Push Notifications

What is a Push Notification?

Push Notifications are messages and alerts that can be sent directly to smartphone users. Push Notification functionality is included in the Koupon SDK and used by many of our clients to engage and communicate with customers about offers. They require that a customer has downloaded the client’s app and are effective in that they can be delivered even if the app isn’t open or running in the foreground. For Koupon clients, Push Notifications are often used to notify app users about a special promotion, new offers, or simply to remind the user to re-engage with the app.

Koupon supports Push Messaging for both iOS and Android apps. There are some differences between how each platform handles push notifications, but they are very similar.

Local vs. Remote Notifications

Apple iOS and Android support two types of notifications — Local and Remote. Local notifications appear the same as Remote push notifications, but are built and configured within an app. Remote Notifications (also known as Push Notifications) are sent remotely, giving marketers and developers the flexibility to send notifications at targeted times and to specified groups of users without releasing a new version of the app. Account’s that use the Koupon SDK can send Push Notifications using Koupon Manager.

Local push notifications are best suited for marketers that aim to set fixed, repeated patterns about notifications (such as a calendar or to do list app). Koupon Media recommends that our clients use Remote Push, mainly because of its flexibility and targeting capabilities. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be focusing on Remote Notifications.

How do Push Notifications Work?


All Push Notifications to Apple devices are delivered to Apple devices through Apple Push Notification Services (APNS) and to Android devices through Google Cloud Messaging (GCM). To send notifications, Koupon Media obtains app user Device IDs or Tokens from APNS or GCM — these IDs help us know which app users receive which messages. For terminology purposes, that makes Koupon our clients’ Push Provider.

Push Notifications entail two important pieces of information — the device ID and the payload. The Device ID identifies which device the notification should be sent to, the payload includes the content of the message including its badge icon, alert message, alert sound, and the action that should take place if the push is opened or selected. There are more restrictions on messages sent through APNS and the payload is much smaller than with GCM, but both are effective at delivering compelling messages about offers. For offer delivery purposes, we recommend that our clients use an alert message of 200 characters or less.

Using the Koupon Platform, Retailers and brands can also send targeted Push Notifications to customers. Koupon can send pushes based on a customer’s past app usage, offer interactions, or location.

Advanced Push

Normal Push Notifications simply open the associated app, but many of our clients have explored Advanced Push, which opens a web view within the app. Many client’s have  been successful displaying an exclusive offer via Advanced Push. To learn more about Advanced Push, contact one of our Client Success Managers.

Learn More

To learn more about Koupon Media and Push Notifications, read our SDK documentation.