Intelligent Delivery, which powers the delivery of campaigns in the new Studio, is designed to reduce noise, increase engagement, and prioritize notifications to drive action.
When there are multiple channels, the engine determines which channel to use to reach a user. If you select one channel (email, assistant, or push notification), the engine will only publish to the audience via the selected channel. If multiple channels are selected, the engine will determine the best channel to reach each member of the audience.
With Engagement Boost enabled, the engine still determines the best channel to reach a user on but also decides the best time to reach the user during the duration window, as well as any retargeting attempts.
We provide real-time feedback about the overall effectiveness of your campaign through campaign-level scores, performance, and fatigue. You can improve these scores by altering your priority, duration, and other settings on the Deliver page.
How to Engage the Firstup Intelligent Delivery Engine
The individualized notification plan is based on campaign configuration (especially priority and duration), a user’s current campaign queue, and the user’s history of engagement. In the absence of data about a single user, we’ll rely on community and platform history of engagement. For each member of the target audience, the engine determines if a notification is needed, and then the best time and channel to reach them.
If an individual user has many campaigns competing for their attention, to minimize fatigue the engine will send notifications for the highest scoring campaigns (priority, recently published, etc.) and some campaigns may not be sent as a notification and instead rely on the user seeing them in the member experience.
Keep Multiple Channels Selected
Keeping all channels enabled allows the engine to optimize the campaign at its full capacity by selecting the best channel to reach each user on, both minimizing noise and increasing performance for a campaign. (Does not apply to Email-Only customers.)
Enable Optimized Delivery Under Engagement Boost
Turning Optimized Delivery ON will engage the engine for the first notification, determining if, when, and how to reach a user via notification. This means users may receive the first notification any time during the campaign duration window. When disabled, the first notification goes out when the post is published.
Enable Automatic Retargeting Under Engagement Boost
Turning Automatic Retargeting ON determines the best way to retarget the user (if the user has not already seen or acknowledged the content). Retargeting is determined by the engine based on variables such as: has the user opened the content, what other campaigns are competing for their attention, etc. When disabled, no retargeting attempts will be made for the campaign.
For more details about how the Engagement Boost settings can be combined, see our Deliver Page Overview.
How Does the Engine Determine How to Reach a User?
Because each notification delivery plan is individualized, different users may see notifications in different channels, at different times, on different days, and receive a different number of follow-up reminders. This is exactly what you want - to reach your users when and how they prefer to be engaged. How, exactly, do we determine how to reach each user? We score all possible campaign plans for a specific user based on cost, value, and likelihood of engagement:
The current highest scoring plan is executed - though take note that scores are re-evaluated and delivery replanned whenever variables change - see Replan below.
If you have multiple channels selected for delivery, some channels are more disruptive than others. We weigh which channel to use partly on how disruptive the different channels are.
- Channel cost - We weigh them in this order of low to high cost: Assistant, email, push.
Also, on a given day, each additional communication is more expensive. To account for the increased expense of multiple notifications, cost takes into account how many other campaigns are already scheduled for the user to receive.
- Campaign queue - How many other campaigns are already targeted to the recipient in the duration window? Are they already receiving enough notifications to draw them into the member experience, and this campaign doesn't have a high enough score to qualify for a notification?
We look at both the priority and how new the campaign is. Value is impacted by your campaign configuration and when it is published.
- Priority - What is the importance of this campaign compared to other campaigns targeted to this recipient?
- Age - How new is this campaign? We assume it’s most important to receive a notification shortly after publishing, but a high-priority campaign may still be very relevant for older content.
When personalized data is available, we use that information to help gauge the likelihood of engagement based on timing and channel.
- Best time to send - When is the recipient most likely to engage, based on past behavior?
- Best channel - What’s the best place (i.e. email, push, Assistant, etc.) to reach this recipient, based on past behavior and the importance of this communication? This calculation also takes into account the cost of some channels being more disruptive: push notifications increase fatigue more quickly than email or Assistant.
Note: It takes about 5 days of solid engagement data to personalize the likelihood score for a user. This data is evaluated week by week, so if habits change (say, during travel), it could take up to a week to shift. In the absence of individual data, we rely on community data.
How to Maximize the Engine's Delivery
Given all of the above, we generally recommend the following for the best possible campaign outcomes with both Engagement Boost toggles enabled:
- Choose a priority for the campaign that adequately matches the importance of the information and the importance of a delivery being made to the audience.
- Note: 'Nice to Know' is unlikely to result in notifications, unless the individual has a very light campaign queue and the campaign has a long duration. Only use this setting if the post is truly “nice to know” and notifications are not needed for all members of the audience.
- Choose a duration that is longer than or equal to the duration suggestion on the Review page (aim for 7-14 days). Nice to Know and Should Know campaigns should generally have longer durations so that the engine has more flexibility in planning initial deliveries and retargeting attempts around higher priority campaigns.
- Allow the engine to choose the best channel(s) to leverage per user for your campaign, i.e. if possible, do not restrict the channels for the campaign.
- Not all users in your audience may be reachable or highly engaged on one channel versus another. Limiting available channels could mean that the engine chooses not to deliver your campaign in favor of other competing comms with settings that warrant more intrusive channels.
- Allow the campaign content to exist in a topic(s) or in 'For You'.
Note: Since the engine replans delivery when variables for a specific user change, the ‘predictive’ plan outlined on the Results page can and will change, both pre-publish and post-publish of the campaign.
The replan for an individual user is evaluated frequently during the campaign duration. Publishing a campaign sets the plan into motion. Once a campaign is scheduled and published, a replan will be triggered every 24 hours, at minimum. Additional events can trigger a replan (see below). Replanning ends when the campaign duration ends.
Events That Trigger a Replan
- Whether or not the user opens/engages with the campaign pre-delivery (email, push, Assistant) via the topic or in For You
- An update is made to the campaign itself (everything from the content to the settings)
- New competing campaigns are published
- Any competing campaigns are updated
- The user engages with any competing campaigns
- The user engages with the campaign. A replan is then triggered to stop the campaign for the user and not send any retargeting attempts.
How Does Intelligent Delivery Work with Email-Only?
In general, for email-only, there is no change to how the engine works, only a restriction of which channels it evaluates as ways to reach the member. However, to ensure email delivery, we recommend that email-only customers only enable Automatic Retargeting or disable Engagement Boost completely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I see the orchestrated campaigns?
On the Campaigns page, you can view all campaigns.
What happens to my campaign if I turn Engagement Boost OFF?
Turning Engagement Boost OFF allows you to schedule the date and time of a campaign. The engine will not attempt to retarget the user and a duration cannot be selected, as this is a one-time communication attempt. If a member of the audience chooses not to open the campaign, the engine will not attempt to engage them again.
Why do some users receive multiple emails at one time?
Delivering at the same time prioritizes our goal of engaging users for “2 minutes a day”. You can also think of this as minimizing randomization and enabling focused work.
Note: We have considered the value of “batching” these emails into one email. However, if we did batch the emails, we would have to impose our own template to the content - likely having to link to the full content. You would not get the ‘what you see is what you get’ experience of composing the email in Studio and the recipient seeing exactly what you created.
What do I do if I have time-sensitive content?
You can use the duration setting to mark the end of when the campaign would be relevant, and you can schedule archiving if the campaign truly needs to be stopped at a certain date and time.
What do I do if I have an urgent communication that MUST go out via email? (or another channel)
If you need to know that a particular communication has occurred at a specific time, then you should disable Engagement Boost or enable Automatic Retargeting ONLY. Just navigate to the Deliver page, select an audience, and then make your Engagement Boost selection. You can select or deselect the targeted channels as necessary. Reminder: Disabling Engagement Boost means that the system will not send re-notifications.
Note: Enabling both Engagement Boost toggles while setting a campaign to Critical with a short duration does NOT guarantee that communications will go out at a certain time to the recipients. Once these toggles are enabled, the engine determines whether and when to send a notification based on the recipient's queue. If there are a lot of "critical" communications competing for attention, some may not qualify for a notification to that particular user.
How do I cap re-notifications? Why do some posts get a lot of re-attempts and others get very few?
We re-attempt notifications if the user has not seen the content. This is true of all campaigns, including ones marked as needing acknowledgment.
Regarding how many re-attempts, that number is based on both the campaign value and their personal queue. High-priority campaigns get more notifications than low-priority campaigns. Quiet weeks for the user may see more re-notifications than busy weeks when there is a lot of new content competing for “first notification”.