Web push notifications Vs Email – Which one is better?

If you’re someone who sells stuff online, chances are you might have heard of, or even started using, web/ browser push notifications as a legitimate and cost worthy re targeting channel by now. Despite being relatively new in the marketing sphere, its popularity has picked up to the point of drawing comparisons to more traditionally powerful players in the game. And, that is exactly what we’re going to do today.

We decided to take Email, a perpetually popular marketing channel, and see how the new kid on the block holds up against it. Can it reach the same levels of engagement and relevant personalization for the user? Are the two channels mutually exclusive, or will using them in tandem result in an ideal marketing strategy?

But first things first. For those of you still in the dark, what are web push notifications?




Essentially push notifications that speak to your users on their browsers, instead of through an app, Web push notifications aim to send hyper personalized information to a hyper segmented user demographic. Their chief advantage, however, lies in the immediacy of their nature. Take a look at how they work




Emails are universally held up as the ideal marketing channel, but it’s pretty obvious how Web push notifications hold the edge over emails atleast when it comes to providing timely updates. While emails might lead the way when it comes to visibility and reach, their primary objective is not to serve as a marketing channel that prioritizes time as a criteria.

This is maybe why they’re more commonly associated with post-purchase tracking and follow ups, as well as promotional information and marketing campaigns, but not quick or time-specific re-targeting purposes.

People have specific times when they check their emails, probably two or three times a day, which makes it a bad choice to hit your users with time-limited offers via email. Push notifications are the next obvious choice, but do they have the reach of an email? Half your users may not even have your app installed, preferring to access their account via browsers to make their purchases. So, how do you optimize your marketing campaigns and personalized notifications?

Combining the visibility of emails with the brutal efficiency of push notifications is no mean feat, but browser push notifications may have just about managed to do that. It’s ability to be instantaneous makes it the most effective channel to run ads on flash sales, or follow up quickly with a dropped-off user and engage quickly with website frequenters in general. While the long lasting nature of emails might make it better for information exchange, a well timed and hyper personalized browser notification is more likely to draw the user back to your site to complete an unfinished purchase.

See how it stacks up against email in terms of subscribers and engagement rate.




Potent Combination?

So which one should you pick, email or BPN? Well, instead of viewing it as a matter of this or that, the clever thing to do is take the best of both worlds to create user specific decisions. Personalizing the actual content and timing of the message is well and good, but picking the right channel to execute it should figure equally high on the list.

While user segmentation may be a great way to group users with similar characteristics into broad categories, a clever marketer should ultimately be able to notice the subtle distinctions that make each shopper inherently unique, creating the need for personalization and content curation.

Not only do various users react differently to the same notification, the responses might also vary depending on where a particular user is on the purchase cycle. A shopper who has arrived at the product page but then dropped off, presumably due to the price, might be tempted if he’s hit with a quick browser notification informing him of  a holiday discount that brings the product down to his price range.

While Email could be the preferred medium to communicate discount and sales information not limited by the constraints of time, or generally interact with a layer of sophistication, Web Push Notifications are most effective when it comes to announcing real time offers aimed at getting the user return to the site within a particular time frame. A well timed Web push notification followed up with a relevant email could well do the trick in most scenarios.

An email might go hours or even days unopened, while browser push notifications are infinitely more immediate. Knowing which from which, and when to utilize it, is the ultimate litmus test.




So what do you think? Can Browser Push Notifications and Email complement each other if used cleverly in tadem? Write back to us at with your thoughts or leave a comment below.


Learn more about browser push notifications

5 myths around Browser Push Notifications Busted

Tackling website drop-offs : Re-engage users with browser push notifications

All that you must know about Browser Push Notifications

Browser Push Notifications: The new kid on the block

Smart e-commerce hacks : Price drop alerts

Browser Push Notifications for E-Commerce

Engaging your users with browser push notifications

What NOT to do while sending out Browser Push Notifications

Email vs Browser Push : Not really apples and oranges

Are Browser Push Notifications a good fit for your business? Ask our E-Commerce ROI calculator

The Most Comprehensive (1).png


To know more about  Browser Push Notifications, push messages and retargeting visit our website


About the author

A thousand years from how, all things I say and do will fade into obscurity and become irrelevant, just like this bio'

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *