Push Notifications

Last modified May 5, 2020

Overview

Push Notifications are an engagement tool for Mobile Applications. Notifications can display a message, play a sound or update a badge on an app icon. Sending Push Notifications generally triggers a big spike in engagement.  Typically, notifications are sent out to alert readers when new issues are available.  They can also be used to drive engagement at other times.  For instance, if you wanted to alert users of an upcoming conference you were hosting, you could send a notification that would open a web page about that event in the in-app browser when tapped.  On Independence Day, you could send a notification linking readers to an article from your latest issue about grilling tips and recipes.

Platform Support

GTxcel supports sending push notifications to all GTxcel supported app platforms – iOS, Google Play and Amazon App Store. Notifications of new issues are sent automatically by GTxcel to all users who have opted into receiving push notifications and publishers can send custom notifications at will from the Publisher Dashboard.

New Issue Notifications

Push Notifications are automatically sent to all subscribers who have installed a native app and opted into receiving push notifications when a new issue is delivered. Depending on the user’s settings, they will receive an alert message/sound, spot in the notification center or home screen if the device is locked, and a badged icon displaying that there is a new issue available.

When users interact with the notification, they are taken to the app where they can read the new issue.

If you want to manually create custom push notifications for new issues, contact your Publishing Support Team for initial setup.

The support team can disable the automatic new issue notifications for your app and provide advice about timing your custom push notifications to ensure that all your readers can access the new issue when they tap on the notification. For instance, if you are using GTxcel Managed Authentication, you need to be sure that your list of subscribers has been loaded prior to sending the notification.

Custom Push Notifications

In addition to automated New Issue Notifications, you can also schedule Custom Push Notifications to be sent at a time and date of your choosing.

View and manage the push notifications for your application by clicking the PUSH NOTIFICATIONS button within the dashboard.

Deep Linking

Custom Push Notifications support deep linking so you can direct your readers to a specific destination within your app when they tap on the notification.  The following tap destinations can be configured for a push notification.

  • Launch App – Tapping a notification will simply launch the app.  In this case, if the reader had recently been viewing a particular page or article, the app will open right where they left off.
  • App Home – Readers will arrive on the home or library screen of the app when they tap the notification
  • Specified Issue – Readers will arrive at the issue that you specify when they tap the notification.
  • Specified Article – Readers will arrive at a specified article within an issue when they tap the notification.
  • Specified Page – Readers will arrive at a specified page number within an issue when they tap the notification.
  • Web URL – Readers will be taken to a specified Web URL within the in-app browser they tap the notification.

Linking to Content

Only currently published issues are available for selection when configuring a specified issue, article or page as a tap destination.

Schedule a new custom push notification

  1. Click the NEW PUSH NOTIFICATION button at the top of the list of existing notifications.
  2. Provide a Message.  It’s best to keep the message short and get to the point quickly since most devices will cut the message short.  See below for more details.
  3. Choose a Tap Destination. This is the place within the app that readers will arrive at when they click the link.  See above for a description of the options.
  4. Provide a Desired Start Time and Date for the message. The message will be sent shortly after the desired time, but it can take several hours before the message actually arrives on all the devices that have the app installed.
  5. Click the SCHEDULE PUSH NOTIFICATION button when you are done.

Manage existing push notifications

From the push notifications screen, you can see scheduled custom push notifications and a history of the most recently sent notifications – including new issue and custom notifications.  You can schedule new custom push notifications or make changes to existing scheduled push notifications before the scheduled start time.

  • Click the Delivery Date for a Scheduled notification in the list to change the Message, Tap Destination or Desired Start Time & Date.
  • You can delete a Push Notification from the list of notifications using the Delete link in the Actions column.

Message content, length, and frequency

It’s important to respect the platform guidelines and consider the reader experience when developing your custom push notification strategy. Readers may uninstall your application if they find that you’re sending too many messages.

Google and Amazon do not have restrictive policies, but Apple has specific guidelines for push notification content.  For instance:

Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

Depending on the user’s device and notification settings, the message will often be cut short.

On iOS 8 devices, messages are displayed in notification bar and on the lock screen by default.  Messages get cut off after 4 lines when displayed in these locations.  The corresponding number of characters depends on word length.

  • On an iPad, this is about 250 characters because the screen is wide.
  • On an iPhone 5, this about 130 characters because the screen is narrow.

On Android devices, notifications may be cut down to one line or the entire message may be displayed depending on the screen size, OS version, and the manufacturer’s skin.

Examples of Truncated Notifications

iPhone 5 sized iPod (Lock Screen)

iPad Mini (Lock Screen)

iPhone 6 Plus (Banner)

Android HTC One (Notification Bar) – Not Truncated

Kindle Fire (Notification Bar)

Need Help?
The Digital Help Desk is the process for communicating with GTxcel regarding new title setups, questions, and technical issues for the Web Reader and/or Apps.

You can submit a request to us through the Request Help button located in the Publisher Dashboard or call the support number: 800-609-8994, option 3.
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