Historically, app developers would all too often bombard users with generic ads and messaging by using a one-size-fits-all scattershot approach. Over the last few years, however, sophisticated developers have realized that this approach not only doesn’t work, but it can have a long-lasting negative effect on their users.
On the other hand, increasing the amount of personalization in your messages and promotions ensures that the right message is shown to the right user at the right moment. This has a positive effect on your users, leading to more engagement, increased revenue and higher lifetime value. But this level of personalization and one-to-one marketing can only be accomplished at scale by dividing users into relevant segments.
What are some of the top segments you should be targeting, and with what types of content? The following recommendations will attempt to answer this question by describing a variety of sample segments, such as spending frequency and amount, progress in app, frequency of app use, and even basic segments such as device type and country.
Basic segments are identified based on what we know about a user irrespective of their behavior. Although they are very basic and high-level, these segments can prove useful for targeting of certain campaigns, as described below.
- Device Type/OS Version: Certain features or content may only be available on a tablet and not the phone, or only on the latest version of a mobile OS, so identifying this segment is essential in such cases.
- Country/Region: Certain messages or promotions may only make sense in specific geographic areas, such as new monetization options that are only available in Asia as opposed to the United States.
- Referrer: To further personalize the relationship with your audience, you could send users from Facebook, Twitter, or different referral sources that you specify special bonuses or rewards that normal users do not see.
Monetization Behavior Segments
The following segments are all based on the amount of money—or lack thereof—a user spends in your app.
- Whales: These are your big spenders. If you do an analysis of your user base, these are usually outliers with a large appetite—and proven spend—for premium content, such as exclusive items, levels, and abilities. For this segment, a good tactic is to message them about rare offerings, or when you have a new item for sale. They should be the first to know because they tend to be the first to spend.
- Dolphins/Minnows: These are spenders, but they’re not spending at the level of whales. While they don’t spend as much, they can be convinced to spend more if there are item sales or currency sales. Whenever you have a promotion or new opportunity to convince these users to make an in-app purchase, make sure you specifically convey messaging about their potential savings on the latest items and content.
- Non-spenders/Non-IAP: While whales and dolphins will spend varying amounts, the other 95% of users will never spend any money in your app. So what do you do with them? We recommend sending them rewarded ad offers and messages for re-engagement. If they’re not going to spend any money, you might as well try to monetize them in other ways or focus on increasing their engagement and viral impact.
Engagement Segments (Cohort Segments)
These segments break out users based on how frequently they open an app or how deeply engaged they are.
- Loyal Users: These are users of your app that are engaged in long sessions, frequent sessions, or both. Send them in-app content to reward them for their loyalty or ask them to rate the app. You could also ask them to invite their friends to use the app since they will be your biggest fans.
- User Level/Progress: Send players who are at the same level or part of the app an engagement message related to where they are. For example, if users are prone to failing at a particular level within the game, you may want to send them a helpful message or discount on a useful item to help get them to that next stage.
- New Users: Show these users the more common hint or tips messages. If a user has installed within the last day or two, but hasn’t done much in your app, welcome or reminder messages can be very helpful in reaching out in a more personalized way to this subset of users.
- Lapsed Users: These are users who have not opened your app in a set amount of time (which can vary from a couple days to a couple weeks based on what you consider to be a long or short duration). For these users, a push notification about new features or free coins can be all it takes for a user to reopen your app and engage.
- Dabblers: Related to the “Lapsed Users” above, these users have opened your app a couple of times but never came back after that. For them, the primary goal should be to drive them deeper into the app through push notifications about interesting app features or tips about how to use the app since they may not know much about it.
The above groups are just a short list of some basic level sample segments. Some of the most sophisticated developers segment much deeper and have very customized plans for how to message and interact with smaller groups of users. Tapjoy’s platform can not only help you segment your users into any subset necessary, but it also gives you the marketing automation tools to send customized push notifications, rewarded ads and more. Learn more about Tapjoy’s segmentation capabilities here.