Retarget a message audience

Send a follow-up push notification to an audience segment of a previous message.

Audience retargeting is a method for sending follow-up messages to the audience of a parent message. This method is available for push notifications (app and web) in the Message composer.

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 SegmentsA grouping of audience members selected by unique or shared identifiers. Multiple identifiers can be combined within a segment. 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.

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.

Enable Retargeting

To make the audience of a message eligible for retargeting, enable Generate retargeting segments in the Audience step of the Message composer. This option is only available when your channels are limited to app platforms and Web.


You can keep Generate retargeting segments enabled for your child message too. This can help you narrow down a key audience segment in a series of messages.

Send a Follow-up Push Notification

To take advantage of audience retargeting, you must have already sent a parent message with Generate retargeting segments enabled. You can then send a follow-up to the audience of the parent message, or a subset of that audience. The message is limited to push notification only; you cannot add additional message types.

  1. Go to Messages » Messages Overview.
  2. Click   for the message containing the audience you want to retarget.
  3. Scroll down to Retargeting Segments and click Compose Follow-up for the audience you want to target. This opens a copy of the message in the Message composer, with Target Specific Users set to your selected audience segment.
  4. (Optional) Add additional audience criteria to narrow down the audience if necessary.
  5. Continue composing your message as normal.

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.