Push notification is the new big boy in town! You might already know the basics of how to use them, but crafting push notifications that users actually want to receive is a true art form. Creating the perfect push notification starts with understanding how customers interact with your app. The more you know about your users, the more personalized you can make your push notifications.
This article details the process of creating and sending push notifications from the BiznessApps CMS.
Important: Once end-users receive the push notification, they cannot respond to it. Push notifications work as one-way communication, from the Push Notification Message Center or Skipper to the end-user.
Note: With our North Park update, you can now send Single or Multi-User push notifications.
The following video takes you through the process of sending push notifications briefly:
Things to Keep in Mind
- Your native app must be live to send push notifications. There is 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 (Progressive Web App) page. They do not need to have the app installed, nor do they need to have the app or the browser running.
- When an app is installed, users can choose to enable or opt-out of push notifications. If the users opt-out, they will not receive any push notifications from your app.
- If your users want to receive push notifications successfully, it is essential to enable both push notifications AND location services. Doing so will allow them 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 guide on Push Notification Issues.
Our push notification system has plenty of options for customization that helps you target users the right way. It is quick and straightforward, and you can do it right through your dashboard.
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Step 1 - Accessing the Push Notification Message Center
You can open the Push Notification Message Center from the CMS, by navigating to Manage > Push Notifications.
Push Notifications Message Center
When landing in the Message Center, you will notice 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. 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 customer's 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.
Step 2 - Compose a Push Notification Message
- Select the devices (any combination of iOS, iOS Private App Store, Android, or Web App) you would like to send the push notification to.
- Enter a Message Title, if you wish. This will be slightly 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 built-in restrictions.
Step 3 - Selecting the Target Audience
If you wish to send a message to all users of your mobile apps, simply select the type of app for your target audience. You will not need to apply any additional filters, and the message will be sent to everyone.
However, if you wish to send your push notification to specific users or groups, select the relevant Subscriptions and Users/Groups (This will affect applications on Orange or newer source code).
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).
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 drop-down, you will see that the users in those groups are auto-selected in the user selection. You can either leave the selection as is or further modify which users will receive your message by adding/removing users.
- When sending a push note using User Groups, the users that were not selected here will NOT receive the push note, and it will NOT be displayed in their 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.
- Subscriptions and User Groups can be used independently or in unison, along with all of the location features as well.
Step 4 - Selecting the Target Location (Not Available on PWA)
You can further filter who sees your push notification by clicking the Apply Location Filters toggle. You can then select one of the following options:
In an Area at Send (Point) allows you to set a radius around the location you select. You can input the latitude and longitude, enter the address bar to look up a spot, or drag the pin on the map. You can also 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 an Area after Send (Geofencing) allows you to set up a monitored area. When a user enters this area during the active period, they will receive the push notification. Just like with the Point option, you can input the latitude and longitude, enter 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.
Important: Users who are still within the geofenced area should be able to receive the push notification provided their location services and the connection is enabled, and the geofenced push notification message has not yet expired. If the users have a poor connection to locations services, their location may not be broadcasted. In this case, the push notification would not be received.
You will notice that the Geo-Fence has an expiration date and time for you to select. This allows you to configure how long you wish to monitor this location. For example, set up month-long specials for those driving by the configured location.
Step 5 - Link the Messages (Not Available on PWA)
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 will be directed to that URL.
Link to a specific feature allows you to link your push notification to a specific feature. 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 will be taken to that specific feature within your app.
Link to an offer adds a template-based message to your push notification. You must have a Messages tab active within your app to use this feature. Select an industry from the Category column, a specific template from the Offers column, and customize the design from the Style section. You can then change the Offer Title, Picture (recommended size is 1000x650 ~ 1000x750), and content. When a user clicks the push notification, the template will be launched within the Messages tab.
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 do not recommend deleting images that you have used in a prior push notification.
Step 6 - Post to Social Media
If you wish to send your message to either your Facebook or Twitter account, you can connect and select them here.
Step 7 - Send and 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 deliver your message at a scheduled time.
Schedule For Later allows you to schedule your message based on the applicable time zone. Select the time zone from the drop-down menu and the desired date and time to schedule it.
Once you are ready to go, click Send Message.
If you wish to save your work to revisit later, much like an email draft, you can 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.
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Have a look at our blog on Creating Crafty Push Notifications and creating Single or Multi-User Push Notifications.
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