PerfTech’s messaging platform uses upstream HTTP Internet requests as opportunities to deliver in-browser messages. Over the past 3 years, the frequency of websites using HTTPS has increased by approximately 38%, and sits at 51.8% for the top 1 million most popular sites worldwide as of August, 2018*. While the Google Chrome Transparency Report for North America shows HTTPS use as of December 2018 at higher than 90%**, PerfTech delivery logs show that in-browser message delivery has been impacted only slightly by under 4%, especially looking at a typical 5-day campaign window. To better understand this phenomenon, PerfTech has monitored the same policy of one of our ISP-customers to determine what percentage of targeted subscribers successfully received an intended in-browser message.

“Reached” versus “Targeted”

For our purposes, the term “targeted” refers to the total subscriber-recipient list that is specified by a policy that defines a messaging campaign. The term “reached” indicates that the intended message successfully displayed on a targeted subscriber’s device, an event that is time-stamped and logged by the PerfTech system. We chose a policy that conveys an updated “Terms and Conditions” message due to its continual activity throughout the year and its typically large recipient list. The ISP dynamically adds new and upgraded subscribers to the recipient list on an ongoing basis. Reach was analyzed for a typical 5-day delivery window for the past three calendar years. The percentage of subscribers reached versus targeted was as follows:

Targeted Reached

2016: 1,689,185 92.09%
2017: 1,413,949 89.25%
2018: 985,831*** 88.44%

Factors That Influence Reach

Assuming that a subscriber is online, several factors contribute to the ability to reach a targeted subscriber with an in-browser message. Remember that the factors below are evaluated for every single GET request.

Factors That Prevent Reach for a Single GET Request Include:

  • Not using a browser, such as when gaming or viewing video

  • Loading an HTTPS site or page

  • Having previously selected to opt out of the respective in-browser message category

  • Requesting a site that PerfTech’s platform automatically bypasses, such as those that result in environments unfriendly to message frames

  • Requesting a site that the provider expressly wishes to bypass, such as their own

Factors That Enable Reach Include:

  • Bulletin System is persistent, and monitors every upstream request for an opportunity to deliver

  • A huge number of sites redirect to an HTTPS site. Requesting an HTTP site (using www. for example) that is subsequently redirected to an HTTPS site still gives Bulletin System an opportunity to deliver

  • It's also important to note that even if a site is marked as having Default HTTPS, it does not guarantee that all traffic on every page of that site will be over HTTPS

  • It takes only one unencrypted (HTTP) page request to successfully deliver a message

In Sum

With the adoption rate of HTTPS across the Internet in North America approaching saturation as of December 2018, PerfTech’s ability to deliver an in-browser message would seem to be heavily thwarted; however, PerfTech logs show otherwise: an 88.44% reach across a 5-day campaign. When compared to delivery statistics and the inherent downfalls of other subscriber communication forms, such as email, in-browser messaging emerges yet as highly successful.

* Alexa Top 1 Million Analysis by Scott Helme, August 24, 2018

** Google Transparency Report (ongoing) as of December 28, 2018

*** Note that the decreased activity of this policy for 2018 has no bearing on the effectiveness of Bulletin System. The decrease in the number of subscribers added to the policy’s recipient list is solely a factor of the number of subscribers who were “new” or “upgraded” or otherwise met the ISP’s criteria to need an updated Terms and Conditions acknowledgement.