Web push

How to A/B test your push notifications

Last updated - November 23 2023 11:39 PM
Aleksandra Kozioł
Reading time - 3 min
Web push

How to A/B test your push notifications

Last updated - November 23, 2023
Aleksandra Kozioł
3 min Read

Research your push notifications using A/B testing to get the most out of the features available.

A/B testing essentials

Simply put, AB testing allows you to check the performance of different aspects of your message on a portion of your subscribers or followers. Before launching a post or campaign to your entire base, you can create two variants and compare their results. This allows you to pick out the catchiest option.

For example, you can test:

  • the best subject line for mailing or newsletter

  • the perfect picture for a social media post

  • the optimal sending time of any marketing campaign

Consistent testing is especially important at the beginning of a journey with any channel in your arsenal. This includes web and mobile push.

web push notification example ecommerce ab test

time for shopping web push notification

Why should you A/B test push notifications?

Push notification consists of short content, an even shorter title, and additional elements like action buttons and a large image. It may seem that there's not much to test. But contrary to this, there's much opportunity to test and improve both web and mobile push.

Thanks to employing A/B testing you can:

  • improve CTA and increase the number of subscribers actively engaging with your offer,

  • build subscribers' loyalty and bolster their sympathy for the brand,

  • make sure that the tone of push notifications fits with your tone of voice even in a short form.

The testing process is easy and intuitive. It won't take much of your time and the results will be presented in a comprehensive form. But first, you have to come up with a plan.

A/B testing your push notifications

The first step to successful A/B testing of push notifications is fairly obvious. You need to have a plan. Define what's to be tested and to what end.

As a rule of thumb, testing one parameter at a time is better. This will show you the exact aspect that improves CTR ratings without the guesswork and choosing between several changes.

The next thing is picking the target group for your test. The number should be representative so that you can extrapolate the results to the whole targeted group. A sample that is too slow will be statistically void. But on the other hand, if you decide to test your variants on a large scale, it can interfere with the general results of your campaign - when the less clickable version reaches too many subscribers.

system ab tests web push

Elements to test in push notifications

Many parameters can impact the results of a push campaign.


Words have power - some more than others. That's why you can see the results of:

  • different message lengths - maybe you'll do better with the absolute minimum of letters. Or perhaps your subscribers like it better when more details are included in a push.

  • urgency - test different keywords to emphasize the haste, like "Buy now", Limited offer" and so on. Alternatively, if you run a news portal, try 'Breaking news' or other iterations of 'This just in'. experiment with the best possible combinations, both in text and graphic cues.

  • emojis - see how your subscribers react to additional icons in your messages. Correctly used, they can even help you save space. Your mileage may vary, depending on your audience's age. 

  • tone of voice - make sure that your messages fit the overall tone of your company, even in the shortest form. Experiment with humor but don't try to be the funniest person in the room - the joke can be easily lost on your audience.

Additional elements

A picture can be stronger than a thousand words. It matters even more when the number of words is limited.

  • large image - experiment with the content of your promotional graphics. Ensure they fit with your website's overall image guidelines, color palette, and so on.

  • action buttons - you can see if they work better with a message and experiment with their titles.

  • expire date - examine how long the message should be displayed before it expires.

A/B testing in PushPushGo

We've made our testing feature as simple and comprehensive as it gets. You can see the results when the test ends and the winning message is sent automatically to the desired group.

You can find the comprehensive guide to our A/B testing feature here.

web push a/b testing

If you have any more questions, contact our team at hello@pushpushgo.com.

author photo
Aleksandra Kozioł

Content Specialist @PushPushGo

Editor and writer. She is interested in media and new technologies. 

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