Push notifications FAQ


What's a push notification?

Push Notifications are a great way to keep your users engaged to your application. Using Countly Push, it's possible to send a specific message to a group of users immediately, increasing user retention and satisfaction.

Why should I use push notifications ?

Typically, push notifications are one component of a product’s broader user engagement strategy. Ideally, push messaging should be implemented in addition to, rather than in place of, emailing users and displaying in-app messages. Unlike email marketing campaigns, push notifications are intended to be short and succinct, as opening the notification will direct the user to the promoted content (e.g. an alert about a breaking news story will send the user to the app screen where the full story appears).

Apps (that is to say, app/product management teams) may send their users push notifications in order to:

  • Highlight a new or updated product feature or content
  • Remind user of an upcoming event (e.g. a birthday party) or task to complete (e.g. a to-do list item)
  • Alert user to an important, time sensitive event (e.g. flight updates, breaking news)
  • Inform user of commercial activity or event (e.g. concert tickets going on sale, retail promotions)
  • Re-engage users who have not interacted with the product recently

What functionality does Countly push offer?

These are the basic features of Countly push notifications:

  • Send rich push with video, image and music
  • Show delivery rate, enabling percentage and action percentage
  • Show all users and messaging-enabled users
  • Send now or schedule to send later
  • Send message, sound, badge, custom data or any combination of these
  • Send to production or test devices
  • Send to two platforms at the same time
  • Send interactive push with buttons
  • Send push notifications with a URL or deeplink
  • Send localized push

Features above are available for Community Edition and Enterprise Edition.

What platforms does Countly Push Notifications support?

Countly supports iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android devices.

How can I enter required information for my app to send a push notification?

Push notifications is integrated into Countly. When you add an application and then click on edit button, you'll see a list of necessary credentials and certifications for iOS and/or Android. You need to fill in these blanks and this information is available on your dashboard on either Google Play or App Store dashboard.

What's latency of push notifications?

It depends. Sometimes it might take a second for notification to be delivered, sometimes it takes longer. Latency mostly depends on device networking and Apple or Google services health & throughput.

What kind of media can be sent to iOS and Android devices?

iOS supports video, animated image, image and audio files. Android only supports images.

File size limitations for iOS is 10Mb for images, 5Mb for audio and 50Mb for video. Android doesn't have hard limits, however we strongly suggest that you limit file sizes based on iOS.

You can send JPEG, PNG images, GIF animations, MP4 video and MP3 audio.

How many buttons can be used in a push notification?

Countly supports up to 2 buttons for iOS and Android.

What are some of the good push practices?

Here are some of the guidelines you should follow when you send a push notification:

  • Know your average user’s schedule. It is critical to understand when your users want to receive push notifications, and when receiving a message would be an irritation.
  • Frequency of notifications is a meaningful factor - our surveys indicated that receiving up to 8 messages in one week causes more than 60% of respondents to disable push notifications.
  • Send personal and quality content. Even if push notifications arrive at the right time, to be truly effective the content of the messages must feel personal and engaging to the target user. This includes the CTA, i.e. your “ask” of the user, as well as the content/information the push notification directs the user to. An effective push notification will clearly indicate what the user needs to know, why they should care, and what action they can take.
  • Employ deep linking/Dynamic Deep Linking to direct users to specific pages/screens.
  • Prior to launching a campaign, test push notifications (e.g. via A/B testing) to identify strengths and weaknesses of proposed messages, and adjust content accordingly.

What's the sending rate for push notifications?

That depends on your server CPU and RAM configuration. On a small server with 4 GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores, both Android and iOS push sending rate is 1500 messages per second. Increasing RAM and CPU also increases this rate.

What is the character limit of a single message?

The message size can be 4096 characters for Android and 2048 characters for iOS.

What are general industry standards for opening push notifications?

In our investigations, opening rate is between 10-60% for most applications. You can greatly increase this number by educating your app users before asking for a push receipt request - so that they can know they'll benefit from your app by allowing to get push notifications.

Some of the users don't receive push notifications

If you see on the dashboard that some of your users don't receive push notifications, than either they have uninstalled your application, or their device tokens are invalid. In this case, push notification is not received on the end. Under the Messaging dashboard, you will see how many invalid push notification tokens there are, per each push notification sent.

Do you support geolocations?

Yes, you can send push notifications to a group of users inside a specific geolocation.

Does Countly push notifications have API?

It's possible to send push notifications programmatically. Please refer to REST API Reference documentation for more information.

What happens when user accepts to get push notifications, but device is offline?

This request is stored and when device is online, it's sent to Countly servers in order not to lose the request.

Where can I host my images or videos?

All images and videos should be hosted on a site and each device will retrieve those images & videos before showing the notification to your users. Note that Apple requires storing those images on a secure URL (which eventually should start with HTTPS).

I receive some errors as I send a push. How do I troubleshoot?

You can read about our push troubleshooting document here.

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