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What to Look for When Choosing a Push Message Service

Angela Stringfellow

Push messages are an important way to increase user engagement. In fact, push notifications enjoy twice the click-through rate of regular emails. As such, developing a strategy and roadmap to improve business outcomes with push notifications is part of a successful marketing campaign. Once the strategy is laid out, the only question that remains is which push message service to use.

What is a Push Message Service?

Users use different services through a variety of different devices. These can include smartphones, such as iPhones and Android phones, iPads and other tablets, Windows or Mac computers, Linux devices, and even different browsers. Each of these touchpoints has its own push notification protocols, standards, and methodologies.

A developer creating push message capability for an application will have to connect with each of these ecosystems. In addition to that, there are many nuances in each of the ecosystems the developer needs to be cognizant of. This makes the process difficult and time-consuming.

Push message services integrate all the different platforms, allowing developers to make use of the single service to accomplish all their push notification needs. For example, Google Firebase, OneSignal, and Airship are just a few of the popular push message services available, but there are many factors to be considered before choosing a push message service. The following sections elaborate on what to look for when selecting a push message service for your application.

Available Platforms

The Apple Push Notification service (APNs) is required to send push notifications to Apple devices. Similarly, Google service is required to send push notifications to Android devices, and the same goes for other platforms with their own services. The push notification service should aggregate all the platforms you require, as subscribing to different services for different platforms defeats the purpose of using a push message service in the first place. This is the most important factor to be considered when choosing a push notification service.

Ease of Integration

The push message service should integrate easily with the platform your application is built on. The application may be built with Flutter, any of the JavaScript frameworks, or Python with different backends and databases. API-based services can be integrated easily and can be managed with code.

Campaign Management

The push message service chosen must also have an intuitive UI with the capability to manage multiple campaigns from a single console, including the ability to create drip campaigns and sales funnels. The dashboard must also have different key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be tracked to determine the success of various campaigns, and be accessible to different kinds of users, such as developers and marketers.

Testing Ability

The efficacy of push messages should be tested with different statistical techniques, as this will help to understand the engagement metrics. Testing also helps to improve future campaigns and messaging. A/B testing is one of the most popular testing methods employed, although the push messaging service should provide a variety of testing capabilities.

User Segmentation

All users of an application are not alike. For starters, they vary a lot in terms of demographics and psychographics, and the push messaging strategy employed should be different for each type of user. Effective campaigns rely on segmenting users and multiple strategies to easily send messages to different user segments.

Scheduling

Users respond to messages sent at different times, and developers and executives can’t just sit around and wait for the ideal time to push their message through. To resolve this, the push message service must have the capability to create messages in advance and then send them at a scheduled time. Messages could also be triggered with the use of webhooks.

Portability

Integrating user information with a push messaging service means a lot of data is uploaded with the service provider. If the provider doesn’t allow for the transfer of data, you’ll be locked-in with their service and potentially subject to exorbitant prices. In such instances, if you decide to switch to a different service provider, you’ll have to start again from scratch as all the previous data will be lost. Before confirming and signing up with a push message service, ensure the platform allows interoperability and data portability.

Support

Customer support is a key factor in making a purchase decision for any service, and a push message service is no different. Your marketing team and developers rely on the service to promptly deliver the messages to your users, and having a robust infrastructure to deliver the messages is critical. The push message service should also be able to quickly troubleshoot and fix issues without severely affecting the business.

Pricing

Different services have different pricing models. Some may charge based on the number of users or they might have a fixed subscription charge. There are also services that charge only for the bandwidth you use, so you’ll need to review the different pricing plans and choose the one that best fits the needs of your application.

The push notification service you choose must balance the different factors mentioned above and any other specific considerations your application might have. Whatever your needs may be, MagicBell offers an easy to implement push message service and notification inbox to ensure a consistent notification experience across all the different channels.

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