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, mobile 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 Channel A channel coordination strategy that refers to targeting the highest priority channel associated with each user. If a user is not opted-in on the highest priority channel, then priority channel will select the next-highest priority channel on which a user is opted-in. and Last Active A channel coordination strategy that refers to targeting a user on their most recently used channel. 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 User A customer-provided identifier used for mapping multiple devices and channels to a particular user. . 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 Preference A channel coordination strategy that refers to targeting a 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

Fan Out A channel coordination strategy that refers to targeting a user on all known channels at the same time. is part of Airship core functionality. The other channel coordination strategies require the Orchestration add-on. Please contact Airship Sales to enable Orchestration for your account.

Fan Out

Fan Out is a channel coordination strategy that refers to targeting a user on all known channels at the same time in order to maximize chances they receive the message. This approach is suitable for highly urgent messages, where the user will not be sensitive to feeling over-messaged.

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 approach is also supported through the dashboard by targeting a specific named user.

Last Active

Last Active is a channel coordination strategy that refers to targeting a user on their most recently used channel. 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 the last_active orchestration tag group in a segment.

 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 not available for use with SMS notifications.

Priority Channel With Fallback

Priority Channel is a channel coordination strategy that refers to targeting the highest priority channel associated with each user. If a user is not opted-in on the highest priority channel, then priority channel will select the next-highest priority channel on which a user is opted-in. If a user has multiple opted-in channels on a given channel, e.g., both an iPad and iPhone on iOS, the message will be sent to both channels.

Drive engagement toward one strategic channel, for example, directing users to the mobile 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 the priority_platform orchestration tag group in a segment.

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 refers to targeting a 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 the user_preferred orchestration tag group in a segment.

Channel Coordination Resources