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What's the best way to distribute passes?
What's the best way to distribute passes?
Paul Tomes avatar
Written by Paul Tomes
Updated over a week ago

The simplest, most efficient and our recommended way is to use the Pass URL. When the user visits this URL the Pass will automatically display in the user's device. This allows you to send the Pass via any of the following channels:

  • Facebook Fans Page

  • Social Media

  • Online Advertisement

  • SMS

  • Email

  • On your website

  • Via an App

You can even share the link via traditional media:

  • Tent Card

  • EDM

  • Poster

  • Newspaper advertisement

For example if you are issuing a 10% off discount coupon, you could advertise this in the local newspaper either as a web address or as a barcode for people to scan with their smartphones. Or maybe a poster in your restaurant or bar that allows people to scan and add your loyalty card to Passbook. This is simple and yet engaging way to get your Pass into their smartphone.

Our recommendation for mobile distribution remains distributing pass urls via SMS. This gives the user single click access to the latest version of the pass and gives the issuer the most flexibility (for example if they wish to disable access to the pass in the future). It also has the benefit of ensuring that the user is accessing from the mobile device.

You can also deliver passes by MMS, but we don't recommend this approach for the following reasons:

- MMS payloads are limited to 300kb, many passes exceed this limit and this can be problematic, particularly where clients have control over the pass design.

- MMS does not discriminate between iOS devices and Android. If an Android user without a Pass App installed receives a . pkpass file, they will be unable to access it.

- Many smartphone users do not have MMS properly configured. Some providers require MMS content to be accessed via a web portal. This does not make for a reliable experience.

- With MMS, you will be delivering a pass in a static state. Even after updates have been pushed, the user would have the ability to revert the pass back to the original state by accessing the MMS. In the case of Passbook, the pass would callback and update, but only if he user maintains automatic updates.

- MMS is an incredibly expensive channel - in some cases costing over 10x more than SMS.

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