This post is great, but it’s a bit old now – head over to Comparison of 11 Most Popular Mobile Push Notification Services for a 2015 updated list, including latest features and pricing. Keep it fresh!
Apps command 80% of the time people spend on their mobile devices. The trick for you and me is to get them spending more time in our apps and less in others.
We can achieve that by providing opportunities to engage them with messages and content that matters to them. This helps build deeper and more meaningful relationships with our users.
Make sure you also open up 6 Proven Best Ways To Use Push Notifications In 2015, you’ll want to refer to that once you’ve browsed this list!
Introducing, Mobile Push Notifications
With the use of a good strategy and a mobile push notification service that supports your marketing needs you can deliver compelling, targeted content that drives users back into your app. Every moment they spend inside your app builds customer loyalty. It also offers more opportunities for them to engage with your revenue-generating functions.
“Push is very effective in cutting through the noise and getting useful information in the hands of the people that need it.” – Melissa Golding, Digital Content Manager | SXSW
How do Mobile Push Notifications Work?
Push notifications give your app a voice. They’re are totally permission based mobile messaging channel to deliver useful information to your customers whenever and wherever they want it. A mobile push notification strategy has the potential to double or triple your user engagement. Check out this post on how to set up effective engagement campaigns with push notifications.
“Think of a mobile application as an extension of your content marketing strategy…Mobile App Downloads is the new are the new email optin.” – Kipp Bodnar, VP of Marketing | Hubspot
Now picture this: Imagine if you could get full transparency into how users are engaging with your notifications; a) which notifications were most popular; b) which users were most receptive to your notifications. Then deploy different push strategies to different user segments.
10 Most Popular Push Notification Services
In this article you’re going to get a comprehensive list of the 10 Most Popular Push Notification Services to help you compare the different offerings and find the one most suitable to your marketing needs.
Portland, USA based Urban Airship is an end-to-end app messaging platform that combines push techniques, engagement strategies and mobile analytics to deliver engaging and applicable in-app notification to users based on preference, mobile platforms, and geographical locations.
Some of the unique offerings of Urban Airship include:
A) Mobile app engagement – As a part of its ‘good push’ endeavors, the tool provides customers with a web based editor, preview it across all major mobile operating systems and then deliver media-rich content.
B) Mobile analytics – Under its Mobile Relationship Management segment, Urban Airship helps to collect and present contextual reports that help measure the success of a brand’s mobile marketing strategies.
D) Digital wallet – Its proprietary ‘Wallet Studio’ tool helps harness the potential of Google Wallet and Apple Passbook, used for storing details of coupons, deals, loyalty cards and store cards.
For developers, up to 1 million pushes are free in a month. Beyond 1 million, each push costs $0.001. Every rich content push costs $0.0025.
Push Woosh can handle push notification traffic going up to millions, through its scalable and future ready systems. It is free for the basic account, and for the premium accounts, it bundles in additional powerful features such as international language support, Remote APIs, code review, analytics support and location-based tagging support.
A) Variety – Its system allows sending push notifications to 15 major mobile app development platforms including Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows devices.
B) Segmentation – Marketers also get the facility to target and segment their audience based on their marketing strategies and thus provide relevant and content in the push notifications. They can also schedule push notifications in full or in batches.
C) Reporting – They can also view advanced reporting that helps track their campaigns and devise corrections in case of deviations.
D) Dedicate server – For its enterprise offering, it provides a dedicated server instance, and allows multi language support for a global reach.
MONTHLY – Premium – $60.27, Gold – $180.95, Platinum – $377.06
ANNUAL – (Billed annually) – Premium – $50.26/month, Gold – $150.84/month, Platinum – $314.26/month
Parse is a SaaS push notification service offering a broad scope of push message services including push messaging, analytics, cloud storage, code hosting and social media linking. Currently Parse users send more than half a billion push notifications per month, this makes it a popular push notification platform.
A) Variety – Allows developers to send messages through the web console, REST API, or client SDKs.
B) Unique Analytics – The Parse Push Analytics module helps businesses to monitor app opens, push campaign effectiveness, and push opens.
C) Cloud support – With Parse Core, users can securely store their files, documents, and multimedia on the cloud.
The free version handles a monthly quota of 1 million requests, 1 million pushes and 20 push messages per second.
The pro version at $199 per month can handle 15 million requests, 5 million pushes per month and 40 push messages per second.
A relatively new app discovery and promotion platform, the Appbooster SDK has garnered a good market share since its launch 2009. Appbooster believes that as more apps turn to freemium model, developers will have to target long term user engagement to help drive value from this particular type of monetization, and this is precisely where Appbooster’s value comes into the picture. It ensures that users keep using an app once downloaded by providing them with accurate and geographically sensitive content.
A) Two-way inbox – This unique feature helps developers not only send in-app and push notifications on users’ devices, but also helps to cross-promote multiple apps.
B) Gain feedback – User reactions are monitored effectively through its native feedback system. Positive feedback is rerouted automatically to the App Store.
C) Negligible learning curve – Zero technical knowledge is needed to broadcast notifications or monitor its progress through the web based analytics tool.
Push.io is a B2B level push notification provider. Set up in 2009, it has the distinction of sending billions of push messages till date. It concentrates on ‘relationship-based marketing’ and thus helps deliver context sensitive message, so that the recipient finds value in such messages. More recent news on the company saw it being acquired by Repsonsys to help marketers avail of “orchestrated mobile marketing experience” across the widest range of devices.
A) AutoPush – Push.io stakes its claim as the only push provider that automates both building the message and delivering it.
B) Ease of use for new users – The signup process on the website is a breeze and it takes only a few minutes to get started.
C) Advanced analytics – Through its ‘dashboard’ interface, push.io helps to manage marketing campaigns and track the progress of the same so that insight based decision can be taken on future actions for this tool.
Free 30 day trial $99
Then $99 to send 25,000 push notifications
MobDB provides readymade backend servers for mobile apps. As a part of its competencies, it also offers the mobDB SDK that allows developers to create, deliver, and track push notifications to users even when the app is not open on their devices.
A) Backend Web-based interface – MobDB has an extensive yet simplistic database web interface to help developers create database tables and run backend queries with remarkable ease.
B) Analytical insights – It also provides a comprehensive analytics front end to generate personalised reports based on a range of criteria.
C) Independence of mobile ecosystem – No matter what the mobile OS is; mobDB has the ability to deliver across a range of devices and a range of mobile app platform, thus lending it a universal appeal.
The free version provides 600,000 API requests and push notifications each.
The paid version charges $15 per month and provides 4,000,000 API requests and 3,500,000 push notifications.
New York based IBM Xtify provides tools and resources to developers to build, preview, test and execute push message to drive marketing campaigns. Its website advertises Xtify to be a complete solution offering planning, integration, debugging and deployment support. For its customers, Xtify’s push notification has become a successful user engagement channel that shows relevant content to users’ Internet enabled devices at the right time and right place.
A) Global support – Xtify works efficiently on Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry native applications and websites.
B) Innovative management – Campaigns are scheduled as per user time zones so that there is a greater acceptance. It helps create geo-fences around one or more locations. Also it provides CRM-defined segment targeting for greater precision
C) Customization – Using dynamic fields when building messages, a greater degree of customization can be achieved.
Contact sales support – custom only
mBlox specialises in targeted marketing campaign management through push messaging. It helps marketers divide their audience into specific segments based on location, behavioural patterns and other demographical details. The result – a much more lucid targeting of audience, that in turn shows a greater propensity for user response to the given call-to-action in the push message.
A) mBlox Engage – This feature helps marketers get to know their customers better through the collection of data on behaviours such as usage, preferences, patterns and geographic location.
B) Templates – mBlox offer easy-to-use templates that help build marketing messages with integration facility for HTML codes (rich graphic embedded push messages), YouTube, Twitter feeds, audio or images.
C) Use of CDN – mBlox uses Content Delivery network (CDN) spread across the globe, thus speeding up the notification process significantly.
D) Filters – Users receive message based on various filters such as scheduled time, location, and demographic data.
Contact sales support only <– by the way, I find this a bit tedius…
Quickblox offers a range of push services such as automated reception of news, scores, updates, alerts, reminders and call to actions. It also helps to integrate IM, video calling, social media and other communication features with the app, thus providing a well rounded push notification solution to end users.
A) High degree of scalability – each instance of the push has the ability to send up to 10,000 push notifications per second.
B) Greater support span – Supports various formats pop-up messages, sounds, badge counters and links into the app.
C) Scheduling prowess – It also enables scheduled notifications (and emails) such as instant, delayed or recurring.
D) Reliable support – It claims round the clock availability with 30 minute max. reaction time.
E) Secure – Relays data over highly secure 256 bit AES encryption strengthened by hourly backups and built-in firewall.
Free version comes with shared hosting, 20 messages per second, and 20 notifications per second for 1000 concurrent users.
The Pro version comes with shared premium hosting, 50 messages per second, and 50 notifications per second for 2000 concurrent users.
Appoxee combines automation and pertinence with its push notification system. Initially implemented for iOS devices, it has now branched out to include all major mobile ecosystems. Appoxee helps enterprises leverage its push notification system to maintain a lasting user relationship. It has fast gained credibility as denoted by the $1.8 million seed funding that it received in October 2013.
A) Ease of development – Appoxee has an easy to implement SDK with the capability to send text only as well as rich messages.
B) Multi app/Multi messages campaigns – It also allows marketing team to create a master campaign and promote multiple apps through cross promotions and several messages that lend relevance to the overall campaign.
C) Preview simulator on all devices – Appoxee users can view a simulation of their push messages and factor in cross platform and cross device compatibility when sending the messages.
D) Beta Testing – Its well defined test segment allows developers to test the message to a select group of tester before full-fledged release.
Recently removed their Free account features which included unlimited apps with up to 250,000 users and no-limit push notifications.
Their current plans are:
Starter; $279 which includes segmentation and targeting, automated messaging, and more.
Pro; $500 includes all of the above plus multi app messaging, geo-targeting and more.
May I add that their sales staff were very helpful.
How to choose…
Making a decision like this is never easy. First of all consider (and list) all your requirements. Then compare your requirements against each mobile push notification service.
What if you change your mind down the line? If you find that your current choice of push notification tools doesn’t deliver what you need it’s easy enough to change your mobile push notification service in your next update.
Hope this helps in your decision making process!
Where To Go Next
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