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Choosing the Best Push Notification Service

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Hey Guys,

In this post I’ll be talking about PUSH notifications and how to choose the best PUSH notification service for your app. As most of you know, PUSH messages and notifications are an extremely effective way of increasing user engagement for your app, as you can use them to send all kinds of info to your users, based on the data you have about them. For example, let’s say you have an app that allows people to buy tickets to games taking place in their city. In this scenario, you can use PUSH notifications to alert users about a major game taking place the following week, thereby automatically piquing their interest and increasing their engagement with the app, all without spending a dime.

That’s the impact a good push notification service can have for your app. But the question is, with so many PUSH Notification Services out there, which one do you choose for your app? That’s pretty easy, since you only need to see which one of them offers the most features and the best price.

Given below are some of the more popular PUSH Notification/Messaging Services available in the market. Let’s compare them to see which one of these provides the most bang for your buck.

 

1. Urban Airship:

Best Push Notification Service

Urban AirShip is one of the most popular PUSH Notification Services/Platforms available today. It provides:

  • PUSH Messaging Broadcast capability
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to specific platforms (iOS, Android, etc.)
  • The ability to send messages to tagged devices, i.e. PUSH messages sent only to devices with certain a tag (implemented through code)
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to a particular device, either by entering the device’s UDID, Device Token (for iOS), Blackberry PIN or APID (for Android & Windows 8 devices)
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to device segments (groups of devices created on the basis of their inclusion or exclusion from a tag and/or a location, event, or events)
    Best Push Notification Service
  • The ability to send messages immediately or at a scheduled time
  • The ability to send key/value pairs of data (or extra data) directly via PUSH, from within the Push Composer. (Key/Value pairs contribute to platform-specific payload limits.)
  • The ability to view PUSH message history
  • Support for Rich Text PUSH messages
  • The ability to target and send PUSH messages to a device via location services (needs an Enterprise account though).

The free version of Urban Airship allows you send up to 1,000,000 Push Notifications. Unfortunately they don’t provide any details as to their service’s pricing, so we don’t really know much their service costs.

 

2. Parse Push:

Best Push Notification Service

Parse Push is another popular PUSH Notification Service/Platform that provides:

  • PUSH Messaging Broadcast capability
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to specific platforms (iOS, Android, etc.)
  • The ability to build a PUSH query using the Segment option.
  • Support for Channels – whereby users can subscribe to one or more channels, and PUSH notifications can then sent to these subscribers
  • Support for advanced targeting of PUSH messages -via the ability to create custom queries.
  • The ability to send messages immediately or at a scheduled time
  • The ability to set an expiry time for your PUSH message/notification
Best Push Notification Service
Best Push Notification Service

The free version of Parse Push supports unlimited apps with the ability to send PUSH messages to an unlimited number of users. It allows you send up to 1,000,000 Push Notifications and 1,000,000 API Requests and also provides simple reporting like stats, etc. In terms of pricing, their cheapest plan starts from $199 per month.

 

3. MixPanel:

Best Push Notification Service

Next we have MixPanel, another popular PUSH Notification Service. MixPanel also provides:

  • PUSH Messaging Broadcast capability
  • The ability to send messages immediately or at a scheduled time
  • The ability to send PUSH messages/notifications based on certain events, which you can create using this platform such as ‘log in’ events, whereby all users who log-in to your app after a specific time period, get a particular PUSH notification.
  • Support for User Profiles i.e. the data collected about that user based on the information they provided when they signed up for your app and their engagement with the app itself. This user profile can be sent to MixPanel based on which, PUSH notifications can be sent to that particular user.
Best Push Notification Service

In terms of cost, MixPanel also offers a free to use plan as well as several premium plans, the lowest of which starts from $150.

 

4. Push.io:

Best Push Notification Service

PUSH.IO is another PUSH Notification platform that provides features common to the other PUSH Notification Services we’ve looked at so far such as:

  • PUSH Messaging Broadcast capability
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to specific platforms (iOS, Android, etc.)
  • The ability to send key/value pairs of data (or extra data) directly via PUSH, using the “advanced settings” icon in the PUSH composer.
  • The ability to query different users based on Categories, Metadata, and Location.
  • The ability to send immediate as well as scheduled PUSH messages via an intuitive Scheduled Push Interface that supports natural language like “PUSH in 30 minutes” or “PUSH at 6:30 PM”

PUSH.IO does not offer a free account. Their premium plans are also quite expensive, with the lowest cost account starting from US $99, and that too with a limit of just 25,000 Push Notifications.

 

5. Appoxee:

Best Push Notification Service

Then there’s Appoxee that offers:

    • Rich Text support
    • PUSH Message Previews
    • Support for audience segmentation
    • Support for Rules and Triggers
    • Campaign scheduling support
    • Support for in-app Rich HTML messages, which can be viewed from inside your app, without the interruption of a push notification.
Best Push Notification Service
  • Support for personalized PUSH notifications that are customized based on the user’s data
  • Best Time To Send support – Appoxee’s own self-learning algorithm that analyzes each user’s past app activation history as well as interactions with past notifications to determine when they are most likely to open a PUSH message. PUSH messages are then scheduled to arrive at these optimal times, resulting in higher open rates.
  • Support for automated PUSH messages – Predefined PUSH messages that are automatically sent to customers based on the rules and triggers that you define.
  • Support for deep linking – i.e. the ability to link a push notification or in-app message to a specific page, screen or section inside your app
  • Segmentation based on custom data – whereby you can use your own customer data to segment and target your users as you like. For example, target by account balance, item purchase amounts, user birthdays or any other data point you have on hand.
  • Last Activation support i.e. the ability to identify the last time a user opened your app and based on that send them automated PUSH messages to re-engage them
  • Location/Geo-targeting support – the ability to deliver the most relevant content and offers to user nearby, to get them into your store.
  • OS / Device / Version targeting support – the ability to target users by app version, OS, device type or even screen size.

Appoxee does offer a free account that provides support for unlimited apps and up to 250,000 users, unlimited Push Notifications, and Rich PUSH inbox support. In terms of cost they’re also one of the pricier platforms, with their lowest priced premium plan starting at $500 per month.

 

6. mobDB:

Best Push Notification Service

Then there’s mobDB which offers:

  • The ability to send PUSH notifications to particular devices, either by entering the device’s UDID, Device Token (for iOS), Blackberry PIN or APID (for Android & Windows 8 devices)
  • The ability to send immediate or scheduled PUSH notifications
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to iOS and Android devices
Best Push Notification Service
Best Push Notification Service

Pricing:https://www.mobdb.net/pricing/

 

7. XTIFY:

Best Push Notification Service

Next up is XTIFY which also offers similar features such as:

  • The ability to decide when, where, how often and to whom your PUSH notifications are delivered.
  • The ability to send immediate & scheduled PUSH messages
  • The ability to send PUSH messages based on the device’s location and also based on a specific time frame, for example, send to devices in location A between 3 PM and 4 PM
  • The ability to define the sending frequency for PUSH messages, i.e. the number of times a user will receive PUSH messages per day
  • The ability to send PUSH Messages to users based on their frequency of engagement with the app i.e. based on how long ago the user last installed or opened the app
  • The ability to send PUSH Messages to users based on the user’s frequency of app usage
  • The ability to send messages to tagged devices, i.e. PUSH messages sent only to devices with certain a tag
  • The ability to choose the apps that will receive a notification.
  • The ability to sort your apps by OS
  • The ability to search or sort your apps by name.

XTIFY also offers a free account which allows sending of PUSH messages to up to 50,000 users with a limit of 1,000,000 PUSH notifications, along with rich notifications and deep linking support. Their premium accounts/plans are extremely pricey though with the lowest own starting at $1,250 per month.

 

8. PUSHWOOSH:

Best Push Notification Service

Then there’s PUSHWOOSH, which offers a few unique features in addition to the ones common to most of the platforms such as multi-language support, which allows you to send PUSH notifications in different languages with one click, and they’re automatically delivered to users in their regional languages, based on the device’s locale settings.

Apart from that PUSHWOOSH also offers:

  • The ability to send immediate & scheduled PUSH messages including scheduled sending based on the user’s timezone
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to specific platforms (iOS, Android, etc.)
  • The ability to send a URL along with a PUSH notification, which launches that URL in the device’s browser
  • The ability to send Rich HTML pages via PUSH, which are opened in a web view of your app, once the user opens that PUSH notification. Thus when a user is done viewing this page, he or she comes back to your app.
  • The ability to send custom data via PUSH, so you can pass any additional JSON data in a {“key”:”value”} format in the PUSH notification, which can be used for deep linking.
  • The ability to send PUSH messages to select groups of users, via the application of filters that you define.

PUSHWOOSH also offers a free account which supports up to 5 apps, 1,000,000 devices, unlimited Push notifications and Rich HTML pages. Their premium plans are the cheapest in the group, with their lowest plan starting from €39.95 per month.

 

9. PushWizard:

Last but not least we have PushWizard which offers support for:

  • Unlimited Devices
  • Rich Media Push
  • Non text Push Notifications
  • A Push Notification diary/log
  • Resending Push Notification Messages
  • Scheduled PUSH messages
  • Event Triggering
  • Targeted PUSH Messaging (Filtering)
  • Custom Payloads
  • URL Redirection
  • NewsStand Support
  • Custom Push Notification Templates
  • Apple Feedback Server integration
  • Filtering users by “Geo Location” using Tags.

PushWizard’s free account supports up to 3 apps, unlimited Push Devices and 6 push messages. Their premium plans start from $45 per month.

The table below summarizes the differences between these various PUSH notification platforms so you can see how they differ and which one of them offers the most value.

Best Push Notification Service



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