Four Mistakes Mobile Marketers Must Avoid While Running Retargeting Campaigns

By Diksha Sahni | October 4th, 2016

Re-engagement and retargeting are becoming the new buzzwords for mobile marketers, who are trying hard to make their mobile apps relevant to the users in the increasingly competitive market. Re-engagement campaigns are designed to bring back users who have downloaded an app but haven’t interacted with it over long periods of time, or those who haven’t completed a desired action within the app. There are several techniques to re-engage users, with retargeting being the one where ads are served to specific users who have previously visited or interacted with the app, but who haven’t yet completed a specific action (for example: completing a purchase, or signing up for an account).

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. 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.

For mobile marketers, it is crucial to understand the best practices for retargeting so as to not drive users away and kill the campaigns. Read on to know the most common mistakes that mobile marketers should avoid while running retargeting campaigns:

1. Bombarding Users With Too Many Ads

Serving users the ads for the product they have recently browsed can certainly help in converting a window-shopper to a buyer, but you don’t want to annoy users by displaying the same ad on every ad space won! Such retargeting campaigns are likely to fail for the mobile marketers if users see the same ad every time they browse something, understandably leading to user fatigue.

The solution: Set frequency caps, in other words the number of times the same ad can be shown to the same user within a specific period of time. It is important to take into consideration the fact that, for retargeting campaigns, advertisers must account for user fatigue right from the beginning of the campaign as users have already been in contact with the advertised app or product.

2. Not Optimizing the Creatives

Following closely on the heels of the first point, mobile marketers must be wary of using the same creatives over and over for their retargeting campaigns. Similar to serving too many impressions, if the customers have to look at the exact same ads repeatedly, it will result into user fatigue.

The solution: Have a variety of creative sizes and types that can be used to target the right audience. A constant refresh of creatives, especially those that are event related — for instance, 50% summer sale for eCommerce, new restaurant added to a food delivery service, etc — will prove to be much more effective. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) can be key in retargeting efforts. With DCO, creatives can be optimized in real time based on user information and behavior, or on location.

3. Not Segmenting Your Audience

Not segmenting users cause retargeting campaigns to be less effective as the campaigns will be broader, and not tailored to the needs of each customer. For users who have successfully converted, it is a big mistake to keep serving the same ad campaigns. For instance, if a customer has already bought a computer from your website/app, then it is a waste to keep serving them with the same ads. Failing to segment users who no longer need to be retargeted with the same ads leads to wasted impressions that can cause a huge dent in the advertising budgets, but also can be annoying for the user who is flooded with the same ads despite being converted.

The solution: Retargeting campaigns are more effective if the messages are tailored to serve the customers depending on what stage of the purchase funnel they are at in the app. For an eCommerce app, for instance, if one user has a pair of shoes already in their cart, while another user has browsed for a dress, it doesn’t make sense to show the same ad to both the users as they are different stages in the purchase funnel. Audience segmentation ensures that the ads that are served are relevant to the users’ interest. Cross-sell and upsell campaigns in such cases can prove to be more effective.

For this purpose, mobile retargeters need to get insights into user segments so as to automatically subtract people that have performed a purchase or completed the desired action from the retargeted segments. This will help in utilizing ad budgets wisely in getting more customers, particularly those who haven’t yet converted.

4. You are Targeting, But Are You Really?

The key to retargeting campaigns is to get to the right audiences, at the right time and right place. When ads served don’t take into consideration where the audience is coming from (their location, gender, interests, or context), it leads to reduced interest and waste of impressions.

The solution: Basic retargeting can put you in front of the audiences. But the key to serving successful personalized ad campaigns is by maximizing mobile reach by choosing how campaigns are targeted: By fine-tuning ad placements, mobile marketers can ensure greater relevancy and increased performance to serve only those ads to those consumers that are most relevant. This can be done through demographic, geographic and contextual targeting. For instance, for an eCommerce app, what might be relevant to a consumer in one geographical location, may not be relevant for a consumer in another geographical location. Similarly, for a food delivery app, targeting users based on the special offers in a particular location or during time of the day may bring in greater returns.

To know more about retargeting in detail, tune into our latest webinar on Tuesday, October 11 at 10am PDT/1pm EDT, where we aim to tackle the various aspects and latest techniques of mobile re-engagement.

Diksha Sahni
Diksha is a Content Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Bangalore office. When she is not behind her computer writing, you can find her binge watching her favorite movies, finding her happy place at a dance studio, and checking off places on her bucket list.

12063761 1030943930291273 1184227129633473729 n