Send a push notification

You can send basic push notifications—with a title and a body—as a part of a campaign or broadcast.

Create a Push Notification

This process covers a basic push notification. See Custom Push Payloads if you’re familiar with push notifications and want to send a message with images, links, or buttons!

  1. In your campaign, click and drag a Push Notification into your campaign from the sidebar.

  2. Click the push notification in your workflow to change its send behavior, add action conditions, etc. When you’re done, click to add content.

    If you’ve se tup both Android and iOS, you’ll see an option to choose which platform you’d like to send your push notification to (if you only want to send to one of iOS or Android):

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  3. Choose which device(s) will receive your message in the To field. By default, you send push notifications to all of a person’s devices. For more information, see chose which devices receive your message below.

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  4. (Optional) Set a Title—the text that appears above your message. If you don’t specify a title, Android devices display your app name, and iOS devices omit the title all together.

  5. Enter your Message text. We don’t have a strict size limit, but we suggest you keep messages as short as possible. Use the preview to see how your message wraps and how much real estate it consumes on the screen.

  6. Click Save to finish adding a push notification to your campaign.

Preview push notifications

When you compose your notification, you can select different mobile contexts to see what your push might look like on different devices. Here’s the iOS lock screen:

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We’ve chosen an “Alert” style for our display, but kept it fairly generic due to the sheer amount of devices that might be out there. To truly see what it looks like on a specific device, you should send a test to that device.

Choose which device(s) receive your message

When composing a push notification, the To field determines which of your audience’s device(s) receive the notification. By default, you send push notifications to all of a person’s devices.

You can limit the push to specific device(s) by selecting:

  • Last used device: Sends the message to the device that your customer most recently used with your app. By default, our SDKs set last_used when you invoke the identify method. If you integrate directly with our API, you can provide a last_used timestamp when updating devices our API.
  • Customize: Sends the message to a specific device token. Generally, when you use this option, you want to use a liquid variable—like if you store a person’s preferred device as an attributeA key-value pair that you associate with a person—like their name, the date they were created in your workspace, etc. Use attributes to target people and personalize messages., you might use this option and send to {{customer.preferred_device}}.

Personalize messages with liquid

As with all other Customer.io messages, you can personalize messages with relevant customer data using liquidA syntax that supports variables, letting you personalize messages for your audience. For example, if you want to reference a person’s first name, you might use the variable {{customer.first_name}}..

If you’ve got an event or API triggered broadcast campaign, you can also use event and broadcast data! For example, if you trigger your message using a purchase event, you might notify your audience how much they spent with a message like this:

Thanks for purchasing! You've spent {{event.total}}!

Test your push notifications

 Use a test/development workspace

When testing push notifications, you should test in a separate workspace from your production/customer-facing environment, ensuring that you never send your audience a message in error. For more information, see our testing recommendations

To send a test push, you’ll need the device tokens of your test devices. Go to the People page and select your test “people” to find their devices—either in the Devices tab or the Devices section of the Overview.

Hover over a token and click to copy it.

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Test your push content

To see your push notification’s content on a single device, click the “Send test” button in the top right-hand corner of the composer. You’ll see this modal:

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Paste your device token into the “Send test…” box in the Push composer and send a test to it. You may see a “Device type” option if you have both Android and iOS enabled, and you’ll need to tell us which type your test device is.

If you’ve chosen to send to sandbox in your Push settings, that will be enabled here. To disable it, you’ll need to return to your settings and uncheck that box:

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Once you’ve sent a test, you’ll be able to quickly re-use that token, by checking the ‘Last tested token’ box.

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