Confirmed Deliveries, a new feature that the OneSignal community has long been asking for, is now available on mobile, and will be available across web in the coming weeks. Confirmed Deliveries provides near-perfect click-through rate numbers and gives app developers a new peace of mind when getting a confirmation that their notifications have successfully delivered.

Every device that receives a notification sent through our platform will now acknowledge successful receipt back to OneSignal, data that is then available to all paying customers. In the Message Report for a notification, look for the Confirmed metric.

The newest launch of our Advanced Analytics is available across all channels (Web, Mobile & In-App).

How do Confirmed Deliveries work?

To understand Confirmed Delivery, you must first understand what goes into delivering a notification to a device. In general, push providers must go through Apple and Google in order to deliver notifications. This means that there are multiple "hops" between OneSignal servers and the intended device.

Without device-level confirmation of notification delivery, OneSignal can only confirm the successful delivery to Apple Push Notification service and Firebase Cloud Messaging servers. However, our new Confirmed Deliveries feature now takes the form of an extra network request, from the device back to OneSignal servers acknowledging the notification:

Why are Confirmed Deliveries important?

1) Click-Through Rate

Without Confirmed Deliveries, click-through rates are calculated by dividing the number of confirmed notification opens by the total number of subscriber devices targeted:

Without Confirmed Deliveries

However, "phantom subscribers" will result in less accurate CTR over time. These devices are ones that have never unsubscribed (e.g. by deleting your app), but are no longer used or are powered off.

For example, say someone who just upgraded to a new smartphone throws their old device in a drawer and never touches it again. Despite permanent inactivity, this device is technically still subscribed to your app. When calculated this way, CTRs become gradually less accurate due to these "phantom subscribers." This can be seen in the graph below:

This model assumes users upgrade their phones every 24 months and a 10% "true" CTR (CTR only of ACTIVE devices). You can see that on the 24th month, the click through rate was half of the initial percentage since there are twice as many subscribed devices.

A better way to calculate CTR is to divide the number of users who clicked a notification by the number of users who received that notification:

With Confirmed Deliveries

Up until now, OneSignal didn't have a way to calculate how many devices actually received the notification. With Confirmed Deliveries, you will now be equipped with the power of near perfect delivery statistics.

2) Delivery Health

Confirmed Deliveries will also monitor the health of your messaging pipeline and use metrics to better debug your implementation.

Why isn't this offered by most push-providers?

To confirm device-level delivery of a notification, push-providers must process an extra inbound request for each push. This leads to a large burst in traffic to their servers, which requires heavy infrastructure. Processing inbound requests requires more than simply sending requests. When OneSignal's infrastructure sends out pushes at a sustained speed of one million pushes per second, it must then be able to handle over one million incoming confirmed deliveries at the same rate.

Enjoy using Confirmed Deliveries!