Instead of using Mobile User Acquisition and App Retargeting as two independent stages, these strategies should be combined to further grow the number of app users while keeping them active.
Global app downloads keep growing, organic downloads lose ground to paid channels, and poor retention rates still remain a challenge for marketers looking to make the most of campaign performance. Instead of using Mobile User Acquisition and App Retargeting as two independent stages, these strategies should be combined to further grow the number of app users while keeping them active. This post covers 7 best practices app marketers should consider when going full cycle.
While both strategies ultimately seek to drive growth, acquiring and reactivating users differ in pricing, metrics, and results:
There is no right or wrong answer. When running full cycle campaigns, it often makes sense to work with one goal throughout the entire cycle. This way marketers can assess the ultimate impact of the joined strategies rather than comparing one against the other. All the other metrics will provide different insights, but it’s important to identify which will be the main KPI used for optimization even while tracking other variables.
It’s important to build different ads to speak to the users’ needs and familiarity with the product at each step of the user journey.
The most obvious difference is the Call-To-Action (CTA): one ad set will direct users to install or download the app, while the other will take users to the different desired in-app actions: “see offers”, “book a ride”, “order meal”. But this is not enough to differentiate User Acquisition from App Retargeting ads. Small variations might go unnoticed, which could result in users thinking it’s the same ad they clicked on to install the app. Make sure the two ads sets look different by opting for distinct images, background colors, or different themes.
Use Dynamic Creative Optimization for enhanced performance
It’s important to test different formats (display, video, native) but also, different creatives within those formats (images and copy) in order to feed the machine learning algorithms with multiple data points.
With Dynamic Ads, marketers can automatically create and alternate multiple creative assets. This allows them to test different creative elements to identify the images and messaging that best resonate with their users, ultimately optimizing for the ads that generate the most significant impact on performance.
Marketers can create themed ads for both discovery and re-engagement ahead of the date with discounts or relevant solutions, and follow up with solid retargeting ads to keep users coming back after.
Some dates may be quite obvious like Cyber Monday and Black Friday, and others may work very well for specific verticals or regions, for example:
Many users see ads and convert without actually clicking on the ad—that’s why app marketers should rely on VTA to assess which impressions are effectively driving conversions.
Enabling VTA across the complete cycle gives marketers full visibility into campaign conversions, which in turn:
Incremental performance is one of the most relevant performance indicators for app marketers aiming to grow. It is possible, and recommendable, to measure lift throughout the entire cycle. Although isolated incrementality tests for retargeting may help understand some questions related to user re-activation, assessing the real value of marketing efforts takes a comprehensive view of the complete user journey.
Ad fraud doesn’t look the same in App User Acquisition and App Retargeting, but there are some forms of defense marketers can use across the complete cycle.
A comprehensive growth plan, smartly combines User Acquisition with App Retargeting triggered at exactly the right moment. There can be no sustainable growth without engaging new users early on. While many companies speak to the advantage of running App User Acquisition and App Retargeting together, only a few offer a single platform to do it.
We’ve worked along app marketers from different verticals to drive growth across the entire app lifecycle. You can read their stories here or get in touch to see a demo and discuss how we can unlock programmatic advertising to help you drive incremental revenue for your business.
 “App Retargeting Drives 63% Revenue Uplift, 50% Higher than UA Alone,” AppsFlyer, 2019.
 “Retargeting vs. new user acquisition: Which method wins?,” Adjust, Nov 2017.