Airship: Set Up Guide

The Airship integration with Mixpanel allows users to export Mixpanel cohorts into Airship. This updates the Mixpanel Tag Group in Airship, allowing you to target specific Mixpanel cohorts using Airship. Mixpanel cohorts can be exported to the Airship Tag Group once, or the cohort data can sync dynamically and update the Tag Group every two hours. 

How does Mixpanel export data to Airship?

For one-time exports: Mixpanel will send a static export of users who currently qualify for the cohort. This is exported to Airship as a Tag Group that allows you to create an audience to target users. You will be able to name the Tag Group that appears in Airship. These names will only be added to the Tag Group with the Group Key called “mixpanel” (Group Keys are case sensitive).

It is not recommended to use the same tag name for two static exports, as users who qualified at each time of export will be included in the tag within Airship.

For dynamically syncing exports: Every 2 hours, Mixpanel will initiate a sync between the Mixpanel cohort and the Airship tag. At the time of the sync, Mixpanel will add the tag for newly-qualified users, and remove the tag for users who have exited the cohort. Users can move into and out of the cohort depending on if they meet the cohort criteria. This will be reflected in Airship on a bi-hourly basis. Note that these tags only apply to the “mixpanel” Tag Group Key, which must be created within Airship.

How are users matched between Airship and Mixpanel?

Users are matched between Airship and Mixpanel using the Airship channel id, which is automatically set by the Mixpanel SDK if the Airship SDK is present in Mixpanel. Within Mixpanel, the id is saved as a user profile property:

  • iOS: $ios_urban_airship_channel_id
  • Android: $android_urban_airship_channel_id

Additionally, exports will send all user profiles to match against Airship's Named User system, which handles cross-platform identification. If you would like to specify a value to match a Mixpanel user profile to a Named User, you must add a user property, "$airship_named_user", which will be sent to attempt matching (note you must set this value, the Airship SDK will not automatically declare it).

Users without "$airship_named_user" user properties will instead have their distinct_id sent to Airship's Named User system - this route is intended for implementations where the same identifier value is used for both distinct_id (Mixpanel) and named_user_id (Airship). Note that for customers using identity merge, Mixpanel will send the canonical distinct ID, which may change over time. To ensure a consistent identifier is sent to Airship's Named User system, add the "$airship_named_user" property to the user's profile.

Setting up the Airship Integration 

In order to integrate Airship with Mixpanel, you will first need to install both the Airship SDK and Mixpanel SDK in your application. Once you have done so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Airship Integrations User Interface and enter the Airship Master Secret and Key, which allows Mixpanel to send data to the correct Airship project.

  2. Create a cohort in Mixpanel.

  3. Create a Mixpanel Tag Group within AirshipFor this Integration, we require that you create a Tag Group Key called "mixpanel". Note that Tag Group Keys are case sensitive.

  4. Export the Cohort from Mixpanel, at which time Mixpanel will wait for a callback to ensure that the request to Airship was received.

    • A one-time export will add the new Airship tag to all users in the Mixpanel cohort at the time of the export. The new tag will be visible in Airship. 
    • A dynamic sync will add or remove a tag for users in the cohort every 2 hours until the sync is disconnected. This means that every two hours, the tag in Airship will update to reflect the current status of the Mixpanel cohort.

Sending Mixpanel Cohorts to Airship

Exporting data to Airship is done from the Mixpanel Cohort Manager. From the Cohort Manager: 

1. Click Export to Airship.


2. Enter the Airship Tag under which the export should be saved. Click Save.


3. The tag will now be available for targeting within Airship.


Why am I unable to configure our Airship connection?

You must be an Admin within the Mixpanel project to configure the Airship connection.

Why does my Mixpanel Cohort display more users than in Airship?

In order for a user to be exported to Airship, the user must have the necessary property set on the user profile. These properties are $ios_urban_airship_channel_id or $android_urban_channel_id.

Is there a limitation to the number of profiles that can be exported to Airship?

15 million profiles is the maximum number of profiles that can be exported to Airship.

Airship Events into Mixpanel & MTU Exemptions

You can export events from your Airship integration to Mixpanel to perform deeper analysis. For detailed instructions on how to do this, please refer to Airship's integration documentation.

Events coming from Airship are marked with the property "$source" to denote the source product.

Mixpanel will exempt certain messaging outreach events from MTU calculations, meaning you're free to send campaigns to dormant users without them counting towards MTU billing (only once a user engages with a message will they then be counted towards that tally).

The following events are exempt from MTU calculations:

  • Airship Bounce
  • Airship Delay
  • Airship Delivery
  • Airship In-App Message Display
  • Airship Rich Delivery
  • Airship Send
  • Airship Send Rejected
  • Airship Unsubscribe
  • Airship SMS Delivered
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