How To Set Up Push Notifications in WordPress (*For Free)
Marketing your website is hard, we all strive to attract new visitors, and of course, retain them. Email marketing is a great way to reach out to your readership, getting them to sign up via email? Hell, that’s a whole new battle.
If you’re anything like me then getting constantly inundated with requests to sign up for deals on newsletters etc, when visiting websites can be cumbersome.
Sure there are pros at marketing and getting you to sign up via email, maybe you’re at the stage already and have a healthy email readership and you’re getting email subscribers daily, great for you.
My guess is you’re in one of three camps, you are getting plenty of subscribers via email, you’re not getting enough or indeed are looking for a new way to reach out to readers.
Hopefully, this review of Subscribers.com will help you attract and retain visitors
What is Subscribers.com?
Subscribers.com is a service created by Neil Patel and his team at Neil Patel Digital, Neil has been named one of the top ten marketing experts in the world according to Forbes and is seen as a leading influencer in the world of digital marketing.
Subscribers.com is a *Free service which allows you to set up push notifications for visitors to your website.
What are push notifications?
They are a way to notify visitors of new content on your website, visitors can choose to allow notifications upon visiting your website. See below for an example image of how a push notification sign works:
As you can see from the above I have used the Firefox browser as a way to demonstrate how a push notification works.
Currently, push notifications only work with the following browsers:
Chrome (desktop), Firefox (desktop), Safari (desktop), Opera (desktop), Chrome (Android), Firefox (Android) and Opera (Android).
Seeing as the above browsers (both desktop and mobile) are extensively used worldwide getting subscribers to your push notifications aren’t going to be a problem.
How do you get Push notifications to work on your WordPress website?
Well, this is where Subscribers.com comes into play. The whole process of setting up Push notifications is incredibly simple and *free to do.
It’s two-pronged affair, firstly you will need to sign up over on Subscribers.com. Don’t worry you won’t need a credit card or anything like that.
Signing up is free and easy to do.
Once you have signed up via email you will need to go through a verification process to ensure the site requesting the set up is in fact yours.
Again very easy to do, in fact, there are a number of different ways to verify your site for Subscribers.com they are:
In the WordPress back-end you just need to search for a plugin called (funnily enough) Subscribers, see below for what it looks like:
Simply search for it and install it like you would any other WordPress plugin.
Once you have installed the Subscribers plugin you will be greeted with the following screen:
This enables you to add in your site ID to verify that your website is yours. The site ID is on the Subscribers website just copy and paste.
Once your done copying and pasting simply save changes then head back on over to Subscribers.com to verify your site. It only takes a few seconds.
Note though, if you’re using a caching plugin, clear out your cache to be on the safe side and get verified.
Sending your first welcome Push notification
Once you’ve verified your website with Subscribers the fun stuff can start. So let’s get back to Subscribers and let me show you how to set it all up.
The above shows the admin panel for Subscribers. It’s here you can schedule push notifications and offer a welcome message and more.
Let’s look at the Welcome Drip, the image above is actually of the Welcome Drip section. I’ve already created a Welcome Drip for new subscribers.
As people visit your website and subscribe to your push notifications you can, in fact, send them a Welcome notice or in this case a Welcome Drip.
You’ll have to excuse the duplication of the set up your Welcome Drip box, it’s the screenshot software I used, this box slides down with the content. Sorry!
Anyway, this section deals with your welcome push notification, it’s here you can add a name for your campaign, choose an image (will be resized to 72px by 72px) the image will be displayed alongside your push notification.
The second box deals with the actual message you wish to send. I’ve simply put one thanking people for subscribing, along with a short message and of course a link back to my website.
Here you can set the time you wish to set the push notification to be sent, I have it set at immediately, however you can tinker with what works for you.
Also note, you can, in fact, add more push notifications that are sent to new subscribers, they will only be sent to new subscribers, not existing ones.
So, for example, you could send them a push notification in minutes, hours or days. A great way to get in touch with your visitor and notify them of something of interest on your website.
Or if you wanted to you could send them a push notification for a deal or offer on another website that you have built a relationship with, making them a unique offer etc.
What about tracking Welcome Drips?
Push notifications do have a shroud of anonymity to them, obviously, you won’t have their email address or name, but you can still take a look at what is working and not working in terms of your Welcome Drips:
As you can see from the above this will tell you how many people have been notified, how many clicks and a click-through rate or CTR.
Sure, I’ve not got many subscribers yet, but I’ve only started using Subscribers.com Tuesday the 17th of April, it’s now the 19th so that puts things into perspective!
Site settings in Subscribers.com
This section deals with the verification of your site and lets you set a default image to be sent with your notifications, just in case you forget to add one when scheduling a push notification.
Also, there’s an API you can use I know nothing of API’s so will not cover that I’m afraid.
Prompt settings in Subscribers.com
This section deals with how soon you want to notify a visitor of your push notification sign up, you can set it to 0 for an immediate notification or set a delay.
Send a notification to your subscribers
Here is where the meat of what you will be doing resides. It’s here you can add a title for your push notification, the message you want to convey and of course the page URL.
There’s a handy selector in the URL that lets you choose HTTPS: or HTTP depending on the link you are sending and of course whether the page has HTTPS enabled.
You can also upload a logo, or small shot of the article you are submitting, just remember it will be resized to 72 px by 72 px.
Quick note: Just tried a GIF to see if I can make it a bit more interesting when it pops up. Whilst a GIF will display on the post settings screen, it will not display on your actual push notification. It will display OK, but it will not be animated. Shame. Oh well!!!
Once you’ve added your text an image there is another section you might want to use, which is the UTM tracking section.
Here you can add a UTM source, UTM medium (i.e. push so you know that traffic to your site come from the push notification) and lastly a UTM campaign name so you can check to see what campaign specifically had the most impact.
You can schedule the push notification to go at a later date if you wished, simply choose a date and a time. You can also change time zones so you can hit the right people at the right time.
Under this section we have a preview button which will preview the push notification on your machine, it will only be displayed to you. Of course, you have to accept push notifications from Subscribers.com for this functionality to work.
Subscribers Dashboard – tracking and stats
It’s in the dashboard section you can see how many subscribers you have, how many unsubscribes you have, it’s date based and handy to know.
Under this we have notifications performance, here you can see how well your previous push notifications have performed.
I did a couple of tests to make sure it works then sent one out with an offer on the MyThemeShop WordPress store, receiving one click on the 18th of April out of 2 sent. For the record, the click wasn’t me either!
So push notifications do actually work!
Free I mentioned that a few times, what does it mean?
Funnily enough using Subscribers.com is free to do, however, I did notice when researching this platform one thing.
It was a user on WordPress.org who mentioned something that caught my eye:
They are quite correct, there is a page for pricing. However, it’s not made clear, not clear at all. In fact, the page is still there, and you cannot really locate it unless you access it directly.
Yeh, I know right? Billed itself as free, but there is a cost associated with it. Which is fine, just make sure people know there is a cost associated with using the platform.
It is misleading to bill it as free. When there is a price in place.
I’ve signed up and added to my website, no credit card information has been taken nor have I been asked for any. So I’m not 100% sure where this pricing page comes into play, and if it ever will.
It has put me off slightly in truth because it’s not clear. Perhaps Neil or someone from his team can clarify this with a comment and let people know.
If you'd like to take Subscribers.com for a spin, by all means sign up and give it a whirl. Just be forewarned on the pricing side of things.
Subscribers.com Push Notification Service Review
- Features - 10/1010/10
- Ease of use - 10/1010/10
- Cost - 1.5/101.5/10
Subscribers.com Review Verdict
In truth, I was loving this platform for obvious reasons. It's easy to use and could help generate more interest in new content, raise awareness of your brand and more. The pricing has struck me though. Is this free or not?
There is conflicting message throughout the site. Either it's free or it isn't!
I've marked the review score down on the cost basis, if there is clarification on the pricing structure then I will adjust accordingly.
Incredibly easy to use
Up and running in 5 minutes if that!
Unclear pricing structure we need to know if this is free or not!!!!