Push notifications

Push notifications for web and for iOS/Android are available on selected Ortto plans.

Push notifications can be sent via a browser (web) or your own (native) mobile application (iOS or Android).

There are three key steps to creating push notifications:

  1. Configure the platforms to deliver your push campaigns here in Settings > Push notifications. Within each platform setup, complete any setup required such as entering your application IDs and authentication. For Android and iOS, you’ll also need to install the relevant Ortto SDK.
  2. Capture a person’s permission. For web push notifications, create a push capture widget to collect your contacts' permission to receive push notifications. For Android and/or iOS, push permission is obtained via your app.
  3. Create a push campaign to deliver messages to your subscribers.

NOTE: Push notifications are not currently supported for desktop applications.

Android and iOS push

Ortto’s mobile push notifications can be enabled using the Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) framework or Apple push notification service (APNs) .

For Android devices, you’ll need to create a new (or use an existing) Firebase project and add the project .json file to the Android setup in Ortto. For iOS devices, as you can use either Firebase or APNs and provide the relevant .json file or keys and IDs for the iOS setup in Ortto.

To enable push notifications on your app, Ortto provides separate software development kits (SDKs) consisting of APIs, libraries and code samples for each Android and iOS devices.

The high-level steps to setting up your app to send push notifications are:

  1. Create a Firebase project or Apple push notification service (APNs).
  2. Install Ortto’s SDK (for Android or iOS).
  3. Identify your contacts.
  4. Track activity events (to capture as custom activities in Ortto).
  5. Complete the setup in Ortto.

Once you complete these key steps, you’ll be ready to create and send push campaigns

iOS notifications

The instructions for configuring a Firebase project (optional) and installing Ortto’s iOS SDK, identifying contacts and tracking events are designed for an audience familiar with app development.

You can find the relevant documentation in Ortto’s Developer docs, under Push notifications for Android and iOS:

Where you need to add the relevant certificates, keys or FCM data in Settings > Push notifications > iOS notifications > Setup, you can learn about generating and finding these assets in the Developer docs.

Android notifications

The instructions for configuring a Firebase project (required) and installing Ortto’s Android SDK, identifying contacts and tracking events are designed for an audience familiar with app development.

You can find the relevant documentation in Ortto’s Developer docs, under Push notifications for Android and iOS:

Where you need to add the service account .json in Settings > Push notifications > Android notifications > Setup, you can learn about generating and finding this file in the Developer docs.

Web notifications

Web push notifications are delivered to a person’s browser if they have given permission (via a capture widget) to receive them.

When you create a push campaign, Ortto attempts to deliver the notification when a subscribed customer is online, within the notification lifespan or time to live (TTL) you set.

Web notifications require the use of a service worker (SW) installed in your website (at the domain from which you wish to send notifications).

IMPORTANT: Web notifications are supported for desktop and laptop browsers, and Android Chrome. However, for Safari on iOS (MacBook) web notifications are not supported if the Safari version is older than 16.0 or macOS version is older than 13.0.

Web notifications are not currently supported for browsers on iPhone.

Learn about setting up web notifications.

Push notification limits

The Push notification limits section allows you to configure restrictions on when Ortto sends push notifications, including:

  • the frequency with which customers receive Ortto-generated push notifications, and
  • the dates and hours when Ortto-generated push notifications are triggered from journeys.

These limits are designed to reduce the frequency with which recipients are contacted by Ortto-generated push notifications, which in turn aims to reduce their likelihood of unsubscribing from receiving these messages. For example, a person could be a member of multiple, simultaneous campaigns that use push notifications, such as a purchase feedback journey, a back in stock notification journey, and a "Summer sale" push campaign. This could result in the person being contacted multiple times in short succession unintentionally, which could lead them to feel inundated by notifications and unsubscribe as a result.

Select one of the following checkboxes to activate the required push notification limit restriction:

  • If you are attempting to send a campaign to a person, and they have already received a push notification with the last X hours, they will not receive the second push notification, and will log an Invalid push activity.For a push within a journey, the person will wait at the push shape until the next valid time to send (accounting for all push notification limits you have set).
  • Do not send push notifications within Journeys on specific dates — if you select this checkbox:
    • Click Add a date, then click inside the current date field to use the calendar popup to change the date.
    • To remove a date, click its adjacent bin icon.
    • Click Add another date to add another date to any existing dates.
  • Do not send push notifications within Journeys outside of waking hours, except for notifications set to ignore limits — with this set, Ortto only sends push notifications during waking hours (8am to 9pm in the person’s timezone), unless the push notification is set to ignore sending limits.

Push subscription preferences

Push campaigns/shapes (within a journey) can be sent to one or more platforms, depending on your setup.

If you choose to send push notifications to multiple platforms, they will be delivered to all subscribers of those devices and/or browsers. Subscribers can receive notifications on up to 5 of their most recently subscribed 5 devices, per platform. For example, a subscriber who is very eager to hear from you can allow notifications on up to 5 iOS devices, 5 Android devices and 5 web platforms (e.g. via different browsers across multiple desktops and laptops). Where a subscriber has multiple subscriptions to a platform, you’ll see a number next to the platform in their view.

This means that a subscriber who has allowed notifications on multiple devices/browsers will receive the notification more than once, such as via their web browser and their iOS device. Similarly, a subscriber who has subscribed to web notifications for Safari and Chrome will receive the notification on each browser.

When you have set a push campaign/shape to send to all platforms, the pie chart overview of recipients will count a recipient in each platform count they are subscribed to. So a contact who is subscribed to both web and iOS notifications will be counted in each the web and iOS recipient counts.

Automatic unsubscribe

Where a push campaign has been sent to a contact but is unsuccessful and results in an Invalid push activity related to not having push permission, the contact will be automatically unsubscribed from the platform. For example, a contact responds positively to your push capture indicating that they wish to receive notifications, however they click "Block" on the system notification message (or change their system permission after initially clicking "Allow"). When a web push campaign is sent, it results in an Invalid push activity for that contact, and they are unsubscribed from web push notifications.

Invalid push activities for reasons not related to permission, such as a duplicate send or attempting to send beyond a set limit, won’t result in the contact being automatically unsubscribed.