Calling all app marketers – are you looking for a new method to engage users who may be dragging their feet when it comes to conversions or taking a completion action? Whether consumers have visited an app store listing or clicked on an in-app ad, mobile retargeting can be an effective way to re-engage dormant users and acquire new ones. Especially in times of high seasonality or new product launches, mobile retargeting is a technique that can increase awareness, engage desired users, and encourage conversion.

What is Mobile Retargeting?

Mobile retargeting is a strategy that involves showing advertisements to users who have previously engaged with a marketer’s ads or app. Retargeting ads are meant to target users who have previously engaged with a brand via mobile web, an app store listing, or in-app ads. When employing mobile retargeting, mobile marketers can engage both an existing user base, and new users who have not yet converted but have recently expressed interest by engaging with ads.

Benefits of Mobile Retargeting

Capitalize on Interest

Many users visit the app store and scroll through various app listings when in search of a particular service. While looking for a specific product or service, app marketers can capitalize on users’ interests to go beyond just awareness and deliver more specific messaging. For example, a user visits the app store in search of a mobile banking app; let’s say the user clicked on your app listing, but never ended up installing the app. With the help of a Cost-Per-Install (CPI) campaign, you, the marketer, can capitalize on this interest and serve the user retargeted mobile ads. According to eMarketer, 30% of people have a positive opinion about retargeted ads.

Drive Sales 

Mobile app retargeting has the ability to increase many lower-funnel conversions, including sign-ups, app installs, in-app conversions, account linking, and more. According to DigiDay, many businesses have seen a 50-60% increase in conversion rates when utilizing retargeting. Higher conversions rates mean more efficient use of ad spend, as well as strong ROI – what could be better than that? Given that apps running retargeted ads tend to see a 50% higher share of paying users, it is evident that these campaigns directly and consistently support performance and profitability.


There is a 62% lower cost for mobile app marketers to generate a lead when running retargeting campaigns. Retargeted ads are one of the most “bang for your buck” campaigns that app marketers can run, with a click-through-rate (CTR) 10 times higher than display ads, and 2 to 100 times less expensive than search ads. 

Retargeting Best Practices 

A/B Testing

To ensure efficiency from a conversion standpoint, no mobile retargeting campaign is complete without running diligent A/B testing. Testing should be employed on target consumer segments to understand which variations in calls-to-action (CTAs), in-app messaging, and app listing creatives drive users to engage and convert the most. A/B testing for mobile marketers can include two areas of an app: engaging in-app content, such as UI, personalized onboarding, or CTAs, and visually creative app store pages to drive new users. For example, ​​A/B testing visual creatives on the app store page has been found to result in a 19-26% increase in conversion on average. 

At Perform[cb], our publishers have the ability to simplify the A/B testing process of their offers. With PerformLEAP’s Weighted Distribution feature, publishers can house all tests using just one link, saving time and generating more accurate reporting. A/B testing eliminates guesswork, instead allowing app marketers to make data-driven decisions.

Cost-Per-Engagement (CPE) Campaigns

In order to effectively utilize retargeted ads across the mobile space and guarantee desired KPIs, app marketers must take advantage of running cost-per-engagement (CPE) campaigns. The CPE pricing model focuses on user engagement rather than clicks or impressions, meaning app marketers will only pay once a user has engaged with their ad. CPE campaigns have the ability to be highly-targeted, which can further increase the overall quality of converting users – perfect when used in accordance with retargeted ads. A popular photo printing app came to Perform[cb] looking to run a CPE campaign and increase new purchases in-app. The Perform[cb] team ended up driving over 130,000 first-time purchases for the photo printing app. 

Personalization & Frequency 

There are many components to consider when developing a mobile retargeting strategy, such as when to start, for which audience, and frequency. Understanding these factors is critical, as impersonal messaging and rapid frequency can potentially damage a new customer relationship. 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending them irrelevant marketing messages and prefer personalized ads over blast communications. App marketers should use retargeting to deliver specific, personalized messages to users, for example, about a service they have searched for on the app store or items they have added to their cart in a shopping app. Given 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that show them personalized ads, mobile marketers can capitalize on this opportunity and push users to convert by offering a personalized promo code or free trial

While consumers appreciate personalization, app marketers should also be aware of the frequency at which they are sending out retargeted ads. 77% of US consumers report that seeing too many ads from the same company annoys them. By utilizing frequency capping, mobile marketers can avoid overexposing users to retargeted ads. 

Ready to Craft a Winning Retargeting Campaign? 

Although many try to pick between user acquisition and app retargeting, the best thing is to use both strategies in tandem. It is not enough to simply acquire new users – the key is to convince them to want to use the app over and over again. Being that retargeting is a strategy that mobile app marketers can use year-round, it’s important to work with a trusted user acquisition network. Contact Perform[cb]’s team of user acquisition experts today to develop your mobile retargeting strategy to reach your desired customers.