Which push notification services give you the biggest payoff for your marketing buck?
You’ve heard how effective push notification messages can be in boosting app user engagement and motivating your customers to come back — either to learn more or to finish what they started.
Subscribers opt in to these messages, so they’re predisposed to take them seriously. And each push message that pops up on their screen instantly rises above the clutter of their email inbox.
All the better if those push messages can reach them wherever they are, sounding off on their mobile devices and alerting them to tantalizing offers.
But not every push notifications service is the same.
How to Choose a Push Notification Service
Reading through descriptions of all the different push notification delivery services out there can easily get overwhelming. So, we’re sharing some of our most effective tips for narrowing down your options and choosing the best push service for your business.
Tip #1: Know Your Marketing Budget
Aside from knowing what you need, it’s vital you know what you can afford when it comes to marketing tools. Some of the options in this list are free, while others offer free demos and flexible pricing.
Tip #2: Get Clear on What Your Customers Want
Your business’s marketing needs will depend on what your customers want from you. Find out everything you can through research, and be prepared to learn through trial and error.
Tip #3: Identify Your Advantage
Every business with real staying power has some advantage over their competitors. And knowing that advantage is critical.
What is it about you and your company that other companies don’t provide (or not as well)? What sets you apart?
Make sure to include these insights in your personalized push notification messages to potential customers.
Tip #4: Prioritize Mobile Push Notifications
At least 61% of U.S. internet traffic happens on mobile devices. No business can opt out of mobile push notifications without sacrificing a growing percentage of their customer base.
So, how can you use that access point more effectively?
Tip #5: Use Emojis to Boost Engagement
Leanplum found emojis in push messages boosted their open rate by 254%. App notifications that use emojis in their messages also experience 26% fewer uninstalls than apps that don’t.
The 7 Best Push Notification Services in 2021
These are the push notification provider apps that made our top seven. Your favorite will depend on what features rank higher on your list of priorities.
We have a favorite (which we’ll reveal before the end). Read on and get acquainted with each one before deciding which you’ll try first.
The homepage for PushEngage (affiliate link) immediately shows the variety of uses for push notification messages, all of which can help you maximize customer engagement and conversion.
Picture your potential customer receiving timely notifications on their mobile device for the following:
- New blog posts
- Abandoned shopping carts
- Product announcements
- Personalized messages
- Special deals
After considering this service’s stand-out features, if you’re still not sure it’s the best one for your business, you can try it out at no cost.
- Triggered notifications
- Dynamic segmentation
- Cart abandonment reminders
- Custom domains and branding
- Goal tracking and analytics
- Automatic drip campaigns
- A/B testing
And if after giving one of the paid subscriptions a try you find it’s not the best fit, reach out to customer service.
PushEngage will refund 100% of your money, no questions asked.
OneSignal lets you send an unlimited number of push notifications to an unlimited number of subscribers — for free. Its setup and features make it ideal for beginners, and you still get scheduling, localization, and analytics.
OneSignal also operates on an unlimited number of devices using a single multi-platform API.
Used by companies like Uber, Adobe, and Conde Nast, OneSignal has made a name for itself as a premier option for push notification services for email, in-app, web, and mobile platforms.
Thanks to the data your notifications provide to OneSignal, you can set up an account and test its merits and ease of use at no cost.
- Quick and easy 15-Minute Setup
- Segmentation targeting to personalize notifications
- Real-time tracking (using real-time data)
- Automated push notifications
- Faster content delivery
- A/B Testing
- WordPress integration and plugin
Their pricing page gives a detailed breakdown of all the features included at each subscription level.
PushWoosh enables you to send rich media notifications – using images and even embedded videos with CTAs to hold your subscribers’ attention and boost engagement.
Its cross-channel delivery makes it easy to reach your customers via mobile, in-app, email, or web notifications. And since not all customers are the same, it allows you to segment your base to use different approaches with each group.
PushWoosh enables companies to deliver push notifications in the millions, sending as many as 250,000 per day.
With their advanced optimization features, you can reach out to your customers with personalized and visually engaging messages at every stage of the relationship.
PushWoosh users include Honeywell, Wetter.com (Germany), Avianca (Colombia), and Telepizza (Spain).
- Cross-channel delivery
- Rich media notifications (e.g., images and embedded video)
- Segmentation and personalization
- Integrations with your favorite software
- A/B testing, analytics, and advanced reporting
See the pricing page for details on its three feature-packed membership plans. Sign up with your business email to get detailed pricing plan information.
You can also schedule a free demonstration to see PushWoosh in action.
4. Amazon SNS
Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) has been around since 2010.
Compatible with Amazon Web Services (AWS), it allows you to send in-app push notification messages across a variety of mobile platforms – including Android, iOS, FireOS, Google, and Windows Phone.
You can also send cloud-based notifications to any internet-ready device. Amazon SNS offers scalable SMS messaging to over 200 countries.
As an added bonus, this service has no upfront costs and allows you to pay as you go.
It’s not as feature-rich as some of the other options here, but if you’re looking for something with minimal cost — and if you’re already familiar with Amazon Web Services (AWS) — this one is worth a try.
- SMS notifications to 200+ countries
- Cross-platform adaptability
- Redundancy across multiple SMS providers
- Data reporting and analytics
The first million mobile push notification messages are free. After that, you’ll pay $0.50 per each additional million.
To get started, create a free Amazon Web Services (AWS) account and take advantage of the free tier notification services.
5. Airship (Formerly: Urban Airship)
Airship allows you to send targeted, relevant push messages at every stage of the customer lifecycle – from welcome notifications for first-time users to in-app offers for special discounts to friendly reminders to revisit the website.
Deliver real “hyperpersonalized” messages that show how much you care about your customers and their individual styles and tastes.
While Airship specializes in mobile push notifications, it also shines with SMS messages, email, and mobile wallets.
Founded in Portland in 2009, its multi-functional platform works with a variety of businesses in retail, sports, media, and travel, including Adidas, BBC, and The Wall Street Journal.
- Integrates with Google Wallet and Apple Passbook
- Tailoring to geographical location and operating system.
- Multi-channel messaging, targeting, and automation
- Ability to personalize messages at scale with predictive AI
- Analytics and data reporting
Their website doesn’t list prices but invites visitors to download the demo app or set up a test project with their open-source SDK (software development kit).
Sign up on their pricing page for more information.
Leanplum simplifies the creation and delivery of multi-channel push notifications.
Create targeted campaigns and send each message at the right time and on the right channel (mobile, in-app, web, or email) to boost engagement and maximize conversion.
Organize rich user data to create detailed profiles for better personalization and more effective campaigns – using automated drip and trigger messaging.
A/B testing helps you test different approaches to see which is the most effective with your customers. Powerful reporting and analytics help you learn from each campaign so you can fine-tune your messaging as you go.
Leanplum’s notable clients include Pixelberry Studios, TED, Tesco, and Publisher’s Clearing House.
- Multi-channel push notifications
- Data collection for personalized user profiles
- Push notification templates and previews
- Delivery time and notification frequency optimization
- A/B testing, reporting, and analytics
While Leanplum doesn’t provide pricing information on their website, you can request a free personalized demo and go from there.
7. Google Firebase
Firebase Cloud Messaging is a cross-platform messaging solution that lets you send in-app or cloud-based push notification messages at no cost.
Using this service, you can message a customer to let them know they have a new email from you. Or let them know about a sale on something in their wish list for your online store.
As with other Google services, it’s free because of the data your notifications provide. Just by using Google cloud messaging to create and send targeted in-app messages, you provide valuable user data, which Google then uses to improve each user’s ad experience.
- Targeted in-app and cloud messaging
- Analytics integration
- Contextual and relevant personalization
- Customizable design and flexible formatting
- A/B testing
Start for free with the Spark Plan and pay as you go with the Blaze Plan. Use the pricing calculator to estimate your costs based on the numbers you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does It Make Sense to Use Push Notifications for a Small Business?
Every business, whatever its size, benefits from the fact that push notifications have a higher open rate and a higher conversion rate. If anything, small businesses need the edge even more than big ones do.
If your ideal customers use mobile devices as much as the average consumer, the growth of your business will depend on timely, personalized, and consistent messaging that can reach them wherever they are.
What are the Biggest Benefits to Using a Push Notification Service?
One major advantage to push notifications is their ability to reach customers on their mobile devices without their needing to have a particular app open. Push notifications can show up even on a locked screen.
Emails, by contrast, are only seen within an open email app.
As long as you make each push notification message count by keeping your customer’s benefit in mind, it will help your brand rise above the noise.
How Do I Choose the Best Push Notification Service for my Business?
Your choice of push notification services will rely on the following factors:
- Your technical savvy (some are easier to get started with than others)
- Your marketing budget (what your business can afford)
- The importance of segmentation and targeting options
- The importance of personalization options and user-friendly application
As your company grows and you become more familiar with push messaging, you may find a different service that allows you to scale more affordably and take advantage of next-level personalization and segmentation options.
Which Is the Best Push Notification Service for Your Business?
Thanks to its powerful combination of user-friendly tools and reasonable pricing, PushEngage is our top recommendation.
That said, we won’t take it personally if one of the other options for push notification software feels like a better fit for your business.
Any one of these push notification apps can help your business thrive.
Our goal was to help you choose from the best. But now it’s up to you to take that next step toward expanding your reach and engaging your audience more effectively.
Which one will you try today?