What Other Push Notification Providers Aren’t Telling You
Who doesn’t want to keep discovering new and engaging ways to talk to their customers or followers – loyal, new, and prospective. And, as a business or website owner you might be considering push notifications (web and mobile) as a mouthpiece to keep them hooked.
There are scores of push notifications providers in the market offering just what you are looking for. Push notification technology exponentially increases your subscriber base and helps you retain the existing one. But here are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.
1. You cannot export your subscriber list if you don’t have your own FCM key
Google’s FCM or Firebase Cloud Messaging enables you to send notifications across several platforms. You can use FCM to build your own notification service or you can sign up with a notification provider who has already done the job for you.
When you do sign up with a push provider and you don’t have your own FCM account (here’s how you go about getting one), you use the FCM account of the push provider. This means that if and when you want to change your push provider or export your subscriber list, you can’t. Why, you may ask. This is because-
Scenario 1: When you want to change your push provider
If you are using the FCM account of the push provider you signed up with, your subscriber list is with them, in their FCM account. And, this account would also have the subscriber base of their other clients. Due to this, they would not risk giving you access to it. And, when you do move to another push provider, you lose ALL your subscribers that are linked to their FCM account.
Scenario 2: When you want to export/download your subscribers
If you’re using the FCM account of your push provider, you cannot export or download your subscriber list when you want. This is again because the push provider isn’t going to give you access to their FCM account as it houses the subscriber base of other clients. So, it’s advisable to have your own FCM account to which your subscribers can be linked to.
How your subscribers are attached to your own FCM key
When you sign up with a push notification provider after creating your own FCM account, you can give them your FCM Project Number (Sender ID) and FCM API key. Now, when subscribers sign up for your push notifications, they are linked to your FCM account. This implies that if you do decide to change your push provider or export your subscriber base, you can do so, without losing your subscribers. You can then share these with your new push provider and continue having access to your subscribers.
An important point to remember is that, if you use the FCM account of your push provider for a while before creating your own, you won’t be able to export the subscribers who are attached to the FCM account of the push provider. This has repercussions on the delivery rate of your push notifications and we’ll tell you about that in a bit.
2. You should consider creating your own FCM account even while signing up for free trial
It is important that you create your own FCM account even before signing up for a free trial with a push notification provider. Because whatever subscriber numbers you might have, especially if it’s large, you might run the risk of losing them if you do change your push provider.
Make sure to have the ball in your court by setting up your own FCM account before signing up for a free push notification trial.
3. Impact on push notification delivery rate if you enter the wrong FCM details
The delivery rate of push notifications can be affected if you end up entering the wrong FCM key and the wrong Project number when signing up for an account with a push notifications service. This is because subscribers are linked to the FCM Project Number. So, either your subscribers do not get your push notifications or you won’t be able to collect subscribers.
4. Google may limit the number of subscribers associated with one FCM key
So far, there is no limit to the number of subscribers linked to one FCM account. And neither has Google made any official announcement on the matter. But in the future, there might be a restriction to the number of subscribers one FCM account can have. And if your subscriber base is associated with the FCM account of your push provider, this could put your base in jeopardy. You may lose out on subscribers as subscribers of other clients are also linked to the FCM account of your push provider. Hence, it’s recommended to have your own FCM account before using push notifications to reach out to your audience.
That’s all folks. You are now ready to choose wisely.