Choosing a push notification tool

In this article we’ll review frameworks around push notification tools and help choose the right one to your needs!

Most of the push notification tools do the bare bones transactional push, however if your looking for more than the minimum functionality, read on!

Mechanical vs Behavioral push

Push notifications can be mechanical and behavioral based on user engagement.

The main distinction being mechanical are triggers that a user enables and behavioral push is broadcasted individually to users based on their past behavior. If you only are looking for bare bones transactional push, you can use some of the lightweight tools that are easy to code into your app and can be integrated to support mechanical push only.

Most of the push notification integrations on our platform cater to both mechanical and behavioral pushes, that work efficiently with user segmentation and drive more traffic/engagement into your app.

Here are the push notification tools we currently support:


In the landscape of push notifications, our integrations falls into the below categories based on their focus:


Kahuna is the only tool on this list whose primary focus is push notifications. But also support email and targeted facebook ads. It’s platform is best known for understanding “users” and not devices which is preferred by any e-commerce company. Rdio, Bellhops, Topline are few of our customers using kahuna.

  • Dynamic Deep Linking is a campaign capability that personalizes the user’s app experience after receiving and clicking on a push notification. Based on the user’s past browsing or purchasing behavior, each user is taken to a unique place in the app.
  • The magical “ghost push” feature tracks which push notifications are causing people to uninstall or opt out of any message in any campaign. You can see if you’re bugging your users too much.
  • Dynamic Audiences, allows marketers to automate their ad retargeting on Facebook while also keeping track of customer purchases in real time so that users are not hit with the same ad after they’ve already purchased the product.
  • Message Optimization A-E testing- lets you choose 5 push notifications to market test which notification is most optimal with the users and automatically pushes it.

BlueshiftAppboy and Outbound have a slightly broader focus because they are more inclined to being a communication platform that can send Emails and Push Notifications. Blueshift even does retargeted display ads.

Appboy - It’s easy-to-use dashboard caters to many customizations that focuses on creating

  • targeted content- based on detailed user profiles
  • Segment your users- based on demographics, location, in-app behavior (such as frequency of app use and number of in-app purchases), social network activity
  • User conversion- analyze a user’s journey, anticipate their next steps and nudge them toward key actions.
  • Schedule well-timed campaigns for a specific time, as well as create daily, weekly or monthly campaigns targeted at specific segments.

Outbound - It is a newer tool in the market and recommended to smaller size companies and startups . Their campaigns drive engagement based on user actions and the most unique feature is being able to switch between email, iOS or Android push, SMS and voice messages with a click. You can customize notifications based on the device each user prefers.

Powerful user segmentation - Trigger-based campaigns sends automated messages based on what users do in your app and Broadcast campaigns send a one-time message to a segment of your users based on their history.

Use actions and not lists- Track any action your users take in your website or app immediately, without creating a segment in advance.

  • Choose an action from the list to set a trigger for your campaign. When a user does that action, Outbound will add that person to your campaign in real time.
  • Automatically update users with our API. When something changes for a user (like a new email address), Outbound stays up-to-date with the same data you have.

Fully fledged marketing suites

MixpanelLeanplumLocalytics and Flurry are fully-fledged mobile analytics suites that offer push notification campaigns as part of the suite.

Localytics - Localytics is spectacular at capturing behavioral data because it is very lightweight and easy to code into your app. Their push product will start to merge the gap between the behavioral and mechanical data. Spoonrocket, Grindr, banksimple, livecareer , angieslist , tapdecor are few of our customers integrated with them.

Some features of Localytics Push:

  • Personalized Targeting - Target campaigns to an existing segment of users, or create an ad hoc filter for each campaign. Target based on users’ in-app behaviors - e.g. Users who did the “add to cart” event in the past 7 days but did not do the “complete checkout” event.
  • Automated Campaigns - You can schedule campaigns to go out immediately or at a single point in the future, or set up an automated campaign that sends on a recurring, scheduled basis to newly qualified users.

  • A/B & Multivariate testing - Test up to 5 message variants for each campaign and see what wins.

  • Performance Analysis - Every campaign gets a dedicated performance screen that tracks impressions, clicks, and conversions over time. You can select any of your events as the “conversion” event for a campaign. You can set up funnels to see how users who viewed a campaign fared in the conversion process, or use event-based cohort retention to see if viewing a campaign improved retention for any action in your app.

Leanplum - Leanplum started out as a mobile A/B testing service, but over time, they have a fully integrated Content Management, A/B testing and Analytics for native mobile apps which is a flexible and easy to use solution for optimizing your mobile user experience.

  • Trigger personalized messages based on user attributes and event data, for example, an e-commerce app could send a coupon to regular customers who abandon their shopping carts
  • Programmatically tailor the user interface to individual users. If a user only shares to Twitter, for example, an app could then switch the default sharing mechanism from Facebook to Twitter to accommodate that.

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