How Courier Makes Sending Product Notifications EASY!

LENGTH 12 min read
CONTENT TYPE Blog Post

How Courier Makes Sending Product Notifications EASY!

TL;DR: Custom building your own software notification technology today is like re-inventing the wheel! 🛠️😤🤯🥴

As a company that builds and delivers various SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) products, we can tell you from experience (not all good ones either!) that you want to ensure that the messaging and notification updates coming from your technology product regarding user actions and functionality are instant, reliable, and easy to use & understand.

Introduction To Notification Systems For Software 🔔📲👨‍💻

Reaching users of a software product (particularly a SaaS one) at the right time and through the right channels (email, SMS, instant messaging, app notifications etc) can be difficult. This makes sending product notifications and announcements a challenge, as notifications require solid infrastructure and an engaging user experience, not to mention tailoring each message to give it a personal touch and feel.

A poorly designed and untimely executed notification is going to backfire, diverting your users’ attention and compelling them to regard your messages as “spam.” But, when used effectively, notifications are an excellent tool for engaging users and educating them about your SaaS product’s benefits. In that regard, a notification system aims to make software-human communication productive and delightful.

It’s difficult to find a single notification technology system that can be integrated to work well across multiple platforms — and that’s used to send product notifications related to the activities and functions on the app or software. For instance, sending a one-time password (OTP) when users reset their passwords or delivering a confirmation link (with a welcome message) to new users. In addition, you may need to send regular notification updates to your customers. These tasks need proper integration and careful consideration.

Although there are a number of other notification systems available in the market, we feel that Courier provides a complete system, from integration to insights. With Courier, you can set it up to do all the heavy lifting to remain focused on other essential aspects of your customer interaction and experience, such as creating better and more personalised functionality that makes the user experience smoother and more engaging.

What is Courier?

So what exactly is Courier?

Courier is the fastest way to design your announcements and deliver them through push or in-app notifications, direct messages, SMSes, and emails — with a single Courier API rather than integrating each provider API separately.

Courier is a reliable, customisable, and cost-efficient notification system that only takes minutes to integrate into your SaaS product. In addition, it works across multiple platforms such as SendGrid, Twilio, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. You can send push or in-app notifications, messages via Slack, Facebook, WhatsApp, SMS, and email.

The greatest advantage? You can use Courier to build, send, automate, and monitor the status of all of your outbound messages. This makes Courier’s services the most innovative and reliable, as you’ll be using a single Courier REST API to perform all the activities. That’s why companies like Lattice, Blissfully, and LaunchDarkly have trusted Courier’s technology to complement their SaaS product services.

Based in San Francisco, USA, Courier has been helping companies improve their software-human interaction by providing an API built for engineers and a design studio UI built for the SaaS product.

How Does Courier Work? 🤔🤷‍♀️

Courier provides a complete notification system, starting from integration to gathering insights. Unlike other notification platforms, Courier is an all-in-one solution that is easy to integrate and manage into your application.

Courier’s stylish visual editor and powerful orchestration engine help you craft appealing notifications that require little or no engineering time to build and maintain. Furthermore, its powerful REST API makes sending messages to one or more communication channels effortless, as everything happens through a single API request.

👉 Integrate your channels.

You can access all your notification channels and integrate the service provider(s) to Courier through a single API. In turn, Courier sends product notifications to your customers via its channel integration feature. You can then create and manage notification content across multiple service providers from a single place. From one place, you can send messages across many platforms, depending on your users’ preferences.

👉 Design your notifications.

You can drag and drop content blocks or add your own custom code to design notifications that look great on every device and channel. This way, you can deliver the same message (the same data) across multiple channels by simply fiddling with the code blocks. When you send a message, data gets passed to your design template as a part of the API call.

Additionally, you can automate complex notification workflows through Courier’s visual workflow builder. With no prior programming experience and the complexity of redeploying your application, you can use Courier’s predefined automation steps and templates to define and trigger workflows via the API.

👉 Orchestrate your workflow.

Based on what your users are doing, you can trigger notifications, helping them make better decisions (and not stalling their workflow!) In other words, you’re aiming for the user-first notifications: Your users can then control which notifications they want to see and on which channel.

Besides, your developers also get a chance to control and respect user preferences programmatically — and send product announcements depending on users’ needs.

👉 Collect real-time insights.

By accessing the cross-channel statistics, you can get real-time insights into engagement data. Courier’s analytics lets you get a birds-eye view of the overall performance of the product notifications, besides helping you drill down into specific messages and their stats. By doing so, you can analyse what’s working and what’s not — and rethink your communication strategy.

Should You Use Courier? 🤨❓

One thing is for sure: With the help of Courier, you can easily sidestep the difficulties associated with building multiple templates in HTML that will then work and still look great across various platforms like Outlook, HotMail, Yahoo, and other email services. Also, you don’t need to reach out to developers whenever you need to make a small change to the notification messaging or styling, as these changes are easy and straightforward to do yourself.

Courier offers a simple drag-and-drop user interface that helps you edit and format templates — and even add variables and conditions from a single Courier API. So if you want to escape the complexities of developing your own notification system for your SaaS product — and get rid of the hassle of creating multiple templates for multiple channels — you should definitely consider Courier.

Benefits of Using Courier 👌😊

Before creating notification systems like Courier, sending multiple product notifications and automating the marketing campaigns required a great deal of effort from the marketing department and the development team. First, the marketing team had to design the outline of different notifications and messages. After that, the developers had to build and deploy individual code for each channel, each recipient. Then, if the marketing department wanted to make further changes to the notifications, the developers had to rework the code again to suit the changes.

There came a strong need for the following solutions:

  • An easy way of templating messages that let designers, product managers, and marketers easily make modifications.
  • A practical method for white-labelling templates for multiple brands.
  • A single solution for tracking and controlling every recipient’s preferences, scheduling messages to be delivered during business hours, and queuing up multiple notifications to be sent as a single email.

And this is what Courier delivers! Built for developers, marketers, and product managers, Courier is the easiest way to add multi-channel product notifications to your web, desktop, or mobile applications. In turn, it makes business operations more manageable with features such as automation, preferences, audit logs, and white-labelling.

👉 A visual editor for everyone.

By using Courier’s drag-and-drop functionality, you can quickly build custom notifications. You can play with the individual code blocks and create your customer and channel-specific messages. Also, the visual code editor lets you collaborate with other team members, ensuring that the notifications you send out are beneficial and reflect your company’s brand value.

👉 Reach users at the right time and on the right channel.

Through Courier’s logic and preferences, you can control what notifications users will get and when. Respecting your users’ preferences is critical when building company-customer relationships. That’s why Courier helps your users set channels they prefer to receive each message in. In addition, they can turn on and off message groups as they like since conditional statements define the code’s routing logic.

👉 All notifications on a single API.

If you want to access client libraries written in various programming languages (from Node.js to Python to PHP) with just one API, Courier’s easy-to-use API should be your first choice. You can then deploy notifications faster with cleaner codes. In addition, the Courier REST API offers several endpoints, allowing your application to send messages, fetch details about a single message, and manage each recipient’s preferences.

👉 Real-time insights to optimise deliverability.

On Courier’s centralised dashboard, you can access cross-channel analytics and get detailed logs for every existing user. The status and title of the notifications, the recipient’s email address, and the preferred providers are all displayed on a single dashboard. You can also apply filters, drill down on individual notifications, and quickly troubleshoot in case you run into errors of any kind.

By now, we hope you’re well-acquainted with the apparent benefits of Courier. Before we conclude this section, here’s what Troy Goode writes about the reason behind creating Courier: 

“We built Courier to make sure nobody else ever has to spend millions on custom communication infrastructure, that our inboxes are never again flooded by a well-meaning developer who just didn’t have the time to implement user preferences or digests, and that simple tickets to tweak the text and branding of a template stop getting stuck just outside the scope of the next sprint.”

Some Example “Real Life” Use Case Scenarios 🚛💻

Say, for instance, a new device is added to your SaaS product, and you need to send a notification to the user. Or perhaps you have documents in your SaaS product expiring soon, and you need to notify the document owner to update that document. To do so, you need to have a robust notification system integrated with your SaaS product that you can rely on.

Let’s say your customer tries to reset their password from your SaaS product. With Courier, you can manage a Reset Password template that sends an email, an SMS and a message on Slack. You’re implementing a single API for three or more separate channels. Courier makes it easy to reach out to your customers on their preferred channels, not just on the one you could integrate at that time.

A couple of real life use case examples of how we’ve integrated and are using Courier for sending notifications is in the following SaaS products which we have built and launched here at WEBO Digital; 👇👇

Trackify, a leading heavy vehicle accreditation and fleet management software that makes paperless Heavy Vehicle accreditation easy!

Klokka, the IP filtering software that keeps your analytics reporting highly accurate by preventing it being skewed by irrelevant traffic.

Pricing Options 💳🏷️

As promised on their website, Courier comes with a “pricing that scales with you.” So if you want to get started by dipping your toes in the water, you can begin using the application for free. As you scale, you can upgrade to enable more access controls and enhanced compliance.

The three levels of pricing — developer, business, and enterprise — come with their own perks. For example, the developer version allows you to add unlimited team members and access complete templates. You’ll also get access to all channels and custom brands.

In addition, with the business version, you get a chance to send unlimited messages at just $0.01 per message (billed monthly). You’ll also receive chat and email support from Courier. However, you get volume discounts, role-based access control, and a dedicated account management system with the enterprise model. To find out the custom pricing of the enterprise version, you can request a demo by signing up to Courier.

So go ahead, compare plans, and choose what’s best for you!

In Conclusion ✔️⌛

When you build your own notification system for your SaaS product, you’re adding more development complexity to your product. In addition, the content might not be what you initially envisioned, and even to make minor changes, you have to involve the developers. It’s a slow and painful process.

That’s why you can build your notifications in minutes with Courier’s services by designing templates and creating handlebar variables within those templates, and through an API, you can populate the notifications and send them. Then, at any time, you can change the layout, add more text, or delete certain sections without needing the help of a development team. The next time the notification gets sent, it’s going to be the updated one. So rather than relying on a traditional notification system, we recommend you go for a multi-channel API that’s designed specifically for SaaS products with flexible integrations, i.e., Courier.

If you are looking for more information on software technology like “Courier” — or all the awesome things we’ve been doing at WEBO Digital in the SaaS and technology development world — feel free to send us a message so we can discuss further!

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