Mobile App Retargeting Basics


Lots of people have been asking questions about the ins and outs of mobile app retargeting, remarketing and re-engagement. This short explanation is designed to help clarify some of the basic questions people have about this important and fast-growing marketing tactic.

Mobile App Retargeting in Plain English

Mobile app marketing is undergoing a major shift – from focusing primarily on driving app installs, to something that matters even more – turning those installs into engaged and profitable users.

You’ve heard the stats by now – many installed apps are used only once. It didn’t take long for some businesses to figure out that marketing to users after the install was just as important as driving the initial installs – in many cases even more important. And today, thanks to technology advances in in-app attribution and device targeting, app marketers are now retargeting users of every flavor – from their most loyal shoppers to dormant users – with tailored messages that bring them back to the app and drive real business.

Mobile retargeting is a form of advertising that lets mobile app marketers send relevant messages to their customers while they are using other mobile apps or mobile websites. The user sees the ad, clicks on it, and gets directed to the advertiser’s app, sometimes to a specific section or deep link. Some app marketers are starting to put as much emphasis on retargeting as on driving installs, due to its high ROI. Rather than paying several dollars to acquire a new potential user, marketers can spend of fraction of that to re-activate lapsed users, increase conversions, and grow users’ lifetime value.

In fact, Apsalar just introduced a feature called SmartTags that makes remarketing even easier by enabling a brand to use one tag to redirect people to up to five different locations based upon their install status.

Mobile retargeting enables you to drive engagement across the entire app usage lifecycle. You can define user segments and display targeted ads to each segment, encouraging them to return to your app and ultimately convert into buyers. Whether it’s re-engaging inactive users or driving repeat sales from your best shoppers, retargeting is a versatile strategy that can help you achieve a range of sales and marketing goals.

Use Cases

Here are some examples of marketing goals and how you can use retargeting to achieve them:

Prod inactive users: Remind them with ads that bring them back to your app to drive ongoing engagement.
Upsell active users: Promote premium services, app updates or new apps.
Remonetize recent buyers: Message to sell them related items.
Heavy shoppers: Drive repeat sales or actions; cross-promote new products.
Users about to purchase: Find users who have added items to carts and reconnect with them before they purchase elsewhere.
Rectify incomplete conversions: Bring back users to complete an action, such as a tutorial or registration.
Segment target lists to develop messages for like users: Develop ad creative for each user segment.
Deliver campaigns via real-time bidding exchanges: User sees your retargeting ad in other apps or on the mobile web. User clicks the ad and returns to your mobile app.

The more detailed the users’ in-app engagement data, the more specific the retargeting ads can be, allowing you to tailor ads to users in different stages of the purchase funnel. The most effective retargeting programs leverage an analytics solution that tracks all post-install behaviors, not just one event type. This
provides you with more targeting options for each user, and also allows you to create larger, more sophisticated user segments (groups of users with similar attributes) that update as users take action to enter and leave the cohort.

Take a Strategic Approach

An effective retargeting strategy begins with an analysis of user attributes and segment users based on the action you would like them to take. Using variables such as how recently they used the app, products they’ve purchased or viewed, or subscription status, build user cohorts that eligible to take an action that is valuable to your business. Once you have defined goal-based user segments, you can create unique ads that are relevant to each cohort and the business objective you’d like them to achieve.

You can get an easy to download version of this content here.

Share Button