Targeting Your Audience

Use targeting to address specific members of your messaging AudienceYour message’s selected recipients. . For mobile wallet passes, you target the passes instead of the passholders.

  • Send an announcement about a new app version and encourage users to upgrade.
  • Send messages to a list of users created from your CRM data.
  • Send a re-engagement message based on users’ likelihood to stop using your app or website.
  • Apply template design changes to passes that have already been distributed.

Audience Selection

You can specify your message audience by a unique identifier, such as a device ID or email address, or by an identifier that may belong to or include multiple users, such as an attribute, tag, or audience list.

When using the Message or A/B Test composers (/push and /experiments endpoints) you can target audiences using:

You can also target using SegmentsReusable audience selection criteria. You can use segments when targeting an audience instead of recreating your audience selections every time you send a message. , which you construct using combinations of tags, audience lists, location history, and location (API only).

In-App Automation Conditions

When using the In-App Automation composer your targeting options are listed as as predefined conditions for displaying the message:

  • App Version
  • Location Opt-in Status
  • New Users
  • Platforms
  • Push Opt-in Status
  • Tags
  • Locale
  • Predicted to Churn

See: Target Specific Users: In-App Automation: Conditions.

Targeting Passes

When you target passes, you select an audience of passes, not passholders. Passes are targeted via tags only.

Mobile wallet passes are distributed as URLs. After you generate the URLs, you can then distribute the passes via the method of your choosing. If you choose to include the URL with a message via Airship, you will select your audience as described for messaging.

The only other time you need to consider the pass audience is when you want to apply template design changes to Apple Wallet passes that have already been distributed. This is handled by the Publish feature.

Client-side vs Server-side

As explained in Intro to Data, the engagement data that Airship provides is specific to apps and websites that have installed our SDK. This is the source of client-side data used for targeting. Client-side data includes Device PropertiesTags that represent the properties of a device, such as language and time zone settings, OS and browser versions, and notification opt-in status. Device property tags are stored automatically and can be used to target your audience. and AttributesMetadata that you can use to group and target your audience. Attributes differ from tags in that when evaluating users with attributes, Airship uses operators, e.g., equals, less than/greater than, contains, before/after, to determine whether or not to target a user. Supported attribute types are TEXT, NUMBER, and DATE. . See reference: Default Attributes.

You can also group users and add attributes and tags yourself — this is considered server-side. CRM and POS systems are common sources. For targeting, you can create:

Set attributes or tags on channels and named users, or group channels into named users. See:

Add tags to a pass via the API. See: Wallet API: Tags.


Server-side data may not be available for immediate use. Channel registration is asynchronous, and may take some time to populate server-side. You may need to wait up to an hour to target newly-created channels.

Targeting Methods

In the dashboard, select Target Specific Users in the Audience step of the Message, A/B Test, and In-App Automation composers:

In the API, target specific users via the audience object. See: API: Audience Selection.

Retargeting segments are accessed from a parent message’s message report. Follow the steps in the audience retargeting tutorial.

Publishing Passes

Use the Publish feature to apply template design changes to a segment of Apple Wallet passes that have already been distributed. When choosing which passes to update, select the radio button for A specific segment, then select your previously created segment. See: Publish Tutorial.

While Publish is not supported for Google Pay, Google Pay passes will automatically update with any changes made to class fields. How it works:

  • If a class value class.* is changed, all passes will be changed.
  • On Update Pass, only that pass is updated. Class values are not sent with the update object when updating passes, so there is no effect on other passes.

Any field preceded by class constitutes a class field. For a full list of class fields, please visit the Google Pay documentation.

You can also update a segment of passes via the /segments endpoint. See: Wallet API: Update Segment.

Audience Retargeting

Audience retargeting is a method for sending follow-up messages to the audience of a parent message.

When you create a push notification for app and web channels, you can enable the Generate retargeting segments setting to make the audience of the current message eligible for follow-up push notifications. When you enable this setting, Airship generates segments for:

  • The entire message audience.
  • Audience members who engaged with the message.
  • Audience members who did not engage with the message.

You can then send a follow-up push notification to app and web channels based on any of your retargeting segments. The original message is considered the parent, and the follow-up message is the child. The selected channels for the follow-up message must be the same as the parent, and the message type must be push notification only — message types cannot be combined.

Your follow-up message is a copy of the parent message, with the following differences in the Audience step:

  • Target Specific Users is selected and set to your selected retargeting segment. You can add additional criteria to narrow down the retargeted audience.
  • If the parent message included multiple app platforms, you can disable app platforms but you cannot select additional ones.

You can generate retargeting segments for up to 5 parent messages per day. There’s no limit to the number of follow-up messages you can send from those parents.


When you send or schedule a push notification to a retargeting segment, Airship does not calculate your audience until send time. Make sure you leave enough time for users to see and interact with the parent message before you send a follow-up message.


The message report for a parent message shows that Retargeting is enabled and complete audience criteria. The child message report specifies the segment retargeted from the parent message, and links to its parent’s message. You can follow the link from the child to the parent to see your original audience criteria.

Cross-Channel Retargeting

Cross-channel retargeting is a method for sending messages in a journey to selected channels based on behavior in a different channel. For example, you can send an email based on an app tag change or when a user taps a push notification.


If you are retargeting based on interaction with a message, the first message for retargeting must be a push notification, in-app message, or web push notification.

You can also apply Channel CoordinationA group of strategies you can use to target users where they are most likely to receive your message. and Predictive ChurnAnalyzes your audience for users that exhibit behaviors indicating they are likely to become inactive, and tags the users as High, Medium, or Low Risk. for more complex retargeting.


  • Retail: When a user becomes high risk for churn, send messages with increasing discounts to email, SMS, web, and app channels, to entice them back to your app or website. Channel coordination strategy: Fan OutA channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on all the channels they are opted in to, maximizing the chances they receive your message. .

  • Travel: When a user purchases a flight, send promotions for preferred seating and lounge passes to the channel where the user purchased the ticket (i.e., where the event originated from). Channel coordination strategy: Originating ChannelA channel coordination strategy that targets a named user on the channel that triggered the journey. .


Channel coordination requires Orchestration or Predictive Churn. Please contact Airship Sales to enable them for your account.