Guide to Push Traffic: Everything You Need to Know

Reading time: 5 minutes

Push traffic can be thought of as a marketing plot twist.

The average internet user is no fool, and quite frankly, they’re sick of ads popping up everywhere and invading their screens. That’s why so many of them have developed banner blindness or actively unsubscribe from emails, install ad blockers, and even invest in premium accounts to avoid ads altogether. 

This has made it increasingly difficult for advertisers to reach more of their target audiences, regardless of how well-established they are. However, push traffic is the answer to banner blindness and avoidance, which is why all advertisers should pay attention to it.

So what exactly is push traffic and how does it benefit advertisers? Consider this your quick and simple guide. Keep reading to learn more.

What Exactly Is Push Traffic?

Push traffic (or, push notifications), isn’t exactly a new phenomenon in the digital advertising world. This type of notification is actually more than a decade old, but it was only four years ago that push notifications became a favored ad format among advertisers.

Essentially, a push notification is a short, media-rich message that pops up on users’ screens to encourage them to engage with the page they’re on. More specifically, it’s a way to get users to subscribe to an email list, create an account, or agree to receive texts or other messages about the brand in question.

Of course, before they were ads, push traffic showed up as mobile phone software notifications or app notifications. For example, “you have a new message,” “install software update now?” or “Get half off now on X app.”

Let’s just say that if you have a smartphone, you’ve seen a push notification or two. You’ve also likely been prompted to allow certain apps to send you push notifications. 

Even now with push traffic being used for advertisement purposes, they still take on the same form — white or gray boxes with “allow” and “dismiss” buttons. More specifically, there are several types of push notifications out there:

  • Browser push notifications. These allow users to opt-in to receiving content and news without having to install a specific app. Of course, if the user chooses to accept, they’ll receive browser push notifications even when they’re not on your website.
  • Messenger push notifications. This type of push traffic will send certain content like videos, GIFs, PDFs, and so on to iOS audiences. This is one of the most basic types of push traffic as it’s unique to your mobile phone’s built-in apps.
  • App push notifications. App push notifications are sent to users for certain apps even when the app in question is not in use. Android users are automatically subscribed to these types of notifications upon installing an app whereas iOS (Apple) users typically have to opt in first.
  • Mobile push notifications. Mobile push ads deliver notifications to users’ locked screens. Mobile push ads generally cover most built-in apps on a mobile device and users must enable these notifications through their settings first. They can also choose whether they want to receive the notifications on the lock screen, as a banner, or as an alert icon that sits on top of the app prompting the user to open it.

Mobile and browser push traffic are arguably the most popular types. They’re also commonly used together in ad campaigns as they’re designed for different environments.

What Do Push Ads Look Like?

You likely have a general idea of what push ads look like. They typically resemble your basic system notifications, but more importantly, they include three key components: Media content, text, and buttons (usually allow and deny buttons).

Here’s a little bit more detail on what push ad units look like with these components in mind:

  • Media content. Media content push ads refer to images, GIFs, or videos. Push ads may be implemented in a text-only style, however, the entire concept behind media content is to make the aesthetics of the ad more attractive to users.  
  • Text. The text component is usually kept short and sweet, containing no more than 250 characters and taking up minimal space. More often than not, this text is meant to provide a link to lead users to the main page with an offer or a full description of the products or services being advertised. 
  • Buttons. Buttons are often integrated into push ads (although they’re not mandatory) for the user’s convenience. Buttons are mostly designed to allow users to take action upon an offer, such as downloading the app, applying a discount code, or sharing the content with another user. Much of the time, buttons also include text for permission to send notifications or save certain user information.

Generally speaking, push traffic that includes one or all of the above components is suitable for several advertising purposes, from direct messaging to content delivery to successful subscription acquisition. It all depends on the message you want to convey.

What Are the Benefits of Using Push Ad Notifications?

According to recent statistics, mobile device users receive approximately 46 push notifications per day, garnering an average opt-in rate of 85% for Android devices and 51% for iOS devices. It suffices to say that the primary benefit of push traffic is seeing a higher ROI.

Let’s review all the benefits of push notifications:

  • Real mobile traffic. Push ads are sent directly to users with corresponding subscription codes (from their individual devices). This guarantees that only a potential customer will see the message and opt-in — no ad bots or other fraudulent traffic.
  • Guaranteed reach. When a mobile notification or browser notification is sent, it arrives directly on the individual user’s screen, even if they’re inactive. This guarantees that users will see the message no matter what.
  • Better engagement. Push notification ads are designed to quickly move users to an application or web page where they’ll receive special offers, valuable information, and more — which increases overall user engagement.
  • More personalization. When programmatic advertising is combined with push traffic, your message can hit the right customer at the right time. This means more space for personalization tailored to wherever the customer is in their sales journey to encourage them to make a purchase decision.
  • Geotargeting. Push traffic can work for physical stores as part of a geofencing campaign. This allows business owners to target users on the go by delivering ads to passers-by encouraging them to stop in and make a purchase.

What We Think

Push traffic has been around for a long time and traditionally stood to deliver limited content. Now, it’s a way to actively bypass banner blindness and fatigue to continuously reach your target audience — and guarantee that your message is seen. So, if you’re not using push ad notifications in your next advertising campaign, you’re potentially losing out on a lot of valuable engagement and conversions. 

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