After creating my own iOS app and heading up growth for startup companies I have found that there are a number of tools and platforms that can be used to improve companies marketing automation and messaging capabilities. In my research, I have seen certain tools that have a better UI but lack necessary functionality and vice versa.  It was surprisingly difficult to get clear details and pricing on many of the tools out there and so I wanted to provide some quick information to help in researching marketing automation and messaging platforms, particularly for iOS consumer applications.

  1. AppBoy:


Appboy seems to be the best tool for In-App messages because the mobile focus and functions they provide in comparison to the other comparable tools. Appboy’s pricing is based on two inputs Data Points and # of Emails sent. They don’t charge based on MAUs/Profiles. The MAU plan will charge you $100/10K MAUs. The lowest pricing to fully unlock their drag and drop if-this-then-that Canvas and Email will be $15K/YR. That would include:

  • 2M Emails
  • 120M Data Points*
  • Unlimited Push Notifications, In-App Messages, API Calls and Webhooks

*Data Points include Sessions, Updates to Custom Attributes, and Custom Events.

  1. Intercom:


Intercom has worked hard to develop into a full customer support and marketing offering from where it started mainly has a desktop chat window. Their focus is still mainly on communications, but isn’t that where all great marketing and customer support stems from? The pricing is $6,168 a year for around 25k users. 

  1. Kahuna:

Kahuna enables B2C marketers to engage consumers across push, email, in-app, web push, and social channels effortlessly. Their Enterprise pricing, more details, and demos are gated and I didn’t find the patience to wait to find out how they could help since the other competitors had this information more readily available.  

  1. Iterable:

Their pricing starts at $2000/month for up to 50,000 subscribers and includes unlimited email and push messaging.

  1. LeanPlum:

LeanPlum ties together Messaging, Automation, A/B Testing, and Analytics — all in one integrated platform. The base pricing tier I found was 50,000 MAU’s $40-50k per year to start.

  1. Smooch

Smooch is a good tool for e-commerce companies but also would not be best for anyone starting a consumer application. They have a free “Labs” pricing tier and a $495 “Growth” tier before getting to the “Enterprise” level.

As a side note: I believe that OneSignal and UrbanAirship are more engineering tools that will require more development because they have less front end tools for marketers.

Key things to look for:

  1. How user-friendly is the interface that you will be going into on a daily basis?
  2. How do they calculate their pricing? These companies have very smart employees and understand that charging by users can add up.
  3. Don’t buy into any platform that touts too much Artificial Intelligence.
  4. How many options do they provide for robust in-app messaging to your users?