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The Secrets of Successful User Segmentation and Automation from Mobile Industry Insiders

Guest Contributor

At MoEngage, we believe segmentation is at the heart of delivering hyper-personalized experiences for the modern-day user. It is this unique capability that differentiates successful brands from the noise. 

To understand more about the segmentation techniques and modus operandi of modern-day marketers, we invited industry leaders from some of the fastest-growing companies of the 21st century to come and share their thoughts. 

At MoEngage we believe that creating communities, sharing insights and learning from each other is an important cornerstone of a thriving business. In Berlin, Germany we hosted a #Growth event with the theme of “Application of User Segmentation and Automation.” This article will highlight key insights that arose at the event. 


 An Infinite Number of Segmentation Variables: How to Overcome this Challenge?

Growth Expert: Jon Genovard, CRM Manager, Blacklane. 

Genovard was straight to the point but packed a ton of wisdom in his words. He said that when it comes to segmentation he will always start with the customers who are spending the most, the “top customers,” because in most apps it’s 20% of the customers that bring in 80% of the revenue. “Take care of your top customers,” Genovard said before he passed on the mic. MoEngage makes taking care of your top customers easy. You can create marketing flows that acquire, engage and retain customers visually. Take care of your top customers (and yourself) by checking out marketing automation flows here


Growth Expert: Ada Dubrawska, Associate Product Manager, Growth, Clue 

Dubrawska said that at Clue when it comes to segmentation they “start from a simple option and then slowly complicate it.” Instead of searching for a specific set of preconceived users they search for vague criteria. Then they do post-analysis to see which things correlate with better engagement. Then based on that they create their segments. “We do it the reverse way around, in a sense,” said Dubrawska about her team’s method of segmentation. She believes there are so many ways to segment and one particular wrong or right way. 

However, there are ways that work better than others. If you want to get the most out of segmentation you must use a tool that allows you to micro-segment your users in order to hyper-personalize campaigns at scale


Growth Expert: Tobias Luder, CRM Manager, Delivery Hero

Luder said that at Delivery Hero they are always focused on retention. They are trying to get the “hibernating” customers active again. As a result, they don’t give loyal active customers vouchers or perks because they view it as “lost money,” since they were probably going to order on their own volition. 

Luder also mentioned attempting segmentation for loyal customers. Without wanting to spend unnecessary money on this segment they opted to implement more gamification for them. They launched a “fun week” where customers received a push notification every day for a week with a link to a different game. This exercise was very engaging and didn’t require them to provide any discounts or freebies. 


MoEngage: Predictive segments based on RFM modeling, helps marketers make data-driven decisions rather than using traditional ways of segmentation, based on hunches and guesswork. Furthermore, you can now integrate your engagement suite with analytics—all on one single platform.


How to Quantify the Real Improvement in Marketing Automation Strategies? 

Growth Expert: Tobias Luder, CRM Manager, Delivery Hero

Luder said that at Delivery Hero his team always have control groups for every campaign that they do—be it an ad hoc or an automation campaign. They also do AB testing “all the time.” He and his team do this to find out which campaign is performing better. 

However, he points out that it’s not always easy to figure out how to gauge success. He said it really depends on the campaign itself, its purpose, end results, and even the overall goals of the company. To illustrate, Tobias asked himself a poignant hypothetical question: “Do I want to be profitable with this [campaign]? Or do I just want the maximum number of activations on this campaign?” 

These are the sorts of questions you should be asking yourself when deciding how to analyze a campaign. Knowing what success looks like will help you optimize your campaign for the right metrics. 


Growth Expert: Natalie Fitch, CRM Manager - Retention & Engagement, Babbel 

Fitch said that if you’re trying to convince a C-level manager to implement a marketing automation tool your lagging metrics should always be rising. You should always be working towards a flat retention curve, and try to shift it up—part of that is going to be optimization (of course) but you can only optimize once things are automated. 


Growth Expert: Christian Eckhardt, CEO and Founder, Customlytics 

Eckhardt stressed that one of the main control groups you should have is users who receive zero communication. What you should do ideally before you get a CRM tool in place is set 10% of your users to not receive any messaging at all. This allows you to see how effective your campaign really was as compared to the group that received no communication. 

He joked that no one wants to touch this type of control group because it can make you look bad (if your campaign performs worse than the control group). However, he said, “I would always recommend doing it.” 


How Do You Identify Non-Optimal Marketing Automation Strategies? 

Growth Expert: Natalie Fitch, CRM Manager - Retention & Engagement, Babbel 

Fitch said that she’s “always really interested in using two types of metrics—leading and lagging metrics—when you’re analyzing the impact of your campaign.” She explained that “leading metrics can give you a really quick sense of how your campaign is going. [They’ll let you know if] you really need to shut it down really quick, and if it is performing the way you were thinking.” 

Lagging metrics, according to her, on the other hand, will give you a sense of whether you received bad engagement (like someone binge using a product meant for more stable long term use). Both leading and lagging metrics can be good indicators as to whether a campaign is optimal or not. 


Growth Expert: Christian Eckhardt, CEO and Founder, Customlytics 

Eckhardt said that you should always look at the obvious and less obvious negative outcomes of your campaign.

One example of an obvious negative outcome was sending push notifications that result in users uninstalling the app. He said it’s a normal but very direct negative outcome of any campaign. He said that any push notification will generate uninstalls and that the key question is “How many?” 

He emphasized that you should check to see that the campaign is still worth the effort: “If you’re making 10% more money with the control group receiving your push notification but you create 10,000 uninstalls does that make up for the loss in lifetime value?”


MoEngage: If you are interested in improving your push notifications delivery rates by as much as 140% check out our tool Push Amplification + 


Growth Expert: Jon Genovard, CRM Manager, Blacklane 

Genovard reiterated the utility of a control group and said that “for me the best way to know whether things are working or not is a control group.” When you have a clear baseline it’s easier to gauge how you’re doing. 

There are some metrics you need to dive deep on. Genovard gave a great hypothetical example of this when he said, You sent an email, you have excellent open rates like 30-40%, but then you look further and you see...they opened the email just to unsubscribe! You need to double check.” 

Having an eye for detail and diving deep on the numbers never hurts when looking for non-optimal marketing automation strategies. 


Unusual Customer Segmentation Examples that Worked

Growth Expert: Christian Eckhardt, CEO and Founder, Customlytics 

Eckhardt had a region specific insight for the middle eastern region that was quite unique. He said that “rain in the UK is the sand storm in the middle east…[which means] you can’t go out anywhere to get food anymore.”

So he set up a campaign for people in the sandstorm region engaging them with a dedicated push notifications saying “Not the best weather to go out, maybe you could go for takeaway.”


MoEngage: Sending the right message at the right time is critical to successful campaigns. Take your campaigns to the next level with artificial intelligence optimization for maximum conversion at https://www.moengage.com/sherpa/


Growth Expert: Tobias Luder, CRM Manager, Delivery Hero

Luder outlined how in Finland a lot of customers browse Delivery Hero but do not order. They look up the restaurant, check out the menu but do not spend any money. Luder’s team wanted to target those customers and give them an incentive to make an order. The problem was that they didn't know how to segment for those customers. What they did have was the session count and count of orders. 

Using real time calculations they targeted people who were less than 10% likely to place an order in that specific session. Luder said that “we gave them 10% off if they ordered in that session and it actually worked!” They generated a segment based solely on the limited data they had access to. 


Takeaways from Segmentation Techniques that Failed

Growth Expert: Natalie Fitch, CRM Manager - Retention & Engagement, Babbel 

Fitch stressed the importance of having a strong prioritization framework. She also highlighted that one should look at the impact of a potential campaign as a function of the reach of the campaign. She illustrated this by mentioning an incident where she spent many hours and a ton of effort making a perfect milestone campaign only for it to be viewed by less than twenty people. The takeaway from Fitch is look at the size of the segment and frequency of trigger. 



Our unique segmentation engine allows marketers to explore every use case possible. The ability to blend different categories of data—like user properties and user behavior, along with custom segments through AND/OR functions—empowers marketers to create use cases that were not possible earlier.

With such high levels of data integration, automation and customization, we allow you to create very nuanced segments to personalize the experience for all customers. However, that doesn’t mean you completely do away with traditional segmentation—that continues to be an important part of successful marketing efforts.

There was a deluge of insights on the application of user segmentation and automation at our #Growth event in Berlin. We learned the importance of taking care of your top customers, the importance of both leading and lagging metrics, and how useful a control group can be to understand how effective a campaign is—just to name a few. User segmentation and automation is the future. Leave “batch and blast” techniques behind in the past where they belong. Using tools such as our powerful segmentation and automation software you can supercharge your digital marketing efforts.


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