Disclaimer: There is no universal remedy for every single purpose: you have to see what aims you pursue and how exactly a push provider is going to boost your product.
Still, push notifications are not a supplement to a backend but a superior communication channel between you and your audience. If you feel this difference, you’ve already outgrown the “appendix” push notifications almost every BaaS platform offers. This article will help you realize you are all set to win the market using mature push campaign.
To make it more vivid, imagine your product is a car going through a race. Marketing strategy is a car engine aimed at helping you move forward and stand out. BaaS push notifications, as a part of marketing strategy, make it possible to start moving. However, it’s too slowly and you never foreknow when the engine runs too hot and gets broken. Point solution for push messaging is a dual fuel injection that empowers the engine and rushes you forward at full speed, so fast you just can’t back off.
Yet let’s go step by step.
To Each His Own
As stated in the disclaimer, it all depends on your goals, on what you are going to achieve with the help of your project. BaaS with push notifications is undisputedly the right choice for small apps with simple logic and basic push requirements. In other words, if your team consists of you and your idea only, it’s definitely a point in outsourcing a database for your project. The cloud backend lets you focus solely on the UX and business logic of your app, replacing your entire server infrastructure with an API-driven service. You’ll also get push notifications but in limited functionality mode. Anyway, it’s still enough to say meaningless “hello” to all your subscribers at once, but you won’t go beyond the simple push that way. No way you can guarantee to one million subscribers they will get notified the time and the way they like.
So, if you have a complex app and business goals to achieve with push notifications, BaaS is not the solution you are looking for. If you want to quickly prototype and run a proof of concept app – you’d better outsource backend.
4 Point Solution Perks BaaS Users Miss
Segmentation is a power feature not available through BaaS provided push
When you decide to use push notifications in marketing strategy, you want to have clear returns on your effort. And it’s impossible to make money out of push messages just by saying “Hello, Marianne”. It’s much better to say “We hope you are having a great weekend, Marianne! The red jeans you’ve added to your shopping cart are still trendy. Take a look at related items!”.
You will need advanced segmentation features to address the audience individually, the time when they are most responsive. That’s the right way to deliver them the reason and urgency to make a purchase.
Here come the marketing possibilities a point solution offers. Services like Pushwoosh has advanced segmentation that helps you precisely target your audience across different types of segments. Need to notify female users aged 25-35, who spent more than 35$ making in-app purchases last month? Not a big deal! Use Tags and Filters to collect additional data from your customers and send relevant messages to every single user, inviting them to visit your app.
Not all solutions deliver push notifications with the same speed
Delivery speed is a point of interest for every push provider. When your job is to keep notifications running fast and smoothly, you are interested in making guarantees for your users. The volumes may vary, but you are sure delivery speed is safeguarded when you sign an SLA with a push service.
Let’s say you are going to address 100000 users with a push message. If something goes wrong and notifications are being delayed – you can always rely on the previously signed SLA. As a result, both parties benefit from this mutual commitment.
The full solution approach of BaaS limits your flexibility
It is really important to stay flexible when you have an application released. The market is changing and you may need to evolve to stay ahead. BaaS is not a one-stop-shop for app development, you may require custom code, 3rd party integrations or complicated business logic on your stored data. Bummer! As a BaaS user, you are bind to use features your provider offers, but no more. By the way, these features are most likely proprietary, so you can’t migrate from your backend provider to another BaaS. Moreover, if you are a Firebase user, you are vendor-locked, and we all remember what happened to Parse, no matter how good it was.
In that case, having an internal database infrastructure is much more flexible, since you are fully in control of your product. Push notifications and other point solutions complement your feature set when keeping database infrastructure internally.
Point solutions approach proves more cost effective than BaaS in the long run
It might be profitable to let someone host your backend and handle your pushes at the very beginning. This entire database headache doesn’t bother you and you are free to create a design of your dream that drives tons of conversion. Everything is great and you are happy…until you make it. Out of the blue, you realize your app needs functionality that requires your own backend code. When you get 100,000 users and hit storage limit, you’ll be surprised to see BaaS can’t manage your custom needs. On Firebase free plan you have 100 simultaneous connections. It means you can handle 100 users at the same time, making 1 call for each of them. Or even 50 users at once, if making 2 calls for each. And what if you decide to boost your marketing campaign using push notifications? You’ll get cropped functionality incapable of sending targeted push messages and addressing your audience effectively. Gosh, it all hurts!
You’ll be forced to find another backend solution or DIY your database. It will result in extra development efforts, extra costs and extra time spent, which are lethal for the product.
Why should you doom yourself to titanic efforts? It will be much more reasonable in long-term perspective to deploy and maintain your own backend and let professionals run your push campaign. For example, you can reach 500,000 customers with unlimited push messages, and that’s just the free plan Pushwoosh offers. When you have your own backend infrastructure, you are unaffected by provider limitations and free to try each and every feature a push notifications solution has. After all, isn’t it the genuine goal of a trial period?
Well, it’s surely no crime to use push notifications offered by a BaaS platform. Depending on the project size and complexity, this solution can help you bootstrap your product and get to the market as soon as possible. And that’s great for model-view-presenter applications.
However, if you are seeking for long-term benefits and push messaging is a major part of your marketing strategy, you are good to go. A point solution is your lucky ticket.