5 Retargeting Strategies That Help Maximize Your ROI

By Pratheet Vinjamur | March 30th, 2017

In today’s highly competitive and saturated market, user retention and engagement are the holy grail for app developers. With a multitude of tools to deliver quality installs available to them, the main question for app developers is “how do I engage with my users beyond the install”? While there are important organic channels such as push notifications, email messaging and in-app messaging to advertiser, a crucial channel that adds valuable reach to their efforts is app retargeting.

Retargeting can be very helpful for app marketers, and especially eCommerce retailers, to bring users back to the product they searched for, and eventually drive conversions. With shopping cart abandonment rates as high as 69%, it is a huge pain point for those in mCommerce. By reminding users of a product, retargeting helps in not only steering customers back, but also building brand awareness through exposure. Game publishers, too, are retargeting mobile gamers on mobile devices.

There is no more question about the importance of mobile retargeting in today’s app ecosystem. Perhaps the best indication of this has been the rapid adoption of this strategy, an increase from 52% to 82% of companies highlighting it as a priority in 2016.

While retargeting on mobile is still in the nascent stages, it has the potential to be more accurate (and, therefore, more valuable) than its predecessor (display retargeting). This is because app retargeting functions on mobile advertising device IDs (IDFAS/GAID) that are unique to each user of an app. Because mobile advertising, in its very nature, is based on serving highly personalized experience based on data, mobile retargeting gives them a tool to action this data.

So what makes the difference between success and failure while implementing a retargeting program? We give you 5 suggestions based on our in-depth experience in the space:

Create “Smart” Segments

One of the first levers to check in order to improve the ROI on your retargeting campaign is to filter your target audience or audience segmentation. Remember, not all users are created equal and by showing the same ad to every user who visits the app, there is a good chance that you are wasting advertising dollars in reaching less valuable users.

They say about 20% of your customers produce 80% of your sales — find those users to retarget. Cross-selling and upselling to an active user is an effective strategy that drive revenues, and also keeps your users engaged with your brand.

Quality Over Quantity

Needless to say, that focus on quality should be the number one priority for advertisers looking to make the most of their retargeting campaigns. While UA campaigns can involve many different partners and affiliates, it is better to keep your retargeting partners limited. Because retargeting involves sharing your data and bidding for your users, it is better to avoid multiple partners that could potentially bid against each other. It is essential to choose the right retargeting partner that can give you a good reach. Transparency and segment building capacity are also very important attributes to look out for when choosing a retargeting partner.

Be sure to combine your knowledge of users with your partner’s knowledge on how to reach them effectively. Work closely with your partner and demand transparency.

Coordinate Engagement Strategies, But Don’t Over-target

Can you tell how many ads you, as viewers, see each day? A study puts the number of ads that adults see each day at about 360 (considering all five media: TV, radio, internet, newspapers and magazine).

Lesson? Do not oversaturate your users! Understand that retargeting doesn’t work in isolation. Combine it with other techniques to re-engage your users. For mobile marketers, it is crucial to understand the best practices for retargeting so as to not drive users away and kill the campaigns.

For instance, serving users the same ads for the product they recently browsed for, or showing the same ad every time they browse something, is likely to annoy users and cause user fatigue. From our experience, we have seen great results when advertisers coordinate push notifications and email marketing campaigns with our retargeting efforts. While it is important to be where your users are, don’t follow them on every device or page they visit. Instead, deploy a co-ordinated approach that, when used cleverly and judiciously, can create synergy for the best ROI.

Shift the Focus From Price to ROI

To understand price and ROI for retargeting campaigns, let’s go back to American author William Bruce Cameron’s famous quote “Not everything that can be counted, counts and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Pricing for a retargeting campaign can vary for advertisers depending various factors such as the user base and target geo. For app advertisers, it helps to understand the ROI they are getting from the retargeting efforts before deciding on a price they’re willing to pay. A lot of clients approach pricing for retargeting in the same way that they would in the case of UA campaigns. This can hurt the campaign overall.

Leverage the Power of Technology to Your Benefit

Advertisers looking to use retargeting solutions have a lot to thank technology for improving the way campaigns can now run. Thanks to dynamic creatives and deep-linking, advertisers can now reach their audiences in better ways than before to improve the performance of retargeting campaigns. Dynamic creatives allows advertisers to create ads in real-time based on campaign performance, behavior and user information, leveraging first-party data to offer customized messaging. This increases the click-through-rates and conversions.

Deep-linking, a way by which app developers can link to specific pages within their app, allows for a seamless user experience and is a handy tool for retargeting campaigns. By linking the product feed to that of their partners, advertisers can show the most relevant products to the users and drive engagement.

Retargeting for Success: Summary

Mobile retargeting campaigns are a great way to bring back the audiences to engage with your app. Depending on the campaign goals and KPIs, retargeting strategies can help brands increase their audience engagement as well as increase positive ROI. The above tips are just some of the levers app advertisers can pull to boost the effectiveness of their retargeting campaigns.

Pratheet Vinjamur
Pratheet Vinjamur is a member of Applift's retargeting team, based in Berlin. He combines a passion for all things marketing and strategy related, with significant experience in the industry to help clients achieve their goals. When he's not reading up on the latest marketing trends, he enjoys playing tennis and having long philosophical conversations over good German beer.

Pratheet