When done right, iOS and Android push notifications are capable of dramatically improving an app’s retention, and open and engagement rates. However, if mobile push notifications are poorly executed they can be interruptive, annoying and hurtful to the overall user experience. Unwanted push notification services tend to have the opposite result to retention: Lower engagement, higher churn, and quick abandonment.
Choosing the Right Push Notification Service
Every app has its own unique user base, so its vital push notifications get tailored to the diverse/specific needs of the particular audience in question. At the same time, the push notification service needs to be affordable to the publisher and offer just the right mix of back-end tools, like real-time data analytics, and/or demographic segmentation.
The number of iOS and Android Push Notification platforms out there is growing by the day. Its easy to get lost trying to find the right one. In reality, there is no *best* push notification service – but there will be a right platform for you, for your app, and for your unique audience.
Below you will find a list of our current 2019 best iOS and Android push notification platforms and tools, alongside information regarding their unique selling propositions. We’re certain you will find something you like from our list below:
Urban Airship is to iOS and Android Push Notifications, what Volkswagen is to car buyers – always a trusty, viable solution. Among other things, it prides itself on multi-channel messaging, unified customer profiles and predictive insights. The starter pack is free, while other packs are priced from $99 to $349 a month.
Leanplum is all about personalization and automation. When it comes to personalization, this push notification service takes things to a whole new level. The UI can be programmatically tailored to specific users. So for example, the default sharing option changes to whatever the user usually goes for.
As for automation, Leanplum enables app pros to send personalized messages automatically based on different user attributes or app-related behaviors, such as not opening an app a certain amount of time. The platform prides itself most on its Lifecycle Engine for automation, which follows the user throughout their entire customer journey.
You can expect all the standard features here, from custom templates to automated push notifications, to segmentation targeting and real-time tracking. OneSignal is also completely free of charge. The company does offer premium support options, but you’ll have to reach out to them for more info.
Localytics is one of those tried and tested companies whose name always pops up around discussions of iOS and Android Push Notification platforms. Their platform is especially regarded for its “True Impact” feature which measures the full impact of push and in-app messaging campaigns on app engagement and consequently, the bottom line. Pricing is available on request.
Taplytics’ push notification platform makes creating and A/B testing rich push notifications easy. Their advanced segmentation and geolocation features mean you can personalize push campaigns to help drive retention, awareness or engagement. It can be integrated with existing analytics platforms for added user insights. Pricing is available on request.
Among the advantages of Kahuna’s iOS and Android push notification platform is the option to create campaigns based on the user’s current state. So, for example, if the platform identifies a user is no longer active, it can trigger a push notification campaign to try and reengage. If the platform spots a newbie, it will react accordingly. This means Kahuna’s campaigns will change as user states change. The platform also supports ‘extreme personalization’ by customizing messages for content, not context, and working around demographic segmentation. Pricing is available on demand.
Kumulos is interesting in that it provides two distinct options: Mobile marketers can sell a Push Notification Service – using the Kumulos dashboard to quickly and easily manage Push Notification campaigns and report on the results.
Alternatively, mobile marketers can offer clients the ability to run their own notification programs – using their own-brand client portal to construct, run and measure campaign results.
Some of the noteworthy push notification features Kumulos offers are:
- Build channels and segments to focus push notification messages effectively
- Geolocation & iBeacon support
- Deep Linking, emojis, and badges to drive greater engagement
You can test their tool for free through a Free Trial.
PushWoosh allows for iOS and Android push notifications with rich media, including images, embedded videos, CTAs and other types of content. It works across 21 different mobile and desktop platforms. It is free to start with, and more expensive pricing packs start from $49.95 a month to $499.95 a month.
With this platform, you can engage your audience through the mobile app, on both Android and iOS, as well as through Google Chrome. It prides itself on quick installation (10 minutes) and offers extremely simple integration. The basic pack is free with pricing going from $49 a month to $499 a month.
Among the core features Swrve offers is the WYSIWYG mobile screen editor, configurable custom sounds, and action categories, and alerts. There are also banners, an in-notification center, as well as the ability to set and track campaign goals. Pricing is hidden but is available on request.
This platform has been praised by mobile app developers for its Rich Messaging feature, as well as its simple SDK integration Some of its standout features include Behavioral Triggering and Message Personalization. Costs run from $1,000 up to $4,000 a month.
One thing that sets Catapush apart from other players in the iOS and Android Push Notifications game is the fact that it allows replies to push-notifications through its 2-Way Service. It also enables app pros to interact with customers via chat. More details about this feature can be found here. Catapush is free for 100 devices, with prices going from $21.14 a month for 1,000 devices, up to $338.18 a month for 20,000 devices.
The Amazon Simple Notification Service, or SNS, is always a viable choice due to the fact that it is compatible with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This allows for easy scaling of any platform – it is automatically paired up with the ability to send push notifications directly from the cloud. Pricing is organized per million messages, with the first million being free, and all others priced at $0.50 per million.
Streethawk’s slogan is “Automate Actions for Mobile Growth”, meaning growth automation is at its core. The platform easily integrates with Mixpanel, Flurry, Twilio and Webhooks, to name a few. It also supports multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, PhoneGap, Xamarin and web.
App owners with more than 10,000 users will be happy to learn that the service is free. Those with more users will have to contact the platform directly and ask for prices.
Established in 2009, Mixpanel has been a regular player in the push notifications field. With its retroactive funnel reporting features, precision segmentation and real-time data analytics, it makes sure your push notifications are fully optimized throughout. Core features include targeted messaging and A/B testing as well as notification scheduling. The most basic features are free to use, with the ‘Start-up’ pack going for $999 a year. The ‘Enterprise’ pack, loaded with features, is priced on demand.
Push Notifications Wrap-up
No two apps are created equal. Even though push notifications can improve mobile app KPIs, such as retention rates or open rates, these KPIs can only be improved if the idea of push notifications is approached with the audience in mind.
Keeping the audience in mind means creating and enhancing a seamless UX flow for your mobile app. When it comes to the in-app experience, user analytics tools, like Appsee’s touch heatmaps and user session recordings, enable app pros to see exactly how users are experiencing their app. On the “outside”, any of the above tools will help you to approach push notifications with a personalized and user-focused attitude.
It makes sense that the number of platforms offering a range of services for Android and iOS push notifications keeps growing by the day. With their unique offerings, we are certain you’ll be able to find the perfect push notification platform for you, and one that strikes the right balance between useful features and affordable pricing.