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7 Best Practices for App Retargeting

As the mobile ecosystem continues to grow, with more than 3 million active apps and 7 billion mobile devices out there, our thinking needs to shift beyond the install and focus on increasing lifetime value and user retention.

More than 80% of downloaded apps are opened just once before they are uninstalled completely. Downloads are very important for app developers as they drive business but, upon acquiring users, you need to start talking to them and keep them engaged within your app.

Mobile app-to-app retargeting has proven to be very successful in increasing user retention and driving in-app revenue. Remerge has seen an incremental uplift in retention and up to a 12% increase of in-app purchases across all our app developer partners.

So what are the tips and tricks to make the most of your re-engagement campaigns? We will share our experience with you here on how you can optimize your campaigns and increase your active user base.

1. Know the value of bringing a lapsed user back to your app

Establishing the value of re-engaging a lapsed user not only increases the efficiency of your retargeting programs, it ultimately delivers more value back to your business. Imagine a user installs your app but doesn’t register. How exactly is this registration valuable to you? Perhaps a user registers and you get their email address. You can use this information, linking it to your internal CRM data and you can start building a relationship with the user.

Make it as easy as possible for your users to return directly into the heart of your app. Research shows that deep links help to increase the retention rate with your active users and drive conversions with your lapsed users. When a gaming app shows an ad to a user who is stuck on a certain level and it encourages them to re-try, the user expects the ad to take them directly to that level within the game. Or, let’s take a hotel app. It may retarget a user who has previously searched for accommodation in San Francisco, for example. The offer shows them hotels in San Francisco and this user would expect, following one click, to find a comprehensive listing of relevant hotels and not the app’s home page.

3. Use a 3rd party mobile tracking & attribution provider

You should consider working with one of the attribution providers out there if you want to go with a mobile app retargeting partner that does not require an SDK integration. The attribution partner will take care of independently tracking all of your retargeting campaign data as well as sharing your app’s audience data with your retargeting partner in real-time (see no.4). You can then easily share your relevant audience data with your retargeting partner in order to build your desired segments.

4. Automate every step

The mobile app retargeting process can be very complex and manual (e.g. consider exporting, segmenting and uploading your entire audience data for multiple apps on a daily basis). In order to achieve maximum scale and the best performance it is crucial to choose a partner that is streamlining the process by replacing all manual processes with technology to make things more efficient! Aside from an easy and secure access to data (preferably of course without the need to integrate another SDK), this also includes dynamic audience segmentation, which saves you the work of segmenting users manually and - more importantly - excludes your users in real time, who converted already in other channels (i.e. push notification, email marketing or even organic). This saves budget, increases performance and avoids bugging your users!

5. Segment your users

Utilize all the data you have available from your users and build relevant segments. This will enable you to send powerful and personalized messages to your users, which results in the best conversion rates. Furthermore, it will enable you to compare performance across different segments. By concentrating on users who have reached a particular stage within your app, e.g. reached a certain level or made a first product search, you can increase your conversion to purchase rates by more than 500% compared with users who have just simply installed your app!

6. Customize and A/B test your creatives, segments and landing pages

Creating great ads and in-app landing pages for different segments takes time and skill. Nevertheless, this is an __investment in the long-term. __Make sure to go with a partner that offers you this service as well as the reporting capabilities so you can continue to apply what you learn and optimize towards the best performance possible.

7. A/B test. Learn. Optimize. Repeat.

The most successful campaigns are constantly evolving as __deeper insights __surface from your performance data. When you are starting out, you may want to test simple segments throughout the entire conversion funnel to better understand your users’ behavior. From there, you can refine your approach to segmentation, creatives and messaging as your understanding of user behavior becomes more sophisticated. Get as much transparency as possible about your users to make sure you hit the sweet spots in your app.