Channel Coordination

Channel Coordination is a group of strategies you can use to target users where they are most likely to receive your message.

Several tools and strategies are supported to maximize engagement with users opted in to multiple notification channels. For example, a user may be opted in for notifications via their web browser, app, and an open channel.

The coordination of your multi-channel messaging relies on a number of our channel features, depending on the message type, its level of urgency, and the particular use case. The various channel coordination strategies can be employed to further personalize the mode of messaging delivery, each using a different mix of messaging features.

How Channel Coordination Works

We leverage two powerful Airship platform features to make channel coordination work:

Event Listeners
Airship listens for activity such as opens, custom events, and uninstalls in order to determine Priority ChannelA channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on the first channel they are opted in to, of the priority order you set. and Last ActiveA channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on the opted-in channel they used most recently. status.
Tag Groups
A tag group is an array of tags that you can associate with both channels and named users. When we configure your project for channel coordination, we use tag groups and the reserved ua:orchestration namespace.

Channel coordination requires implementing Named UserA customer-provided identifier used for mapping multiple devices and channels to a specific individual. . Named users are by definition an essential prerequisite for channel coordination, as they are required to map a user’s different channels to your internal identifier. If you are using User PreferenceA channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on their preferred channel. , you will also need to set user preference tags on the named user.

Once your project is configured for channel coordination, you can target users via the API or dashboard as you would target any other audience.

 Note

Channel coordination requires Orchestration be enabled for your account. Caveats:

  • Fan OutA channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on all the channels they are opted in to, maximizing the chances they receive your message. is the default behavior when targeting named users.

  • For journeys, Originating ChannelA channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on the channel that triggered the journey. is used for all accounts not enabled for channel coordination.

Please contact Airship Sales to enable Orchestration and journeys.

Fan Out

Fan Out is a channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on all the channels they are opted in to, maximizing the chances they receive your message. This strategy is suitable for highly urgent messages, where the user will not be sensitive to over-messaging. This is the default strategy when a journey does not have a triggering channel, e.g., a message sent as a result of a named user custom event or tag change, which equally applies to all channels.

You can send a message to a named user across all channels via our API by enumerating all configured messaging platforms using the device_types selector. This strategy is also supported through the dashboard by targeting a specific named user.

Last Active

Last Active is a channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on the opted-in channel they used most recently. In many cases user recency is the best indicator of preference.

In the API, use the last_active tag in the ua:orchestration tag group. In the dashboard, target the last_active orchestration tag group.

You can also include last active in a SegmentA grouping of audience members selected by unique or shared identifiers. Multiple identifiers can be combined within a segment. . Select the Orchestration tag group, then search for last_active.

 Note

A device that is opted-in will have higher priority than an opted-out device even if the opted-out device was active more recently. For example, if the named user has two devices, iOS and Android, and the iOS device is opted-in while the Android device is opted-out, even if the Android device’s app is opened more recently than the iOS device’s app has been used, the iOS device will remain the “last active” because it is the only one that is still opted-in.

If there is more than one opted-in device for a particular named user, the device that has most recently had activity will receive any push targeted to the last active device. Examples of possible activities are a registration event, opt-in event, open event, or a custom event.

 Note

Last Active is available for app and web channels only.

Originating Channel

Originating Channel is a channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on the channel that triggered the journey. Messaging users on the channels they use to engage your brand can help ensure a consistent user experience. This strategy is used for all accounts not enabled for channel coordination.
 Warning

Originating Channel will not work if the triggering behavior is a custom event applied to the named user. In that case, there is no channel associated with the behavior; Airship will instead use the Fan Out strategy for delivery.

Priority Channel With Fallback

Priority Channel is a channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on the first channel they are opted in to, of the priority order you set.

Drive engagement toward one strategic channel, for example, directing users to the app to save SMS or email cost. For when you want to define a priority for channel for users to engage with, e.g., 1) App, 2) Web, 3) Email.

In the API, use the priority_platform tag in the ua:orchestration tag group. In the dashboard, target the priority_platform orchestration tag group.

You can also include priority channel in a SegmentA grouping of audience members selected by unique or shared identifiers. Multiple identifiers can be combined within a segment. . Select the Orchestration tag group, then search for priority_platform.

Fallback

Our priority channel system actively monitors events from your audience such as app opens and opt-in status changes to maintain as accurate a picture as possible of where your audience is reachable for messaging. This picture is only as accurate as the signals we get back from apps or the service providers we work with, however, and in some cases, due to platform limitations, we do not receive messaging channel state changes in real time.

The iOS and Android platforms suffer from this limitation when a user uninstalls an app in that the push providers, e.g., APNs, do not send out any signals or display any status about an uninstall in real time. Only when we attempt to send a push notification to it does Apple (APNs) or Google (FCM) let us know the app has been uninstalled.

Since this is a key use case for app messaging, we have enhanced our system to automatically redirect the message to the next available channel in the priority list when we detect an uninstall event on iOS or Android, in real time.

This messaging fallback behavior follows the same logic we use when determining where to assign the priority_platform tag, and in fact, we also reassign the priority_platform tag at the same time we detect the uninstall.

User Preference

User Preference is a channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on their preferred channel. This is understood to provide the optimal customer experience.

For a user that is opted in on multiple channels and has provided an explicit communication preference, first add a user_preferred tag to the preferred channel, then target that tag in your messaging. In the API, use the user_preferred tag in the ua:orchestration tag group. In the dashboard, target the user_preferred orchestration tag group.

You can also include user preference in a SegmentA grouping of audience members selected by unique or shared identifiers. Multiple identifiers can be combined within a segment. . Select the Orchestration tag group, then search for user_preferred.

Channel Coordination Resources