All posts by Zach Barbitta

Event-based campaigns let you automatically send messages to your customer when they perform certain actions

Post Syndicated from Zach Barbitta original

Today, we added a new campaign management feature to Amazon Pinpoint: event-based campaigns. You can now use Amazon Pinpoint to set up campaigns that send messages (such as text messages, push notifications, and emails) to your customers when they take specific actions. For example, you can set up a campaign to send a message when a customer creates a new account, or when they spend a certain dollar amount in your app, or when they add an item to their cart but don’t purchase it. Event-based campaigns help you send messages that are timely, personalized, and relevant to your customers, which ultimately increases their trust in your brand and gives them a reason to return.

You can create event-based campaigns by using the Amazon Pinpoint console, or by using the Amazon Pinpoint API. Event-based campaigns are an effective way to implement both transactional and targeted campaign use cases. For transactional workloads, imagine that you want to send an email to customers immediately after they choose the Password reset button in your app. You can create an event-based campaign that addresses this use case in as few as four clicks.

For targeted campaign workloads, event-based campaigns are a great way to introduce cross-sale opportunities for complementary items. For example, if a customer adds a phone to their shopping cart, you can send an in-app push notification that offers them a special price on a case that fits the device that they’re purchasing.

When you use the campaign wizard in the Amazon Pinpoint console, you now have the option to create event-based campaigns. Rather than define a time to send your message to customers, you select specific events, attributes, and metric values. As you go through the event scheduling component of the wizard, you define the event that you want Amazon Pinpoint to look for, as shown in the following image.

In order to use this feature, you have to set up your mobile and web apps to send event data to Amazon Pinpoint. To learn more about sending event data to Amazon Pinpoint, see Reporting Events in Your Application in the Amazon Pinpoint Developer Guide.

A real-world scenario

Let’s look at a scenario that explores how you can use event-based campaigns. Say you have a music streaming service such as Amazon Music. You’ve secured a deal for a popular artist to record a set of live tracks that will only be available on your service, and you want to let people who’ve previously listened to that artist know about this exciting exclusive.

To create an event-based campaign, you complete the usual steps involved in creating a campaign in Amazon Pinpoint (you can learn more about these steps in the Campaigns section of the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide). When you arrive at step 4 of the campaign creation wizard, it asks you when the campaign should be sent. At this point, you have two options: you can send the campaign at a specific time, or you can send it when an event occurs. In this example, we choose When an event occurs.

Next, you choose the event that causes the campaign to be sent. In our example, we’ll choose the event named song.played. If we stopped here and launched the campaign, Amazon Pinpoint would send our message to every customer who generated that event—in this case, every customer who played any song in our app, ever. That’s not what we want, but fortunately we can refine our criteria by choosing attributes and metrics.

In the Attributes box, we’ll choose the artistName attribute, and then choose the attribute value that corresponds with the name of the band we want to promote, The Alexandrians.

We’ve already narrowed down our list of recipients quite a bit, but we can go even further. In the Metrics box, we can specify certain quantitative values. For example, we could refine our event so that only customers who spent more than 10 minutes listening to songs by The Alexandrians are sent notifications. To complete this step, we choose the timePlayed metric and set it to look for endpoints for which this metric is greater than 600 seconds. When we finish setting up the triggering event, we see something similar to the following example:

Now that we’ve finished setting up the event that will result in our campaign to be sent, we can finish creating the campaign as we normally would.

Transparent and affordable pricing

There are no additional charges associated with creating event-based campaigns. You pay only for the number of endpoints that you target, the number of messages that you send, and the number of analytics events that you send to Amazon Pinpoint. To learn more about the costs associated with using Amazon Pinpoint, see our Pricing page.

As an example, assume that your app has 50,000 monthly active users, and that you target each user once a day with a push notification. In this scenario, you’d pay around $55.50 per month to send messages to all 50,000 users. Note that this pricing is subject to change, and is not necessarily reflective of what your actual costs may be.

Limitations and best practices

There are a few limitations and best practices that you should consider when you create event-based campaigns:

  • You can only create an event-based campaign if the campaign uses a dynamic segment (as opposed to an imported segment).
  • Event-based campaigns only consider events that are reported by recent versions of the AWS Mobile SDK. Your apps should use the following versions of the SDK in order to work with event-based campaigns:
    • AWS Mobile SDK for Android: version 2.7.2 or later
    • AWS Mobile SDK for iOS: version 2.6.30 or later
  • Because of this restriction, we recommend that you set up your segments so that they only include customers who use a version of your app that runs a compatible version of the SDK.
  • Choose your events carefully. For example, if you send an event-based campaign every time a session.start event occurs, you might quickly overwhelm your users with messages. You can limit the number of messages that Amazon Pinpoint sends to a single endpoint in a 24-hour period. For more information, see General Settings in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.

Ready to get started?

You can use these features today in every AWS Region where Amazon Pinpoint is available. We hope that these additions help you to better understand your customers and find exciting new ways to use Amazon Pinpoint to connect and engage with them.


Amazon Pinpoint’s Analytics Suite Now Includes Event Metric Visualizations

Post Syndicated from Zach Barbitta original

Today, we’re enhancing Amazon Pinpoint’s analytics capabilities by giving you the ability to filter event data based on certain attributes and metrics. We’re also adding new analytics features help you visualize event data over time. These new features help you quickly understand how your customers are using your app, and make it easy to keep track of behavioral trends over time.

For example, if you want to understand how much time a customer spends performing a certain action within your app, such as watching a video, you can now visualize this in as few as three clicks. Start by signing in to the console and choosing the project that contains the data that you want to view. Next, in the navigation pane, under Analytics, choose Events. On the Events chart, you’ll see two new menus: Event Attributes and Metrics, and Event Attribute Values. Use these menus to refine the data in the chart to include only the events and attributes that you want to see.

When you select a metric value, Amazon Pinpoint shows a new time-series chart. This chart includes summary filters, so you can quickly see the total time an action occurs, the average, the minimum and maximum values over the time period, and the number of events. You can use this data when considering how to improve the user experience of your app, or when creating new engagement campaigns for certain groups of customers.

For example, you could see if the average time spent on your app is increasing or decreasing, or if the total price of goods sold is trending in the right direction. You can then create engagement campaigns that specifically target segments of users who spend less time in your app, or those who are making fewer in-app purchases.

As always, the data in Pinpoint is yours. You can easily export it to CSV format for analysis in external applications. For deeper analysis, we recommend that you set up Amazon Pinpoint Event Streams, which let you stream your data to nearly any destination. To learn more about setting up Event Streams, see Streaming Events from Amazon Pinpoint to Redshift on the AWS Messaging and Targeting Blog.

You can use these features now in all AWS Regions where Amazon Pinpoint is available. We hope that these additions help you to better understand your customers and find exciting new ways to use Amazon Pinpoint to connect and engage with them.

Amazon Pinpoint Offers Customers a New Console Experience with Richer Segmentation Capabilities to Drive End-User Engagement

Post Syndicated from Zach Barbitta original

Last night, we launched a significant update to the Amazon Pinpoint console. These updates make it easier to start sending campaigns with Amazon Pinpoint. In fact, you can start engaging with your customers in as few as three clicks!

This update also includes advanced segmentation capabilities, which enable you to filter based on user, endpoint, and channel attributes and bind those filters with certain conditions, such as AND, OR, and EQUAL TO operators. These features help you create finely-tuned segments, which result in better engagement and happier end-users. To learn more about creating segments in Amazon Pinpoint, see our tutorial in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.

Amazon Pinpoint’s new segmentation capabilities enable the following use cases:

  • Create new sub-segments from existing segments: You can now create sub-segments by selecting an existing segment and applying segmentation logic to it. For example, you could import a list of email addresses and filter out certain customers based on real-time endpoint attributes, such as the customer’s paid or free tier status. To learn more about creating segments, see Building Segments in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.
  • Advanced segmentation using smart operators: You can now create dynamic segments that incorporate certain operators, such as AND, OR, and EQUAL TO. For example, let’s say you classify your customers into tiers: tier 1 and tier 2. With today’s launch, you could create a new segment of customers whose tier status is equal to tier 1 OR tier 2, and then further refine your segment to include users who were not active in past 7 days.
  • Understand the impact of additional filters on the size of your segments, and see your audience size at a glance: The updated segmentation tool shows you the total size of your segment at all times. This size estimate is continuously updated as you add more filters to the segment, letting you see the impact of your filters in near real-time.

These new features are available to all Amazon Pinpoint users today at no additional cost.

Creating an AI-powered marketing solution for sentiment analysis and engagement

Post Syndicated from Zach Barbitta original

Note: Matt Dombrowski, one of our amazing Solutions Architects, wrote this article. He also developed the sample code that you can use to implement this solution.

Marketers know that it’s critical to understand the conversations that customers are having about their brands. The holy grail isn’t just to understand what’s happening on social media, but to distill those conversations into actionable insights. After that, you can scale, automate, and continuously improve your brand’s ability to engage.

In this blog post, we’ll demonstrate how your marketing department can use machine learning to understand social user sentiment and engage with users.

You’ll assume the role of a Marketing Manager at an up-and-coming retail company called Mountain Manhattan. Mountain Manhattan has seen strong growth in recent years, and is now looking for a better way to engage with its Twitter followers. Specifically, Mountain Manhattan wants to know who its advocates and distracters are, what the overall sentiment of the brand is, and who the key influencers are that need the white-glove treatment.

After that, we’ll show you how to quickly deploy a solution for real-time social media sentiment analysis and engagement. This process consists of three basic steps. First, you collect tweets that refer to your brand’s Twitter handle. Next, you use machine learning to assign a score to those tweets. And finally, you use Amazon Pinpoint to engage with your customers based on those scores.

Mountain Manhattan’s challenges

Like many companies, Mountain Manhattan has more data than they can act on. Mountain Manhattan receives over 1,000 tweets a day. That’s more than 365,000 tweets per year! Like most companies with a social media strategy, Mountain Manhattan thinks of each of these tweets as an ‘opportunity to engage.’ One of Mountain Manhattan’s challenges is that they need the tone, voice, response time, and candor of their responses to be clear and consistent—and they need to do so in several different languages.

They tried the brute force approach of reading tweets and manually responding to each one. However, this process quickly became unsustainable (not to mention very expensive) because of limited time and resources. Also, while Mountain Manhattan’s marketing team is rather tech-savvy, they don’t have the time or experience to worry about technical issues like ongoing development or security. Mountain Manhattan needs an engagement solution that’s affordable and effective, and that has industry-leading reliability, scale, and security.

The solution

Mountain Manhattan decided to use several AWS services to create an integrated social media monitoring and customer engagement solution. The marketing team spent about 30 minutes setting up the sophisticated solution described below, which enables testing and iteration on multiple use cases before going live.

This solution monitors a Twitter feed, and sends relevant tweets to an Amazon Kinesis data stream. Then it uses an AWS Lambda function to take the appropriate action. In this case, that action involves first calling Amazon Comprehend to provide a sentiment score, and then using Amazon Pinpoint to engage with the Twitter user. This solution has several benefits for Mountain Manhattan:

  • It’s scalable. Mountain Manhattan has flash and holiday sales, targeted campaigns, and various ad campaigns that can lead to spikes in customer tweets. This solution can handle nearly any workload in real time. Furthermore, ingesting every single tweet about their brand helps Mountain Manhattan get a holistic view of customer sentiment.
  • It’s easy to use. Mountain Manhattan needs to adapt to their customer needs. This means that they need a solution that’s customizable, user-friendly, and intuitive to use. By using Amazon Pinpoint, Mountain Manhattan’s marketing team was able to set up recurring campaigns based on certain customer characteristics. The daily, automated campaigns send notifications to an ever-updating dynamic segment. This ensures that customers never receive the same campaign message twice.
  • It’s cost-effective. Priorities for Mountain Manhattan can change quickly, and long-term contracts are no longer appealing to management. By using AWS services, there are no subscription fees, upfront costs, or long-term commitments. Mountain Manhattan pays only for they use, and they can adjust their marketing spend at any time.
  • It lets you own your data. Data is the lifeblood of modern marketing organizations. Companies need to own their data for use across many applications and systems. This solution gives Mountain Manhattan that ownership and flexibility. If it ever becomes necessary, they can change the destination of their Kinesis data streams to nearly any destination, and can export their customer data from Amazon Pinpoint.

How the solution works

The following architecture diagram shows the various AWS services that enable this AI-powered social sentiment marketing solution.

An image that shows the relationship between the various components used in this solution.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these components. This solution uses the following services and solutions:

  • Mobile client: Mountain Manhattan’s mobile app uses the Twitter SDK to authenticate users. The app is implemented in React Native for cross-platform compatibility, and because Mountain Manhattan’s developers are more familiar with JavaScript. Integrating the Twitter SDK enables Mountain Manhattan to map customers’ Twitter handles to specific mobile devices. There are a variety of ways to authenticate users—including authentication services from Facebook, Google, and Amazon. In this example, we focus on Twitter.
  • Amazon Kinesis Data Streams: This AWS service transfers tweets from Twitter into AWS Lambda (for sentiment analysis) and Amazon S3 (for long-term archival). Kinesis Data Streams can capture and store terabytes of data per hour from hundreds of thousands of sources. In the future, Mountain Manhattan could expand this solution to analyze data from Facebook, point-of-sale terminals, and website click streams.
  • Amazon ElasticSearch: Kinesis Firehose streams the tweets into an ElasticSearch cluster. By using ElasticSearch, Mountain Manhattan can easily search the data, and can visualize it by using Kibana.
  • AWS Lambda and Amazon Comprehend: Mountain Manhattan uses AWS Lambda to execute code without having to worry about deploying and maintaining servers. The AWS Lambda function looks at the tweets as they come in and determines the appropriate action to take. In Mountain Manhattan’s case, if the customer who tweeted is known, it calls Amazon Comprehend to perform AI-based sentiment analysis. Based on the results of that sentiment analysis, the Lambda function calls Amazon Pinpoint to begin the customer engagement process.
  • Amazon Pinpoint: This solution uses Amazon Pinpoint to handle two essential functions. First, it captures information about endpoints (the unique devices that use the app). Second, it sends targeted campaigns to those endpoints. The AWS Mobile SDK, which is integrated into Mountain Manhattan’s app, automatically associates the customer’s Twitter handle with their endpoint ID in Amazon Pinpoint. Mountain Manhattan also collects some custom attributes for each endpoint. For example, they place each endpoint into one of the following categories: Influencers, Supporters, Detractors, Loyal Shoppers, and CS Support Needed. By categorizing customers in this way, Mountain Manhattan can create more personalized messaging.

Mountain Manhattan’s solution in action

As Mountain Manhattan starts to ingest tweets, they get to know a lot more about their customers than just what they said. Mountain Manhattan can see the number of followers a user has, which is a good way to identify influencers. Additionally, Mountain Manhattan can see the Twitter user’s description, logo, picture, and location (if the user has exposed it). All of this data is fed into the AWS Lambda function, where Mountain Manhattan can take the customized action.

The screenshots in the following sections show the kinds of push notifications that Mountain Manhattan could automatically send to customers based on the content of their tweets.

Identifying influencers and early adopters

Mountain Manhattan’s AWS Lambda function determines how many Twitter followers each user has. If the number of followers is above a certain threshold, the function attaches the Influencer custom attribute to the user’s endpoint, and sends them a push notification.A push notification that says "We like you too! Tap here to join our Influencers Club and get free stuff!"

Tracking and engaging with consumers during events or promotions

During events, Mountain Manhattan can join the conversation with their customers by sending messages in real time based on customers’ tweets.A push notification that says "We're glad you're enjoying the sale! Tap here to subscribe to our events calendar."

Proactively engaging with customers having support issues

When Mountain Manhattan determines that the sentiment of a tweet is negative, they can send custom push notifications in an attempt to resolve the issue.A push notification that says "Sorry to hear you're having trouble! :( Tap here to talk to Jake, one of our best support team members."

Offering discounts or concessions to unhappy customers

Mountain Manhattan could monitor for certain words or phrases, such as “shipping delays”. When they detect these keywords, Amazon Pinpoint can automatically send a push notification that offers a discount on a future purchase.A push notification that says "We agree--delays are annoying! Tap here to get 20% off your next order."

Deploying the solution

Now that we’ve seen how this solution works, it’s time to implement it. The coolest part? You can use an AWS CloudFormation template to deploy all of the AWS components of this solution in a few clicks and about 10 minutes of your time.

Note: The procedures for deploying this solution might change over time as we continue to make improvements to it. For the latest procedures, see the Github page for this solution at


To complete these procedures, you have to have the following:

  • A mobile app that uses Twitter’s APIs or SDK for authentication and for ingesting tweets.
  • A macOS-based computer and physical iOS device (the Simulator that’s included with Xcode isn’t sufficient for testing this solution).
  • Xcode, Node.js, npm, and CocoaPods installed on your macOS-based computer.
    • To download Xcode, go to
    • To download Node.js and npm, go to Download the latest Long-Term Support (LTS) version for macOS.
    • To download and install CocoaPods, type the following command at the macOS command line: sudo gem install cocoapods
  • The AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) installed and configured on your macOS-based computer. For information about installing the AWS CLI, see Installing the AWS Command Line Interface. For information about setting up the AWS CLI, see Configuring the AWS CLI.
  • An AWS account with sufficient permissions to create the resources shown in the architecture diagram in the earlier section. For more information about creating an AWS account, see How do I create and activate a new Amazon Web Services account.
  • An Amazon EC2 key pair. You need this to log in to the EC2 instance if you want to modify the Twitter handle that you’re monitoring. For more information, see Creating a Key Pair Using Amazon EC2.
  • An Apple Developer account. Note that the approach that we cover in this post focuses exclusively on iOS devices. You can implement this solution on Android devices

Part 1: Create a Twitter application

The first step in this process is to create a Twitter app, which gives you access to the Twitter API. This solution uses the Twitter API to collect tweets in real time.

To create a Twitter application:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, create one at
  2. Go to, and then choose Create a new application.
  3. Under Application Details, complete the following sections:
    • For Name, type the name of your app.
    • For Description, type a description of your app.
    • For the Website and Callback URL fields, type any fully qualified URL (such as You’ll change these values in a later step, so the values you enter at this point aren’t important.
  4. Choose Create your Twitter application.
  5. Under Your access token, choose Create your access token.
  6. Under Application type, choose Read Only.
  7. Under Oauth settings, note the values next to Consumer key and Consumer secret. Then, under Your access token, note the values next to Access key and Secret access key. You’ll need all of these values in later steps.

Part 2: Install the dependencies

This solution requires you to download and set up some files from a GitHub repository.

To configure the AWS Mobile SDK in your app:

  1. Open On the command line, navigate to the directory where you want to create your project.
  2. On the command line, type the following command to clone the repository that contains the source code that you’re using to configure this solution: git clone
  3. Type the following command to change to the directory that contains the installation files: cd amazon-pinpoint-social-sentiment/mobile
  4. Type the following command to download the dependencies for this solution: npm install
  5. Type the following command to link the dependencies in the project: react-native link
  6. Type the following command to change into the ios directory: cd ios
  7. Type the following command to install CocoaPods into your project: pod install

Part 3: Set up your app to use the AWS Mobile SDK

To configure your app:

  1. From the /mobile directory, type the following command to create a backend project for your app and pull the service configuration (aws-exports.js file) into your project: awsmobile init. Press Enter at each prompt to accept the default response, as shown in the following example.
    Please tell us about your project:
    ? Where is your project's source directory: /
    ? Where is your project's distribution directory that stores build artifacts: /
    ? What is your project's build command: npm run-script build
    ? What is your project's start command for local test run: npm run-script start
    ? What awsmobile project name would you like to use: mobile-2018-08-16-03-16-39

  2. Open the file aws-exports.js. This file contains information about the backend configuration of your AWS Mobile Hub project. Take note of the aws_mobile_analytics_app_id key—you’ll use this value in a later step.
  3. In a text editor, open the file pinpoint-social-sentiment/mobile/App.js. Under TwitterAuth.init, next to twitter_key, replace <your key here> with the consumer key that you received when you created your Twitter app in step 1. Then, next to twitter_secret, replace <your secret here> with the consumer secret you received when you created your Twitter app. When you finish, save the file.
  4. In a text editor, open the file amazon-pinpoint-social-sentiment/mobile/ios/MobileCon/AppDelegate.m. Search for the following section:
    - (BOOL)application:(UIApplication *)application didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:(NSDictionary *)launchOptions
      NSURL *jsCodeLocation;
      [[Twitter sharedInstance] startWithConsumerKey:@"<your-consumer-key>" consumerSecret:@"<your-consumer-secret>"];

    In this section, replace <your-consumer-key> with your Twitter consumer key, and replace <your-consumer-secret> with your Twitter consumer secret.

  5. In a text editor, open the file amazon-pinpoint-social-sentiment/mobile/ios/MobileCon/Info.plist. Search for the following section:

    Replace <your-API-key> with your Twitter consumer secret.

Part 4: Set up push notifications in your app

Now you’re ready to set up your app to send push notifications. A recent Medium post from Nader Dabit, one of our Developer Advocates, outlines this process nicely. Start at the Apple Developer Configuration section, and complete the remaining steps. After you complete these steps, your app is ready to send push notifications.

Part 5: Launch the AWS CloudFormation template

While your app is building, you can launch the AWS CloudFormation template that sets up the backend components that power this solution.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console, and then open the AWS CloudFormation console at
  2. Use the region selector to select the US East (N. Virginia) region.
  3. Choose Create new stack.
  4. Next to Choose a template, choose Specify an Amazon S3 template URL, and then paste the following URL: Choose Next.
  5. Under Specify Details, for Stack Name, type a name for the CloudFormation stack.
  6. Under Parameters, do the following:
    1. For AccessToken, type your Twitter access token.
    2. For SecretAccessToken, type your Twitter access token secret.
    3. For AppId, type the app ID that you obtained in Part 3.
    4. For ConsumerKey, type your Twitter consumer key.
    5. For ConsumerSecret, type your Twitter consumer secret.
  7. Choose Next.
  8. On the next page, review your settings, and then choose Next again. On the final page, select the box to indicate that you understand that AWS CloudFormation will create IAM resources, and then choose Create.

When you choose Create, AWS CloudFormation creates the all of the backend components for the application. These include an EC2 instance, networking infrastructure, a Kinesis data stream, a Kinesis Firehose delivery stream, an S3 bucket, an Elasticsearch cluster, and a Lambda function. This process takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Part 6: Send a test tweet

Now you’re ready to test the solution to make sure that all of the components work as expected.

Start by logging in to your Twitter account. Send a tweet to @awsformobile. Your tweet should contain language that has a positive sentiment.

Your EC2 instance, which monitors the Twitter streaming API, captures this tweet. When this happens, the EC2 instance uses the Kinesis data stream to send the tweet to an Amazon S3 bucket for long-term storage. It also sends the tweet to AWS Lambda, which uses Amazon Comprehend to assign a sentiment score to the tweet. If the message is positive, Amazon Pinpoint sends a push notification to the Twitter handle that sent the message.

You can monitor the execution of the Lambda function by using Amazon CloudWatch Logs. You can access the CloudWatch Logs console at The log should contain an entry that resembles the following example:

On the Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES) console, you can watch as Amazon ES catalogs incoming tweets. You can access this console at For the Amazon ES domain for the tweets, choose the Kibana URL. You can use Kibana to easily search your incoming tweets, as shown in the following image:

Finally, you can go to your Amazon S3 bucket to view an archive of the tweets that were addressed to you. This bucket is useful for simple archiving, additional analysis, visualization, or even machine learning. You can access the Amazon S3 console at

Part 7: Create an Amazon Pinpoint campaign

In the real world, you probably don’t want to send messages to users immediately after they send tweets to your Twitter handle. If you did, you might seem too aggressive, and your customers might hesitate to engage with your brand in the future.

Fortunately, you can use the campaign scheduling tools in Amazon Pinpoint to create a recurring campaign.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console, and then open the Amazon Pinpoint console at
  2. On the Projects page, choose your app.
  3. In the navigation pane, choose Campaigns, and then choose New Campaign.
  4. For Campaign name, type a name for the campaign, and then choose Next step.
  5. On the Segment page, do the following
    1. Choose Create a new segment.
    2. For Name your segment to reuse it later, type a name for the segment.
    3. For Filter by user attributes, choose the plus sign (+) icon. Filter by segment to include all endpoints where Sentiment is Positive, as shown in the following image:A screenshot that shows how to add the Sentiment = Positive attribute to a Pinpoint segment.
    4. Choose Next step.
  6. On the Message page, type the message that you want to send, and then choose Next step. To learn more about writing mobile push messages, see Writing a Mobile Push Message in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.
  7. On the Schedule page, choose the date and time when the message will be sent. You can also schedule the campaign to run on a recurring basis, such as every week. To learn more about scheduling campaigns, see Set the Campaign Schedule in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.

Final thoughts

In this blog post, we demonstrated how your marketing department can use machine learning to understand social user sentiment and engage with users.

In the interest of transparency, we calculated the total costs associated with running this solution. Our calculation includes a small Elasticsearch cluster, a small EC2 instance, storage costs, compute costs, and messaging costs. Assuming your app has 1 million monthly active users (MAUs), and assuming that 0.5% of those MAUs mention your brand every month on Twitter, running this solution would cost $28.66 per month, or just under four cents an hour.

We think this solution is one of the most affordable and capable social media sentiment analysis tools you’ll find on the market today. The best part about this solution is that it can be a complete solution—or the starting point for your own customized solution.

Need to send push messages on other platforms, such as Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) (for most Android devices)? No problem. Just set up your app to send endpoint data to Amazon Pinpoint and to send push notifications, and you’re ready to go! Want to send messages through different channels? If you have other endpoint data for your customers (such as email addresses or mobile phone numbers), you can add channels to your project in Amazon Pinpoint, and then use those channels to send messages.

We’re very excited about this solution, and we can’t wait to see what you build with it!

Practice Makes Perfect: Testing Campaigns Before You Send Them

Post Syndicated from Zach Barbitta original

In an article we posted to Medium in February, we talked about how to determine the best time to engage your customers by using Amazon Pinpoint’s built-in session heat map. The session heat map allows you to find the times that your customers are most likely to use your app. In this post, we continued on the topic of best practices—specifically, how to appropriately test a campaign before going live.

In this post, we’ll talk about the old adage “practice makes perfect,” and how it applies to the campaigns you send using Amazon Pinpoint. Let’s take a scenario many of our customers encounter daily: creating a campaign to engage users by sending a push notification.

As you can see from the preceding screenshot, the segment we plan to target has nearly 1.7M recipients, which is a lot! Of course, before we got to this step, we already put several best practices into practice. For example, we determined the best time to engage our audience, scheduled the message based on recipients’ local time zones, performed A/B/N testing, measured lift using a hold-out group, and personalized the content for maximum effectiveness. Now that we’re ready to send the notification, we should test the message before we send it to all of the recipients in our segment. The reason for testing the message is pretty straightforward: we want to make sure every detail of the message is accurate before we send it to all 1,687,575 customers.

Fortunately, Amazon Pinpoint makes it easy to test your messages—in fact, you don’t even have to leave the campaign wizard in order to do so. In step 3 of the campaign wizard, below the message editor, there’s a button labelled Test campaign.

When you choose the Test campaign button, you have three options: you can send the test message to a segment of 100 endpoints or less, or to a set of specific endpoint IDs (up to 10), or to a set of specific device tokens (up to 10), as shown in the following image.

In our case, we’ve already created a segment of internal recipients who will test our message. On the Test Campaign window, under Send a test message to, we choose A segment. Then, in the drop-down menu, we select our test segment, and then choose Send test message.

Because we’re sending the test message to a segment, Amazon Pinpoint automatically creates a new campaign dedicated to this test. This process executes a test campaign, complete with message analytics, which allows you to perform end-to-end testing as if you sent the message to your production audience. To see the analytics for your test campaign, go to the Campaigns tab, and then choose the campaign (the name of the campaign contains the word “test”, followed by four random characters, followed by the name of the campaign).

After you complete a successful test, you’re ready to launch your campaign. As a final check, the Review & Launch screen includes a reminder that indicates whether or not you’ve tested the campaign, as shown in the following image.

There are several other ways you can use this feature. For example, you could use it for troubleshooting a campaign, or for iterating on existing campaigns. To learn more about testing campaigns, see the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.

The End of Google Cloud Messaging, and What it Means for Your Apps

Post Syndicated from Zach Barbitta original

On April 10, 2018, Google announced the deprecation of its Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) platform. Specifically, the GCM server and client APIs are deprecated and will be removed as soon as April 11, 2019.  What does this mean for you and your applications that use Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) or Amazon Pinpoint?

First, nothing will break now or after April 11, 2019. GCM device tokens are completely interchangeable with the newer Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) device tokens. If you have existing GCM tokens, you’ll still be able to use them to send notifications. This statement is also true for GCM tokens that you generate in the future.

On the back end, we’ve already migrated Amazon SNS and Amazon Pinpoint to the server endpoint for FCM ( As a developer, you don’t need to make any changes as a result of this deprecation.

We created the following mini-FAQ to address some of the questions you may have as a developer who uses Amazon SNS or Amazon Pinpoint.

If I migrate to FCM from GCM, can I still use Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon SNS?

Yes. Your ability to connect to your applications and send messages through both Amazon SNS and Amazon Pinpoint doesn’t change. We’ll update the documentation for Amazon SNS and Amazon Pinpoint soon to reflect these changes.

If I don’t migrate to FCM from GCM, can I still use Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon SNS?

Yes. If you do nothing, your existing credentials and GCM tokens will still be valid. All applications that you previously set up to use Amazon Pinpoint or Amazon SNS will continue to work normally. When you call the API for Amazon Pinpoint or Amazon SNS, we initiate a request to the FCM server endpoint directly.

What are the differences between Amazon SNS and Amazon Pinpoint?

Amazon SNS makes it easy for developers to set up, operate, and send notifications at scale, affordably and with a high degree of flexibility. Amazon Pinpoint has many of the same messaging capabilities as Amazon SNS, with the same levels of scalability and flexibility.

The main difference between the two services is that Amazon Pinpoint provides both transactional and targeted messaging capabilities. By using Amazon Pinpoint, marketers and developers can not only send transactional messages to their customers, but can also segment their audiences, create campaigns, and analyze both application and message metrics.

How do I migrate from GCM to FCM?

For more information about migrating from GCM to FCM, see Migrate a GCM Client App for Android to Firebase Cloud Messaging on the Google Developers site.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section, or in the Amazon Pinpoint or Amazon SNS forums.