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In preparation for the SAP Emarsys Summer Release (arriving on October 20th), I’d like to introduce some of the new features we will be including. 

Today’s topic: Web Push.

What is Web Push?

Web Push notifications, also known as browser push notifications, are messages that are sent to a browsers rather than a device, and appear on the recipient’s desktop, even if the browser is minimised. If the browser is closed, the message will be queued until the browser comes online.

It is a fantastic tool to drive traffic to your website.

This channel has another major advantage in that the contact does not need to submit any personal data to opt in - permission is managed by the browser settings.

The most popular desktop browsers are supported: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera. In addition, any browser that supports VAPID key authentication is expected to work. For mobile devices, Android mobile browsers are supported, but not iOS (see the FAQs below). For a full list of supported browsers and their versions, see our integration guide.

How does it work?

There are 2 main components to implementing Web Push, the web SDK and the service worker.

  • The web SDK is used to request push permission from the browser user and match them with their contact records in Emarsys if they are logged into the website.

  • The service worker manages the push message once it is received. 

When a contact visits the website, the web SDK is initialised. The contact is then prompted to provide push permission. If accepted (i.e. they has opted in), the push token is sent to Emarsys via the web SDK.

Now you can include the contact in your web push campaigns strategy, including for segmentation and automation. Whenever the contact logs into their online account on the website, the web SDK can be used to map the browser user to a contact record in Emarsys, thereby allowing personalization to be used in any future web push campaign.

Note: Messages can only be sent if the contact has enabled push notifications in their browser settings, and cannot be used in incognito mode.

Why have we developed this feature?

We developed this to give marketers the chance to engage with contacts via the most commonly used technology to consume content - Internet browsers. Once the contact has logged in to your site, you can message them directly, even if they have moved away from your site and are browsing elsewhere.

Use cases include:

  • Entice contacts back to your website with product offers

  • Keep contacts up to date with their orders, news and/or interests

  • Enhance your service offering by providing information to contacts when online

Want to know more about Web Push?

That’s about all I can say about this in a single blog, but you can always follow this up.

If you have any comments, please respond to this post, or ask us a question.

If you are an SAP Emarsys customer 

Please make sure to join one of our upcoming release webinars:

You can also read up on our product documentation.

If you are not yet an SAP Emarsys customer  

You can learn more about Web Push here, speak to your SAP Partner Manager, or request a demo. 

Frequently asked questions

What happens after the contact has navigated away from your website? Will push notifications still be shown?

Mostly, yes. Once the contact has been identified after visiting your website, Web Push messages can still be displayed after they have navigated away - even if they have closed that browser tab. However, the browser needs to be active. It can be minimised and the push notification will still be displayed on the desktop.

There are two exceptions to this behavior:

  • If the browser is closed, the notifications will be stored and displayed the next time the contact opens it. The length of time the message can be queued is dependant on the browser and operating system, as the message is queue by the browser and not Emarsys.

  • If the contact logged out of your website before leaving, they will not receive any notifications.

Can I import tokens from a previous provider?

Yes, but we strongly recommend not to. For the reasons why, please see the article Migrating from a previous provider.

If the contact previously accepted push permission, will they need to accept again when we transfer to Emarsys?

No. When the user accepts push notifications, the setting is saved for the domain on the browser. When the user revisits the site after the implementation of the Emarsys SDK, the push token will be sent to Emarsys (there will not be pop up message requesting push permission).

If the contact previously rejected push permission, can we prompt them again?

No. If the user has opted out of receiving push notifications, the browser will block the push permission request. It is not possible to override this; you will have to re-engage them on a different channel.

Can I use personalisation with web push campaigns?

In short, yes. Web Push is integrated with the Emarsys Personalisation Service.

Can I add web push to my automated programs, such as abandon basket?

Yes. Web Push is integrated with the Emarsys Automation Centre and Interaction programs, so you can add it to your automated programs as an additional channel. However, currently it is not possible to include product details from the product catalog in the content of the push campaign, so for abandon basket campaigns, the content would be more general (e.g. "you left something in your basket").

How can I found out how many contacts have accepted web push messaging?

The simplest way would be to create a segment where the criteria would be "Web Push = TRUE"

I sent a campaign with a banner image and action buttons, but not all were displayed. Why?

Banner images (the larger image of the campaign) and action buttons are not supported on certain browsers and operating systems. For example, Chrome supports banner images on Windows but not Mac OS. The rest of the campaign will still be received and displayed, but not the banner image.

If you are using action buttons, it is important to set a default action for the web push campaign so users are still able to be redirected to your website when clicking anywhere on the campaign.

How long does the implementation of Web Push take?

It depends on the complexity of the website, but it is not a large undertaking. We have seen it implemented on a small test website within an hour. Clients with large complex sites have taken a couple of days to get to the testing stage.

Does Web Push work on mobile browsers?

On Android, yes - on iOS, no. This is something that Apple does not support. If you are interested in mobile app push notifications, please refer to our Mobile Engage documentation.