[Part 2] Push 101: Targeting The Right Users

By: Kahuna | November 17, 2014 | Campaign Strategy, Push Notifications

Push notifications are the building blocks of any great mobile marketing strategy, but sending the perfect push isn’t as simple as it may seem. If you are a mobile marketer or product manager looking to learn more about using push notifications effectively, you’ve come to the right place. This post is the second in the introductory series Push 101: A Beginner’s Guide To Crafting Great Push Notifications. Follow this series or download the full guide to master the basics and discover what push notifications can do for you.


Let’s start with the basics.


Push notifications offer apps and brands the rare opportunity to establish 1:1 relationships with their mobile users. As such, it is important to develop a smart strategy that protects the user experience and preserves their trust. Your notifications must be tailored to the users receiving them, and the ability to target specific individuals and types of individuals is critical to achieving this. Read on to learn more about creating the right user segments and an aligned push notification strategy.


What is user segmentation?


Definition of user segmentation: a method of dividing users into smaller groups based on factors such as demographic information and user behavior. This allows you to communicate with users in a hyper-targeted manner.


Why is user segmentation important?

Segmenting your users before you message them ensures that they receive information that is relevant and valuable to them. The old fashioned “spray and pray” approach to marketing is especially dangerous when applied to push notifications and often catalyzes users to disengage with the app.


Achieving your goals with segmentation:


How can segmentation increase user engagement?

Group users by actions they have or have not taken and develop a messaging strategy designed to drive users to perform these key actions.


User Segmentation - Has Shared Item User Segmentation - Has Not Added Credit Card

How can segmentation increase user retention?

Group users by level of engagement with your app and implement a messaging strategy that keeps them connected or inspires them to reconnect with your app.


 User Segmentation - Engaged PeopleUser Segmentation - Dormant People

How can segmentation increase user conversions or purchases?

Group users by whether they have or have not purchased, or have purchased multiple times, and message these users differently to inspire a first or repeat purchase.


User Segmentation - Has Not PurchasedUser Segmentation - Has Purchased More Than 2 Times

Effective user segmentation:


There are many ways to segment your users, ranging from the most basic forms of segmentation to more advanced user groupings. The best practice for mobile brands is to implement behavior-based user segmentation. This allows apps to communicate with users based on the actions they have or have not taken across multiple platforms and devices.


The basics of behavior-based user segmentation:

Ask and answer these questions to create simple, yet powerful, segments of users.


  • What are the key actions that I am driving users to complete?
    • Identifying the key user behaviors you are hoping to encourage will allow you to create small segments (micro-segments) of users who have not yet completed these actions. You can then send a push notification to a specific user segment, encouraging them to take the action they have not yet completed.
      • Example Segment: Users who have not signed up.
      • Example Message: “Register now for exclusive access to daily deals.”
User Segmentation - Have Not Signed Up
  • What behaviors do my top users exhibit?
    • What behavioral commonalities do your power users share? Once you pinpoint these behaviors, you can then group users depending on whether they have or have not exhibited these behaviors.
      • Example Segment: App identifies 3+ purchases as the threshold for a power user. App creates a segment of users who have purchased exactly 2 times.
      • Example Message: “You’re almost a power user! Take 10% off your next purchase and achieve VIP status.”
User Segmentation - Purchased 2 Times
  • When do my users drop off?
    • User churn is a critical issue facing all mobile brands. To address this, you must identify the points in the engagement funnel at which users fall off. Use these points to create different groupings of users and message them with relevant updates.
      • Example Segment: Dormant users who have not returned to your app in over 7 days.
      • Example Message: “Did you know live video updates are now available in the app?”
User Segmentation - Dormant More Than 7 Days

Anything else I need to know about user segmentation and push notifications?

Deducing the virtuous actions you would like your mobile users to complete will allow you to develop a custom segmentation strategy and communicate with your users in a tailored way. A sophisticated push notification system enables you to easily create an unlimited number of user segments, so you can master the basics and expand from there. For more information, check out the Top 8 Push Notification Campaigns Your App Should Be Running Right Now.


Get the full guide to crafting perfect push notifications.