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December 5, 2020
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5 Considerations on Choosing Push Notification Provider

by Eugene Matveev on 02/25/20 10:16:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Mobile app users are habituated to receiving push notification messages despite this technology was introduced by Apple back in 2008 and it is relatively new. What exactly is it? Push notification technology allows us to deliver information from an app to a mobile device or desktop computer without a specific request from the app, meaning this app doesn’t have to be launched to get a push notification. All the apps and many websites successfully use it for more than a decade.


If you have developed an app or a game and you don’t have rich financial supporters and money to burn, the price is going to be your first concern.

Providers normally have monthly, quarterly or annual plans. Some of them (Amazon, IBM) have no fixed monthly costs and charge based on the combination of factors like the number of users, the number of messages sent, and the events collected. It means that you need to make a thoughtful calculation of all these parameters and evaluate which provider and plan suit you best.

To see the service in action and to evaluate its efficiency for your app, always use the free trial.


In the push notification service, you also need to look for programmatic flexibility or ability to send automatic context-based notifications, which also raises a question about integration with the backend of your app or game. For example, if it is built on Firebase backend architecture, integrating the Google cloud messaging service will be extremely easy and effortless.

For apps, you can opt for Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Salesforce or Urban Airship, while for games you can use devtodev push notification services.

Segmentation and Personalization

Another important consideration is the functionality of the service. For most developers, the segmentation of the push notification messages and personalization of the messages based on the target users is a must-have feature. No one wants to show all the messages to everybody - it is extremely cost-consuming and isn't effective from any point of view.

That’s why it is extremely important to evaluate how messages can be sent to different segments of your audience and the extent of their personalization.

Convenience for developers

Time is money and you don’t want to waste it on the implementation of this service. Luckily there is a wide variety of convenient developer-friendly services with comprehensive documentation. A good service will provide you with an SDK or API to save you the effort and time.

Advanced features

App push notifications are not the plain simple text messages like they were at the time of their invention. Now they can incorporate a whole list of functions and make your message more efficient and presentable. You may want to have the following functions:

  • Interactive messaging allows you to interact with the recipients through the use of clickable buttons and links, leading them to a different page, feature, or content section.

  • Rich messaging allows you to incorporate visuals, media, graphics, and other types of content in one message.

  • Automated messaging allows an app to send messages to the recipients based on the specific user context or scenario as per preset rules.

  • Geotargeting allows you to send messages based on the specific location of the user.

If you want to save money in the long run, and meanwhile offer the best service for your customers, you need to give a push notification [provider a good thought and choose the one that suits your needs the best.

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