Push notifications are a powerful way to reach your community with timely, relevant messages. Push notifications have higher engagement rates than emails, which makes them a popular way to communicate with people who have downloaded your app.
Push vs. Text: The Difference
How are push messages different than text messages? Push messages are sent to anyone who has downloaded your app and who has opted into push notifications, while text messages can be sent to anyone whose phone number you have.
Ways to Use Push Notifications
- Tag-targeted messages. For example, send a message about volunteer opportunities to people who have expressed an interest in volunteering and who have opted to receive communications about volunteering.
- Content-targeted messages. For example, schedule a message that opens up to a survey that's set up inside of your app. No need for people to search through the app to find the content - you can link straight to it with the push message!
- Geo-targeted messages. For example, engage with people on Sunday mornings by sending an encouraging, welcoming message when they walk onto your church property.
Getting Started with Tag-targeted Push Notifications (segmented)
In order to send a tag-targeted push message, you'll want to create some tags. Go to People > Tags to create tags. (e.g. a private tag like 'Staff, that you'll manage on the back end, and another public tag like 'General,' 'Volunteers,' or 'Men's Group', where users will be able to subscribe from within the app.)
Public Tag or Private Tag?
After a tag has been created, click on it to manage whether it's public (available for users to subscribe to within the app), or private (users will be added to the tag by an admin on the back end).
- An example of a public tag is 'VBS Volunteers,' where anyone interested in learning more about volunteering for VBS can sign up to receive push messages related to volunteering for VBS.
- An example of a private tab is 'Staff,' a small, select group of people on staff at the church. These people will be added to the 'Staff' tag privately on the back end, and the 'Staff' tag won't be available for users to subscribe to within the app.
Turn on 'People can subscribe from app' if you would like people to be able to see this tag ('interest') and opt into receiving notifications about it (this is a 'public' tag, like VBS Volunteers). If you want the tag to remain 'private' and not be available for people to subscribe to within the app, leave this option turned off (like 'Staff').
In the example below, 'VBS Volunteers' is a 'Public' tag, so people will be able to see this tag under 'My Interests' inside of their profile and will be able to subscribe to it.
Private Segmented Push Notifications: Adding Users to a Tag
- To send a push message to people who are part of a private tag (like 'Staff'), each person needs to be tagged.
- Since the tag is private and is not available for people to subscribe to within the app, tagging people to be part of this private tag will be done on the back end by the admin.
- To add a person to a tag, go to People > Profiles, then check the box to the left of each person you would like to tag. Select “Tag [...] People,” choose the tag, and save your changes.
Public Segmented Push Notifications: Self-Tagging (within the app)
- People can opt into public tags within the app under their Profile. The profile can always be found by clicking the side menu inside of the app.
- Under the side menu, users will select their profile and then select the 'My Interests' section at the bottom of their profile to manage the interests (tags) they're part of.
- To subscribe or opt into an interest (tag), users can select the check mark next to the tag name. A green check mark indicates the user is subscribed to that interest (tag).
- To unsubscribe or opt out of an interest (tag), users can simply click the green check mark again. The icon will be greyed out, showing they are unsubscribed.
***Pro Tip: Send out a push notification encouraging your members to take a peek at different interests in-app by clicking on the "My Interest" button within their profile. Below is a screenshot of one of our partners who sent out a push notification encouraging their members to check out the "My Interests" section within their profile in-app.
Scheduling the Tag-targeted Push
- Under the 'Connect' tab and 'Schedule' dropdown, plug in the message you would like to send. Fill out the date and delivery time for the message.
- Select a tag under the 'Targeted Tag' dropdown to select a group.
- Toggle 'ON' the App Push button and then click 'Schedule Message.'
- *Important: If you would like a push message to go to everyone who has downloaded your app, regardless of whether they are part of a tag, you don't need to select a tag as you schedule the message.
- To delete a tag, go to People > Tags, select the tag you would like to delete, then click the 'Delete' button.
- *Note: Please make sure you're 100% certain you want to remove the tag when you delete it. After a tag is deleted, users will be unsubscribed from those pushes and will need to subscribe again in the future if added back.
Getting Started with Content-targeted Push Notifications
When scheduling a push message, you can select an app feature that will open when users open the push message. Use content-targeted push messages to direct users to a specific feature within your app. A content-targeted message is helpful when you want to call attention to a single app feature and allow users to access it with a single click!
If you've recently added new video content, select the video feature when scheduling the push message. Want to highlight an upcoming event? Select the calendar feature or an info page that's been dedicated to this event when scheduling the push! When users open the push message, they'll be taken straight to that feature inside of the app.
Scheduling the Content-targeted Push
- Under the 'Connect' tab and 'Schedule' dropdown, enter in the message you would like to send. Fill out the date and delivery time for the message.
- Select a tag under the 'Targeted Tag' dropdown if you want to select a tag (optional).
- Toggle 'ON' the App Push button.
- Select a feature under "Feature" to choose which feature will open inside of the app when the user opens the push message.
- Select 'Message Only' if you want the message to open to your app home page instead of a specific feature.
- Click 'Schedule Message' to schedule the message.
Continue reading to learn how to schedule a geo-targeted push!
Getting Started with Geo-targeted Push Notifications
Geo-targeted push messages allow you to send a push message to people based on their physical location. Schedule a push message to be sent to anyone who enters your church building on Sundays during a certain time, welcoming them and encouraging them to fill out a connection card.
- Selecting ‘Everywhere’ will send the push message regardless of physical location. Use ‘Everywhere’ to communicate about registrations, service opportunities, and when you need to get the word out fast for things like closures and emergencies.
- Selecting ‘Geo-targeted’ will allow you to drop a pin on a specific location, which will send the message to users when they enter that location radius. Use geo-targeted messages for a simple welcome or for encouraging people to check in when they arrive at the church location!
Scheduling the Geo-targeted Push
- Under Connect > Schedule, enter your push message, date, time, and tag (if applicable).
- Toggle on 'App push,' select a feature if you would like the push message to open up to a specific feature (see content-targeted push messages, above), and select Geo-targeted from the 'Where' dropdown.
- Drop a pin on the map to select the radius where the message will be sent.
*Tip: If you are physically within the scheduled radius for your notification, in order to receive your scheduled notification you will need to leave the radius and then enter that radius again.
- Select the delivery window when you’d like the push to be sent. For instance, if the message is going out at 9:00 am, selecting +/- 1 hour delivery window will send the message between 8:00 am and 10:00 am.
- Click Schedule Message!
Managing Push Messages
- After a message has been scheduled, you can view it under Connect > Activity.
- Change your mind and want to cancel the message before the scheduled delivery date and time? Simply click the garbage can next to the message.
- The key on the Activity page will show what type of message it was, and whether it's processing (hasn't been sent yet), or delivered.
Push messages are powerful. How will you leverage them to elevate your communication strategy today? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org - we're here to help you make the most of push messages!