App Marketing

Audience segmentation: Four use cases from our clients

Marne Litfin
Content Manager

We designed Audience Builder as a marketing segmentation tool to help apps with retargeting, but our clients have taken ownership of the feature and made it their own. Today we want to show you how they’re using it to hack their user acquisition and re-engagement strategies, control the amount of data they share with third parties, and run highly specialized campaigns.

Some are combining the powers of the Audience Builder with Campaign Wizard, and others are testing out new networks and using their custom settings to protect their ad spend while they do it. Until recently, most of our clients would have required clunky technology and a massively expensive investment in internal resources to create these types of campaigns. What was far more common was the over-sharing of their data with external partners who did have this capabilities.

Audience Builder is one of the most powerful features we’ve ever launched, but it’s also one of the simplest (here’s a rundown of the product’s features). We turn audience segmentation into a process that requires just a couple of clicks. We think it’s going to change the flow of data in our industry, but you don’t have to take our word for it - here are some of our most interesting use cases:

Exclusion Targeting

The one-two punch combination of Audience Builder and Campaign Wizard enables a practice called exclusion targeting. Exclusion targeting is much what it sounds like - a marketer goes to their network and says ‘we want to run a user acquisition campaign where you don’t target this certain group of users’. This practice is also sometimes known as blacklisting.

A lot of gaming apps are interested in this type of campaign, but in the past it was difficult to make exclusion targeting work. The typical math that says retained users are worth more than new users often doesn’t hold true for gaming apps (which have a wide pool of users who typically spend in an early burst). Instead, gaming apps often find it more profitable to focus on drawing new players to their games. By putting all known users on a blacklist, they can save money by not targeting them and focusing their efforts on new users only.

In the past, it wasn’t practical to blacklist device IDs you had seen before and then tell your networks that you didn’t want to pay any money to serve ads to those people. For one, you’d had to have been working with your network for a long time in order to possess that kind of a historical user base. It also meant that you would have had to share all of your data with your network - not just a list of device IDs, but all of your user-related data.

We are now seeing gaming apps practice exclusion targeting by going into Audience Builder and adding the app they want to run campaigns for. Audience Builder gives out a list of all device IDs known to the app (going back to October 2016) and provides a dynamic link to access the list. A dynamic link means that the list will update itself and no one has to manage it, and it takes one click.

Next, gaming apps feed this list to the network or networks they’d like to run with. If they’d like to test out new ad networks, and they’re not sure of the quality of the traffic (or if the network will actually avoid targeting the device IDs on the blacklist), this is where Campaign Wizard comes in.

Campaign Wizard is a tool that allows you to customize your campaign settings down to the ad group level. You can tell Campaign Wizard to ignore or only count certain types of users. One type of setting that it can limit is the kind of engagements - installs and/or reattributions - you’re willing to accept from ad networks.

In this case, with gaming apps running exclusion targeting, they target new users who have never installed before. They use Campaign Wizard to turn off reattributions completely. This ensures that Adjust will only count the installs that are attributed to new devices that Adjust has never seen before. Creating a blacklist with Audience Builder and turning off reattributions in Campaign Wizard makes exclusion targeting on a gaming app’s terms not only reality, but simple enough for anyone to set up.


Many of our clients have more than one app - a ‘flagship’ main app, and other newer or smaller apps. If their flagship app has done well and they want to push users into a new app, that’s called cross-promotion. This tactic works best when the new app is similar but non-competitive, or offers something that users of the flagship app would benefit from.

Let’s say that you have a flagship app where users can review local businesses and restaurants, and you want to push them into a food delivery service app. It’s a perfect fit - users can review and read about places they’d like to eat, then go directly into the new app and order from those same restaurants with a seamless user experience.

By adding your flagship app to Audience Builder, you can get a list of device IDs known to it. Audience Builder lets you create individualized segments, and in this case you could build a segment of known users who are very active. Your segment could contain only users with long session times, or users who have recently triggered a search or left a review.

Instead of blacklisting those users as in the previous example, you can have your network target those users with ads for your new app. You can even skip the network altogether and create a push notification campaign that sends pushes containing deep links, for example, ten minutes after a user has searched for a restaurant, encouraging them to download the new app and place an order. Audience Builder’s segmentation function allows you to create retargeting campaigns for the users you know are most likely to convert.

Working with Facebook

It’s easy to create segments in Audience Builder and upload them to Facebook. In one instance, we worked with an app that wanted to improve their CPP (cost per purchase), RTP (registration to purchase) and ROAS (return on ad spend) by uploading predefined segments to Facebook’s new value-based lookalikes feature. The client activated the Facebook module within their dashboard in order to forward their installs and events to their Facebook account, and then they ran a benchmark campaign.

After that, they created a segment with Audience Builder - a list of advertising IDs they were able to upload directly to Facebook.In this case, they created an audience based on users who had app activity for longer than one minute and who also had their last active session within the past 14 days. They then plugged this audience into Facebook Custom Audiences to see if the Audience Builder could help them drive better results than they saw in their benchmark campaign.

By doing so, they were able to target their higher value users much more effectively, decreasing cost per purchase and drastically increasing both the registration to purchase rate and return on ad spend. They also saw positive ROAS after just seven days, compared to their benchmark campaign where it took quite a bit longer.


One question we encourage e-commerce apps to think about when they’re setting up custom events in their dashboard is what are the first five things they want users to do in their app? We’re not talking about cart abandoners here, but those who are closer to the beginning of the user journey. Would they register? Search for a product? Subscribe to a newsletter?

When they have these events in mind and have set them up in the dashboard, they can go into Audience Builder and create segments of users who have completed any number of them. For example, an app that sells designer socks and shoes can create an audience of users who have registered but haven’t searched for any footwear yet. They can then target this list with coupons encouraging them to check out the catalogue.

Revenue is one of the most popular ways our clients segment their audiences. Here's what that looks like in the dashboard. This audience includes all users who have spent more than 100 Euro, as well as over sixty hours of their time in the app. They're also segmented by their last session - more than seven days ago - meaning this segment is made entirely of dedicated, high-value users who have become inactive within the last week. Knowing this, the marketer can focus on who's worth getting back into the app and likely to respond to a targeted ad campaign.

We have also seen certain apps (those built around the purchase of services or goods) use Audience Builder to create an audience based on the user’s country. Many apps want to target specific geographic regions after they do their homework and discover that users in a certain country spend ten times more than users elsewhere. With Audience Builder, it’s possible to build a list of those users’ device IDs and retarget them with special offers as well.

How to do segmentation with Audience Builder

It used to take complex mathematics, hours querying reports and data sharing with outside stakeholders to do the kind of audience segmentation that Audience Builder manages with just a few clicks.

If you’re using Audience Builder, here's how you can set up a segment:

  1. Head into the dashboard and click on ‘Menu’
  2. Next, click on ‘Audience Builder’ and then on ‘New Audience’.
  3. Now, select the correct platform (for example, iOS or Android) and type (for example, the respective device ID or push token)
  4. Click the check mark, and name your conditions!

You can segment your audience with a wider range of filters than any of our competitors. For example, you can segment users by the time they were last seen in your app, the day the installed, the type of device they use, their geographic location or whether they have completed a custom event that you’ve added yourself. You can choose as many conditions as you wish in order to build the segment you need to run your campaign.

Create as many segments as you want and divide them further up - into up to ten groups of smaller subsets - perfect distributions of the larger segment so you can test out networks with the exact same type of audience without overlapping users. Every segment is dynamic, so each time you call up the URL, it will update according to the conditions you’ve set, and once you’ve created the segment you’re free to download it as a CSV and upload it to supply-side platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Most importantly - the data utilized for Audience Builder is stored in a separate database from where we store data used for statistics purposes. While it is raw data, it does not contain any personal identification data and is completely privacy compliant.

Want to take advantage of Audience Builder? It’s available to try for all clients through September 2017, and also available during our demo. If you'd like more information, take a look at Audience Builder's release blogpost, and CTO Paul Müller.

Reach your clients with better audience segmentation.

Sign up for a demo and we'll show you how.

High five!

Success, we're looking forward to getting in touch with you soon.