Mobile App Retargeting

Marketing is not one stream-lined process. Rather, it’s a combination of efforts and processes. One of the purposes of marketing is to get potential customers to choose your product over the competition. You want to showcase that your specific brand has enough value so that your customers continue to choose you. Once a person has signed up or purchased their first product, the next priority is keeping them and getting them to act.

Adopting mobile app retargeting into your marketing plan is an effective way to retain customers. You as a business have a goal. Perhaps you want your customers to shop with you. Maybe you want them to sign up for your newsletter. Or, you want them to use your services. Whatever the case may be, occasionally you will find yourself gaining a lot of interest initially but not necessarily having the sales reflect that interest. Sometimes, people sign up but you don’t get “the sale” so to speak. This is normal, but mobile app retargeting can help you re-engage those customers who may be on the fence.

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What is Mobile App Retargeting?

Mobile app retargeting is a marketing technique geared specifically towards your mobile app users. This is not to be confused with remarketing, which is geared towards website users. They both seek to re-engage people who have interacted with your brand at some point. The goal of mobile app retargeting is to bring people back to your app and complete an action. For example, if you have a mobile game, the goal is to keep people playing or entice them to make a purchase in order to play. If you have an online store, your goal might be to get people to make (or in some cases finish) their purchases. For business services, such as consulting or classes, your goal might be to get people to sign up and invest in the services you provide. Regardless of the purpose of the app, including mobile app retargeting as part of your marketing plan will be to your benefit.

By analyzing the behaviors of your mobile users, you can create personal ad campaigns to motivate your users to interact with your app once again. That could mean multiple things from general re-engaging to re-installing the app or completing an action such as a purchase. That is the goal of mobile app retargeting.

Although, not all users are the same. This is why the ads target your uses within a specific context. For example, you wouldn’t send an ad asking a user to “complete a purchase” if they’ve never put anything in their cart. You want to have a variety of ads in your campaign. They need to be relevant in relation to the type of users you identified in your analysis. The personalization of the ads is key to cultivating re-engagement.

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What are the Benefits of Retargeting?

Consider the investment you’ve made to acquire your customers. You’ve put money into building an amazing app, developing a fantastic service, and creating beautiful products. However, this is only a part of the process. The most important part is to keep your business in the minds of your users. The biggest benefit of retargeting is helping keep your customers engaged. Through ads, you want to encourage your customers to invest their time or money in your brand. By utilizing a strong mobile app retargeting campaign, you can increase app user retention. You want your customers to visit your app as frequently as feasible. You want them to buy your brand, play your game, or utilize your service every single time. When a user is going to make a purchase there are a few things that happen before they do so, known as a conversion funnel. By retargeting your mobile app users, you can help ease them from the state of desiring your product to actually acquiring it.

Perhaps you have a mobile game. A person signs up and they play the game a couple of times. However, you notice after a week or two, they are no longer engaging. You might create an ad that invites the user to play again. If your mobile game has a “currency” involved, you might offer a free gift in order to invite your gamer to play again. One of the best examples of effective mobile app retargeting is with retail apps. Oftentimes, these apps find a number of users abandoning their shopping carts. As a consumer, you might have done this as well. They might fill their carts with dozens of products but for some reason have not completed a purchase. This is where mobile app retargeting comes in. You might create an ad gently reminding the customer to complete their purchase. In some cases, you might design an ad that includes a coupon code to entice your customer to close the sale.

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Best Practices for Implementing Mobile App Retargeting

Before initiating your mobile app retargeting campaign, understand that 21% of users will use your app once, then disengage. Even if they make it past the one-time use, there is approximately a 3-month window in which users will most likely stop engaging. As a business, one of your goals should be retaining and engaging existing users. However, do not overlook the importance of trying to re-engage lapsed users. Consider how many unused apps sit on your own mobile device right now. When was the last time you played a mobile app game that you were initially excited about? If you’ve got a pop-up that made you return back to the app, you understand how effective these types of advertisements can be. Feel free to play around with different campaigns to see what works best for your business.

Understanding Your Audience

Ensuring you know your audience is important within all aspects of your content marketing strategy. App remarketing will allow you to target the needs of different users. Implementing segmentation will help you identify and focus on those needs. You can segment your users according to their habits, demographics, gender, or any other breakdown that can help you create engaging ads for them.

Preventing and Re-Engaging Lapsed Customers

You want to reduce the amount of lapsed customers as much as possible. The best time to do this is to interact with your app users after they initially download your app. Making sure to employ your mobile app retargeting plan within the first week can help bring your new users back to your app. Be sure not to bombard your users with advertisements though. As well, make sure your campaigns will have exclusions. For example, you wouldn’t want to send advertisements designed to get re-engagement, if your customers have already returned to you. Be wary of hyper-focusing on your lapsed customers.

Utilizing Deep and Deferred Deep Links

One effective strategy in mobile app retargeting is incorporating hyperlinks into your ads. This can help guide customers to action. Deep links will send your users to a specific in-app location. It is not limited to the homepage which can help fast-track your user to whatever “call-to-action” you want them to take. Deferred deep links are sent to those who do not have the app installed. This type of ad should be designed to make it as easy as possible for your user to download your app.

Getting Creative with Your Ads

Be mindful of using the same ad over and over. You want to ensure that your ads are of high quality so you can capture your user’s interest. You’ll find the interest will weaken if you don’t include variation in your advertisements. Play around with different designs and rotate them through to avoid repetition. Make sure the advertisements are personalized as well. Users who’ve only used your app once require an ad that uses different diction, images, and design than a user who’s fallen off after a month. As long as it has an element that draws in the user, you can be as creative as you’d like with the advertisements. They can be images, videos, or even interactive games.

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The Marketing Process

Make sure that you do not hyper-focus on any one element of the marketing process. Incorporating mobile apps into your business can be an effective strategy. There’s a large market for you to reach. However, don’t overlook the benefit of a business site. There may be an untapped market that your app doesn’t reach. Target marketing will allow you to save time and money by providing you with the information you need to make more high-yielding advertisements.

Utilizing a membership portion of your site can also be effective. This can give you an edge in keeping consistent engagement with your customers. Adopting constructive SEO practices can put your business closer to the eyes of your consumers. Ensuring a strong social media presence will also help your brand’s exposure. There are many moving parts and a variety of combinations that you can play around with. See what works best and most effectively for your brand.


  • What is mobile app retargeting?
  • How can retargeting help my business?
  • How effective is mobile app retargeting?
  • In what situation would you use retargeting?
  • What are deep links?

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