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Channels & Channel Reachability

Understanding how channel reachability is determined for a user in various scenarios

Channels

At WebEngage, any medium that allows you to engage and communicate with your users through your app, website or any other platform is called a Channel.

Currently, you can leverage the following channels in WebEngage to engage your users in real-time, backed by their personal and behavioral data (also called user attributes and events, respectively):

Each channel comes equipped with ready-to-use templates and an intuitive 6-step creation interface, allowing you to create, schedule and test various versions of your message. Further, all your messages can be contextually personalized to each user, helping you create highly engaging experiences every single time!

At WebEngage, we believe that contextual engagement is the key to customer retention. However, given the multi-channel nature of user interactions today, it's becoming harder and harder for brands to reach their users at the right time, through the right channel. We found a unique, data-driven solution to this persistent problem in the form of Reachability.

Understanding Channel Reachability

Reachability is a measure of whether or not a user can be reached through the channels listed in your dashboard. It's an indicator of your user's preferences, helping you identify the most viable channel to engage each user, segment and your entire user base.

Once you connect your WebEngage account with your app and website, the platform starts collecting several details related to your users and their behavior. By processing their channel preferences and contact information, we can determine channel reachability at a granular level.

For example, if our platform detects that an email failed to get delivered due to an invalid email address, then the user will automatically be deemed unreachable through Email. And if the user updates their correct email address later, then they will be deemed reachable through the channel.

Here's how we determine reachability for each channel:

Push (Mobile)

All users who have enabled push notifications for your app on their device AND have not uninstalled your app are reachable through the channel.

Now, let's show you how push reachability is calculated when a user is using your app through multiple devices.

Case 1: Using the app on multiple devices with same OS

Let's say that a user has downloaded your app on two devices, Device A and Device B.

  • Reachable on Push: If the user disables push notifications OR uninstalls the app on Device A but continues to use your app through Device B with push notifications enabled, then the user will be deemed reachable through Push as a channel.

  • Not Reachable on Push: If the user disables push notifications OR uninstalls the app on both Device A and Device B, then the user will be deemed unreachable through Push as a channel.

Now, let's show you how reachability is calculated when a user accesses your app through multiple devices that run on a different OS.

Case 2: Using the app on multiple devices with a different OS

Let's say that a user has downloaded your app on four devices:

  • Device A and Device B run on Android

  • Device C and Device D run on iOS

Reachability will be calculated in the following manner:

  • Reachable on Android: Now let's consider that the user has disabled push notifications only for Device A and continues to use your app through Device B with push enabled. Then as discussed under Case 1, the user will be deemed reachable on Android.

  • Reachable on iOS: Considering the same scenario as above, if the user has uninstalled your app on Device C but continues to use it through Device D with push notifications enabled, Then as discussed under Case 1, the user will be deemed reachable on iOS.

  • Reachable on Push: Since the user is reachable on both iOS and Android, the user is definitely reachable on Push as a channel.

However, when calculating the total number of reachable users, this user will be added to the sum only once (even though they are reachable through 2 devices and 2 operating systems) to avoid double counting. This ensures that you always get an exact idea of how many users can be engaged through a channel at any given point in time.

In-app (Messaging)

All users who have interacted with your app at least once over the last 30 days AND have not uninstalled your app are considered reachable through in-app messaging.

If a user has downloaded your app on multiple devices, then their In-app reachability will be calculated using the same logic as Mobile Push.

SMS

All users that have a phone number AND are not registered on a national do-not-call list are considered reachable through SMS.

On-site

All users who have interacted with your website over the last 30 days are considered reachable through on-site notifications, surveys, and the feedback widget.

Web Push

All users who have opted-in to receive web push notifications through your domain AND have not blocked web push notifications from your website are considered reachable through web push.

If the user has opted-in to receive web push notifications through several browsers and devices, then their Web Push reachability will be calculated using similar logic as Mobile Push.

Email

All users that have an email address AND have not unsubscribed AND have not recorded a hard-bounce are considered reachable through email.

WhatsApp

All users that have opted-in to receive WhatsApp messages from your business and have not blocked your account are considered reachable through the channel.

By default, users that have a phone number are considered unreachable, due to WhatsApp's strict opt-in guidelines.

How Reachability is Determined at a User-level

Must read

Please ensure that you have read through the concepts of Users and User Profiles before proceeding. Doing so will lay the foundation for understanding how reachability is determined for all your users in WebEngage.

Now that you have a robust understanding of how we determine reachability across all channels, let's walk you through a simple user lifecycle to demonstrate how varying user behavior affects this metric.

Case 1: Determining Reachability for an Unknown App User

Let's take the example of a first-time user who has recently downloaded your e-commerce app. The user still hasn't signed up on your platform, making them an Unknown User in your WebEngage dashboard.

Here's how we'll determine the reachability of this user across all channels:

  • If the user has not disabled push notifications on their device, then they will be deemed reachable through Push.

  • Since the user has recently downloaded your app, they will be considered an active user, making them reachable through In-app.

  • Since the user has not signed up yet, we don't have their phone number or email address. Hence, they will be unreachable through SMS and Email.

  • Since the user has been acquired through your mobile app and is currently an unknown user, there is no way for us to know if they have interacted with your website. Hence, they will be unreachable through On-site and Web Push.

  • However, if this user interacts with your website, then a new Unknown User Profile will be created, adding another user to your total user base. As per this profile, the user will be reachable through On-site and Web Push, and will not be reachable through Push, In-app, SMS and Email for the same reason discussed above.

Case 2: Determining Reachability for a Known App User

In continuation of the example discussed under Case 1 - let's assume that the user wants to make a purchase and thus, signs into your app. While signing up, they provide the following details:

Name: Marge Simpson
Email address: [email protected]
Phone number: 123-547-9800

Thus, Marge will now become a Known User in your dashboard, and all the historical data from her Unknown User Profile (in Case 1) will get merged with the latest Known User Profile.

Here's how we'll determine the reachability of Marge now:

  • Since we have all her historical data in one place, we know that she is still reachable through Push and In-app.

  • As we have her email address and phone number, she will now be deemed reachable through Email and SMS too!

  • She will still be unreachable through On-site and Web Push as she has not logged into her account through the e-commerce business's website, yet.

Case 3: Determining Reachability for a Known User Who is Logged Out of Your App

Now, let's assume that Marge stopped using the e-commerce app and logged out of the account. However, after a few weeks, she received an email announcing the release of your latest fashion line, prompting her to revisit your app.

But she merely browses through the collection and forgets to log into her existing account.

Here's how we'll determine the reachability of Marge now:

  • As she is currently logged out of her account, you will not be able to engage her with personalized push notifications or in-app messages. However, you will still be able to reach her as an Unknown User through these channels. This means that you will not be able to use elements of personalization like name, recommendations based on products viewed when she was logged in, etc. in the notifications and messages, until she logs into her account again.

  • And just like Case 2, you will still be able to engage her with highly personalized and contextual messages through Email and SMS.

  • Marge will still be unreachable through On-site and Web Push.

Case 4: Determining Reachability for Multiple Users Using the Same Device

Now, let's assume that Marge's daughter too, takes a fancy to your latest fashion line and starts using her mother's phone to browse through the products. She finds a dress that she'd like to purchase and signs up to complete the transaction. Here are the details she provides:

Name: Lisa Simpson
Email address: [email protected]
Phone number: 123-547-9800 (same as her mother, as they share a mobile device)

Here's how we'll determine reachability for the new user, Lisa:

  • As discussed under Case 2, Lisa too will be reachable through the channels of Push, In-app, Email and SMS.

  • As discussed under Case 1, Lisa too will be unreachable through On-site and Web Push.

Now, let's delve deeper into the complexities that arise from the fact that both the users are using the same device and phone number:

Same device

  • Push notifications will be sent only to Lisa as she is currently logged into your app. This means you will not be able to engage Marge until she logs into the app again (and Lisa logs out). Thus, at any given point in time, only one user can be reached through a device.

  • In-app messages will be sent only to Lisa now. You will not be able to engage Marge through In-app as a different user is currently logged into the app.

Same phone number

  • SMS messages for both, Marge and Lisa will be sent to the same phone number. In the case of generic messages meant for all users, they will receive the SMS twice.

We hope this equips you with a robust understanding of how the channel reachability of each user is detected across various stages of their lifecycle.

Now, let's get you acquainted with all the reachability metrics tracked for your users.

How Reachability is Calculated

Across your dashboard, the channel reachability of your users is indicated by two metrics:

1. Overall Reachability

  • It indicates the total number of users, out of a segment or your entire user base, that can be reached through at least one channel of engagement.
  • If a user can be reached through two or more channels then they are counted towards the Overall Reachability number/percentage only once to avoid any double counting of users.

2. Reachability (for a channel)

  • This indicates the number of users, out of a segment or your entire user base, that can be reached through a particular channel.
  • If a user can be reached on more than one channel, then they are counted towards the Reachability number/percentage for all the respective channels they are reachable.

Let's go over a brief use-case to help you understand how these metrics are calculated:

Use-case: Determining (Channel) Reachability and Overall Reachability of a Segment of Users

Let's assume that you have created a segment that contains 1,000 users at present.

The Overall Reachability of this segment is 700 users.

  • This means that the segment includes 300 users that cannot be reached through any channel of engagement.

The channel-wise Reachability of all the reachable users is as follows:

  • Push: 150

  • In-app: 75

  • SMS: 50

  • On-site: 100

  • Web Push: 500

  • Email: 350

Here, you will notice that if you added up the numbers, then the sum (1225) is higher than the Overall Reachability (700).

This is because users who are reachable on multiple channels, like Web Push and Email are counted towards the Reachability numbers of both the channels. But are counted towards the Overall Reachability number of the segment only once.

Both metrics are calculated over the entire lifetime of a user and are updated on a daily basis to factor in the reachability of new users and the changing channel preferences of the existing ones.

  • For the same reason, Overall Reachability and (Channel) Reachability cannot be analyzed for a particular time frame across your dashboard.

The Concept of Reachability is Applicable to the Following Sections in Your Dashboard:

  • User Overview: Amongst other metrics, this section also indicates the reachability of your entire user base against each channel, in real-time.

  • User Profile: For any user that has interacted with your app or website at least once, the platform creates a user profile. Amongst other vital details, the user profile also presents a detailed account of the user's reachability against each channel.

  • Segment Creation: When segmenting your users, you can choose to bucket them into micro-segments depending on the channels they can or cannot be reached on.

  • Segment Overview: Once you create a segment, using its Overview section you can analyze the reachability of all the users included in it to identify the most effective channels to engage them.

  • Engagement Overview: Using this section, you can analyze the reachability of your total user base for each channel, helping you identify the most effective channels to engage them.

  • Channel Overview: Each channel listed in your dashboard comes with an Overview section which indicates the channel's reachability index, calculated against your total user base on a daily basis. (Push, In-app, SMS, Web Push, Email, WhatsApp)

  • Journey Creation: When creating a journey, you can design the engagement strategy as per the reachability of users on various channels.

We hope this has equipped you with a comprehensive understanding of how Channel Reachability works in WebEngage. Please feel free to drop in a few lines at [email protected] in case you have any queries. We’re always just an email away :)

Updated about a month ago


So, what's next?

Now, let's show you how you can leverage all the channels to engage your users across their lifecycle with various types of campaigns.

Campaigns and Its Types

Channels & Channel Reachability


Understanding how channel reachability is determined for a user in various scenarios

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