Push Notifications

Push Notifications vs Native Ads: Which Should You Pick in 2022?

By October 26, 2022 No Comments

Digital marketers and website owners constantly look for the best strategies to reach their target audience. There are so many strategies and tools to help in the creation of precise ads. According to statistics, ads are the most powerful ways to reach potential customers. If an ad isn’t suited for the target audience, it will perform poorly.

Deciding the best bet between push notifications and native ads is often a subject of debate among marketers. Native advertising is evolving and greatly improves the way potential customers perceive a brand; on the other hand, push notifications contain sufficient content to drive powerful traffic. As businesses continue to re-evaluate their marketing motives, the needs for each strategy may be independently implemented or fused to spark more powerful marketing results.

Irrespective of your views, the mode of advertising depends largely on the goal. With so many creative formats, technologies, platforms, and tools to use, it is essential that marketers remain open-minded to improve their sales strategies. Whether the goal is to drive awareness of a product, encourage audience engagement, generate leads, or drive sales, the methods of marketing approach are expected to differ.

This article is a must-read if you want to understand better what push notifications and native ads are. You will learn how both strategies differ and how you can evaluate your marketing objectives to know which would be more effective.

Native ads – what are they?

If you watch videos on YouTube, you must have encountered those 5 to 20-second advertising videos. YouTube ads are a great example of native ads. Other great examples include Facebook ads and Instagram ads.

The purpose of native ads is to reach people interested in the products or services offered. These ads may be in the form of sponsored blog content or as a post in social media feeds. Native ads are commonly referred to as “masters of disguise” because they are so subtly placed in a platform that users might not quickly tell that they are ads.

The representation of native ads is often structured so that it won’t appear alien in the user’s feeds. Just like a YouTube ad looking just as a YouTube video would. When marketable content that crosses the users’ interest naturally hits their feeds, the resultant effect is significant, boosting Click-Through Rates (CTR).

eMarketer recorded a 39.4% increase in 2021 native ad spending as marketers invested over $118.72 billion. This amount is also perceived to grow by 17.6% this year and 13.9% in 2023.

What are the goals of native ads?

Before taking on the native advertising approach, marketers must evaluate their objectives and define the metrics affecting their goals. Analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) is also important to ensure that the key metrics are followed in the most specific order.

Some general goals of native ads include:

  • Drive sales
  • Boost audience engagement
  • Increase brand awareness

Advantages and Disadvantages of Native Ads

There are many benefits of leveraging native ads and several disadvantages. A marketer must weigh these pros and cons before deciding if the native ad approach is best for a particular advertising objective.


  • Can be easily optimized: Native ads are not generic in their approach. To publish a native ad, you would have to tweak the preferences to suit your target audience and exclude other people that may have little interest in what you are offering.
  • Attention-grabbing: Because native ads are integrated naturally for interested users, it is often difficult to miss. Depending on the headline or creative used, the user’s attention is almost certain. This explains why native ads receive 53% more viewership than other forms of advertising.
  • Boost brand trust: It is easier for your target audience to trust you when you present solutions to existing problems via native advertising. Due to the tailored approach of this type of advertising, users can easily approach the advertiser’s business to make inquiries.
  • Improved click-through rates and better campaign performance: Native ads have high converting potential. They are 40 times more likely to be clicked than other forms of advertising. Also, due to the consistent optimization and retargeting techniques, interested users can quickly act on it.


  • Can be too complex to manage: If you are not versatile with the tools and metrics involved in making successful native ad campaigns, you will leave a lot on the table. Native advertising can be very complicated and confusing. It might not be easy to do a successful retargeting, gauge performance, or decide which tool is best to use.
  • Time-consuming: Native ads require a lot of time to create, optimize, and launch. Not only would you have to spend time defining your objectives and testing the best tools to execute them with, but you would also have to ensure that these tools align with the terms of the platform hosting the campaign.

Push Notifications — What Are They?

There isn’t a specific definition of push notifications. Marketers have coined various terms to describe it, including personalized messages, rich notifications, and actionable messages. They all define push notifications as short messages randomly popping on a user’s device, urging them to take action.

Display ads requiring you to sign up for a newsletter when you visit some websites are another form of push notification.

Push notifications are a great way to keep people that engage with your products updated with your offerings even when they are busy checking out what’s new. For instance, the above description shows a push notification for a new feature in a graphic design application on a mobile device.

Marketers that use push notifications can easily customize their ads to fit the situation. They can include short messages, images, links, and other forms of media that are perceived to encourage the best response from the audience.

What Are the Goals of Push Notifications?

Just like native ads, the objectives differ. They can be used for various purposes, including the following:

  • To encourage user engagement with products and services
  • To provide real-time updates to the customers
  • To retain new customers through notifications about simple solutions, features, and advantages
  • To encourage users to make in-store purchases or take similar actions

Advantages and Disadvantages of Push Notifications

There are also several benefits and setbacks to push notifications, including the following:


  • Enhanced visibility: This is one of the major benefits of push notifications. It brings the marketing message instantly to the face of the users or website visitors who might be too busy to check emails or scroll through social media.
  • Analytics is easily measured: You can easily track the metrics of your push notification campaigns, like conversion rates, clicks, read time, delivery rates, and segmentation. This is possible because many push notification tools come with easily manageable analytics that can also be connected with Google analytics.
  • Returning customers: Push ads cleverly reach out to users that have interacted with them, even after leaving the site. Other forms of adverts, like native ads, would only interact with users that remain on the site hosting the ad.
  • Less time-consuming: Push notifications are fast and principally time-saving. They can be automated and also scheduled to appear at the best times.
  • High engagement rates: Push notifications generate quick responses and high engagements. It keeps the advertising content in front of the audience until an action is taken — click or swipe.


  • Easily skipped: Since some users might not be interested in the content of a push, they seemingly will skip or ignore the message. 
  • Not suitable for certain ads: Since push notifications tend to be brief, they might not be able to carry certain types of ads that may require more details.

Push and Native Ads — The Similarities and Differences

There are different reasons to run a marketing campaign. However, the most significant reason is the need for more reach. This is where native ads and push notifications take a similar route. Nonetheless, they’re many other similarities between the two advertising concepts.

Some similarities include the following:

  • Enhanced reach to the audience
  • Quick response rates
  • They both grab the attention of prospects.

Major Differences Between Push Notifications and Native Ads

  • Enhanced user consent on ad display: Users can choose to permit push notifications based on the primary motive when they visit a website. This means they will receive ads based on consent instead of open permissions, as with native ads.
  • Instant reach: Push notifications are designed to reach the audience in real-time. In the case of an app installed on the phone or when a user is online, a push notification will get to them simultaneously. On the other hand, native ads are tailored to a particular platform and would not reach the target audience until they start scrolling through the specified platform.
  • Time-controlled targeting: Push notifications are masters of automation. They are designed to reach out to prospects at different times. Depending on the prospect’s time zone, they can receive tailored notifications best suited for their zones. Native ads, on the other hand, are often open once published until the end of the campaign.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Native ads are cheaper than push notifications. However, the latter offers higher value as it is capable of completing wide outreach longer than native ads.
  • Personalized for the user: Depending on the objectives, push notifications can be customized to reflect the target user’s level. For instance, if a user exits an app without completing an intended purchase, a push notification might pop up with a shopping cart emoticon reminding them of the unfinished transaction. Native ads, on the other hand, depend on existing platform templates to tweak objectives.
  • One-click action: A user can primarily access the details of push notifications in one click, for instance, by clicking the “allow button on a website” without filling in any rudimentary forms. On the contrary, most native ads would take the user through a series of pages and opt-ins in a funnel before action is achieved.

The Bottomline

You shouldn’t underestimate push or native ads unless your marketing objectives are more hinged on one than on the other. Both forms of advertising clearly have their strengths and weaknesses; we cannot deny that they are consistently evolving.

However, the potential of push notifications is strongly hinged on the desire to keep your business in the face of your prospects. This explains why many big businesses are shifting towards the disruptive technology of push notifications instead of regular native ads.

Nevertheless, the overall motive of your marketing would largely determine the best strategy you should choose. 

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