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Last update: May 2021


Webinar Roundup: Highlights of the OpenBack Deliverability Webinar

January 20, 2021 was an exciting day – not just because the United States inaugurated a new president, but because OpenBack held their first public webinar. Entitled “Stop Leaving Money on the Table By Ignoring Push Notification Deliverability,” it had two of our experts giving low-down on all things deliverability in the mobile engagement industry. If you missed out on the live event, you can watch the webinar on YouTube here. Otherwise, keep reading below for our highlights!

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Deliverability: An Introduction

First of all, OpenBack CEO David Shackleton opens up the webinar by outlining the mission of OpenBack: to offer mobile apps the most reliable deliverability for their push notifications anywhere in the mobile engagement industry. He offers an anecdote from Ding, a previous company he co-founded. He remembers losing a lot of money due to poor deliverability of messages to customers’ apps. This frustration was what ultimately led him to co-founding OpenBack, with the interest of redesigning the standard architecture for push technology.

We define deliverability as two things:

  • whether the message ultimately reaches your user’s device
  • whether it sparks their attention at the optimal time and place (i.e. moment of delivery)

Basically the push campaigns that see the biggest net profits focus on a combination of high deliverability and higher personalization. Push notifications will soon come (if they are not already) the primary form of customer engagement. They result in a 57% increase in mobile app open rate – 88% for gaming apps. And yet, there isn’t much of a conversation around why user experience around push notifications is so poor, with 1.5% click-through rate (CTR) as the industry average, and 50% of users opting out of push notifications.

Learn more in our blog post: What Is a Notification Fail?

The Challenges to Deliverability and OpenBack’s Solutions

OpenBack Business Development Executive Ben Davern, one of the webinar moderators, points out that the technology behind push notifications is still immature. As user’s mobile habits and their devices have radically evolved in recent years, so too much push technology. Old techniques of blasting out notifications blindly, with no personalization and very little insight on CTR and engagement metrics no longer works for either mobile app developers or their users. What’s more, deliverability rates can drop drastically if a user hasn’t opened your device is 30+ days.

openback deliverability webinar

So, why isn’t 100% deliverability an industry standard? To answer that, we have to go back to go back to the dawn of push technology, with Apple’s web push notifications in 2009.

In this structure, push tokens transfer from the individual device to the app backend. They then move onward to either Apple’s APNS or Android’s Firebase cloud server. In this, a single push token is just one among billions of other pieces of data, so getting your notification to your user at the right moment is not a priority. Notifications do not send until they receive a signal from app to trigger delivery. This means the app radio network needs to be constantly activated in the app, which can drain device battery.

Notifications are sent out in batches, on a last-on-in, first-one-out basis. While this process normally works instantaneously, on occasion there can be delays. If the push token changes on the app’s end (e.g. if the app updates), then the push token has to re-register with the cloud server. On the device’s end, this can result in notifications arriving in jumbled order, or even failure to deliver. Ultimately, the losses in push notifications that occur over the entire 3-prong journey are as follows:

  • Push token change losses = 2.8%
  • iOS APNS and Android FCM losses = 5.1%
  • Device and Mobile OS Management losses = 30-72%

Moreover, with data being bounced between the device, app backend, and third-party cloud server, there are considerable data security risks to this method.

To learn more about OpenBack’s approach to data privacy, read our blog post: The Radical Evolution of Data Privacy in Push Notifications

openback deliverability webinar edge computing

OpenBack and Mobile Edge Computing

OpenBack’s innovative take on this problem can be stated in two words: edge computing. The OpenBack platform removes the third-party cloud server (APNS/Firebase) from the architecture. As a consequence, all data computing occurs on the device itself. Not only does this mean your mobile app gets optimal reliability. It also means you can pinpoint the exact moment to send your push notification. This is due to OpenBack doing away with the waiting period in the cloud server.

This allows for a level of personalization that hasn’t previously been seen before in push technology. For example, you can calibrate a push notification to deliver when your user’s device is unlocked. Or signal a video notification with to deliver when your user’s device has sufficient battery and their headphone jack is in use. (This suggests they would be more likely to pay attention to your message.)

Learn more about the benefits of sending notifications at the right moment with our blog post: Notifications Click-Through Rate Boosted by “Adaptive Scheduling”

In addition to allowing you comlete control over the moment of delivery, OpenBack’s platform also provides you with complete metrics, allowing you to understand the full message funnel. Our metrics also provide you with valuable insights to link revenues and goals to your push campaign. These include whether the user clicked, swiped, ignored, or whether a notification resulted in a conversion or an opt-out.

openback webinar deliverability funnel


Final Comments

OpenBack Technical Engineering Consultant Dylan Grace closed the webinar by explaining the importance of metrics analysis. He states:

“If you’re annoying your users, you’re going to kill your app… So knowing what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong is extremely important.”

Ultimately, high deliverability leads to immediate increases in CTR and growth. It’s extremely important… and yet other push providers ignore it because their deliverability is very low, they have no control over the moment of delivery, and they can’t report vital metrics.

How much money are you leaving on the table by ignoring push notification deliverability? You can estimate this by multiplying the amount of revenue you’re currently generating from push by x2. To calculate how much more revenues you would generate with our advanced personalization features, multiply x4.

Calculate how much your revenue would increase per month using OpenBack:

To take a look at one of our case studies, or to learn more about how OpenBack can optimize your deliverability and multiply your CTR and revenues earned from your push campaign, get in touch with one of our experts.


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