Program messaging channel: Push notification


A push notification is a message that you send to your app users from the push notification node in the program builder.

When users receive a push notification, they see the message regardless of whether they are using the app at the time. As a result, you can be sure that your messages aren't lost in a spam filter, or buried in an inbox, increasing engagement.

Before you start

Before you can use the push notification node, your app developer needs to create a push notification profile and add some code to your app

After your app developers have set up push notifications, you'll be able to automate push notifications by dragging and dropping a push notification node into the canvas of the program builder. For example, you could do any of the following:

  • Use push notification to send a welcome message to your contacts
  • Use push notifications with the abandoned cart module to send your contacts reminders about their abandoned carts
  • Use push notifications with Dotdigital for Magento or Dotdigital for Magento 2 to send your contacts a confirmation of their order.


Please note: On iOS devices, titles are displayed only in the Notification Center, which is accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen.

Create a push notification profile

A push notification profile lets Dotdigital know how to communicate with your app using Apple's APNS and Google's FCM push systems, as well as how to authorize a user for push.

You can have only one profile to set up to send push notifications to both Android and iOS devices.

Step 1: Create a push notification profile

To create a push notification profile:

  1. In Dotdigital, go to Settings > Channel management.
  2. Select NEW PROFILE.
  3. Under the heading New profile, enter the name of your app.
  4. Under Authentication, make a note of the values for each field.
    You must use these values to create a JSON Web Token (JWT) in your app and pass that token to our SDK to authorize the user for push.
  5. Now you need to configure your apps push systems. Depending on the operating systems you built your app for, enter your FCM details and your APNS credentials. Then come back here to complete the setup.
    To learn more, check out Step 2 in this section.
  6. Select SAVE.
  7. There will now be a value in the API space ID box. Make a note of this for your development team, and use it to initialize an SDK.

Step 2: (Android) Enter your FCM details

Our Android SDK uses Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) to send push notifications to your Android app users. You must enter some details about your Firebase project.

Top tip

Make this task easier by using two browser tabs. One for Dotdigital and one for the Firebase console.

  1. Open the Firebase console.
    If you don't have a Firebase project, you must create one.
  2. In the Firebase console, select the cog, then select Project settings.
  3. Select the General tab, and copy your package name.
  4. In Dotdigital, under the heading App system: Android, enter your package name into the name box.
  5. Go back to the Firebase console, select the Cloud Messaging tab, and copy your Server key.
  6. Go back to Dotdigital, under the heading App system: Android, enter your Server key into the Server key box.
  7. Select SAVE.

Step 2: (Apple) Enter your APNS details

Our iOS SDK uses the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) to send push notifications to your contacts. Therefore, you must configure your APNS token details for us to send pushes to your app. We use APNS tokens rather than APNS Certificates, as the tokens do not expire annually. You can find instructions for creating an APNS token in the Apple Developer Portal.

If you don't have an app ID with the Push Notifications service enabled, you must create one.

Top tip

Make this task easier by using two browser tabs. One for Dotdigital and one for the Apple Developer Portal.

  1. In your Apple Developer Portal, go to Certificates, IDs & Profiles.
  2. Select Keys > All, and then select the + button to create a new key.
  3. Enter an appropriate name for the key, ensure the Apple Push Notifications service (APNs) option is selected, and then select Create key.
  4. Download the key (.p8 file) and store it securely; also, copy the Key ID.
  5. In Dotdigital, under the heading App system: iOS, for Private key, select Choose file and upload your APNS Key file (.p8).
  6. For Key ID, enter the value of your APNS key's ID.
  7. For Team ID, enter the value of your team ID.
  8. Select SAVE.

Find your API space ID

You use the API space ID to initialise our mobile SDKs. The API space ID is displayed at the bottom of your push notification profile page.

Using the push notification node in a program

  1.  In the program builder, drag the push notification node onto the canvas.
  2. Enter a title and a message to be displayed in the push notification. A maximum of 160 characters can be displayed in a push notification message and title. Extra characters are replaced by an ellipsis.

Want to use emojis in your message?

To insert emojis into your message, copy and paste them from a website such as Emoji Keyboard 😎.


3. Select Preview to review your message

Viewing usage statistics for a push notification profile

Usage statistics display reports for your push notification profile.

  1. From your account settings, go to Channel management Push Notification
  2. Select your profile to open the profile page

This page displays the total number of message sends that have been attempted from this profile in the last seven days. If any messages were not sent, this page displays the error and the reason for the error.


Viewing more details about a statistic

Select the link under 'Pushes attempted in the last 7 days'. This link opens a page, which displays the following information:

  • The date the message send was attempted
  • The number of message sends that were attempted
  • The number of messages that were sent
  • The number of contacts that were not sent a message and the reason for it

You can filter the details by warnings, push message sends that were attempted, and push messages that were sent. You can also filter the details by date.

Please note: When a push message send is attempted, the message is added to a queue, which is managed by either Apple (APNS) or Google (FCM), depending on your app.

When a message leaves the queue, the message is sent to your contacts' devices.

There is no way to find out if a push message was delivered.

Viewing which contacts were sent messages, which contacts were delivered messages, and which contacts were not sent messages

Select the number under the 'Pushes attempted to send' column, the 'Pushes sent' column, or the 'Warning message' column.

Deleting or disabling a push notification profile

 Please note (before deleting or disabling a profile)

  • You can't delete or disable a profile that's in use in an active program
  • Deleting a profile deletes all usage statistics for that profile
  • Disabling a profile stops users from selecting the profile in a push notification node until you enable the profile again

To delete a push notification profile:

  1. From your account settings, go to Channel management > Push Notification
  2. Select the checkbox next to the name of the profile
  3. Select Delete

To disable a push notification profile:

  1. From your account settings, go to Channel management > Push Notification
  2. Select the name of the profile
  3. Select Disabled next to the 'Status' field
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