4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Mobile Retargeting Ads


Insights & Best Practices

May 17, 2017


min read

[avatar user="LenaKordbacheh" size="thumbnail" align="left"]Lena Kordbacheh | Developer Relations, EU[/avatar]Churn is just as inevitable as death and taxes. Whether users play for a month or a year, whether they?re an occasional dabbler or your biggest spender, every player will someday churn out of your game.Often, the best way to bring back these players is a technique called ?retargeting?. Retargeting works by showing ads only to specific players that you?ve identified. So if you have a group of people who spent $1,000 or more but haven?t returned to your game in over a week, you can make a bid to get them back.You might be unsure of how to leverage retargeting or consider it too expensive or that it might be too much time to explore. But retargeting is worth it! There are four key concepts you need to know to use retargeting ads effectively.

Advertise Around a Major Update

When you think about re-engagement, this is done well when targeting your demo or playerbase around a major app update or season event. But re-engagement is different than retargeting; retargeting is more specific. it?s aimed at a player who has installed, and has churned, and has spent significantly (this last point is not required, but highly recommended).Updates and events are still the right way to target these churned users. It?s also a good idea to offer specific incentives, like extra coins or gems, and use an ad deeplink to direct the player to a special screen. It?s best to only use large updates for retargeting: churned users won?t find a small update appealing enough to come back for.

Not as Expensive As It Looks

It?s generally true that retargeting has higher up-front costs per user than normal campaigns But the payoff is worth it. Due to the very specific targeting, developers may end up paying say $15 per install, for instance, versus $5 for a normal campaign. An average user acquired through normal campaigns may have an LTV of $20 or $30. A retargeted user who previously spent $2000 is no ?average? user: the $15 CPI will be paid off many times over.

LTV Isn?t the Basis for Measuring Retargeting

There?s a little secret among companies that do retarget: most don?t bother trying to do retargeting on an LTV basis. Sure, LTV against CPI is gospel for almost all mobile ad campaigns. But retargeting is a different beast.Retargeting is different from other ad types when it comes to performance analysis. Because you?re bringing back lapsed users, data already exists for the player. For most analysis tools, that makes calculating the post-retargeting LTV of the user difficult.Here?s why: the users you?re re-acquiring through retargeting have a proven high value. There?s also a hard limit on the supply of users who have spent a lot in your game and then churned, not to mention major app updates to advertise against, so it?s difficult to create an optimization loop around retargeting. Most companies view retargeting campaigns as a special case that requires less stringent post-install analysis.Generally, you can analyze your retargeting using a simpler schema than LTV, such as checking total revenue from high-spend players the month after running retargeting.

Retargeting Doesn?t Need to Take Much Time

Often acquisition teams are limited where they can spend their time and resources - it?s always a balancing act. Marketers may avoid retargeting rather spend time on acquiring new users. But retargeting is actually easy to incorporate in your long term strategy. Retargeting really works best when you?ve got high-value churned users to target, alongside a big app update. One day a month, set aside that time to integrate a retargeting campaign for your apps. This single day is worth the time investment to bring back your best players.