400 subscribers, although the representatives of the company do not advertise push-notifications to visitors. A daily number of notices are more than 3000.

 

In the service there are various interesting channels dealing with series (about 20-30). For example Jaskier Studio  – their voice over as a rule is plausible without any censorship (in addition, their notifications are automated through the group on Vkontakte) Or TeamTardis – they managed to gather 300 fans of “Doctor Who”. They use push-notifications when a new episode is released in the original and with translated subtitles.

 

Maybe some of you have a question: “How do they manage to gain a subscriber base without using “clean” push-notifications when approaching the website”?

The cases from ESport

The projects in the sphere of ESport – is another sphere where push- notifications can acquire the status of “must-have”.

Here are some examples:

  1. Hellraises.pro (http://hellraisers.pro/ru) – they use “clean” push-notifications (intrusive notifications). As iGuides, but they still use an additional layer from another website, so it will be more complicated to turn off their notifications. After subscription it’s not clear whether it works or not. And it’s not clear how to turn it off if something happens. There are no statistics on the number of subscribers and the level of effectiveness. These guys have adopted the wrong strategy for “pushes”. Nevertheless it is one of the examples of using the notifications in ESport.
  2. ESport commentator Vladimir Kuzminov.  Professional Dota 2 commentator. He comments on games in StormStudio, and he is also an official professional commentator on The International. He is not able to promote his channel, as it is StormStudio who decides where it is better to use notifications. However, he has attracted more than 60 people and notifies them about ESport news, the beginning of important games and his own streams.

Many gamers wait for games, and it is important for them to know when they start. Push-notifications solve the problem of awareness. Therefore, if the users are aware of the possibility of receiving notifications, the channel will quickly gain popularity. On average 50 thousand people watch matches every day! And usually it’s the constant audience.

  1. Only_smiles – a girl-streamer, who plays Hearthstone. After streaming for a couple of month she’s learned to play at a high level and gained more than 120 subscribers. They all receive notifications in order not to miss the stream on Twitch.tv.
  2. Blazya also plays Hearthstone. He got interested in the opportunity to notify his audience immediately. He runs streams at different time and it’s important not to miss them. At the moment he has 21 subscribers.
  3. 105TV – stream of ARMA. This channel has 59 subscribers.

The use of push-notifications in the sphere of ESport is just beginning to develop. He who will be among the first to use push-notifications in this sphere, will get a new and very convenient channel of interaction targeted at the audience.

Personal notifications from websites

In this category there will be services, which notify their users straight through API. There are more than 100 hidden personal channels, among which lots of channels for inside CRM for stuff work coordination. We can’t describe the majority of them in this article. But still, we will provide a few examples:

  1. Ooo.company — SaaS solution for business automaton. They built PushAll in quite flexibly, and now it is impossible to miss any of the service’s important notifications. At the moment the activity of their channel is poor, and it’s better to evaluate as a concept. They even wrote an article on the development and work of the system with notifications.
  2. Onliner.IO — an interesting service the essence of which is monitoring of the social network VK. It has convenient visiting statistics by time, the analysis of music preferences and can say when you can see a person online usually and how much time they waste on the social network.

 

Push-notifications are used to get notified about a person’s logging in. If you can’t catch someone online, these push-notifications are an interesting and effective solution. The receiver of the message will be surprised, if in 10 seconds after logging in on VK he or she gets a message from you.

  1. Freeloot — a freelance service of the new generation. They are conducting integration for their innovative task manager, with the help of which you will be able to get notifications about the order feedback and new jobs for the freelancer.

You will also be able to notify both the freelancer and the employer about new events, which means a more effective interaction. 

Push-notifications are not only irritation for the users, or?

Notifications are not that horrible. The problem of hating them is caused by “clean” and annoying push-notifications and companies which don’t do good with their notifications, but send only spam. So we shouldn’t write this audience communication tool off.

The right usage of push-notifications can be very convenient and effective. Besides no one limits you in the ways of their usage. Want to notify about a new series coming out — no problem. Want to notify about a new article — no problem. Want to notify about new orders on a freelance service — no problem at all.

The most important thing is to do it in a clever way. The user should know how they will get notifications, how often and where they can unsubscribe from getting them. The user should be able to choose where to get the notifications — in the browser or straight to the Telegram, for example.

It’s also necessary to take into consideration that according to statistics about 80 percent of the users get notifications through the plugins installed in Chrome or through Android apps, 10 percent get them through Telegram. And only 10 percent get notifications using Push API (notifications without addition installation), apparently, negative experience of working with this kind of notifications affects the motivation of using this method.

 


Alexander Horoskevich is a CEO at ChnageAgain.me – A/B testing tool for marketers without codding skills.

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