Firebase cloud (push) messaging

Firebase cloud (push) messaging

Firebase messages are powerful features that allow you to engage and communicate with your app users directly within your app's interface. In this article, we will explore the scope and prerequisites for using Firebase cloud messages and provide step-by-step implementation instructions, empowering you to leverage this feature in your app effectively. 

Related JMango360 support articles: 
  1. Getting started with Firebase
  2. Firebase in-app Messaging 
  3. Firebase and Google Analytics 4

1. About cloud (push)messaging

Push messaging is in all subscription types of JMango360 via the JMango360 platform. Following our update of the Firebase SDK into our solution it’s also possible to send push messages via the Firebase console adding new functionality. 

JMango360 Platform 
  1. Schedule notifications with links to app modules, products, and categories
  2. Automated back-in-stock notifications
  3. Automated order status push notifications
Firebase console
  1. Segment messages based on Firebase collected events and data points. For example; First open, completed purchase, country, app version, and last app engagement.  
  2. Schedule recurring messages
  3. Supports multi storeview; Send one message to multiple storeviews. 
  4. A/B Testing
  5. Design possibilities; add an image, change message format and colours. 
Unsupported features
  1. Import client segments from other systems or services
  2. Deep linking messages with an app using Firebase Dynamic Links

2. Send a Cloud (push) message via the Firebase console 

To access and configure push messages within your Firebase project, follow these steps

Step 1: Access Firebase console 

  1. Log in to your Firebase console account and select the desired project 
  2. In the left-hand navigation menu, click Messaging.
  3. If it's your first time setting up push messaging, you may need to enable it by clicking Create your first campaign. Or otherwise, click the New Campaign button to create a new push messaging campaign.
  4. A pop-up will appear and provide two message types, continue to choose Notifications

Step 2: Create a push message

Now that you can access the Compose Notification page, you can write and edit content for your push messages.

Tip: If you already have (successful) notifications, you can easily duplicate these messages! Select your message in the Campaigns list, click on the 3 dots at the end of the row, and click Duplicate

1. Create your notification
 Select notification title, text, image, and name.
  1. Your title is always displayed to the user.
  2. The text will get cut off after a certain amount of characters, but will be visible in full when opening the push notification. 
  3. In the (free) Spark plan you can only upload images via URL, in the (paid) Blaze plan, you can upload images as this requires the Storage functionality. Recommendation: You can utilize Imgur as one of the best free image hosting platforms in the world for your image hosting needs when setting up Firebase messaging.
  4. The name used to identify this notification on Firebase. This name is not shown to users.

2. Define the target: Define the targeting criteria for your notification with the following:
  1. Eligible users: See also the section “4. Best practices for the primary use cases and required targets”. 
    1. You first need to select the app iOS or Android. If you want to send the message to both Apps you need to duplicate the message. You can easily do this from the campaign's overview once the message is created.
    2. (Key feature) If you want to segment your message, click ‘And’ and add your segments.You can select the following targets: 
      1. Version: Use this target to send messages to app users on old(er) versions to update the app. 
      2. Language: This is related to the selected language on the users' phone (not the selected app store). Use this target to send messages in various languages. 
      3. Country / Region: This is related to the selected country on the users' phones (not the selected app store).  Use this target to send messages to users in different countries.. 
      4. User Audience: As a default, you can select All users or only Purchasers (users who have completed a purchase via the app). Use this target to offer special offers to the app users without a purchase or with a purchase. Tip: you can create additional audiences, see also this Firebase support article
      5. User Property: We recommend using Audiences (see above)
      6. First open: You can select a time range. Use this target to share information with new users for example about key features of the app, creating an account, or information about the benefits of enabling push notifications.
      7. Last App Engagement: You can select a time range. Use this target to re-activate users after a period of inactivity. 
    3. Firebase will show the total number of app users eligible to receive this message. If this number is (too) low we recommend altering your targets.
    4. (Key feature) Localize your message. If you want to send the message in various languages, You can add different languages or use Google Translate. 

3. Define the schedule: Based on the settings you can; send notifications instantly or schedule them for a later date and time(zone).

Step 3: Reviewing and publishing the message

  1. The functionality “Send test message” is only available for the JMango360 test devices.  
  2. Click on the Review to review the summary of your notification and ensure all settings are correct.
  3. If satisfied, click Publish to make your message live.
  4. Not ready to publish? You can also save your message as a draft!

3. Analytics

In the Firebase console, you can monitor the performance of your push notifications. You can view analytics per message or combined. 

1. Notification analytics: Click on the notification and view the impressions and clicks.

2. Messaging reports: 
  1. Click on the Reports tab.
  2. Select Filters (if applicable). Tip: Because not all data is available for iOS (see below) we recommend only selecting the Android app to compare conversions like for like. 
  3. Definitions 
    1. Send: Number of notification/data messages sent to users
    2. Received: Number of notification/data messages received by users (only available for Android and partially for Apple)
    3. Impressions: Number of notification messages seen by users (only available for Android)
    4. Open count: Number of notification messages opened by users

4. Personalizing your push notifications

Firebase Cloud Messaging allows you to deliver personalized, contextual messages directly to your customers to engage users and drive specific actions. Personalization has proved to not only increase conversion and customer loyalty, but it also allows your marketers to get more in-depth segmented information about customer groups and has proven to build trust.

Here are the key features and their strengths:

1. Personalization and Contextual Targeting: Deliver Relevant Messages to Users
Firebase Cloud Messaging enables you to create personalized messages and target them to specific user segments based on demographics, user behavior, or app usage patterns. This contextual targeting ensures that messages are relevant, increasing their effectiveness.

For the best configuration, you should:
  1. Define clear goals for your push notification campaigns.
  2. Segment your user base based on relevant criteria, such as user properties or custom events.
  3. Tailor message content, design, and timing to maximize relevance and impact.
  4. Leverage A/B testing to experiment with different message variants and optimize performance.
E.g: if you have a pet food app, you can designate a customized push notification to users who have purchased from specific categories, marking them as ‘cat’-, or ‘dog’ people.

2. Audiences: Engage the right Users with the right message
Firebase Cloud Messaging allows you to schedule notifications that only get sent to users in a specific Audience, at a specific frequency. Delivering segmented messages to the right users enhances user experience and increases the likelihood of user engagement.

For the best configuration, you should:
  1. Identify and set up relevant Audiences based on user actions or app events.
  2. Set up message delivery frequency to align with user behavior patterns and preferences.
  3. Consider factors like time zones, user activity, and specific actions to deliver messages when they are most likely to be noticed.
E.g: If you own a fashion app, you can trigger a push notification offering a discount code when a user adds items to their cart but has not yet checked out.

3. Performance Monitoring and Iteration: Measure and Optimize Message Effectiveness
Monitoring the performance of your push notifications allows you to analyze metrics such as impressions, click-through rates, and conversions. This data helps you iterate and optimize your messaging strategy for maximum impact.

For the best configuration, you should:
  1. Regularly monitor message performance using Firebase Analytics and the Firebase console.
  2. Analyze key metrics to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.
  3. Iterate on messaging content, design, and targeting based on performance insights.
You can track the click-through and conversion rates of cloud messages promoting specific products to identify which messages drive the most user engagement and conversions.

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