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Wingify, maker of Visual Website Optimizer, a conversion rate optimization (CRO) tool that helps its clients improve sales and lead generation via their websites, is announcing the launch of Pushcrew, a notification services that will allow anyone with a website to send push notifications to users via web browser. Wingify has previously been profiled in VentureBeat’s research on conversation optimization as one of the market’s most full-featured CRO vendors. Pushcrew is a separate but related tool — with the potential to capitalize on a number of inflecting trends in the mobile app marketplace.

As a marketer, why would I want to send push notifications to someone’s browser? Isn’t that invasive?

It turns out that users like push. The tactic carries way better baseline engagement rates than, say, email — which still remains the most tried and true marketing tactic today. Pushing to a browser isn’t completely novel — there are a number of companies offering a similar service on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox — but what’s unique about Pushcrew is that it will work on literally any website. “We are the first and only ones to come up with the unique HTTP implementation both for desktop and mobile websites,” Paras Chopra, founder and CEO, told me. “Otherwise this technology is only available for SSL-certified, HTTPS websites, which limits the use case. With PushCrew, absolutely any website can get up and running with push notifications in less than a minute.”

They’re also strictly opt-in based. No website can send you push notification unless you opt into their updates, according to Chopra.

Pushcrew notification example

Above: Pushcrew notification example

For mobile apps, there are many established players in the app marketing and mobile enablement space, which is a $100+ billion dollar opportunity — with companies like Kahuna, Parse, and Urban Airship. However, for websites, this space is relatively new and the potential reach is huge, considering a few things: App inventory is way up, but users aren’t installing apps at the same rate. Sending notifications on a mobile website means that small businesses don’t have to invest in building the apps. It’s harder to be an app marketer today, especially if you’re a small publisher. Downloading an app is basically just giving permission to receive notifications. Pushcrew is essentially saying, Why bother with the app when your users probably don’t want it?

“Downloading an app is a big commitment for a user,” Chopra said. “Not only does she gives tons of permission before installing an app, she also commits her precious phone memory. So here’s a friction. In case users don’t want to commit to downloading your app right away, you can simply let them browse your mobile website and easily ask them for permission for push notifications right on your mobile website. And they’re added to your audience list on the mobile space. It actually widens your scope. Now you are not just reaching your app users, but also thousands of others who are fine browsing mobile websites but don’t want to install apps.”

The company’s beta launch is seeing rapid traction — hundreds of customers signed up sending hundreds of thousands of push notifications per day — in just a couple of weeks time.

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