Push Notifications were pioneered by Apple in 2008 and since then it has become an inevitable feature. No matter what type of mobile app you’re building, be it an Ecommerce app, social media app, or a mobile game, there’s a 99% chance that this feature will included in mobile app development.
Now, there are lots of push notifications services available and in this blog, we’re going to list 5 best push notifications services. But, before we get into the subject, let’s get over the basics first.
What is a Push Notification?
Push notification is basically the delivery of information from an application to the smartphone devices without sending a request.
Simply put, the mobile app installed in a smartphone doesn’t need to be launched to receive push notifications. Unlike pull notification in which the user must send a request in order to receive information from the server, push notifications are originated directly from the server.
Importance of Push Notifications
It goes without saying that smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. We use different kinds of apps for different purposes.
In fact, the number of smartphone users has grown drastically over the past few years. Just take a look at the below statistics.
The above graph clearly proves that push notifications have become indispensable in mobile apps.
If you really think about it, push notifications help us a lot in our everyday lives. For instance, they always keep us up-to-date whenever a new email hits our inbox or someone comments on our latest Instagram picture.
But that’s just one side of the coin. The other side, the important one, is knowing when to send push notifications on your users’ smartphones.
Get this — If you use push notifications in the right manner, it can improve your user retention & engagement ratio. But if done wrong, they can appear as annoying, interruptive, and can increase app abandonment rate.
You see, most users don’t like an abundance of notifications. And if they receive too many notifications from an app, they are likely to turn them off or in worst case…delete the app itself.
Therefore, you need to carefully plan the time span of push notifications.
3 Tips on How to Use Push Notifications Effectively?
Here are a few ways, you can use push notifications to your advantage.
- The first thing to consider while integrating push notification services in your mobile app is to allow users to manage the frequency of push notifications in your mobile app. This will help you keep users from uninstalling your app.
- The second and the most important thing to remember is to send only really important notifications. For example, sending a push notification about limited time offers during a specific time span.
- Lastly, as we stated before, avoid sending abundance of push notifications. This will either make them turn off your app’s push notifications entirely or they’ll delete your application. So, it’s better to provide an option to enable notifications that users are interested in.
So, now that you have the idea of what push notifications are and how to use them effectively, let’s move to the main subject of this article.
5 Best Push Notification Services
Push notification services have been around since the past 10 years, so there is a vast variety available in the market. In addition, the number of push notification services keep on rising, making the task to pick the right one difficult.
For example, you can find over 50 push notification services in this list only.
But for this article, we’ve shortlisted 5 best push notification services, which we’ve used personally in a few of our client’s mobile app development projects.
Let’s check them out!
1 — Amazon SNS
Amazon SNS (Simple Notification Service) was launched in 2010 by Amazon. The main goal of the company was to provide a single API which would allow sending push notifications to multiple platforms — and it does.
This is how Amazon SNS works:
As you can see, the Amazon SNS works as an intermediate between popular notification services like GCM, MPNS, APNS and users’ devices.
Simply put, Amazon SNS uses a device token in order to create a mobile endpoint so that you can send push notifications to users.
Advantages of Amazon SNS:
- Clear Pricing Strategy — $0.50/million notifications
- Flexible Trial Period — First 1,000,000 notifications are free.
- In-depth documentation — it answers all questions and is organized in a very convenient way (using images, tables, and graphs).
- Cross-Platform Support — It allows sending push notifications to multiple platforms like Andoird, iOS using a single API.
2 — Urban Airship
Urban Airship is a mobile engagement platform company founded in 2009. The platform combines multiple functions like push notification services, targeting features, in-app messaging, and analytics.
It is one of the oldest and among the best push notification services out there.
Advantages of Urban Airship:
- Cross-Platform Support — It supports both Android & iOS platform.
- Great Pricing Policy — Starter plan is completely free. Basic is $99/month and you can also opt with a custom plan (45 days free trial period).
- Personalization & Segmentation Options — It allows to create rich, interactive, automated push notifications with location triggers.
- Throughput is Great! — Around 300k messages/second.
On top of all these, Urban Airship also offers the most comprehensive documentation for developers to use.
3 — Firebase Cloud Messaging
Firebase Cloud Messaging or FCM is a mobile development platform that offers multiple useful products such as cloud storage, real-time database, machine learning development kit, crash reporting system and push notification services.
Just like the push notification services mentioned above, Firebase allows to send rich, targeted, automated push notifications with full content customization and A/B testing functionality.
The best part is, Firebase Cloud Messaging is open-source so you can use it with no limits.
4 — Accengage
Accengage was founded in 2014 and offers a suite of tools to help marketers increase mobile app engagement. And in addition to push notification services, Accengage also provides mobile app tracking technology, mobile retargeting solution, and is connected to various third-party analytics tools.
Now, Accenage may not have a long history like Urban Airship, but the company has global brands like Disney, Nestle, Orange as their clients.
Advantages of Accengage:
- Personalization & Customization Tools — It allows to target specific audiences.
- Support for iBeacon & Geofencing — Allows you to send location-based notifications.
- A suit of Additional Tools — Multi-platform & Multi-language messages, A/B Testing, Deep linking
5 — Push Woosh
Push Woosh is a push notification services company founded in 2011. It offers a variety of tools for sending mobile and web push notifications along with in-app messaging, campaign performance analysis, and more.
Advantages of Push Woosh:
- Reasonable Pricing Policy — Free plan (up to 1000 devices), Starter plan (5000 devices for $42/month), Business Plan (up to 30K devices for $126/month), and Enterprise plan (custom price for above 30K devices).
- Free Trial Period — Push Woosh offers 14-days free trials with no credit card required.
- Additional Tools — Multi-platform & Multi-language support, Segmentation, in-app messaging, private cloud.
There you have it!
The 5 best push notification services to consider in your next mobile app development project.