Push notifications in vertical portals. AVT Publishing House and PushPushGo

AVT Publishing House utilizes web push on various vertical portals. In our new interview, we're asking Szymon Narożniak, Head of the Online Department in AVT, about implementing push notifications on several projects, adjusting sending strategies to different groups of readers, and his opinion about working with PushPushGo.

Can you tell us about yourself and your position in AVT? 

Of course. My name is Szymon Narożniak. I’m a Head of the Online Department in Wydawnictwo AVT (AVT Publishing House), a publisher of a dozen vertical portals. “Vertical” means a substantive website dedicated to specific, niche categories. Our most popular title is “Zielony Ogródek”, the biggest gardening portal in Poland. Others worth mentioning are “Budujemy dom” (construction), “Czas na Wnętrze” (interior decoration), and “Kto Cię Wyleczy” (holistic medicine). There are more niche magazines, like audio.com.pl (for audiophiles)  or “Estrada i Studio” (for musicians and music producers) addressed to people interested in those particular areas. There’s also “Perkusista” magazine for people playing the drums. Depending on the category, our portals gather different crowds: from a large and fast-growing group of gardening fans to more niche categories. The “Perkusista” and “Estrada i Studio” I mentioned has a smaller group of users interested in a very particular subject matter. This is a more modest audience, but more refined - in the good sense of the word. They are specialists and hobbyists, who come to our site to learn more and read about subjects they are familiar with and passionate about. Often they reach our portals through Google search, looking for answers to a particular problem they encountered while assembling their gear, building, or tending to their garden. 

As the Head of the Online Department, I’m responsible for the online part of our activities. It grows more and more and becomes substantial. We’re also publishing traditional magazines in print, with the portals serving as their online substitutes. But we’re trying to digitalize further and move our services online. 

When did you introduce push notifications?

To be honest, it was a long time ago and it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact date. I’ve looked at my old e-mails and it must be about 5-6 years ago. 

What made you decide to take that step? 

When we were starting our cooperation with PushPushGo, not many portals employed push notifications. We were monitoring the appearance of web push wondering how it works, and what effects it has. Then PushPushGo approached us with an offer and we took our chance. This is how our cooperation began. Together with PushPushGo, we’ve explored the field and implemented this form of communication. You might say that it was curiosity and chance that brought us together. After a while, the substantive, professional aspects became crucial in this cooperation. 

How did the implementation go? Did you encounter any difficulties? 

The PushPushGo implementation process is extremely easy and takes just a few minutes of work for an IT specialist. We had maybe one or two questions to ask concerning some minor details. It’s very easy and quick. The implementation of the web push on all our portals took about a day and we launched them everywhere at the same time. 

How long did it take to see the first results? 

At first, when we were learning how to use the tools, we had help from PushPushGo specialists. Due to the number of our websites, it took a while before we saw the positive changes and learned how to use web push to its full advantage. It was a matter of three to six months for our quite large company. I suspect that in a case of a smaller entity with a single website, it might be as soon as two weeks to start seeing the benefits. 

Did you notice any differences between subscribers on different portals? Are there differences between drummers and gardeners when it comes to using web push? 

Yes, certainly. That’s why it took so long to learn how to use web push. You can’t use the same strategy on all portals. In some titles sending push campaigns daily - or even a few times a day - brought an impressive effect. In other cases, this frequency achieved fewer clicks and more unsubscribing. It shows that each topic has its characteristics. I won’t discuss all of them here. You need to try various techniques on your site. Sometimes the more web pushes the better, but not always. The time of day is crucial. Different automation scenarios can bring good results. In time, as with many other tools, you can find the best way to make the most of the channel.  

How would you describe your experiences with PushPushGo? 

I have very good experience working with PushPushGo. 

It came as a surprise that web push works better than our newsletters. It gave our marketing a huge boost and now it’s a very important tool in our marketing operations. 

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