When a subscriber unsubscribes from receiving push notifications from your website, Google informs VWO Engage(Formerly PushCrew) about the unsubscribe immediately. But there are times when that doesn’t happen, because of several reasons. But this results in a perceived decrease in delivery rates because the unsubscribe hasn’t reflected in your metrics yet which is why we are introducing ghosting.
What is ghosting?
‘Ghosts’ are those subscribers who don’t receive notifications from your website powered by VWO Engage. The reasons may vary. For instance, the subscriber may have changed their phone from which they used to receive push notifications from you. And, the process of classifying such ‘inactive’ subscribers as ‘Ghosts’, is what we are calling ‘Ghosting’.
How does it work?
Ghosting silently and efficiently keeps track of your push notifications’ delivery pattern. Those subscribers who do not receive your push notifications, even when VWO Engage tries to reach them continuously will be moved to the ‘unsubscribes’ column in Data & Reporting on your dashboard.
Who will it affect?
This feature is available for all plans. But, this feature will impact, predominantly, those with paid accounts.
How does it affect you?
For paid accounts, you do not need to pay for those subscribers who haven’t received your notifications, though, from the backend, VWO Engage will still attempt to send notifications to those subscribers, without charging you extra.
In short, you’ll be charged only for those subscribers who will receive your push notifications.
- We’ll be auditing your account and identifying users who are probably unreachable. In our backend, we’ll be calling them ghosts. In your VWO Engage accounts, to simplify things for you and in an attempt to not overcharge you, these ghosts will simply be counted as unsubscribes.
- Our algorithm will be in a learning mode. And hence, even though some subscribers will be marked as unsubscribes in your VWO Engage account (and ‘ghosts’ in our backend), we will still continue to attempt sending them notifications, without charging you anything extra. In the (we believe unlikely) event a ghost receives a notification, we will turn the ghost back into an active subscriber.
- We will be running our algorithm on both old and new subscribers but it’ll take a little time for it to kick in for everyone. So you should notice a gradual improvement in your delivery rate starting today.
Why did we implement ghosting?
To battle bad delivery rates and to charge you fairly, so you pay only for those subscribers who receive your push notifications. Those who do not receive your notifications will be added in the unsubscribes column. So you have to pay only for your active subscribers. This way, we can maintain transparency.
Things you need/need not do to implement it?
Ghosting is free for all accounts. And it runs silently in the backend. You do not need to do anything to activate it or implement it.
Where to check the data?
Those who do not receive your notifications will be added to the unsubscribes column. This means you can check this data, in your VWO Engage dashboard. Please click on Data & Reporting, on the left side of your Dashboard, under Summary.
NOTE: In VWO Engage, the ghosting count is included in the unsubscribe count. If the ghosted subscriber becomes active, we subtract that number from the unsubscribe count. Likewise, if the ghosts become active, the unsubscribe count will decrease. The unsubscribe account is calculated as Unsubscribe = Actual Unsubscribe + Ghost Count.