As more and more people choose mobile apps over websites, push notifications have become an essential tool for mobile app developers and marketers, improving engagement, retention, and conversion rates.
According to Moengage, the delivery rate of push notifications is 90%, which is 50% higher than email open rates, and the click-through rate of push notifications is also seven times higher than email.
With many push notification services available in the market, it can be quite challenging to determine the best option. But don’t worry; in this article, we’ll dive deep into the top 5 push notification services for mobile apps in 2023 so that by the end of this comprehensive guide, you will clearly understand which service best aligns with your business requirements and objectives.
Aside from that, if you want to build an app without coding, you should check out APPExerts – it’s one of the finest mobile app builders on the market with an inbuilt push notification feature, so you don’t need to install a separate push notification service.
Still curious? Then keep reading to find the best push notification service to decide which is best for you.
Criteria to Evaluate the Top Push Notification Services
Before we dive into the top push notification services, let’s discuss the criteria we used to evaluate them:
- Features and functionality: The service should offer a wide range of features that cater to a variety of user engagement needs, such as segmentation, targeting, scheduling, and automation.
- Customization and personalization capabilities: Customization is the key; choosing a push notification service allows you to create customized push notifications that resonate with your target audience, boosting engagement and conversion rates.
- Ease of integration and platform support: The push notification platform must integrate easily with popular mobile app development platforms (iOS, Android, etc.) and provide comprehensive documentation and support for seamless implementation.
- Scalability and performance: As your app grows, it should be capable of scaling up to handle increased traffic and maintain optimal performance levels.
- Pricing and value for money: Choose a service that offers a competitive pricing model, ensuring you receive the best value for your investment.
- Customer support and documentation: Last but not least, it is crucial to consider customer service as excellent customer support and well-structured documentation are essential for a smooth onboarding process and for addressing any potential issues.
In-Depth Analysis of the Top 5 Push Notification Services
Below is a detailed breakdown of our list of the top 5 push notification services that can help you choose the best one for your mobile application.
OneSignal is a popular and widely-used push notification service known for its extensive feature set, ease of integration, and generous free tier. This versatile service supports multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and the web, and offers rich push notifications with images, videos, and interactive buttons. Additional features include user segmentation, targeting, scheduling capabilities, A/B testing, real-time analytics, and integration with popular marketing tools and platforms.
OneSignal also provides comprehensive documentation and guides to help with implementation, customizable push notification templates, dynamic content personalization using user attributes, and localization support for multiple languages.
The service has gained the trust of more than 1.9 million customers, including prominent names like USA Today Sports, Softonic, Product Hunt, Upwork, and Tribune. This impressive client list shows the platform’s reliability and effectiveness when sending push notifications on the web and mobile devices.
Pricing and Plans:
- Free Tier: unlimited devices, notifications, and segments
- Paid Plans: These include Growth, Professional, and Enterprise plans that offer advanced features, starting at $9/month.
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Feature-rich, easy integration, and free tier for small businesses
- Cons: Paid plans can be expensive for smaller businesses
2. Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM)
Firebase Cloud Messaging, a Google-backed service, is an excellent choice for developers seeking a robust, scalable, and free push notification solution. FCM supports iOS, Android, and web platforms and provides high reliability and scalability thanks to Google’s infrastructure.
Key features include rich notifications with images, sounds, and interactive buttons, user segmentation, targeting, and analytics via the Firebase console and integration with other Firebase services for a cohesive app development experience.
FCM consists of two components:
- The app server or trusted environment (like Firebase Cloud Functions) for building, configuring, and delivering notifications to your audience.
- The client software (iOS, Android, or web) that receives the notifications.
Pricing and Plans:
- Completely free to use, making it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Free, robust, scalable, and backed by Google infrastructure
- Cons: Limited features compared to dedicated push notification services
Airship, previously known as Urban Airship, is a renowned player in the push notification industry, providing an extensive range of engagement tools for mobile apps. The service offers many key features and benefits, including support for iOS, Android, and web platforms, rich push notifications with images, videos, and interactive buttons, advanced segmentation, targeting, and scheduling options, automation, A/B testing, in-depth analytics, and integration with popular CRM, analytics, and marketing platforms.
Users can customize and personalize their push notifications with highly customizable templates, dynamic content based on user behavior and attributes, and localization support for multiple languages.
In addition to mobile app push notifications, Airship also manages SMS messages, emails, and mobile wallets. However, predictive analytics and AI optimization come at a price. For enterprise customers, Airship offers a more feature-rich push notification experience.
Pricing and Plans:
- Free trial available
- Premium plans with advanced features, starting at $99/month
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Feature-rich, customizable, and scalable
- Cons: Pricing may be steep for smaller businesses
4. Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS)
Launched in 2010, Amazon SNS is a reliable and cost-effective push notification service that offers cross-platform support and seamless integration with the AWS ecosystem. It is compatible with iOS, Android, and web platforms. This service offers a simple and flexible API option for sending push notifications, easy integration with other AWS services, and pay-as-you-go pricing.
It is easy to integrate with popular mobile app development platforms as they provide you with detailed documentation, code samples, and diagrams that simplify and streamline the onboarding process. However, there are limitations in customizing and personalizing the message templates and attributes, though this is more limited compared to a dedicated push notification service.
Pricing and Plans:
- Free Tier: First 1,000,000 notifications per month
- Pay-As-You-Go Pricing: $0.50 per million notifications after the free tier
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Cost-effective, reliable, customizable, scalable, and backed by AWS infrastructure
- Cons: Limited features and personalization options compared to dedicated push notification services
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use push notification software, WonderPush could be your perfect solution. This fast-growing push notification service offers advanced features and affordable pricing, making it an attractive option for mobile app developers.
In addition to supporting iOS, Android, and web platforms, the service includes rich and interactive push notifications, segmentation and targeting capabilities, real-time analytics, and localization support for multiple languages.
Whether you are a startup or a large company, WonderPush stands out for its performance, affordability, and robust features that help drive user retention and conversion rates while keeping costs in check.
Pricing and plans:
- Free trial: 14 days free trial with all features included
- Pricing: Starts at $1 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers, with scalable pricing options for larger subscriber bases
Pros and cons:
- Pros: Affordable pricing, rich and interactive push notifications, and easy integration and customization
- Cons: Limited integrations and smaller user community than its competitors.
A Brief Comparison of the Top Push Notification Services
Now that we’ve analyzed each of the top 5 push notification services. Let’s compare them to help you make an informed decision:
- OneSignal offers a comprehensive feature set, easy integration, and a generous free tier, making it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. However, the paid plans can be expensive for smaller businesses.
- Firebase Cloud Messaging is a free, robust, and scalable service backed by Google. While it offers fewer features compared to dedicated push notification services, it’s an attractive option for businesses seeking a cost-effective solution.
- Airship is a feature-rich and customizable push notification service with advanced engagement tools. It may be an excellent choice for businesses willing to invest in a premium service, but the pricing could be steep for smaller businesses.
- Amazon SNS is a reliable and cost-effective service, with pay-as-you-go pricing and seamless integration with the AWS ecosystem. However, its features and personalization options are limited compared to dedicated push notification services.
- WonderPush offers versatile messaging formats and affordable pricing, making it an appealing choice for businesses seeking a cost-effective solution with advanced engagement tools. However, its limited integrations with third-party marketing platforms and smaller users community may need to be improved for some users.
By comparing the strengths and weaknesses of these top push notification services, you can better understand which one will best fit your business needs and budget.
Choosing the right push notification service for your mobile app is crucial to driving user engagement, retention, and conversions. The top 5 push notification services discussed in this article are OneSignal, Firebase Cloud Messaging, Airship, Amazon SNS, and WonderPush – all have advantages and disadvantages. Your choice ultimately depends on your specific requirements, budget, and preferred features.
Therefore by evaluating the options based on the criteria and comparisons provided, you can make an informed decision and select the push notification service that best aligns with your business goals.
Lastly, suppose you plan to use push notifications for your mobile app. In that case, we recommend APPExperts because you get a free built-in push notification feature with many great features for app building. What’s holding you back? Try APPExperts today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are push notifications for mobile apps?
Push notifications are short messages or alerts sent by mobile apps to users’ devices even when the app is not actively in use. They serve as a means to deliver relevant and timely information, updates, or reminders directly to users, helping to engage and re-engage them with the app.
Does APPExperts offer push notification services?
Yes, APPExperts offers push notification services as a part of their Pro Plan. With this plan, you can enjoy the benefits of simple and easy-to-configure push notifications for your mobile app.
How can I enable push notifications on my APPExperts account
To enable push notifications on your APPExperts account, follow these steps:
1. Ensure you are subscribed to the Pro Plan.
2. Go to the integration step in your APPExperts account and provide the required Firebase integration parameters (google service JSON file, google service info, and server key).
3. After connecting to Firebase, your push notifications should be enabled and working.
4. Finally, ensure your plugin’s settings (Send custom push notifications, Notification settings) are visible and the key under the notification tab says “connected.”
What is the future of push notifications?
In the future, push notifications will get more personal, interactive, and engaging. With AI and machine learning advancements, push notifications may deliver more tailored content based on user behavior, preferences, and real-time context. Additionally, improved targeting, automation, and analytics capabilities will allow businesses to optimize their push notification strategies for maximum engagement and conversion.
Can I use these push notification services for both iOS and Android apps?
Yes, all the push notification services included in the list are compatible with both iOS and Android platforms. They offer SDKs (Software Development Kits) or APIs that support integration into applications developed for both operating systems, ensuring cross-platform compatibility.