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What is Mobile Retargeting?

Mobile retargeting is a marketing strategy that re-engages users, who have shown prior interest in your goods or services, by delivering personalized ads to their mobile devices.

Retargeting is typically used for two main reasons:

  • To encourage consumers to install an app for the first time
  • To drive existing users to re-engage with an app that they have already downloaded

How It Works:

To target new users, ad networks utilize cookies to track search activity on individuals’ mobile browsers. Then, they retarget them with mobile ads, driving new users to download an app for the first time.

By integrating a mobile SDK (software development kit) with your app, advertisers can identify existing users’ mobile device IDs, unique interests and app activity.

With this information, advertisers can efficiently retarget users with in-app ads and push notifications to re-engage them and bring them back to your app.

Why include Mobile Retargeting in your budget?

According to eMarketer, the 24 hours after an app is first used is when most users disappear. It’s challenging enough to have users install apps, but that’s not where the job ends for mobile marketers.

Mobile retargeting is beneficial to user retention and re-engagement. By utilizing display ads, you are able to increase impressions, lower abandonment rates and drive users to return to applications.

Let’s say Samantha was looking up some deals on the Airbnb app for her next vacation in Cancun, but she received a phone call and never had the chance to return. As she’s checking for swimwear on her mobile browser later that day, Airbnb delivered a push notification reminding Samantha to redeem her personalized offer for an apartment rental in Cancun.

Not only did Airbnb deliver a personalized offer to someone who already expressed an interest in their services, but they also re-engaged Samantha back to their app to complete her in-app purchase.

How to succeed with mobile retargeting

Mobile retargeting can help retain loyal and valuable customers to your brand and re-direct them to your app.

There are four aspects to consider in order to succeed with mobile retargeting:

1. Personalization

An important aspect of personalization is tailoring your retargeting ads to the right person at the right time with the right content.

Using audience insights to understand a user’s mobile behaviors and search activity provides a great opportunity for efficient delivery of personalized promotional offers.

For instance, Airbnb was able to utilize audience insights to create an engaging push notification to drive Samantha back to her recent vacation accommodation searches in their app.

2. Frequency Capping

While gentle reminders are great for engaging a user back to your app, it is important to note that too many reminders can become overwhelming, pushing users away rather than bringing them in.

According to Wired, after approximately 5 to 10 impressions, an ad’s effectiveness gradually declines and can potentially prevent the user from performing the desired action if the ad is seen too many times.

By having a frequency cap, you are able to limit a number of times and places that your ad is being viewed. However, you are still able to provide efficient and gentle reminders to your users, increasing opportunity for retention, revenue and increased ROI.

3. Creatives

Assure that you are using rich media creatives in the accurate sizes that give compelling visuals to users. This can be the sole difference between retargeting and regression. Additionally, plan to test your content frequently and make sure that they are linking appropriately. This is a crucial part of mobile retargeting that is necessary in order to assure that your content is being implemented correctly.

4. Attribution

Tracking attribution rates are just as important as delivering sharp creatives. In order to be successful in retargeting, you must accurately keep track of your installs, retention and revenue.

Since we are targeting returning users, there are two ways to track attributions.
re-attributions: Calculating the individuals who have re-installed an app.
re-engagement: Calculating those who have the app downloaded and have engaged after a retargeting campaign.

More than half of app marketers worldwide buy ads to retarget app users, and many who don’t currently plan to in the next 12 months. Mobile retargeting has become a very effective and growing investment in mobile marketing, especially to improve app user retention, conversion rates, ROI and revenue.