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With more consumers using smartphones on a daily basis than ever before, it’s crucial for businesses to leverage strategies to reach them through the devices that they take with them everywhere. Push notifications are one of the most effective means to reach smartphone users and improve customer engagement and retention. An added advantage, push notifications also work across different platforms like mobile OS, desktop OS, and browsers. Fortunately, there are a variety of free push notification services as well as some open source push notification services worth considering to help developers and marketers execute push notifications with ease.
Creating push notifications that work on all those platforms, however, is complex and time-consuming. Push notification services have emerged to simplify this problem for marketers and developers. Some push notification services are built by ecosystems and others by aggregators. We’ve discussed the best push notification services for developers in a previous post. In this post, we’ve focused on identifying free push notification tools and services that you can use to implement push notification capability for your application, even when you’re working with a limited budget.
Some of these services offer free tiers with limited volume or features, while others offer generous free trials that make them worth trying out to see how an investment in a paid tier can produce a return on investment. Note that the free push notification services and tools below are listed in alphabetical order; otherwise, they’re not ranked or rated in any way.
AeroGear is an open-source and cloud-native mobile application development platform. It has a wide range of applications, including one for sending push notifications to iOS and Android devices. It supports segmentation and sending targeted messages to categorized groups. It also supports various backend applications for the same mobile app.
AirNotifier is an open-source solution to send notifications across platforms like Android, iPhone, iPad, and desktop browsers. Features include an API, admin UI, access token, logging, etc. You can integrate the service within your application without incurring any cost. If you need a hosted solution for your push notifications, paid options are available. Contact the developers to learn more.
Appgain is a customer engagement platform that prioritizes push notifications. The service is available for web, Shopify stores, point of sale, and mobile apps. It supports video push notifications, retargeting, tracking, omni-channel messaging, and automation. The service is free for up to 30,000 monthly active users.
Apple pioneered push notification technology. APNs is the service developers need to have for sending push notifications to Apple devices. The service is free for developers who have registered with Apple. With APNs, developers will be able to send push notifications to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS devices. The free service is a must-have for any developer that needs to reach users in the Apple ecosystem.
Catapush promises guaranteed delivery of notifications across various mobile platforms. You can send real-time messages and have access with real-time status tracking for delivered messages. The service also has SMS as a backup option if push notifications cannot be delivered. Catapush has API support and extensive documentation to help you implement it. The service is free to use for the first 12 months within prescribed limits (100 monthly active recipients).
CleverPush is a service that integrates app-based push notifications, emails, and SMS to users. In addition to that, you can also integrate Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and wallets to send notifications. CleverPush offers features like split testing, segmentation, URL shorteners, SDKs, and machine learning tools, and it’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Yespo(previously eSputnik) offers advanced multichannel marketing solutions to build and retain a loyal customer base. This is supported by web push, mobile push, emails, and SMS. Yespo also plans to expand messaging capabilities via Viber, WhatsApp, and Telegram, and it also has custom AI solutions to improve revenue. Web push notifications from the service are free for up to 25,000 contacts.
FCM is part of Firebase cloud services from Google. The free service from Google helps to send notifications across various platforms. A simple to use console and APIs provide many capabilities to developers and marketers, such as message targeting, customized messages, A/B testing, etc. FCM can also be used without writing any code.
FirePush is a marketing automation platform dedicated to Shopify stores. It offers SMS marketing and email marketing solutions in addition to push notifications, as well as tools to reach users effectively and grow your Shopify store. The service is free for up to 250 contacts.
Gotify is an open-source notification solution written in the Go programming language. The service can be self-hosted without incurring any charges for notifications, and it also has API-support, making development easier. Detailed documentation for the application is available at the Gotify website.
Gravitec is an automated content delivery platform, and its core capability is sending push notifications across all devices. Another key selling point is the easy set-up procedure that takes less than 10 minutes. You can use Gravitec to send unlimited notifications to 10,000 subscribers.
LetReach is a website push notifications solution that helps you re-engage your users, even when they’re off-page. The service also has tools to drive repeat traffic to your website. It also supports mobile browsers in addition to web browsers, and it has features like multiple opt-ins and notification customizations. LetReach is free forever for up to 2,000 subscribers.
With MagicBell, you can send push notifications, in-app messages, and emails with smart delivery options to deliver messages to users. Users can choose their own preferences, allowing you to cater to their needs by notifying your users wherever they are and how they prefer. You can also batch messages. The service is free for up to 100 users, so you can experience MagicBell’s easy, seamless way to manage push notifications before you buy.
Notification Button focuses on websites, offering tools to convert visitors to subscribers and transform subscribers into customers. You can also segment subscribers and deliver personalized notifications. Commonly used by e-commerce stores and agencies, Notification Button is completely free for up to 3,000 subscribers.
Notix is a service that delivers push notifications from websites, with tools to engage users and convert cold traffic to hot leads. Notix guarantees a high conversion ratio and the ability to monetize your user base. It has a strong API platform, statistics capability, and time zone management, and it’s free to use for up to 30,000 subscribers.
OneSignal is a prominent notification aggregator. Users will be able to send push notifications across different platforms, as well as SMS and emails, making it a well-rounded tool for all messaging. OneSignal offers many capabilities including A/B testing, API service, analytics, segmentation, and personalization. On the free tier, developers can send 1 push message, email, and SMS to an unlimited number of users.
PushAlert is focused on delivering push notifications from websites without the need for mobile applications. It has a track record of high opt-in and conversion rates, helping businesses convert website visitors into subscribers. PushAlert also supports push notification personalization, and it’s free for up to 3,000 subscribers.
PushAssist is another push notification service for websites. It is simple to set up and offers many tools to engage website users. PushAssist is active on more than 14,000 websites with a high click-through rate of 20%, and it supports all major browsers across platforms. It’s free until your website reaches a limit of 3,000 subscribers.
PushBots aims to make push notifications hassle-free, reaching all your customers on mobile or desktop. The tools provided with PushBots can be used to understand user behavior, retention and engagement. It’s easy to use for both developers and product managers, and it can be used to send unlimited push notifications to 1,000 monthly active users forever free of charge.
Beams is the push notification service from the messaging integrator Pusher. It helps deliver push notifications with scalable delivery, security and insights and supports various platforms like Android, iOS, and Web. The Beams libraries are available in numerous programming languages, and it’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers.
PushMonkey is primarily a push notification system for various web platforms. Some of the platforms supported by PushMonkey include WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Magneto, Wix, and others. Its key feature is its simple integration with any platform, and it’s free for 100 subscribers across five different websites. You need to pay only if your user base increases beyond the free limits.
PushNinja offers push notification capabilities across all web platforms, with features like real-time web push notifications, behavioral triggers, and hyper-personalization. Templates and customization options, scheduling, and other features help you create a personalized experience for your users. PushNinja has a free tier for sending up to 1,000 messages every month to 10 users.
PushOwl is yet another conversion tool for Shopify stores with a focus on push notifications. It has eCommerce-focused features like abandoned cart reminders, back-in stock alerts, and campaigns. PushOwl has a free tier that can be used for up to 500 impressions every month.
PushWizard has a different business model from other notification services. It can be used to send free push notifications, and you can also monetize your website or application with the help of PushWizard. PushWizard monetizes subscribers using advertisements, and application developers get a cut of the revenue.
Pushy is a reliable push notification platform used even by large consumer brands. The application has support across platforms and can auto-scale back-end infrastructure to accommodate dynamic requirements. The service can be easily integrated with the SDK and has extensive developer-friendly documentation. The service can be used to send free push notifications to up to 100 devices.
SendPulse has a web push notification service in addition to its core services. With it, you get the capability to send push notifications across different browsers and devices. It also supports push message automation. SendPulse can be used to send unlimited push notifications to 10,000 users free of charge.
Simple Push is a push notification service from the stable of Simple apps that’s dedicated to Wix websites. It aims to help you convert one-time visitors into loyal customers with abandoned cart notifications, notifications about new blog posts, and more. It’s free to use as long as you have the premium Wix plan.
Simplepush.io provides an easy way to send push notifications to Android and iOS platforms with an API or third-party integrations. There is no sign-up required to send notifications, which are end-to-end encrypted for security. You can send 100 notifications per month for free with Simplepush.io.
The push notification service from SmartPush distinguishes itself with an innovative pricing model. There are almost always push notifications that end up undelivered for various reasons. With SmartPush, you need to pay only for the messages that are delivered to users, which can be quite cost-effective. The service also has a free tier for sending up to 200,000 delivered messages every month.
Subscribers supports push notifications for desktop and mobile platforms, with smart options like time zone-based targeting and advanced scheduling. With guaranteed push notification delivery, Subscribers can also be easily integrated with other websites and platforms such as eCommerce platforms. It’s free for up to 200 subscribers.
TTITANPush can be used to send push notifications to mobile and desktop devices, with a focus on websites. In addition to sending notifications, it also has strong integration with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. It also has a wide range of tools to increase conversion rates and engagement.
Truepush works with an innovative business model for sending unlimited push notifications for free. It’s supported by ads, and you can also monetize using Truepush. The service has many features such as segmentation, visual dashboard, trigger-based push, and RSS to push.
Uniqush is a free and open-source software for sending push notifications to all mobile devices. It is a standalone server program that you can host on your own server. The code repositories are available to download at GitHub.
Webpushr is a platform exclusively for web push notifications. It supports all popular browsers including Chrome, Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Firefox and provides features like custom prompts, in-browser messaging, and analytics. Webpushr also gives added emphasis to data privacy and ownership, and it’s free to use for up to 10,000 users.
For developers who prefer working with open source software, there are some great open source push notification services to consider. Here's a selection of some of the leading open source push notification tools:
With MagicBell, you can implement a complete notification system – complete with a notification inbox – in under an hour. With intuitive tools to create and customize in-app notifications, push notifications, and email notifications from a single platform, MagicBell also syncs notifications across devices to ensure that users don’t receive the same notifications twice.