App Marketing

Marketing to mobile users with new devices: The who, how, and why

Marne Litfin
Product Content Strategist

Mobile users with new devices are a tricky group to pin down, but they can offer big dividends for marketers––making them a group worth their own unique acquisition and engagement strategies. Why do new device owners stand out? We talked to Adjust’s Team Lead for Technical Account Management, Justin Feinman, to find out more about who these folks are, why they’re worth the extra outreach effort, and how mobile marketers can engage with them.


Who are new mobile device owners?

It’s no surprise that a lot of people receive new devices during the winter months. This makes a lot of sense: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are shopping juggernauts, spreading further around the globe each year. China has Singles Days on 11/11 and 12/12, and we see lifts during both the week before and after Christmas, and consistently throughout December. We also see a large cohort of users activate new mobile devices during major releases of new products, for example the iPhone X, the Google Pixel 2, or the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Whether they’re early adopters of new technology, upgrading an old phone, or receiving a holiday present, most users of new mobile devices tend to share a few patterns in common in how they engage with their new device.


Why target owners of new devices?

Owners of new devices, Justin explained, “will typically be more engaged with their device; kind of like when you get a new car and you end up putting more miles on it at first because it's all exciting and shiny”.

When they unwrap their new device, we typically see these users logging into their social media accounts for the first time and loading their favorite apps. For a short time after their first device activation, these users remain ripe for suggestions about new apps and are more likely to engage with ads.

Depending upon your vertical, these can be some of your most engaged users over the following days or even weeks. We have a hunch that these users have higher LTVs and a greater likelihood of making in-app purchases; they tend to stay longer in apps, too.


How can I target new device owners?

If you’re a mobile marketer who uses Adjust and you’re receiving callbacks, we’ll send you the granular raw data you need directly to your BI or CRM system, where you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of this unique user group.

Your first task is to identify patterns of when users on new devices are most likely to churn, so you can employ re-engagement tactics (such as paid media and push notifications) to entice them back into your app.

If you’re using Adjust’s partners modules, they’ll already have the data you need to get going. Both Facebook and Google give you the powerful opportunity to retarget users by device model. For example, Google provides you with the feature to upload your own advertising IDs to create a retargeting list.

You can also leverage Adjust’s raw data to create and upload lists to any network able to target by device type (Google accepts .csv files up to 100MB) - and there are plenty.


What types of messaging appeal to users of new devices?

  • A simple reminder that your app exists is a powerful re-engagement tool: users with new devices are busy getting synced up. The transition can be overwhelming and apps can get left in the dust.
  • If users transitioning to new devices need to sign back into your app in order to use it, this is a great time to remind them of the value of opting into push notifications, offer them special deals, or show them new features they may have missed on their old device.
  • For users who have recently flashed their cash for top-of-the-line phone models, consider targeting with ‘premium’ messaging, exclusive offers, and secret tips.
  • ‘Re’-targeting for pre-installed apps. With the release of SDK 4.12, Adjust is able to offer attribution for apps that come pre-installed. By working with a partner like Digital Turbine, it’s possible to encourage users to explore their new devices and discover an app they didn’t realize they already had.

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