How to build a custom push notification service?

Published: April 24, 2020

Category: Affiliate marketing guides

So, you want to build a custom push notification service. All things considered, this seems like a difficult and unnecessary task. Luckily, with a great affiliate marketing network you can customize without going through the hassle.

Touch screen cellphone graph.
If you are running a mobile app, you need push notifications.

Why Push notifications?

Push notifications are a great way to communicate with your user base and increase business. They rank higher than other forms of communication with users. Emails can be recognized as spam. With push notifications, your users know who sent them right away and you’re sure they’ve seen them. Text messages can be tricky too. Some users have to pay for receiving them depending on their plan. Meanwhile, push notifications are always free to receive. This is why they are a great asset in marketing.

How are push notifications sent?

  • When a user installs an application it communicates with gateways. Depending on the OS, these are Google Cloud Messaging Service or Apple Push Notification System. Then the application requests tokens.
  • Tokens are saved from the device to server which handles push notification content.
  • When the content is ready to send, server connects to gateways. Then it sends tokens and content to them.
  • Gateways send push notification with the token.
Golden token graph.
Tokens are crucial for sending push notifications.

Why build a custom push notification service?

Most third-party push notification services won’t give you the level of control you want. Building your own service in-house means transferring these tasks to your company’s delivery system. Doing so is a hassle and time-consuming, since there are many options to consider. Luckily, a great company can build a custom service for you and allow you to reap the benefits without overwhelming your system.

A custom push notification service will allow you an amazing level of data control. Also, as all the strings are in your hands, you’ll be able to improve. Analyze the data and you get to see what works best. Then update your push notifications to be even more effective.

Introduction to push notifications

So, you decided to build a custom push notification service. What will happen after? When you’ve got your service, the customization options are endless. Here are some suggestions.


Push notifications are a great marketing tool. Even though this is true and proved, not everybody likes them. Some users simply don’t pay attention to notifications from any app, and turn them off from the start. Others, on the other hand, can get annoyed by the number of push notifications from a single app and decide to mute them. This is why you need to pay great attention to both quality and quantity of the content your app will send out.

Cellphone with its screen lit up.
Don’t overwhelm your users.

You need to consider multiple aspects of your app, as well as your user base. You know what you’re doing, but why do your users need it? Where are they from? Do they need to know something right now? What device are they using? These are all important questions and can help your program immensely.

Localize after you build a custom push notification service

Firstly, let’s imagine a user living in Norway. An app gives him a notification for a wonderful sale. The only problem is that the sale is only for selected stores in Paris. This means that he has no use for this information. And it is annoying. If it happens again – he’ll likely opt out of using the push notifications. He might lose some good offers, sure. But how likely is that? He uses the app less.

This is why it is important to send push notifications based on location. Your users already have your app on their phones. That’s to say, they are interested in what you’re offering. And people love sales and lowered prices, especially if they’re conveniently close to them. A timely sent push notification can help both sides. You are generating traffic, and they are getting great offers. Now they are more likely to continue using your app. They might even recommend it to a friend (or five of them).

Use the user’s history for mutual benefit

A new scenario: A user loves reading. She has bought books through an app a few times. Her screen lights up! It’s an offer for a new bestseller at 15% off. Only problem is, she almost exclusively reads classics, and the recommended book is a young adult romance. She is not interested at all, and ignores the push notification. Furthermore, it happens again. She decides to disable the push notifications. Lastly, she forgets she even has the app.

You already have the information on what your users like. People are more likely to buy things they enjoy. Again, selection is the key. Send more personalized push notifications. That is to say, ones that apply to the individual user according to their previous usage of the app. This way it is less likely for them to decide to opt out of using the push notification feature. Also, this way your push notifications offer good value to the users.

Technical reasons to build a custom push notification service

In both previous scenarios you’re using the knowledge of your user base to make their experience more positive. You can also do this by knowing which devices your clients are using. Push notifications sent out to IOS users are less effective. Even though the push message will show up on any locked screen, it is treated differently depending on the OS. For Iphone users it is enough to unlock their phones to remove it. On the other hand, android users must remove the notification manually. This means they are more likely to actually click them and see the offer. That’s why you must pay attention to the length of content in the notification. Push notifications with 10 words or less tend to give the best results with Iphone users.

In conclusion, if you use your push notifications thoughtfully, both your business and your user base will benefit from them. You show you care about the users, and they will care about you.

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