Best Practices of App User Segmentation

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When was the last time you got annoyed by an irrelevant app notification or e-mail for the 100th time? Although many marketers, app owners, and product managers are aware that irrelevant notifications are among the primary reasons for app uninstalls, why do we end up having them on our phones? One of the causes is that they fail to segment users. 

Why is User Segmentation Important?

User segmentation is necessary for the success of mobile marketing campaigns. Segmentation helps your message reach a targeted, ready to react audience since you will be preparing the campaign according to their needs and wants.

User segmentation helps you understand the market better and adopt a competitive position accordingly. 

What is user segmentation exactly? User segmentation is simply dividing users into groups based on similar traits. The real challenge starts there. Based on which similar traits should you divide the users to have the best results?

The most common types of user segmentation are:

  • Demographic: based on gender, age, income, marital status, occupation, income, etc.
  • Geographic: based on country, state, city, even specific towns or counties
  • Location: based on the device’s GPS signal
  • Psychographic: based on personal attitudes, values, interests, or personality traits
  • Behavioral: based on actions or inactions, spending or usage habits, feature use, session frequency, search history
  • Technographic: based on preferred technologies, software, and mobile devices

There are many other attributes you can collect and divide your users accordingly. These are just a few examples.

Image: Appsflyer

How to Segment App Users

There are numerous attributes, how can you divide users to match your business goals? Here are some rules of thumb to remember when segmenting your users: 

  1. Know your users: Who are your users? Where do they come from/which acquisition channels do they come from? Why do they use your app? How do they use your app? What are their pain points, and how does your app solve their problems? You should learn as much as you can about your current users and how they are using your app. 
  2. Don’t segment too much: Apply the three-adjective rule. Communication expert Frank Luby says, “If you need more than three adjectives, or three dimensions, to define your initial segments, you may be overthinking and over-engineering the effort.“
  3. Set clear and prioritized goals: After identifying simple segments, define a goal for each to ensure that they are actionable, measurable, and valuable for your business goals.
  4. Test and optimize: Segmentation is an ongoing process because there might be flaws in your initial segmentation and also because users are dynamic. Always test to see if your segmentation works and to find better segmentation, and revisit your segments to follow the changes of your users. Testing is essential to refine and optimize your strategy to reach your business goals.

User Segment Examples

Let’s look at some examples of user segments you can use for different app categories and discuss how we can identify and take advantage of them.

Shopping App User Segment

There might be some users who only shop when you offer them discounts and coupons. You can detect them by looking at their behavior and see that they never purchased anything at full price but purchased once or several times when they have coupons or discounts.

By targeting this segment, you can reach them without having a discount for all users. You can send this segment push notifications for coupons and award them to engage them.

Image: Mobilozophy

Video User Segment

Some people engage with an app for a TV show to discuss the show, search for the cast, etc. while the actual show is going on. You can determine this group by looking at the time they are interacting with the app or the time they are interacting with a particular piece of content.

After you have your segment, you can send push notifications to alert that their show is starting, etc.

News App User Segment

Some news app users would like to receive the news updates immediately. By looking at the frequency of engagement or the number of different locations they engage with your app during the day, you can segment these users.

These users are great to target with an in-app message to give feedback since they are frequently engaging and familiar with your app.

New Users Segment

You can create a segment of users who have just launched your app for the first time or users who have downloaded your app but haven’t launched it yet. You can send a welcome notification, show them the value of your app, or offer special awards, discounts, etc.

Image: CleverTap

Marketing efforts based on segmentation increase the likelihood of completion of tasks on your app. However, segmentation alone may not bring the best result, delivering your message via correct channels brings the best result. One of the best ways to deliver your message to the segment you created is by using in-app stories. You can integrate and customize stories to make the in-app experience personalized, enhance user engagement rates, and eventually trigger purchase decisions. Check Storyly out to learn how you can deliver your message to segments.


To lead your marketing campaigns in the right direction, serve your users at the best level, and reach your business goals efficiently, you need to segment your users. Although it depends on your app’s vertical and its target audience, you should keep an eye on the users and provide them with the value they are looking for.

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