How to Send Push Notifications

Last Updated: May 15, 2018 09:23AM PDT

*Note: With our North Park update, we have released the ability to send Single or Multi-User push notifications. More information about this at the end of this article.

Our push notification system has a great deal of options for customization that helps you target users the right way. The 5-step push send process is quick & simple, and you can do it right through your dashboard. To get started, just log into an app and head to the Manage section and click the Push Notifications on the left side bar.




Things to Keep in Mind

  • Your native app must be live in order to send push notifications. There's no way for users to receive them without having the live app installed on their device. For Web Apps your users must accept push notifications when they visit your PWA page. They do not need to have the app installed nor do they need to have it or the browser running.
  • When an app is installed, users can choose to enable or opt out of push notifications. If they opt out, they won't receive any from your app.
  • If you want to receive push notifications successfully, it's important to enable both push notifications AND location services, which allows you to receive location-based messages.
  • The Messages feature will serve as a log of push notifications received. Add it to your app so users can reference them later!
  • If you encounter any errors when sending a push notification, see our troubleshooting article.

 


Push Notifications Message Center
 

When landing in the Message Center, you will notice a tabbed navigation with 'Sent', 'Scheduled', and 'Draft' options. These will help you quickly navigate to those push messages that you wish to view or manage.
Below you will find all of the messages in this section. On the left of this list view you have filters to adjust which App Type these messages were sent to.
  • From the Sent view, you can delete the messages so they will no longer show on your customers apps.
  • From the Scheduled view, you can either delete a message so it no longer sends, or edit the message before it sends.
  • From the Drafts view you can now pick up a draft message where you left off to update it or select when you wish to send it.


 

Compose

Step 1: Message 

  • Select the devices (Any combination of iOS, iOS Private App Store, Android or Web App) you'd like to send the push notification to.
  • Enter a Message Title if you wish. This will be slightly more larger and bold to signify the title or subject of the message.
  • Enter the text of the message. Apple limits push notifications to be less than 2kb in size, so we have build in restrictions here.



Step 2: Targeted Audience

Subscriptions and Users/Groups selected (This will affect applications on Orange or newer source code)





Subscriptions and User Groups logic
If you wish to send a message to all users to your mobile apps simply selecting the Target Audience above will do the job. You will not need to apply any additional filters and the message will be sent to everyone.

To further segment your push notifications please read the following:

Subscriptions (not yet available on PWA)
When Subscriptions are enabled, you can send push notifications assigned to one or multiple subscriptions.
For users who have a selected subscription turned off on their device, they will not receive the push note alert, however they will still see the message in their messages tab.
If you choose not to select any subscriptions, the push notification will go out to ALL users, even if they have all subscriptions turned off (This, of course, does not override the device targets or user groups selections).

User Groups
When Groups are enabled you can send push notes to specific groups or users in a group. 
When selecting one or multiple groups from the group dropdown you will see the users in those groups are auto selected in the user selection.
Now you can either leave as is, or further modify which users will receive your message by adding/removing users.
When sending a push note using User Groups, those users that were not selected here will NOT receive the push note and it will NOT be displayed in the messages list.
Linked tabs that are sent to users who do not have access to these tabs will receive the message, but they will not be able to tap (open) the tab.



Note*
Subscriptions and User Groups can be used independently or in unison, along with all of the location features as well.


Step 3: Location (not yet available on PWA)
  • Further filter who sees your push notification by clicking the Apply Location Filters toggle.
  • There are two types of location filters: Radius and Geo-fence. When you select a filter and a location, you'll see the XX Users Found In This Aea number update just below the map. A Located App User is someone who had location services for your app enabled, and was last known to be within your radius or geo-fenced area.
In Area at Send (Point) allows you to set a radius around the location you select. You can input the latitude & longitude, type in the address bar to look up a spot, or just drag the pin on the map. Adjust the size of the zone with the Radius field or by dragging the anchor points on the circle, and use the unit drop-down to select kilometers or miles.




Entering Area For a Set Time (Geofencing) allows you to set up a "monitored" area. When a user enters this area during the active period, they'll receive the push notification. Just like with the Point option, you can input the latitude & longitude, type in the address bar to look up a spot, or just drag the pin on the map. Adjust the size of the zone with the Radius field or by dragging the anchor points on the circle, and use the unit drop-down to select kilometers or miles.

You will notice that the Gro-Fence has an expiration date and time for you to select. This allows your to configure how long you wish to monitor this location. This allows for you to set up month long specials for those driving by for example.





Step 4: Message Linking ability (not yet available on PWA)
  • Here you can add different abilities to your push notification with the Setup Link section.
  • Link to a Website URL lets you link your push notification to a site. When a user clicks the push notification, they'll be directed to that URL.
  • Link to a Specific Feature allows you to do just that. You can choose a tab within your app from the drop-down, and even specific items within those tabs (like an event in the Events feature), when applicable. When a user clicks the push notification, they'll be taken to that specific location within your app.
  • Link to an Offer adds a template-based message to your push notification. (Note: You must have a Messages tab active within your app to use this feature.) Select an industry from the Category column, then a specific template from the Offers column, and customize the design with the Style column. You can then change the Offer Title, picture, and content. When a user clicks the push notification, the template will be launched within the Messages tab.
 
Website URL:



Link to a Specific Tab:




Choose from our Offers:





Note: If you delete a previously used offer image from this window, the image will no longer be hosted on our servers. This will prevent it from loading when users click and view the old push notification from their Messages tab. For this reason, we don't recommend deleting images that you have used in a prior push notification.


Post to Social Media
If you wish to have your message also sent to either your Facebook or Twitter account, you can connect and select them here.




Step 5: Send & Schedule


This is your final step, where you determine when your push notification will be sent out to users. Click Send Now to deliver your message immediately, or Schedule For Later to schedule it for later.

Schedule For Later allows you to schedule your message based on the applicable time zone. Select the time zone from the drop-down menu, then select the desired date and time to schedule it. 
Once you're ready to go, just click the Send Message button!

If you wish to save your work to revisit later, much like an email draft, you can simple click 'Save as Draft' and we will store this push notification under the 'Drafts' section in your Push Notifications Message Center. At any time you can come back to this message to continue work or to finally schedule and send.


  


 

Single or Multi-User Push Notifications

Now with North Park, sending push messages to individual users, or multiple users at once is possible.
To do so, you will first need to navigate to the Customers section in the CMS.

From here you have a couple of options. First I'll go over the single user process.
From the Customers list you will want to click on a customer, this will bring you to the cu you can click on a customer to see that customers detail view. In the top cell just under the users name and email address you will see the three dot menu button. Click this and you will find the option to Send-> Push Notification.




You will then see a modular workflow of the push notifications feature. Because you have selected the exact user you wish to send this to, you of course will not need the Target Audience section or the location options.
Here are some screenshots of this workflow.

 
 


You can also send a message from the Customer List view. If you hover over a customer on the list you will notice to the left of the name you have the ability to select the user. Once selected a action bar will appear on the bottom of the screen. You will also notice that there is now a select option to the left of all customers on the list as well as a 'Select All' option at the top.
 
You can send a push notification to however many users you select here. You will also notice on the last step of the workflow you will see a summary of how any users you had selected and are sending the notification to.
 
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