Browser Prompt Changes, Retention Best Practices

We're joined by OneSignal CEO & Co-founder, George Deglin, and Karima Wagner to discuss web browser changes and web push best practices for retention.

Web Push Changes - George Deglin - OneSignal Co-Founder & CEO

Chrome is introducing a new “quiet” permission prompt that is much more subtle and more likely to not be seen by users. This permission prompt is shown if either of these two cases is true:

  1. If a website has a high rate of users denying permission on the normal permission prompt, the quiet prompt is shown instead.
  2. If a user has denied push permission on the normal permission prompt on many websites, the quiet prompt is shown instead.

These changes will negatively impact spammy and those sites that aren't thoughtful about how they ask for permission. Sites that have a value proposition consumers are interested in and are transparent about their intent, will benefit from these changes.

How about retaining & growing your existing audience?

The best strategy is not how do we gain more traffic that lands on our site one time but rather, how do we build more engaged relationships with the users who are already enjoying your site. Increasing the repeat visitation of your existing users is far more cost effective and easier than acquiring new ones. The economic models overwhelmingly favor retaining a customer over acquiring a new one, one study found it is 5x more expensive to acquire a new customer, so why don’t web publishers spend more time retaining their audience?

Push notifications are the most effective and affordable way to build a more engaged relationship with your users. Pulling web push notification data from across many publishers, on average we see approximately 4% opt-in across a publisher’s unique visitors over a period of a year. That means if you have 1 million uniques that would equate to 40k subscribers. If you have 10 million uniques, it would be approximately 400,000 subscribers. A web push subscriber is opting in to your service, they are the most loyal and important members of your audience. With a consistent strategy, you can bring those top users back to the service more frequently, driving significant incremental daily traffic.

Customers That Are Using Web Push Notifications to Drive User Re-Engagement:

Clutchpoints - A trusted source for news on sports, implemented this to build a relationship with visitors coming from paid or organic traffic sources, and expand the depth of that relationship using Push Notifications.

ProductHunt - Product Hunt is a website that lets users share and discover new products. Users submit products, which are listed in a linear format by day. Product Hunt uses push notifications as a way for them to bring the community together to support new launches and interesting innovations. This grows their engagement from their highest-valued and consistent contributors.

YouNow - a live streaming service used by 15,000+ broadcasters every day increased retention by 19% and they saw a 5% increase in time spent on the platform with users who came through web push.

Web Push Notification Best Practices for Setup & Usage - Karima Wagner


  • Typical/wordpress: Leverage the out of the box pre-prompt options (Slide prompt, subscription bell, custom link)
  • Custom Setup: give the users power to pick their own topics or frequency at which they prefer to get messages. Respect their choice by not sending irrelevant messages
  • General: prompt at relevant times (user browsed a certain number of pages, certain products..), Make sure to explain the value that the users will get out from subscribing. Add your logo with the slide prompt

Web Push Best Practices:

  • Content, always send relevant content, think of your push content the same way as SEO, use the right keywords, keep it short so you’re taking into consideration different screen sizes
  • Personalize (Segment, tags), users are more likely to click on your message if it’s tailored to them vs mass automated messages targeting everyone
  • Emojis, use relevant, clear meaning emojis, but don’t over do it
  • Media, include relevant product images, anything visual that conveys the reason they need to check out your message
  • Time, consider time zones, user active time on your platform, general user trends on your platform,
  • Localize by device language, it drives higher clicks
  • A/B test, the best way to understand what works for each campaign
  • Analyze to measure and identify what works and what doesn’t, you can do so by integrating with your Analytics platform, or leveraging outcomes

Read more on 6 Best Practices for Push Notifications in 2020, and Best Practices for Web Push Notifications - The ULTIMATE 2020 Guide!

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