Web Push 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, website push notification as a legitimate and cost worthy retargeting 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 use 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?

Web Push : Introduction

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

Emails are universally considered as the ideal marketing channel. However, web push notifications hold the edge over emails for providing timely updates. Emails might lead the way when it comes to visibility and reaches. However, their primary objective is not to serve as a marketing channel prioritizing time as a criterion.

Emails marketing are more helpful with post-purchase tracking and follow-ups, as well as, promotional information and marketing campaigns. However, it is not much efficient for quick or time-specific re-targeting purposes.

People check their emails probably twice or thrice a day, thus hitting your users with time-limited offers via email a bad choice. Push notifications are the next obvious choice, but they lack the reach of an email? Half your users may not have your app installed, preferring to access their account via browsers to make their purchases. So, how to optimize your marketing campaigns and personalized notifications?

Combining the visibility of emails with the brutal efficiency of push notifications is no mean feat. However, browser push notifications just managed to do that. Its 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 browser push notifications? 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. However, picking the right channel to execute it should figure equally high on the list.

User segmentation may be a great way to group users with similar characteristics into broad categories. However, 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, but 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.

The email could be a preferred medium to communicate discount and sales information. However, it is not limited by the constraints of time or generally, interact with a layer of sophistication.

Web Push Notifications platforms are most effective when it comes to announcing real-time offers aimed at getting the user returns 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.


Can Browser Push Notifications and Email complement each other if used cleverly in tandem? The answer to this is a yes. Once synced with each other push notification with email can help us drive even more conversions.

For any queries you may reach out us at marketing@vizury.com

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