Web push notifications have become a popular way for websites to communicate with their audience, whether it be to alert them of new content or to promote a product or service. However, there is a debate over the best way to approach these notifications: with a soft ask or a hard ask. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two approaches and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
What is a soft ask?
A soft ask is a more subtle approach to asking for permission to send web push notifications. Rather than immediately presenting the user with a prompt to allow or block notifications, a soft ask might involve using a banner or pop-up to inform the user of the option to receive notifications and giving them the opportunity to opt-in or out.
The idea behind a soft ask is to avoid overwhelming the user with too many prompts or push notifications that they may not be interested in receiving. By presenting the option in a less intrusive manner, it allows the user to make a more informed decision without feeling pressured.
What is a hard ask?
A hard ask, on the other hand, is a more direct approach. Instead of using a banner or pop-up, a hard ask typically involves immediately presenting the user with a prompt to allow or block notifications.
The idea behind a hard ask is to ensure that the user sees the prompt and is given the opportunity to opt-in to notifications. This approach can be more effective in terms of gaining permission to send notifications, but it may also be seen as pushy or annoying by some users.
Benefits of a soft ask
There are several benefits to using a soft ask approach when it comes to web push notifications.
- Less intrusive: By using a banner or pop-up to inform the user of the option to receive notifications, it can be less intrusive and more user-friendly. This can help to avoid overwhelming the user with too many prompts and ensure they do not feel pressured to accept notifications.
- Builds trust: By giving the user more control over their notification settings, it can help to build trust with the website or brand. This can lead to a more positive experience for the user and increase the likelihood of them engaging with the website or brand in the future.
- Better engagement: By allowing the user to opt-in to notifications in a more subtle manner, it can lead to more engaged users. They are more likely to have a genuine interest in receiving notifications and be more likely to engage with them when they are sent.
Benefits of a hard ask
There are also several benefits to using a hard ask approach when it comes to web push notifications.
- More effective: By presenting the user with a prompt immediately, it can be more effective in terms of gaining permission to send notifications. This can lead to a higher number of users opting-in to notifications, which can be beneficial for websites and brands.
- Saves time: By not using a soft ask approach, it can save time in terms of waiting for users to discover the option to receive notifications. This can be particularly important for time-sensitive notifications or promotions.
- Clear communication: By presenting the user with a clear prompt, it can ensure that there is no confusion about what they are opting-in to. This can lead to a more positive experience for the user and avoid any potential misunderstandings.
Drawbacks of a soft ask
Despite the benefits of a soft ask approach, there are also some drawbacks to consider.
- Lower opt-in rates: By using a more subtle approach, it can lead to lower opt-in rates for notifications. Some users may not even notice the option to receive notifications or may not understand what it means.
- Less effective for time-sensitive notifications: If a website or brand has time-sensitive notifications or promotions, a soft ask approach may not be effective as it may take too long for users to discover the option to receive notifications. This can lead to missed opportunities for engagement or sales.
- Can be confusing: Depending on how the soft ask is presented, it can sometimes be confusing for users. If the banner or pop-up is not clear about what opting-in to notifications means, it can lead to misunderstandings and frustration for the user.
Drawbacks of a hard ask
There are also some drawbacks to using a hard ask approach.
- Risk of annoying users: By presenting the user with a prompt immediately, it can be seen as pushy or annoying to some users. This can lead to a negative experience for the user and potentially harm their perception of the website or brand.
- Lower engagement: While a hard ask may lead to more users opting-in to notifications, it may also lead to lower engagement with those notifications. Users who feel pressured into opting-in may not be as interested in the notifications they receive and may be more likely to unsubscribe or block notifications.
- Potential for misunderstanding: If the prompt for opting-in to notifications is not clear, it can lead to confusion and misunderstandings for the user. This can result in a negative experience and potentially harm the relationship between the user and the website or brand.
In conclusion, there are benefits and drawbacks to both soft and hard asks when it comes to web push notifications. A soft ask can be less intrusive and more user-friendly, building trust and leading to better engagement. However, it may lead to lower opt-in rates and be less effective for time-sensitive notifications. A hard ask can be more effective in gaining permission to send notifications and saving time, but it may be seen as pushy or annoying by some users and lead to lower engagement.
Ultimately, the best approach depends on the specific needs and goals of the website or brand. A soft ask may be more appropriate for a website or brand that values user experience and engagement, while a hard ask may be more appropriate for a website or brand that values quick and effective communication. It is important to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of both approaches and choose the one that aligns with the overall strategy and goals of the website or brand.
Combining User Messaging with Marketing Automation.
In the realm of email marketing, there are various strategies to entice new customers. One powerful approach is leveraging automation, utilizing specialized software to send out emails based on predetermined triggers.
Automating your email and push notification campaigns can significantly enhance efficiency by freeing up valuable time for other essential business tasks. Moreover, it provides valuable data on customer segments, helping you identify the most effective strategies for each group.
For those seeking an easy-to-use tool for user messaging and marketing, or those looking to test the waters without committing resources upfront, we highly recommend Cloudmattr – our all-in-one customer engagement platform.