Get started

Before you begin

Setting up push notifications requires development work in your mobile app, access to your push provider, and then you’ll need to compose messages in Customer.io. This may mean that you’ll need to coordinate work across a few different people in your organization to get up and running!

Your path in the setup process might change depending on whether you’re a developer integrating with Customer.io or a marketer who wants to send messages. Use the chart below to better understand what you, or other members of your team, must to do before you can send push notifications to your app’s users. Some of the squares below link directly to relevant documentation!

flowchart LR a{Where do
I start?} a--->|I'm a marketer| f a-->|I'm a developer| b{Integrate your
mobile app} subgraph Developers b-->d[Use our SDKs] b-->e[Integrate directly] end d-->f[Authorize push
provider] subgraph Developers or Marketers f end e-->f f-.->|no images
or links|c[Send simple push] f-.->|add images
and links|g[Send rich push] subgraph Marketers c g end click f "/docs/push-developer-guide/#generate-certificates" _self click d "/docs/sdk/" _self click e "/docs/push-developer-guide/" _self click c "/docs/send-push/" _self click g "/docs/push-custom-payloads/" _self

Plan your implementation

A simple push notification, which most integrations support by default, contains a title and a body. However, you may want to send your audience images, link them to pages in your app (commonly known as a “deep link”), or group notifications for different purposes in your app. All of these features may take additional development, and require you to use a custom payload.

Before you get started with push notifications, you should map out the things you want your push notifications to do and make sure that you integrate with the correct SDK modules or develop those features in your app.

Set up your mobile app

Before you can send push notifications, you need to make sure that your app is set up to work with Customer.io. In general, we recommend that you integrate with Customer.io using our SDKs to simplify your development process and provide a standard avenue for us to support your app and use cases.

Whether you use our SDKs or write your own integration, your app must do the following things.

  1. Identify people and register device tokens for people. In general, this means that your app requires people to log in, or otherwise make themselves known to you; a device token cannot be “anonymous” in Customer.io.
  2. Set up your app to receive push notifications.
  3. (Recommended) Set up your app to report push metrics back to Customer.io. Our SDKs have functions to do this somewhat automatically.
  4. (Recommended) Send events back to Customer.io representing activity you want to track or trigger campaigns.
  5. (Recommended) Set up your app to interpret rich push notifications—messages that include images, links, sounds, etc.

Pick your push provider(s)

Before you can send a push notification, you need to authorize Customer.io to send notifications through your push notification service(s).

There are two push notification services, and they allow third parties (like us, Customer.io!) to send notifications to apps installed on iOS and/or Android-based devices. Depending on your app development path, you may use one or both services.

As a part of the setup process, you’ll provide Customer.io with your push provider’s certificate. If you don’t know which service(s) you use, or you don’t have access to your services, you may need to talk to a developer on your team to gain access to your push service credentials.

Service Supports Required in Customer.io
Apple Push Notification service .p8 certificate, App ID, App key, Bundle ID
Firebase Cloud Messaging .JSON key
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