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Video: How to Use Website Notifications to Share COVID-19 Updates

by Workshop Team   |   Apr 16, 2020

Our latest video discusses using website notifications—including sticky bars and popups—to let your customers know you are looking out for their best interests during COVID-19. When implemented properly, website notifications help share any new measures you’re taking and important updates with your audience. And luckily, there are tools out there that simplify this process.

Watch the video below—or read the transcript—to learn more.

Good morning everybody. I wanted to share with you a couple quick tips and easy tools you can use to keep your website visitors updated and informed on how your business is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and measures you're taking to protect your staff, and your teams, and your customers—or patients, or clients—to keep everybody informed and up to date. And then how this messaging can evolve as the pandemic unfolds.

Obviously, we're going to have to start to message about reopening things or new measures that you're taking in your business—whether it's retail, or service-based business, or on-site with clients—[and] reassuring people that you are aware, that you are concerned for everybody's safety. And that you're taking steps to make sure that you're practicing safe social distancing, observing any regulations or guidelines that are in place, and so on.

So, let's jump in and I'll show you a couple quick examples and then how you can set them up quickly yourself. The first example is what we call either a sticky bar or a notification bar on a website. It's simply a bar that pops down from the top of a user screen—or sometimes at the bottom—and it allows you to really quickly grab their attention with a short message and potentially a call to action or a click through to learn more or gather more information.

Sticky bars are a perfect example to build confidence that you are aware of the situation and are making sure that your customers know you're looking out for their best interests.

In this case, this client wants their customers to know that they are still open and that they have taken safeguards and put measures in place to keep both their employees and their customers safe. This is a perfect example to build confidence that you are aware of the situation and are making sure that your customers know you're looking out for their best interests, while you're also able to take care of their immediate needs—whether it's an electrical or plumbing issue in this case—and you're still open. They've also backed this up on their website when you click through to a page that has a lot more detailed information as well. So, for a lot of people they just want to know that you're open. For more people, they're going to want to understand exactly what you're doing to take precautions. This is a great place to message to your customers. That's the sticky bar or notification bar example.

Another example is very familiar to us: this is a popup. It could be a popup, or an interstitial, or a modal unit, or window—it goes by a lot of different names, they're all the same thing, essentially—but it's a notification that popups and kind of grays out the background of a page and allows you to communicate an important update. And similar in this case, this website is using it to inform their patients and staff, and other stakeholders about what's going on in their practice, when they expect to reopen, and what they can do to gather more information.

Those are a couple examples. I wanted to show how these are built and what you can do very quickly if you need to get this kind of notification up on your website. Our favorite tool for this in the short-term [with a] quick turnaround is a platform called Unbounce. We use it quite a lot for landing pages. They also have what they call a popup and sticky bar tool. Popups are essentially those website models or interstitial windows, and sticky bars are the notification bars that drop down from the top of the page. With Unbounce, they make it really easy to create these notifications, embed them on your website, and use them in real-time, essentially, to notify your visitors of what's going on. You can also change the messaging—you can use them during normal times to improve conversion rates—but for now, they’ve become a really handy tool to get the message out quickly without having to do a lot of heavy coding on your website.

And it is very simple. Once you're in the Unbounce tool—and this is something we can help you with if needed—there's a way to define where you want to target: so the website you want to show the sticky bar or the popup on. And then also you can set triggers. So if you don't want to annoy your visitors—you don't want to show it to them on every single page or every single visit—you can define how and when those visitors are going to see those notifications. Then, it's as simple as copying one line of code and pasting that into your website, or using Google Tag Manager, or anything else that allows you to inject code on your website if you're that savvy.

If not, again, shoot me an email [at andrew@workshopdigital.com]. I'm happy to help diagnose and help you take the next step here. But it also does make it easy for you to start to integrate this into your website without having to do a lot of custom coding and implementation.

So, there you have it. Those are sticky bars or popups or notification windows. You'll see them everywhere now—they're extremely popular. And if you don't know how to get started with one, I encourage you to take a look at Unbounce, or other tools out there that do provide the same service. Let us know how it goes. If you need advice or tips, drop us a line, and we'll take it one step at a time. Thanks, good luck, and stay well.