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Firebase: how to create custom audiences for push notifications

In mobile app marketing, push notifications are an effective way to speak directly to the user. In this article, we’ll learn how to create custom audiences for push notifications in Firebase to make your messages personalized and relevant to your users.

All marketing strives for personalization. The more precise your targeting is, the better you understand your customers - the more effective your marketing is. It’s a no-brainer, really :)

Most of all this applies to push notifications. Push notifications are a rather aggressive form of marketing. They attract the user’s attention and require an action from the user - even if it is just to swipe right. So it’s not a surprise that users get angry when the push notifications are irrelevant. That is why if you’re at all familiar with mobile marketing, you should consider targeting your audience with Firebase. In this article, we’ll show you how.

push notifications firebase for mobile apps

Luckily, it’s easy! Even if you’re not an experienced marketer and don’t have a technical background, you can easily learn to customize your audience and send push notifications that are in fact personalized messages.

How to create Firebase audiences for push notifications?


Firebase is deeply integrated with Google Analytics. All the statistical data you see in the Analytics section of Firebase comes from Google Analytics. Now that you know where this data comes from, you can play with it and use it to create relevant messages for push and in-app notifications.

Note: We provide our partners with access to their Firebase app projects, so in case you don’t have access, please get in touch with your account manager and they’ll give it to you.

Step 1: Go to Firebase Analytics section

In the Firebase Analytics section, you’ll see the data on your app activity: new users, old users, countries, etc. If you want to learn more about the data available please check our article on Google Analytics.

Firebase custom audiences google analytics

Step 2: In the left-hand menu, choose Audiences

Our main goal for today is to learn how to create and use different audiences of your app users so that you can later use them for your push notifications.

Firebase custom audiences

All app projects have two predefined audiences: All users and Purchasers. All users is to everyone, while Purchasers refers to those who have made a purchase in the app. Purchasers might look like the logical choice of an audience, however, currently, this part is not tracked correctly by Firebase, so we recommend avoiding it.

Step 3: To create a new audience, click the New audience button.

After you click New audience, Firebase will give you two options: create a custom audience from scratch or use one of the suggested options.

Firebase custom audiences

Firebase custom audiences

In the suggested audiences, you can see different subsections such as Travel, General, Templates, and Predictive. In these subsections, you can choose an audience that might work for you.

Firebase custom audiences

For example, let’s create an audience based on the demographic information of your users.

Step 4: Choose Suggested audience -> Templates -> Demographics. Add filters.

Firebase custom audiences

After you chose demographics, specify the criteria of your target audience. For example, you can choose to either include or exclude a certain user group based on their age.

Firebase custom audiences Firebase custom audiences

Step 5: Specify audience duration

Next, you can choose for how long the users can stay members of the audience. You can also set up the trigger event which will log the event when the user becomes a member of this group. For example, it can be the event “Booking_confirmed”.

Firebase custom audiences Firebase custom audiences

Step 6: Name your audience

The fun part! That is if you like naming things :)

You’re almost done. Now give a name to your new audience - preferably, a name that you will remember, and save it.

Congratulations! Your target audience is created.

Now let’s go back a bit to when we were choosing between Suggested audiences. This time, we’ll choose Predictive templates and see how they work.

This is how they work: Firebase analyses the behavior of your users and makes predictions about which users will most likely do a certain action - for example, make a purchase. It will also predict which users might not use your app at all. Then, you can select one of these audiences for your push notifications. For example, if you want to stimulate those who will most likely not use your app at all, you can send them a push notification offering a promo code.

Note: In some cases, you might see the message “Not eligible to use”. This means you don’t have enough users for Firebase to make predictions, so you cannot yet use Predictive templates to create audiences.

Firebase predictive templates

Now let’s go even further back to when we were choosing between a Suggested audience and an audience created from scratch. This time, we’ll create an audience from scratch.

Taxi and ride-hailing companies often operate in different cities and have different options that depend on the city. So let’s create an audience for a specific city so that the client can later send a Firebase push notification to just them.

To do that, at step three, you choose to Create a custom audience. Then, Firebase offers you to choose a filter for your audience. For our case, click Add new condition and find the item called Geography. Then, choose your city.

Firebase city

Firebase users from cities

Add a filter for the city from the suggested options with the condition “exactly matches (=)”. For example, let’s choose Dourados.

Firebase cities

You can also check  At any point in time - this will mean that if the user has been in the city at any point in time, they’ll be included in the group.

After that, you can add new conditions for your audience using the condition “AND”. In the end, your audience will include only people that match all conditions you’ve specified (e.g., people in the age gap of 33 to 44 AND living in Dourados).

You can change “AND” to “OR”. Then, the users who match ANY of the conditions will be added to the audience. For example, if you add Dourados OR in Mexico, the users from both cities will get into your audience.

There are so many combinations you can create, that it would take us a couple of years to explain all the different options that you can use for your audiences. However, I think you got the gist and the logic behind it!

Here are some audiences and Firebase push notification messages you might want to start with:


Audience: users who haven’t used your app for a while

Push notification goal: remind them about your app


Audience: users who have been using your app for a while

Push notification goal: express your gratitude

How to create the audience: Choose Event - Booking_confirmed. For the Parameter use Other - Event count and add the number that is required for the user to get into this audience. You can also add a time period that specifies how quickly the user has to reach this number.

Firebase push notifications events


Audience: users from different locations

Push notification goal: promote your special service types


Audience: users of different age

Push notification goal: offer taxi services for different purposes (go to a party or to the office)


Audience: users with different operating systems

Push notification goal: remind them to update for better compatibility


Audience: users from different locations

Push notification goal: promote your special service types

There is so much more! Your audiences and your push notifications are only limited by your creativity.

So now that you’ve created your audience, how do you use it in your Firebase push notification? Simple. Go to your Cloud Messaging section and create a new push notification. When the system asks you to choose targeting, find the User Audience(s) option and choose the right audience for your Firebase push notification. Voilà — you sent your message to a specific audience!

That’s it for today! Have fun experimenting with your push notifications!


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