The Insider’s Guide
Case StudyTrademob Insider Series
The mobile landscape is changing. Users are spending
more time in less apps1
, while the Apple App Store and
Google Play Store have never had more apps on offer2
On top of that, the cost of acquiring new users
is rising steadily3
This means that it is no longer an app advertiser’s singular
goal to get as many users into the app as possible. While a
large user base is of course preferable to a small one, the
quality of users is becoming more and more important.
Developers and advertisers aim for loyal users who engage
with the app. Mobile app retargeting can help to re-engage
dormant users, unlocking the potential
of the app’s sleeping giants.
Retargeting is a distinct service offering in mobile
advertising. This is due to two main reasons: the users who
are targeted are already familiar with the product or brand,
and it takes place almost exclusively via programmatic
means. In this guide we will explain why retargeting is
important, how it works and how it can make an app more
profitable at a much lower cost than acquiring new users.
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Advertisers looking to start a retargeting
campaign must ensure they have the following
1. A solid user base
An effective retargeting campaign requires a
certain user base size. This varies according to the
app type. Each user’s device has a device ID (IDFA
in the case of iOS and Google Advertising ID for
Android). A list of these is essential, so that the
campaign can target individual users.
2. A tracking solution
This is vital for a retargeting campaign. The
tracking solution must be capable of retargeting
matching (clicks and actions are matched) and (re-)
3. Deep linking
The app must be capable of providing deep links
that take users directly into the app. This way,
banner ads can be more specific and therefore
As many as
only open an app
10 times or less
Requirements for Mobile App Retargeting
Sleeping Giants: The Dormant Potential in Your
The Mobile App Retargeting Process
While apps are being downloaded at a record rate of up
to 48,000 per minute4
, the chance of an app being used
regularly after it was downloaded is pretty low. One fifth of
apps are only opened once they were downloaded and as
many as 60% of apps are opened ten times or less5
since something encouraged the user to download an app
in the first place, this can and should be leveraged – by
retargeting the user.
1 User Segmentation
For retargeting to work effectively, it is essential to divide the app’s user base into different
groups based on their activity within the app. For example, three groups of a retail app
could include inactive users, those with abandoned baskets and heavy shoppers.
Each group needs to have a different, individualized message communicated to them to
inactive userInactive User Abandoned
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2 Banner Design
After segmenting effectively, these groups can then be retargeted using bespoke messaging.
Banners should be designed based on the user’s behavior in the app.
Come back! Complete
purchase! Buy more!
3 Delivery via Mobile RTB Traffic
The mobile DSP is capable of buying ad spots from publishers using programmatic
Retargeting presents a compelling answer
to today’s complex issues of changing
technologies and evolving user behavior – at
reduced costs. With the added inclusion of
programmatic methods via RTB, retargeting
truly offers an unbeatable solution.
A B C
The publisher reports a free
advertising space to the SSP and
transmits the device ID of the
user who is visiting the app.
The DSP recognizes if the device ID be-
longs to a specific user cohort. Then it cal-
culates the value of a particular ad space
and bids on behalf of the advertiser.
If the space is won, the DSP
delivers the tailored adver-
tising banner to the user in
Results of Mobile App Retargeting
cheaper to re-engage a
dormant user through
retargeting than to
acquire a new one
higher conversion rate
compared to mobile