What is retargeting?

Glossary Retargeting

The definition of retargeting

Retargeting is the tactic of advertising to lapsed users who already have installed an app well after the conversion takes place. Also known as remarketing, this technique is popular because a user’s previous intent often makes them more likely to convert than new users.

For example, let’s say your mobile analytics reveals that a user has expressed interest in a product and still has your e-commerce app installed on their device – but they haven’t made a purchase in over a month. You can retarget this user with a specific offer or promotional tactic to persuade them to return to your app and fulfill the purchase. However, this marketing strategy is by no means exclusive to e-commerce. For other verticals, the conversion you’re driving could be to return to a specific level (gaming) or even to send more messages and likes to other users (social/dating).

Why is retargeting important?

There’s much debate about user acquisition versus retargeting, which usually come down to lifetime value (LTV) and ROAS. For app marketers, this poses an important question: why spend money on driving new users when you could spend the same, or much less, on those who are (or have been) further down the funnel?

While a balanced approach works best, the efficacy of retargeting can’t be ignored. It’s a successful strategy used by thousands of marketers every day, as it targets near-organic users with messages, ads, and push notifications centered on the next stage of the process.

It’s important to remember that while interest may not guarantee conversions, retargeting does help to keep your brand top-of-mind, prompting users to get to the point of conversion when they’re already very close.

What are the benefits of retargeting?

To understand how retargeting is beneficial to marketers, here are a few use case examples:

  • Inactive users: new ads remind users of the app they have already installed. This aim is to boost engagement and retention.

  • Upselling: users are shown the benefits of upgrading their membership. They can also be introduced to new apps and updates.

  • Heavy shoppers: with new ads, you can drive repeat conversions, as well as promote new products that may interest spend-heavy users.

  • Completing conversions: whether a user’s cart is full, or they haven’t completed a registration event, remarketing can help move users to the next stage of the funnel.

  • Testing: test creatives on different cohorts to see how they perform.

Retargeting and Adjust

With Adjust, retargeting valuable users is made easy. Our interface makes remarketing opportunities quickly identifiable, and the process is automatic. Adjust tracks your users the second they download your app, and our cohort analysis tools provide you with all the information you need to understand which users are meeting your post-install goals.

You can also use Adjust to discover which users are falling off the conversion chain, and at which points in the funnel users start to leave your app – users whom you want to target with retargeting campaigns. For the full scoop, take a look at our guide to the difference between retargeting and re-engagement. We also have a resource detailing the retargeting basics, with everything you need to know when getting started.

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