Last modified November 22, 2014 by Gordon Glauser

Creating Push Notifications

The push notification campaign workflow enables you to create, customize, preview and test push notifications. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a new push campaign, add content to your notification, select your target audience and campaign goals, and schedule or launch your campaign.

There are five main steps involved in creating a push notification campaign:

  1. Select the notification type.
  2. Add your notification content.
  3. Define the target audience for your push notification.
  4. Select custom goals to report the engagement or conversion of users following receipt of the notification.
  5. QA test your push notification (optional) and, finally, schedule or launch your notification.
This tutorial assumes your development team has completed the required prerequisites to enable push notification campaigns in Swrve. It covers creating a one time push notification or a recurring push notification campaign that you launch or schedule directly in Swrve. For push notifications that are triggered externally using the Push API, see Transactional Push API Campaigns. For quick, broadcast-type push notifications, see Quick Push Notifications.

Create a New Push Campaign

To access the push campaign workflow and complete the overview:

Push Notification Overview

Step 1: On the Campaigns menu, click Push Notifications.

Step 2: On the Push Notifications screen, click Create Push Notification.

Step 3: On the Overview screen of the workflow, enter a Name and Description for the notification.

Step 4: If it is not automatically selected (depending on app settings), in the Platform list, select your app platform.

Step 5: In the Frequency list, select how often you want to send the push notification:

  • Once – send the push notification as a one time occurrence.
  • Daily With Recency Criteria – send the push notification as a daily occurrence, to a selected cohort of users. To set the audience criteria, select one of the following options from the list and enter a value in the N days ago box:
    • Event – sends a message to users who triggered the selected event N days ago. In the Search for Event field, enter the event name or select one from the list.
    • Last session was – sends a message to users who last used the app N days ago.
    • App was installed – sends a message to users who installed the app N days ago.
    • Date User Property – sends a message to users when the date and time of the selected user property matches N days away or days ago. In the Search for User Property field, enter the property name or select one from the list.

    The target audience is recalculated on a daily basis so the push notification is sent only to users who fall into the selected category on that day.

  • Recurring Schedule – the push notification is sent on a weekly recurring schedule, to all users who match the audience on that day. You can set the audience targeting and scheduling options on the Set Target and Preview & Test screens of the campaign workflow.

Step 6: Select the push notification Type:

  • Push with Message – send a regular push notification with content.
  • Background App Update – send a silent push notification with background app update information.

Note: The silent push feature is currently only available as part of our Early Access program. If you would like to have it enabled for your app, contact your Customer Success Manager at support@swrve.com.

Step 7: Click Next: Content to proceed.

For one time push notifications, Swrve displays the following metrics and continues to update them as you complete each screen of the push notification workflow:

  • The estimated target audience of the push notification (that is, the potential audience).
  • The estimated target audience of the push notification as a percentage of the total number of users that Swrve has recorded for your app.

Add Notification Content

The options that appear on the Add Content screen depend on the platform and notification type you selected on the Overview screen.

Swrve now supports using rich media and custom buttons in your push notifications. This feature is currently available as part of our Early Access program. If you would like it enabled for your app, please contact your Customer Success Manager at support@swrve.com. For more information and examples of how to add rich media to your push notification content, see About Rich Push Notifications.

Step 1: On the Add Content screen, enter your basic notification content:

Push notification basic content

  • Title – the notification title (1).
  • Subtitle – the notification subtitle (2).
  • Body – the notification text (3).
  • Icon (Android only) – If you include an image in your notification, iOS automatically uses it for the icon image. For Android, you must include a separate icon image (4) that is displayed on the lock screen or in banner view.

The title and subtitle are limited to 255 characters but may be truncated in the actual display, depending on the device and platform. We recommend testing on different QA devices to ensure your content displays as desired.

When you click in a text box, the Insert Property ()  and emoji () icons are displayed and enable you to include custom user properties or emojis in your message text. For more information, see Personalizing Push Notifications and How Do I Include Emojis in My Campaigns?

A preview of your push notification is displayed on the right side of the screen. Select an option from the preview list to view the notification on different devices and formats. The format of the delivered message depends on the device preferences and operating system of the recipient.

Step 2: (Android only) – Android has the option to include different content for when a user expands the notification. If you want to include additional content (for example, a longer body message), in the Expanded Content section, enter the expanded content Title, Body, and Main Media. If you do not include expanded content, the expanded message uses the same content as the basic notification.

Step 3: If you want to include rich media in your message, in the Media section, select the type of media, and then either upload the file or enter the URL of the file you want to use. For more information on the media options available, see About Rich Push Notifications.

If the media you include is personalized (for example, a user’s profile photo or a daily subscription video), in the Show Media Options section, you can specify fallback media content that is used if a user does not a value for the referenced media.

Step 4: In the Button & Actions section, select the action you want to occur if the user initially engages with the notification. The available actions are:

  • Open App – opens the app in the foreground.
  • Open deeplink/URL – directs the user to a particular custom location. For example, you might use a deeplink to direct the user straight to your app store. Coordinate with your development team to determine the exact deeplink URL to enter.

Step 5: If you want to include additional actions for your notification that are displayed in extended view, select up to three custom buttons.

Rich push buttons and actions

To add custom buttons:

  1. Click Add Custom Buttons
  2. Select the number of buttons you want to include (1, 2 or 3).
  3. Enter the button labels. Depending on the platform, you may be very limited in the number of characters that will display on the button.
  4. Select the desired actions. If you select URL/Deeplink, enter the required value in the field next to the action list.
  5. Click Save Buttons.

Step 6: By default, devices that don’t support rich media or are not running the Swrve SDK version 4.11+ of your app will only display the notification Title, Subtitle and Body. If you add media or buttons to your notification, the Send push to devices that don’t support rich media toggle is displayed and you can add custom text that is displayed on such devices. Click Add Custom Text and then enter the alternative Title, Subtitle and Body.

If you do not want to send the push to devices that don’t support rich notifications, click the toggle button to disable this option.

Step 7: If you want instructional parameters to be sent to your app when you send the push notification, define custom key/value pairs. For example, you might want to direct the user straight to the store (instead of the default start screen) when they open your app from the push notification. Alternatively, you might want tracking parameters to be passed from the push notification for use by your internal or external tracking systems. To add custom key/value pairs:

  1. Click Show Advanced Options.
  2. In the Custom Properties section, click Add Key/Value.
  3. Enter a key/value pair in the Key and Value fields. For example, go_to/store, trial/30days or discount/10percent. The Payload box displays the actual code sent with your push notification.

Step 8: To select a sound for your push notification, under Advanced Options, click Alert Sound and then select the desired sound from the list. For information about configuring custom sounds so that they are available in the Alert Sound list, see Push Campaign Prerequisites.

Step 9: (Apple only) If your push notification is targeted at Apple users, under Advanced Options, the iOS Category option is available. To make the notification appear as an interactive push notification on devices running iOS 8 or later, select a custom action category (for example, Yes/No, Ignore/Respond) from the list. For information about configuring custom action categories for this list, see Push Campaign Prerequisites.

Step 10: Click Next: Set Targeting to proceed.

To A/B test the contents of your push notification for best conversion, click A/B test. For more information, see A/B Testing Push Notifications.
To create localized versions of the push notification, click Localize. For more information, see Localizing Push Notifications. Note that it is only possible to A/B test or localize the push notification; you cannot do both.

Silent Notifications

Silent notifications enable you to update your app content in the background, and, if applicable, add a badge icon to notify the user about the app update. Silent notifications are available in the regular push notification workflow and with notifications sent via the Transactional Push API.

If you select Background App Update on the Overview screen, the Add Content screen only displays options to include the push notification payload and add a badge to your app icon.

silent push

In the Custom Properties section, add key/value pairs or groups to specify either the content of the update or instructions for retrieving the content from your servers. Key/Value Groups enable you to nest multiple key/values under the group name in the JSON payload. Consult with your development team about the appropriate key/value pairs to use to trigger the outcome you require.

If you select App Icon Badge, a badge containing “1” will be added to your App Icon. The badge disappears once the user opens the app.

A/B testing and localization is also available for silent push notifications.


Set Targeting

By default, One Time push notifications are targeted at all users. For recurring push notifications, the default audience is the daily cohort of users selected on the Overview screen. On the Set Target screen, you can add additional constraints to your target audience.

To set the target audience:

Step 1: Under the Define Your Target Audience section of the screen, depending on your comfort level with AND/OR logic, select the mode (Simple or Advanced) and primary operator you want to use to filter your audience. For more information about Simple and Advanced mode, see About Audience Filters.

Step 2: Click Add Profile Filter and select the type of data on which you want to base your filter. For detailed information on the data types and filter descriptions, see About Audience Filters.

Step 3: Create your filter using the filter type, operator and value fields provided. Note that Swrve provides an OR condition to enable you to associate multiple values with the same operator. For example, if you selected the DEMOGRAPHIC data type, you could target users who are Norwegian or Finnish speakers by making the following selections from the filter type, operator and value drop-down lists: Language, is Norwegian OR Finnish.

Step 4: Click Add to save the filter definition.


Select Campaign Goals

The default attribution period for a campaign is 30 days (that is, campaign goals are attributed back to the user if they achieve the goal within 30 days from the time they first open the app after receiving the push). Swrve automatically tracks certain goals, such as engagement rate and subsequent time the user spends in the app. The Select Campaign Goals section enables you to customize the attribution period and select additional reporting goals.

To change the attribution period and select custom goals:

Step 1: In the Attribution Period box, enter a value for the number of days or hours you want to change it to and then select hours or days from the list.

Step 2: Select the Primary Goal for your campaign. This is the initial event or purchase you want users to make after receiving the notification.

  • Event – Use to track engagement with a specific feature you are promoting in your notification. Select an event from the list.
  • In-App Purchase (using real currency) – Use to track in-app purchases of promotional items featured in your notification. Select of any item or of a specific item, and if required, select the specific item from the list.
  • Purchase (using virtual currency) – Use to track virtual currency purchases of promotional items featured in your notification. Select of any item or of a specific item, and if required, select the specific item from the list.

Step 2: If required, select the Secondary Goal for your campaign. This might be an event or purchase you want users to make further downstream. For example, the primary goal of the notification might be to have users purchase virtual currency for your app and then the secondary goal would be to track users spending the virtual currency.

Step 3: Click Save as Draft: Preview & Test to save your draft push notification and proceed to the Preview & Test screen of the workflow.

The push notification status is automatically set to Draft and the notification is saved on the Push Notifications screen if you decide to exit the workflow and complete it later on.


Test and Launch

The Preview & Test screen displays an overview of your campaign and enables you to QA test the push notification and select different options for scheduling when the push notification is sent.

QA Testing

If required, you can QA test your push notification before launching it. For more information, see QA Testing Push Notifications.

Schedule and Launch

When you are ready to launch the campaign, in the Schedule section, select an option for sending the push notification. Click a tab below for the relevant type of push notification:

One Time

To launch your push notification immediately, in the Schedule section, select As soon as possible, and then click Launch Campaign.

To schedule your push notification for a set delivery date and time:

Step 1: In the Schedule section, select On a specific date.

Step 2: Click the date field and select the start date from the calendar.

Step 3: In the next field, select the time at which to send the push notification. The options are:

  • At the same time worldwide – Select a time from the list at which the push notification is sent to all users at the same time, in your company’s time zone.
  • At specific local time of the user – Select a time from the list at which the push notification is sent in the user’s local time zone.
  • At user’s optimal time – Select the first option to send the push notification at the optimal time for each user within a certain window, or select the second option to send the push notification at the optimal time for the user within a 24-hour time period (that is, 24 hours on the date you selected, in your company’s time zone). Swrve runs a proprietary algorithm that analyzes user behavior to calculate the optimal time, on a per-user basis, to send them the push notification.

Step 4: Click Launch Campaign.

Recurring

The soonest a recurring push notification can be sent is the next day.

Step 1: In the Schedule section, select an option to specify the time at which the notification should be sent (either daily or on the selected day(s), if applicable). The options are:

  • At the same time worldwide – Select a time from the list at which the push notification is sent to all users at the same time, in your company’s time zone.
  • At specific local time of the user – Select a time from the list at which the push notification is sent in the user’s local time zone.
  • At user’s optimal time – Select the first option to send the push notification at the optimal time for each user within a certain window, or select the second option to send the push notification at the optimal time for the user within a 24-hour time period (that is, 24 hours on the date you selected, in your company’s time zone). Swrve runs a proprietary algorithm that analyzes user behavior to calculate the optimal time, on a per-user basis, to send them the push notification.

Step 2: If you selected Recurring Schedule on the Overview screen, select the exact day(s) on which you want to send the notification.

Step 3: To schedule your push notification to start on a set date, in the Start field, select the start date from the calendar.

Note: The following defaults also apply if scheduling the push notification at the user’s local or optimal time:

  • Daily With Recency Criteria – You must select a date at least one day in the future.
  • Recurring Schedule – You must select a date at least two days in the future.

Step 4: In the End section, select the end date for the campaign from the On a specific date calendar, or leave the selection at the default Never – keep as on-going campaign to set the campaign as ongoing.

Step 5: Click Launch Campaign.

If you launch a one time push notification (without scheduling), the status is set to Sending. If you schedule the push notification to be deliverable on a particular date and time, the status is set to Scheduled until this time is reached.

If a push notification is recurring, the status shows as Active. Once started, it runs on the scheduled days between the start and end dates, or until manually ended in the case of ongoing campaigns.

The push notification now displays on the Push Notifications screen. Only those users who have downloaded the latest push-enabled version of your app can receive push notifications.

To create a copy of your push notification, on the individual push notification screen, click Duplicate push notification. You can edit and launch the copy according to your needs.


Next Steps