How to Use Push Notifications with WordPress

mobile push notifications on wordpress

All marketing channels decrease in effectiveness over time.

Even if something works extremely well today, in 6 months it’s going to be performing worse than it is today.

It’s not that your marketing messages are bad.

We simply get tired of getting information in the same way over and over again.

How many of the email newsletters you’re subscribed to do you actually read each week? If you’re like me, probably a very select few.

Your social media posts are being seen by less of your audience than ever before thanks to Facebook algorithm changes meaning you need to pay to play.

Luckily, there are still ways to get a message straight to your users.

Email is one of these ways, but you can expect click-through rates that are rarely higher than 4%.

This is where push notifications come in.

They’re relatively unexplored by many brands, and they can be extremely effective. They’re a direct, clear way to show a message directly to your website and app users, on their desktop or phone screens. it’s a privilege that not many marketing messages can have.

With some push notifications getting up to 40% this is not a channel you should be ignoring!


Getting Started with Push Notifications

Using Push Notifications on your WordPress website isn’t hard.

Firstly, decide why you are using them. If you don’t have a good reason to use them, don’t – there is nothing worse than receiving notifications that we don’t care about.

Then, choose a push notification provider.

There are several high-quality push notification services whose systems are compatible with WordPress and even have their own plugins.


Which push service should I use?

While there are several good options, choosing the right one for you depends on what you need them for, your budget, and more.

Here are a few of the major players that will likely work well on your site. Not all of them have a dedicated WP plugin, but they won’t be complicated to set up even without one.


How Do I Send Push Notifications?

Step 1) Setup

You’ll need to integrate your push notification provider with your WordPress site. They’ll all be slightly different, however, they’ll all be relatively simple to setup correctly.

OneSignal, for example,  have a step-by-step guide on how to integrate your OneSignal account with WordPress, which is the ideal place to start.

Step 2) Building your subscriber list

Once you’ve set up your integration, you can start sending push notifications to your subscribers.

Like an email list, your site visitors will need to opt-in to receive your push notifications. You’ve probably seen the opt-in panels before.

Push Engage data shows web push notification opt-in rates ranging from 5%-15%.

In comparison, the average email newsletter subscription rate is only 2%.


Step 3) Send them!

Now for the fun part – sending push notifications to your subscribers!

You’ll need to follow a few best practices when sending push notifications, otherwise, your subscribers won’t stay for long.

A few of these best practices to remember when sending Push Notifications include:

1) User segmentation

You can’t just send them to every subscriber and expect a good response.

If you own a news site or app and want to engage your users with notifications, you’ll need to split your audience up. Everyone has different interests, such as sports, technology, politics, local news and more, so you need to give them the option to only subscribe to certain categories.


2) Use multimedia

Push Notifications lets you use images, emojis, and link to videos.

Make use of these and you’ll see higher CTRs than you would with plain text push notifications.

In fact, using emojis can boost CTRs by 25% in some cases.

Of course, the emoji needs to fit the tone of the message. Don’t include them if they’re not there to fill a purpose!

Remember, your subscribers can change their minds and unsubscribe if you annoy them with your notifications.


3) Send at relevant times

One of the most important parts of push notifications is that they end up on someone’s smartphone screen.

Smartphones connect their users with the world – they use them to learn about breaking news, chat to friends, make purchases, and more.

We’re used to receiving them when they’re relevant – for example:

  • You want to know about the WhatsApp message from your best friend now, not in 30 minutes.
  • You expect to hear the result of your sports team’s result when it happens, not the next day.
  • If a promotion starts on your favorite eCommerce store, you don’t want to hear about it when everything is already sold out.

If you want happy, engaged subscribers, make sure your push notifications send as soon as they can. If your users aren’t receiving them at times that are relevant or expected, they’ll lose trust in your brand and start ignoring your notifications — or worse, unsubscribe.



A key factor: Mobile Push Notifications

An important factor to note here is that when you set them up on your WordPress site, they won’t work for iOS users.

Web push notifications still aren’t possible in iOS 12, and there appear to be no plans for Apple to implement them in the near future.

To send mobile push notifications to your iOS users, you will need a mobile app.

Apps don’t need to cost tens of thousands of dollars and take months to build anymore, thanks to services like MobiLoud or using a DIY app builder.

Not all businesses need an app, and your push notification strategy can still be effective without an app, but if you want to grow on mobile, you will need an app sooner or later.



Your Push Notification marketing strategy is going to let you drive real-time traffic to your latest content and most important pages for your users.

Not many brands are taking full advantage of this new marketing gimmick, so you have a chance to start using them now while they’re still extremely effective.

Eventually, newer tactics might replace them – but for now, push notifications are the best way your message and brand straight to your audience’s smartphone and computer home screen.

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Madalin Tudose

A web developer with a crush on SEO. Having my skin in the game of website development and digital marketing for more than 10 years already, you might consider me an expert. At least this is what people call me. Honestly, I HATE that term. I prefer to describe myself as a person who takes action and risks. I test every hypothesis, document every step of the process, and implement what works.