Iterable's web push offering allows you to push blast and triggered notifications to subscribers using the Chrome, Firefox or Opera browsers (Safari support will be added in a future release). Google's Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) service is used to deliver these messages. You can find more information about Firebase on their website.
A web push notification will resemble the following:
In order to leverage the web push service, you will first need to register for Google Firebase and then follow the steps below.
- Create a project within the Firebase Console
- Within the Console, navigate to Project Settings > Cloud Messaging, and take note of your server key and sender ID
Integrating Firebase into Your Website
In order to send Firebase-based messages, you will need to first prompt users with a message asking for permission. If permission is given, you will retrieve the user's browser token and then feed it to Iterable for use with future sends. The following setup is required in order to do this.
<link rel="manifest" href="/manifest.json" />in the
<head>section of your webpage
- Download the manifest.json file here and firebase-messaging-sw.js here, and place them in the root directory of your website
gcm_sender_id103953800507 found in the manifest.json file should be the same across all projects. Please do not edit or change this.
- It should prompt the user with a pop-up asking for permission to send push notifications
- If permission is granted, it should fetch the user's browser token and then pass it to Iterable using the registerBrowserToken API endpoint
- A user profile field,
browserTokens, will then reflect the browser token value for each user who accepts notifications. This is an array, which is capable of accepting multiple values over time.
- If the user's email address is not available (for example, if the user is not logged in), you may leverage our placeholder.email convention to pass Iterable a placeholder email address with the token.
- A user profile field,
Note that browser tokens are managed and sometimes disabled by Firebase using their own algorithm. If Firebase determines a token to be outdated, you may need to re-prompt users for web push permission. Users who have not enabled browser tokens on their profiles will be suppressed from web push send attempts.
Also worth noting, if you have collected users' browser tokens in the past, you can import them into Iterable using the same registerBrowserToken endpoint as in step 3.1 above.
Connecting Your Firebase Instance to Iterable
In order to send Firebase-based messages via Iterable, you will need to navigate to the Integrations > Web Push page in Iterable. From here:
- Click "Create Push Integration" to add a new integration
- Select "FCM" and then enter your Firebase server key and sender ID (from Step 2 in "Configuring Firebase" above)
Creating Web Push Templates and Campaigns
The same steps apply for campaign creation as for email, SMS, push and in-app notifications - you will want to select the associated message format, seed and suppression lists, and template. More information can be found here for blast campaigns and here for triggered campaigns. Documentation for the specific API call for triggered web push messages can be found here.
The template creation and editing process is similar to what you'll find with the other formats.
- Name your template
- [Optional] Give your notification a title, which will display in bold on the top of the message
- [Optional] Give your notification a body message, which will display under the title if there is one
- [Optional] Provide an icon URL, which will display the associated image on the left side of the message
- [Optional] Provide an HTTPS click action URL, which will dictate the page that the user will be directed to if he or she clicks on the notification
Note that title or body contents are required in order to save the template. This acts as a safeguard against sending blank messages.
Note: Your project name will display under the title and body in the preview. In proofs and the live sends, however, this will display your website name (eg. "iterable.com").
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does Firebase have any associated costs?
A: No, Firebase is free (as of September 2017).
Q: Where can I find more information on Firebase?
A: See Google's Firebase support page here.
Q: Which browsers does web push work on?
A: Currently, Chrome, Firefox and Opera. We plan to support Safari in the future via Apple's Push Notification Service.
Q: Does a user's browser token change from session to session?
Q: If a user's browser window is closed, will they still receive the notification?
A: Yes. Even if the user closes the browser window, the service worker running in the background will display the notification. However, if the user quits out of the browser completely (not just the window or tab), then all service workers will be killed and they will receive no notification.
Q: Will messages be queued if they are unable to display initially?
A: No. Messages will not deliver if the browser process isn't running at send time.
Q: What metrics can I track with web push?
A: This initial release supports tracking of web push send events only. Support for the tracking of click events will be added in a later release.