Browser Based Push Notifications Explained in Detail

Web push notification helps website owners to push important notifications directly on subscriber’s desktop, mobile or tablet browser.


On a desktop, these notifications slide in at the top or bottom right-hand corner. On a mobile device, it resembles the push notifications delivered by apps.

Type of content received by subscribers include, but are not limited, the following:

  • Promotional: Trending deals, sales coupons, or limited time offers.
  • Information-Seeking: Feedbacks from subscribers or asking for reviews.
  • Introduction: Welcome new visitors or providing offers for first-time users.
  • Information-Provider: Latest blog posts, video, podcast episode or a product update.
  • Reminder: Scheduled flight details or reminding about the abandoned shopping cart.
  • Transaction: Verification about the purchase, delivery, or shipping details.

History: Web Push Notification

Here’s a small time line of the evolution of web-push notifications.

  • June 2009: Apple launched the push service named Apple Push Service (APS) with iOS 3.
  • June 2013: Apple introduced the website push notification with the release of Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) for Safari. The idea was revolutionary because, for the first time, the web browser asked to send push notifications. Without any forms and email address, website owners communicated with their subscribers.
  • August 2013: Google introduced push notification for browsers with Google Cloud Messaging.
  • August 2015: Chrome team released Chrome 42 for Android. It helped users to receive push notifications from Chrome browser on Android.
  • December 2015: Chrome team launched Chrome 48 with custom Call to Action (CTA) button for web push notification.
  • January 2016: Like Chrome 42, Mozilla released Firefox 44 by adding web push support to the browser.
  • August 2016: Mozilla released Firefox 48 with the web push API support for mobile browsers.
  • February 2017: Chrome 56 rolled in with rich push notifications. For Android and iOS, images were pushed on the desktop and mobile browsers.
  • April 2017: For MacOS users, Chrome 59 moved web push notifications to the native notification center. After remaining visible for 10 seconds, the message shifted to notification center for future reference.

Browsers Compatibility

Except for iOS, web push notification works on the following browsers:

  • Chrome 42+ for desktop and Android
  • Windows
  • Firefox 44+ for desktop
  • Firefox 48+ for Android
  • Linux
  • Safari 7.1+ for Mac OS X desktop only
  • Chromium-based browsers

After the Chrome 53 update, the image support feature is available on Chrome browser only. The interactive button is also open for just Chrome web push notifications.  The button limit is two and three for desktop and mobile respectively. As of now, you can’t send Safari notification on iOS.

Push service operates with the help of service workers. It means the only time push notification code runs is when the user responds to the notification by clicking or stopping it. As Apple has changed the Service Worker status from consideration to development, we might see iOS web push support soon.


Advantages of Browser Push Notifications

According to Pushcrew Web Push Notification 2016 report, the average CTR for notifications sent to less than 5000 subscribers was 10.85%. For emails, the average click rate is just 3-4%. For subscribers above 25000, website push notification still maintains a click rate of 4-6%.

Here are some advantages which prove why browser push notifications have a significant advantage over traditional communication channels:

1. No Requirement of the Mobile App

Many users don’t install the mobile app because they don’t want to consume the storage space for occasional purchases. They prefer to access the account via web to complete the transaction. In the absence of mobile apps, websites can engage in real-time with personalized communication. They just need to install the web push code without worrying about the mobile app development costs.

2. Reaching Visitors When They are Not on Your Websites

It doesn’t matter whether your audience is present on your site or not. To receive updates, they just have to be active online on the browser from which they have given the notification permission.

3. No Exchange of Contact Information

First-time visitors shy away from exchanging their contact details. Browser notifications build an engaging communication channel without asking for the email address.

4. Working Across Multi-Platforms

Web push notifications provide real-time updates across all the platforms- desktop, mobile, and tablet. Chrome, Safari, and Firefox mobile/tablet browser market share sumps up to 90.26%. For desktop browser market share, the value is 76.19%.

5. Non-Pushy Tool

Visitors have the final decision to receive the notification. They permit you to share the website updates. One-click subscription makes the opt-in process fairly simple. After clicking on “Allow” when prompted, visitor adds up to the subscriber list.

6. Timely Notification

The message delivers when the users need it the most. People spend less time checking their emails than browser surfing. So, the urgent emails get buried under the stack of unimportant emails. With web push notifications, subscribers receive the right message instantly and thereby, the conversion rate increases.

6. Capture Larger Mobile Audience

After comparing top 500 mobile apps and top 500 mobile web properties, 2017 U.S. mobile app report concluded that the mobile web tends to capture 2.2 times larger audience than the mobile apps.

Why is it Effective than Email Marketing?

Time is money. This phrase, quoted by Benjamin Franklin, gives a competitive advantage to the push notifications due to their timely updates. Email still holds importance, but it’s not the single communication channel. For building a healthy relationship, keep yourself updated by understanding the message urgency levels and users’ tolerance levels.

Here are seven strong reasons why push notifications deserve a chance in front of highly praised traditional email marketing strategy:

1. Quick Process

High converting emails require catchy subject headlines, persuasive copy, and attractive visuals to grab the attention. Web push notifications are a short yet useful tool for converting visitors into subscribers.

2. Hard to Ignore

Emails might remain unopened in subscriber’s primary inbox or stay neglected in the spam folder. Web push notifications are eye-catching. They just appear on the screen as soon as the lead collector hits the send button.

3. A massive drop in Inactive Accounts

If a person subscribes from an inactive email account, lead becomes useless. With lower open and click rates, user engagement drops. For receiving web push notifications, subscribers don’t provide any email address. They just give permission from their browsers on which they remain active during the work hours.

4. Better Understanding of User Behavior

Inactive email list users add up the subscription costs. They never unsubscribe, but either ignore the emails or delete them. With push notifications, users have lower patience levels.

If you don’t add any value, they turn off the permission instantly. On the one hand, you get the clear picture about your subscriber’s behavior. On the other hand, you have to be selective while sending the push message.

5. Higher ROI

If you have a strong campaign, overall return on investment (ROI) is higher for push notifications than email marketing campaigns. Higher average open rate results in higher engagement. Therefore, more opportunities open up to convince subscribers to become paying customers.

6. Less Crowded Tool

In 2015, over 205 billion emails were sent in a single day. The figure is expected to reach over 246 billion by the end of 2019. The giant number reflects how crowded our email inbox has become. How many website push notifications did you receive in the last one month? Not many, right? This is the right time to utilize the power of web push notifications.

7. Stress-Free Environment for Subscribers

Email subscribers are always worried about their privacy. Even after unsubscribing, lead collectors might sell their email address to the third party. In web push notifications, the browser handles the permission. So, no one can’t buy, sell or transfer the subscribers’ details.

List of Top Web Push Notification Services

Here are the list of top web-push notification services.

1. OneSignal

OneSignal provides cross-platform push notification delivery for free. They aim to make push communication accessible for everyone. Without spending a single penny, you are free to send unlimited push notifications from unlimited devices.

Despite providing the free setup, they are trusted by companies like UBER, Adobe, CISCO, and many others. They claim to cover 1.1% internet sites with 1.2 billion daily notifications.

2. PushCrew

PushCrew saves time with the easy-to-use and well-designed user interface. The simple setup helps website owners focus on their business expansion by leaving behind all the technical confusion. Trust from 2500+ companies comes from great features like multi-website and multi-user support, notification scheduling, targeted and personalized push notifications, and big image support.


They have separate plans and pricing for freelancer, startup, SMB, and enterprises. Startup plan is free up to 2000 subscribers with both HTTP + HTTPS support and no mobile push notification.

3. Aimtell

Aimtell is another popular web push notification service. You just have to download their WordPress or Shopify plugin and set up your account within few clicks. Once visitors become your subscribers, Aimtell groups them based on their visit dates, geolocation, page views, and custom events.


Their pricing structure is too easy to understand. There is no specific plan. The price varies with the number of push subscribers. You also have an option to experience their framework with 14-day free trial.

4. FoxPush

FoxPush claim to have over 15 Million websites’ subscribers and an average CTR of 20%, a huge number to accomplish. Like other service providers, they provide support for all the popular platforms like Android, Firefox, Opera, Mac, and Windows.


FoxPush survey is an interesting addition where you receive real-time feedback on your product, features, and services. Their basic plan is free for up to 50,000 subscribers with a cap of 1.5 Million notification per month.


Wigzo provides smart marketing automation and personalization solutions. They stress on the trigger, segmentation, and personalized based browser push across mobile and web. By analyzing customer behavior, they aim to focus on customer engagement and growth.


The setup is free from complicated integrations and technical inconvenience. They believe personalized notifications lead to at least 25% increase in clickthroughs as compared to generic notifications. Their startup plan is free forever for up to 500 subscribers.


Web push notifications have taken the personalization to a new level. In today’s marketing automation phase, web developers have devised a useful tool to provide timely updates and analyze the users’ behavior through advanced segmentation.

With a single click, product/service providers communicate with their prospects at the right time with the right message. This magic happens on the desktop and mobile devices.

For receiving the notifications, your audience doesn’t need to:

  • Download a mobile app- Freedom from storage problems on the mobile device.
  • Share their email and other contact details- Freedom from security concerns.
  • Be on your website for receiving the notification- Freedom from wasting time to visit a website for extracting essential updates. Notifications come to your audience with ease.

The future developments will bring web push notifications closer to the native mobile apps. There is a lot of scope for further advancements in turning the web’s role as a platform for apps.

This is just the beginning; there is a lot more to come.