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15 Best Mobile Retargeting Practices For Success


Mobile phones have become an inseparable part of our lives. We use them for everything from communicating with friends and family, to checking the weather forecast, to playing games and listening to music. With so many people using apps on their mobile devices, it’s no wonder that mobile retargeting has become a popular marketing tool.

4 out of 5 people use their mobile devices to shop.


When it comes to the subject of mobile app marketing, a fundamental concept that has gained much attention in recent times is that of mobile retargeting. In essence, it refers to the process of deliberately targeting those users who have already installed your app with ad campaigns and various messaging initiatives with the intention of coaxing them into using it more frequently. It is widely considered to be an incredibly effective approach to augmenting your app’s marketing efforts as it enables you to specifically target your most ardently-engaged users with tailored content.

However, the efficacy of your retargeting efforts is contingent on implementing certain best practices that can help your app penetrate the market and achieve the success it deserves. In fact, by leveraging the following 15 tactics, you can ensure that your app attains the pinnacle of its potential and resonates with its intended audience.

15 Mobile Retargeting Practices For Your Mobile Marketing

Mobile Retargeting Practice #1: Use App Events to Target Engaged Users

When it comes to the intricate world of app development, it’s safe to say that app events occupy a preeminent position as a means of gauging user engagement. By meticulously tracking these events, developers can gain invaluable insights into which users are most fervently engrossed with their app, thereby enabling them to fashion bespoke retargeting initiatives to further cultivate this level of engagement.

Now, while the concept of app events may seem relatively straightforward, the number of events that can be tracked is nothing short of staggering. From app installs to in-app purchases, and even app opens, there exists a myriad of events that developers can keep tabs on to achieve a more nuanced understanding of user behavior. So, in essence, tracking app events is a multi-faceted pursuit that requires a deft hand and a keen eye for detail, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #2: Use Custom Audiences to Target Specific Groups of Users

mobile retargeting

The creation of custom audiences facilitates the ability to direct retargeting campaigns towards select cohorts of users. To elucidate, such audiences can be tailored to users who have, for instance, conducted an in-app purchase, or alternatively, to those who have installed an app but have yet to complete a purchase. By honing in on these specific groups of users, one can effectively heighten the efficacy of retargeting endeavors.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #3: Use Lookalike Audiences to Target Similar Users

The targeting of users, who bear resemblance to extant customers, is made possible through the deployment of lookalike audiences. Such a strategy is an efficacious means of penetrating novel users, who are liable to evince a vested interest in one’s app.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #4: Use Dynamic Ads to Target Engaged Users

Dynamic ads present a remarkable opportunity to optimize user engagement by offering content that is particularly pertinent to their interests. The efficacy of dynamic ads stems from their adaptability; by presenting distinct ads to distinct users contingent on their app interactions, the user experience is tailored to their unique behaviors.

For instance, if a user has not yet made a purchase in your app, you can offer them an exclusive deal to incite conversion. Alternatively, if a user has previously made a purchase but hasn’t accessed your app recently, you can advertise a different product or service to incentivize re-engagement. In essence, the versatility of dynamic ads allows for unparalleled customization and specificity, driving superior user engagement and business outcomes.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #5: Use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads to Target Engaged Users

Remarketing lists for search ads offer a powerful tool for precision targeting of engaged users with ads that are germane to their search queries. This methodology involves crafting distinct ads that are served to users based on their past interactions with your app.

For instance, if you have a fitness tracking app and a user has previously installed your app but hasn’t accessed it in the past week, you can showcase an ad that appears when they search for “fitness tracker” on Google, enticing them to re-engage with your app. By leveraging remarketing lists for search ads, you can optimize your ad strategy to capture the attention of users who are already familiar with your app, thereby facilitating conversions and maximizing business impact.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #6: Keep Your Ads Fresh

To maintain optimal user engagement with your retargeting ads, it is imperative to avoid monotony by continually introducing fresh ad content. The human psyche has a proclivity towards novelty, and users can grow disillusioned with repetitive ads, diminishing the efficacy of your ad strategy. To combat this, endeavor to diversify your ad campaigns on a regular basis, leveraging A/B testing to evaluate which ads are most efficacious. This iterative process allows for the optimization of ad content to better align with the preferences and behaviors of your target audience, resulting in enhanced engagement and greater business impact.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #7: Use Different Ad Formats

Diversity in ad formats is a key factor for retargeting success. The ad landscape presents a panoply of options, including banner ads, interstitial ads, and native ads, among others. The efficacy of each format varies based on numerous factors, such as user preferences and context.

Thus, to maximize the impact of your retargeting campaigns, it’s advisable to experiment with different ad formats and gauge which ones elicit the most favorable responses from your target audience. This adaptability in ad strategy not only facilitates higher engagement but also optimizes user experience, resulting in enhanced satisfaction and loyalty.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #8: Test Different Ad Creatives

Effective mobile retargeting practices necessitate a multifaceted approach to ad optimization. One such aspect is testing different ad creatives to identify the most efficacious formats. Employing A/B testing is a robust methodology to experiment with varied headlines, images, and calls-to-action, offering granular insight into the effectiveness of each ad component.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #9: Use Negative Feedback Loops

Negative feedback loops provide invaluable feedback to improve retargeting campaigns by pinpointing ineffective ads and preemptively halting their dissemination to users. Negative feedback loops are initiated when an ad is presented to a user and they take action to signal their disinterest, such as clicking the “x” to close the ad. By incorporating these practices into your retargeting strategy, you can achieve higher engagement rates, optimize user experience, and maximize business impact.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #10: Use Positive Feedback Loops

Positive feedback loops enhance your retargeting campaigns by identifying ads that demonstrate optimal performance, and subsequently, showcasing them to a greater number of users. A positive feedback loop ensues when an advertisement is presented to a user, who then takes an action indicating their interest in the ad. Examples of such actions include clicking on the advertisement or installing the associated application.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #11: Use Custom Events to Target Engaged Users

Customized events provide the opportunity to effectively reach out to users who demonstrate an exceptional level of engagement with pertinent advertisements. These app-specific events comprise a range of activities such as accomplishing a particular level in a game or making a purchase. Targeting users who participate in such events ensures that your advertising campaigns are meticulously customized to cater to the specific audience that is most likely to view them.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #12: Use In-App Messaging to Target Engaged Users

In-app messaging is an effective method to target engaged users with pertinent messages, and therefore, constitutes the twelfth mobile retargeting practice. In-app messages are messages that appear within the application, either on the home screen or in the app’s settings. Targeting these messages ensures that they are more relevant to the users who see them, thus increasing the likelihood of engagement.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #13: Retarget Non-Engaged Users

This retargeting practice is centered around retargeting non-engaged users, as these users are the most probable to delete your application. Non-engaged users are individuals who have installed your app but have not used it within the past week. By targeting these users with ads that encourage the use of your app or with special offers that expire if the app is not used within a certain time frame, you may increase the likelihood of engagement and reduce the chance of app deletion.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #14: Use Dynamic Creative to Target Different Segments

Dynamic creative emphasizes the utilization of dynamic creative to target different segments of users. Dynamic creative enables the display of various versions of an ad to distinct segments of users. For instance, users who have installed your app but not used it in the previous week can be presented with a different ad than those who have used your app within the past week. This customization of ads for diverse user segments enhances the potential for improved results.

Mobile Retargeting Practice #15: Vary Your Budget Based on Results

Variation of your budget based on results is a crucial aspect of the fifteenth mobile retargeting practice. Adapting your budget based on campaign results is imperative to achieving optimal outcomes. If you are not receiving the desired results from your retargeting campaigns, you should contemplate increasing your budget. Alternatively, if you are experiencing favorable results, a reduction in your budget may be a prudent approach to conserving expenses.

Examples of Businesses Who Used Mobile Retargeting

There are several businesses that adopted the above-mentioned practices for a successful marketing campaign. Businesses like Coca-Cola, Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb, Hershey’s, and many more have generated millions in their mobile application retargeting campaigns.

Coca-Cola- The goal of the campaign that coca-cola hosted was to target people who have installed their application but did not use it by showing ads that influenced them to use the app. This campaign was a success and has increased the app usage by 9%.

Amazon- Amazon employed dynamic creativity, which enabled the presentation of diverse ads to distinct user segments, enhancing their campaign’s results. They customized ads for users who had installed their app but not used it in the previous week, among others, which proved fruitful.

Netflix- Netflix’s prosperous marketing campaign relied on targeting engaged users with relevant ads by targeting custom events. This involved users who had completed a level in a game or made a purchase, among other events. By doing so, they were able to increase their app’s usage by a noteworthy 7%.

Airbnb- And finally, Airbnb executed a prosperous marketing campaign by employing in-app messaging that was targeted to users who had installed their app but not used it in the past week. By utilizing this approach, they were able to augment their app’s usage by a significant 10%.

FAQs On Mobile Retargeting

1. Is mobile retargeting costly?

Mobile retargeting is one of the most economical marketing choices out there with a campaign costing as little as $5 per day.

2. How long does it take to see results from a mobile retargeting campaign?

The time it takes for mobile retargeting campaigns to exhibit results varies depending on the campaign’s nature. Some campaigns may unfurl their results in a few days, while others may take weeks to reap the fruits of the campaign.

3. Are there any risks associated with mobile retargeting?

There are inherent risks in mobile retargeting. These hazards include showing ads to apathetic users who have no interest in your app or who have already uninstalled it.

4. What are the benefits of mobile retargeting?

Mobile retargeting has several advantages and many of those that we have discussed earlier, such as reaching out to broader spectrum of audience, improved app engagement, and increasing the app usage. But the benefits are not limited to the ones mentioned above, you are bound to increase your sales with mobile retargeting. What more could a business wish for?

5. How do I know if my mobile retargeting campaign is successful?

Evaluating the triumph of a mobile retargeting campaign can be accomplished through various metrics, such as measuring the impressions, click rate, number of installations, or purchases that the campaign has generates. Also, you can measure the number of users who return to your app after seeing an ad to ensure your campaign is a resounding success.


Whether you are looking to expand your customer base or even get potential customers to use your app, mobile targeting is a game changer in the market. By using these 15 practices, you can ensure that your app reaches its target audience and garners the success it deserves. Mobile retargeting involves targeting users who have already installed your app with ads and messages that encourage them to use it more often.

And if you want to get started today with your campaign, 12 Channels can help. We are a digital marketing agency that specializes in mobile retargeting. Visit our website to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve success with your mobile app marketing campaign.

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