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Combining mobile app retargeting with app store optimization

In today's fast-changing mobile app landscape, the two most important factors that determine an app's success are user acquisition and retention. App Store Optimization (ASO) helps with acquiring users, while retargeting ensures they stick around. In this article, we’ll take a look at what ASO and retargeting are, how they can be used to provide app businesses with a return on investment (ROI), and we'll look at the store-based tools with which ASO stategies can complement retargeting.

Defining ASO & retargeting

App Store Optimization is the foundation upon which your app's presence within the app stores is built. Simply put, ASO involves improving your app’s visibility in the app stores and making it more enticing to both new users and those who may have previously used your app – all with the ultimate goal of boosting app downloads and re-engagements.

Retargeting, on the other hand, is an approach that complements your ASO efforts. This strategy zeroes in on users who have previously engaged with your app. By serving these users tailored ads that reflect their past behaviors and preferences, the overarching goal is to rekindle their interest and entice them to return to your app, fostering deeper engagement or driving conversions.

Now that we understand the foundational aspects of ASO and retargeting, let's delve into how combining them can lead to better ROI.

How to boost ROI by combining ASO & retargeting

By integrating ASO to improve your app’s organic visibility, and using retargeting to re-engage and convert users, you can create a synergistic strategy that maximizes ROI for your mobile app.

  1. Create a cohesive app experience by setting the right user expectations:
    Prioritizing user preferences is essential for ensuring a seamless user experience. It's crucial to maintain a strong collaboration between the ASO and retargeting teams to create tailored user experiences. For example, if the retargeting team aims to re-engage lapsed users with new app or game features, the ASO team can help design customized store listing pages for this user segment, enriched with contextually relevant messaging.

  2. Deepdive into app ratings & reviews:
    Reviews and ratings offer direct insights into user sentiments. Analyzing the keywords in your reviews can be a quick way to figure out what your users are talking about, what they like or don't like about your app, and how your latest update is doing. This helps app marketers interpret user sentiments better, and can guide the creation of ad creatives and messaging in retargeting campaigns. Understanding what users love about your app allows you to highlight these features in your ad content. By leveraging advanced tools such as AppTweak’s Review Management, you can extract these user details and launch a retargeting campaign to address their concerns and re-engage them strategically.

  3. Understanding the user journey:
    Retargeting teams analyze in-app user behavior to identify high Life-time Value (LTV) users and their interactions. Sharing this information with your ASO team empowers them to create compelling store listing pages such as Custom Product Pages (CPPs). By using retargeting insights to populate your CPPs with relevant content in the form of screenshots and other creatives, you can boost your install/conversion rates and refine your keyword strategy for improved organic visibility among the right audiences in the app stores.

Leveraging ASO tools for enhanced retargeting

By combining ASO tools with effective retargeting strategies, you can improve user retention, drive more conversions, and ultimately enhance the success of your mobile app.

Revive engagement with CPPs/CSLs

Custom product pages (App Store) or custom store listings (Google Play), are alternate versions of an app product page that app marketers can create to highlight different functionalities, content, or offers to those shown on an app's default app store page. As a result, marketers can leverage these page variations to target different segments of their target audience.

Marketers can retarget users with CPPs or CSLs to tailor in-app messaging, show off their app's shining reviews, and highlight exciting new features to draw users back to their app. App visuals and deep linking make it easy for users to rediscover what they loved about the app, all while keeping an eye on the performance metrics for continuous optimization.

Consider a scenario involving an e-commerce app managed by a marketing team. They aim to re-engage users who've left running shoes in their shopping carts. To achieve this, the team employs customized ads that depict these personalized products and link users directly to a dedicated custom product page. This tailored approach provides a clear and context-rich message, enticing users to return to the app and explore the custom product offerings further, potentially boosting user engagement and conversion.

Tap into the potential of in-app events & promotional content

In-app events (App Store) or promotional content (Google Play) are a great way to help retain and engage users to create long-term lifetime value. These features, (pictured below), allow app and game developers to promote events, give offers, and announce major updates within their apps and games – which they can do via their page in the app store. They enable you to make real-time adjustments to gameplay, rewards, and events within your app to reach new users, engage current users, or reconnect with lapsed users. For example, if you notice a drop in engagement during an event, you can adjust the event’s mechanics or rewards to rekindle user interest, thus making your retargeting efforts more effective.

In-app events on iOS 15 also offer segment targeting options (new users, active users, and lapsed users). Using them strategically can help you target the right users for retargeting as well as re-engagement.

*Image from AppTweak's blog about in-app events


In a nutshell, when you combine App Store Optimization and retargeting, you're setting yourself up for app success. ASO helps you get noticed in app stores, boosts downloads, and makes sure users have a great experience. Then, retargeting steps in, reminding users of your app’s benefits and features, and keeping them engaged. Together, they create a powerful synergy, driving user acquisition, retention, and ultimately, ensuring long-term success in the competitive app ecosystem.

By continually refining and leveraging these two strategies in tandem, app developers and marketers can truly harness the full potential of their mobile apps in a dynamic and ever-evolving digital landscape. Custom product pages/custom store listings and in-app events/promotional content are effective tools to help deliver content and experiences that are more relevant to users who have already shown interest. This, in turn, increases the chances of converting them into active users or customers during subsequent retargeting campaigns.

To learn more about ASO and AppTweak's work, check out this episode of Remerge's Apptivate podcast, which features Simon Thillay, Head of ASO at AppTweak:

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