By: Wingify Software Pvt. Ltd.
PushCrew, made by Wingify, is one of the simplest Push Notification service which we have seen so far. It is a blessing as well a disguise to own a simple user interface. People prefer using PushCrew due to its simple user interface, but at the same time, it may affect their choice of using PushCrew due to lack of features. However, only the review will let you know whether they have produced a correct balance between simplicity and attributes or not.
The heading might have confused you- whether the dashboard is informative or not. From the dashboard, you can have an overview of the push notification, but not complete insight.
The applications such as PushEngage provides a separate section for analytics. In Aimtell, although there is no specific section, the detailed information of performance is provided through the dashboard itself.
We were expecting PushCrew to provide us with dedicated features for analytics. However, when we were not able to find it, we moved towards the dashboard.
On the top, as you can check in the image, you get the information about total subscribers is provided. The donut chart placed below the total subscribers will appear in the combination of blue and yellow. The blue stands for the number of subscribers who click on allow button on opt-in prompt through the web and yellow are the ones who subscribed through mobile.
What more you can find here are the numbers of subscribers you got from different browsers and operating systems. The list mentions desktop and Android only. Thus, we can’t be sure whether it will give you details of iOS users or not.
They have not even clearly mentioned, the term ‘desktop’ stands for which operating systems. Does it count only Windows? Or both Windows and macOS? Or is there Linux too? There is no information about this on the website.
Also, the data is provided for the complete journey. If you want to check the same data for a particular day, or custom dates, it is not possible. However, you can at least know about the total number of subscribers and unsubscribes for a day.
Other than that, the dashboard gives you the details about total push notifications delivered and clicks done by users on them. Using these statistics, we can at least find CTR.
Besides this, it just contains links through which you can create a new web-push notification, get support, and generate an API key.
There is an urgent need to provide more specific information about the subscribers. There are multiple shortcomings on which product needs to work, such as lack of analytical data.
There is a screenshot added above which is of the report page present under the audience section. As you can check, the table offered under the reports section is very basic.
It only gives you the details of subscribers, unsubscribers, and total subscribers on a particular date. Creating an extra section for this information wasn’t necessary. They could have included it on the dashboard itself.
Also, if you read carefully, there is a note below the table explaining that the report gets updated every twelve hours. Therefore, you can’t view the live changes taking place in the number of subscribers.
To improve the reports section, they can add more columns providing data about the browsers, operating system, etc.
Every row defines data for a particular date. If they add an option to show data for a specific interval by selecting the start and end date, a user can conduct analytics for that period.
Two or more intervals can be compared, and conclusions can be drawn based upon the similarities and differences. Currently, the report page is too basic and requires attention.
Moving to segments section, you will find a ‘create segment’ option. Before you create the first segment, there will be no table available.
After you create one segment, table stating the segment name, creation date, and the number of subscribers present in that particular segment will appear.
There are various ways by which you can generate a segment. The first task is to provide the name of your choice.
Then you need to select the action which a subscriber conduct. It can be according to the visited page or clicked element.
When you choose ‘visited pages,’ a list of options appear below, letting you choose a specific action.
After selecting the action, you can choose properties such as browser, user agent, platform, and location, but not with compulsion.
Let us provide you with a better idea through an example. Consider an action such as a ‘particular day of the week.’ For this action, you get two choices: is equal to and is not equal to. Selecting ‘is equal to’ will include the particular day, and other option will exclude this particular day from the segment of ‘all days.’
You may also select more than a single day. For example, you can create a segment of the subscribers who clicked the push notification on Saturday and Sunday.
Now, you can make the segment more specific by selecting a particular property along with it. Such as how many subscribers who click on push notifications on Saturday and Sundays are Linux users.
There is an “AND/OR” option too. This allows us to make a segment more directed towards a particular part of users. When you select two or more actions, you can choose to create a segment which contains subscribers who satisfy all the actions or a segment where the user only needs to fulfill one of the actions.
The “AND/OR” option is provided for Properties as well.
Again, we think there is a requirement of providing an example. Consider two actions selected: 1) The page URL and 2) A day of the week. Now, if you select ‘AND’ option, the segment will contain the subscribers who visited the entered URL on the selected day of the week.
Now, if there are properties selected for this case such as setting browser type as chrome, and operating system as Windows, the segment will be satisfying the conditions depending on whether you select AND or OR.
Taking this example as reference, if a visitor selects AND, the segment will only contain users who clicked on a particular URL using Chrome on a particular week of day, and they use Windows OS.
The reason why we provided you with this detailed elaboration because we wanted you to understand the diversity of segments which can be created using PushCrew.
Though there are predefined segments available in many other applications, still, PuhCrew manages to have one of the best subscriber segmentation tools due to multiple actions and properties.
For ease of a user, they can create some predefined segments. However, it is easy-to-learn time efficient task which users can perform themselves.
Creating an engaging push notification is necessary as it directly interacts with a consumer. The content written on it, the image added, the title provided, all sum up to attract a subscriber.
Even though if the URL to which the push notification leads contains high-grade content or information which is beneficial for a user, he will only go through it when a push notification is worthy enough of his click.
Thus, an application is expected to house elements which make a push notification quirky in a positive way.
Creating a push notification in PushCrew is a two-step task. The first step is to add the content, and the second one is to add the campaign info.
In the first step, you can add a title but with a character limit. Similarly, the character limit is placed for the message as well. The landing page URL is an obvious input box which we can find in this window.
Other than this, you can add an image and define whether you wish it to be small or big. There is a provision of adding buttons too- up to two.
Simply add the button text and place a landing page URL. This acts as a call-to-action making a push notification effective.
However, whatever options we have discovered here till now come under the category of basic features. There can be more formatting options such as font, background color, text color, etc. which would enhance the appearance of PushCrew notification.
Next comes the push notification settings which handle the behavior and working of push notification. Here you get to choose to whom you want to send the push notification. You can either select all the subscribers or else go for particular segments.
If you want, instead of selecting particular segments, you can exclude some, and it will be sent to the rest of the subscribers.
There is an auto-hide feature as well which works to save annoyance that push notifications deliver to their users. However, you can not change the time for which push notification will remain on the screen.
If you checkmark this option, by default it stays for 20 seconds. There is no option to increase or decrease this time. They could have allowed a user to set time by himself.
You can set a certain period after which a notification expires. After the expiration, push notification will not be sent to any of the subscribers.
Now, there is a sending option too. The application can itself select when to deliver push notification, and if you don’t wish to go according to the application, you can choose to send it at that moment or add time manually.
There are many missing features here which we found in other applications. Most of them were related to formatting which we have already discussed in this section. Now we will move to the triggered notifications which work according to a user’s activity.
Triggered campaigns work according to the activity of a user. They have divided triggered campaigns in two sections which are custom campaigns and welcome campaigns.
Let’s first discuss about the welcome campaign or welcome push notification which appears just after an interested visitor becomes a subscriber.
The initial job is to select the visitors whom you want to send the welcome notification. Generally, it is sent to all subscribers who allow us to send them to push notifications.
However, there is an option of custom targeting in case you only want specific users to receive it or exclude particular groups. Based upon OS, browser, user agent, platform, and location, you can select subscribers.
Although they have added this option, it is always suggested to send a welcome push notification to all your subscribers.
The entry trigger should only contain ‘subscriber to web push’ option, but they have also included two more choices: visited page and clicked element. In our opinion, it is not the correct place to set these options, i.e., they could have included these options in custom triggered section.
After selecting the entry trigger, you need to select a goal. A goal defines the conversion of a visitor into a subscriber. For instance, you set a goal that visitor will visit a specific URL. Now, after he subscribes to the push notification, the welcome notification keeps appearing till the time he fulfills the goal.
The last step is to compose the welcome push notification. Set a title, message, landing page, and all the basic information which you have added in case of a one-time campaign.
Same campaign settings: autohide, and expiration adjustment are added as formatting options. One appreciable point here is you can have a look at the preview of welcome push notification for different OS and browser combinations.
As you can check in the compose notification window, you can set multiple push notifications, which are not the case with other websites. You can set an interval between two welcome push notifications as well. However, we would suggest that adding one would be enough.
Though they have divided the triggered notifications into two sections, when we opened the custom campaign section, it was the same as triggered campaign section. This left us with no point of discussion for this feature.
Whatever features you got under welcome notification are the once present under custom notifications. Thus, they should not confuse their users, and it would be better if they merge both the sections into one.
This feature is showcased under a separate tab, and that’s why discussing. They need to work on the designing of the application as the opt-in prompt is placed under account settings, which could be tough for users to find. On the other hand, RSS-to-push campaign is placed on the surface of the application.
When you open the window, you will find an option to add an URL, an image, and an auto-hide option. Besides this, you can add a title and text to it with a limited number of characters.
Now, what will happen is whenever there is an update on the page URL that you have added, it will send a push notification to subscribers. However, this feature is added so rigidly that you can’t alter its behavior.
The RSS-to-push campaign will send notifications to all agents as there is no option to select a particular segment. One can’t even limit the number of notifications which he would be sending to someone. That may annoy a user if there would be multiple updates. Thus, this feature must be involved.
There are a few more RSS feed related options such as the layout of a push notification, customization options, etc. which could be added.
All the settings related to the account are placed under this one tab. Whatever you wish to alter in the application, you can do it from here.
This is the control unit of PushCrew, and the user control depends upon how account settings let you change its working.
From the account settings, you get the option to change the time zone. The notifications sent to the subscribers according to the time zone you select here. However, sending visitor notifications according to the company’s time may limit the reach.
Let’s say, according to your time zone, it is morning at 10 a.m., but for a subscriber, it is 3 a.m. At that time, it may cause trouble.
PushEngage brought a solution to it. Whatever time zone you select, the subscriber will receive it according to his time zone. If you schedule it for 10 a.m. at your location, the person will receive it when there is 10 a.m. at his place.
Such a feature should be implemented on PushCrew also. Because of its help, notifications will be more reachable.
If you are looking for embedding PushCrew as a plugin, then you will need an API key in some cases. API keys are used to protect the data from getting leaked.
When you go to WordPress’s app store, you will find PushCrew there. After installing it on WordPress, you need to enter the API key. You will find the key in the general tab of account settings.
The option to add ‘one-click unsubscribe’ is also provided here. Perhaps, they were not interested in providing customization options for unsubscribe dialog box.
You just need to checkmark on its inclusion, and then it will appear on the bottom right corner of the screen stating, ‘Unsubscribe from Notifications.’
There is no provision of adding text from your end. You can neither edit the layout nor add an image or icon on it.
Therefore, here you remain stuck with the unsubscribe box that they have provided.
When you wish to add other users to the team, you need to discover ‘users’ subtab in the ‘accounts’ tab. Clicking on the ‘Add User’ button will open another dialog box where you need to add name and email of the person.
One important attribute we found here is- you can select the access level of the user. He can be either provided with complete access that an admin has, or he can work as a user with limited control over the application.
PushCrew is amongst some of the push notification services which provide access level. Though there are two different access levels, still, selective sharing isn’t possible, i.e., you can’t choose which sections of the application should be shared with an agent.
Smart code section delivers you with the code that you need to embed on your website. It also gives data about the browser it supports. Push notifications can be sent to all primary browsers which are Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Safari. However, some missing ones which were not able to make it to the list are Internet Explorer and Maxthon.
Anyway, it would not affect the website much as most of the visitor flow comes from the selected browsers.
The next tab contains the opt-in prompt customization options. Generally, applications place the choice to edit the subscription dialog box on the main menu. However, here we required a little bit of searching.
The One-Step Opt-in is provided but only for websites having HTTPS. Discussing two-step opt-in, which is available for all the websites, you can edit the image, title, subtitle, define buttons’ texts, etc.
For mobile opt-in, you can set a different title. However, there is no option to add a subtitle. This helps to avoid push notification look messy on mobile devices.
The possibility of adding an image for mobile device push notifications is not present. They could have added the option and let the user decide whether adding an image would be suitable or not.
One notable point we found is no character limit, and you can create title and subtitle without worrying about the word count.
There is an option by which your subscriber can choose to opt-out from anonymous data tracking. We won’t suggest using it as the visitor’s data is useful information that can help you in conducting analytics.
Using this feature can harm the business by not letting you know about users who are interested in your products.
In this case, there were no position and color related features available. Editing background, text, and font is not possible using the PushCrew.
However, this is not the case when you move to the child window settings. With the provided screenshot, you can check the difference between the push notification subscription box and children window.
The children window is the one which appears adjacent to the side of the screen. You can set different positions for web and mobile. However, the text, background color, and text color are required to keep the same.
Under the privacy-related options, you will find the option to conduct selective tracking. In case you do not want to harm the privacy of the other individuals, you can choose not to track their IP address. Still, in case you track it, you can choose to remove it when IP addresses of new users appear.
Similarly, for the location also, you get a choice of data which you wish to store. You can store the country, region, and even the city. It is also possible to store nothing at all.
However, be careful while changing the setting to ‘not storing location information.’ It may leave you without the useful information of your subscribers.
As we have mentioned in the starting itself, PushCrew’s user interface is one of the simplest. However, this simplicity has come on the cost of its usability.
You can create opt-in prompt, generate segments, plan push campaigns, but can’t perform analytics for all gathered data. The reason is, the report section doesn’t offer much information.
Although the information is collected and presented on the dashboard, one can’t learn about the complete insight of push notification performance. This limitation acts as a barrier to the growth of the company.
While creating opt-in prompt and push notification also, we faced a lot of limitations. The functionality of these features is confined as you don’t get a chance to edit many elements such as font, size, etc. which we discussed in respective sections.
However, one prominent benefit you have here is very less time consumption. You won’t need to think a lot about editing as you don’t get options for it. Just add the content and alter a few settings, and you are done.
We would suggest you go for this product if you are looking for a push notification service that delivers an easy-learning application designed to save your time.