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App retargeting – re-engaging an overlooked and undercooked user demographic Article

At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s harder than ever for app developers to acquire new users for their apps. The cost-per-install for the most loyal customers is rising steadily and there’s so much competition within the ecosystem that developers can end up feeling like their app is a needle in a haystack made entirely of other needles. The good news is that, like any problem worth worrying about, this is one with several potential solutions.

Many approaches focus on tackling the issue head on and campaigns to acquire new users can be very effective. But a growing number of app developers are also turning to a previously overlooked and undercooked demographic. No, these aren’t your most loyal customers, they’re the ones at the other end of the spectrum, those who have fallen through the cracks: the lapsed and dormant users.

You know these customers. They downloaded your app and used it once or twice before banishing it from their home screen and burying it in a folder somewhere only to never open it again. There’s no shortage of such individuals. In fact, as many as 60% of new users will open an app less than ten times after install. After just seven days from first use, the percentage of users abandoning an app jumps to as high as 90%. After 30 days, only around 3% of users remain active for a typical app. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing growing levels of budget reallocated from acquisition campaigns and put instead towards efforts to re-engage these users.

It makes sense because these are users who have already shown a strong interest in your product – after all, they’ve opted to download and open your app. There are many reasons why they may have drifted away from it. Often, all they need is a little reminder or reason to jump back in. And this is where retargeting comes in.

The best thing about retargeting strategies is that they’re not mutually exclusive with acquisition campaigns – in fact, the two complement each other nicely. With the right strategy, developers and publishers can re-engage dormant users who haven’t used their apps in a defined period of time; driving sales within the app ecosystem by increasing user engagement through personalised incentives. In the case of an mCommerce app, these could take the form of sales promotions, vouchers or discount codes personalised to the products that a user has chosen to look at in the past; while a gaming app might instead provide users reduced prices for consumables or customisation items.

The proof of app retargeting is in the pudding. myThings runs campaigns across a variety of verticals and we’ve seen stellar results when adding app retargeting to the mix. Our customers witness significant rises in terms of in-app conversions, the number of paying users and purchasing rates specifically among re-engaged users. And unlike with retargeting services for desktop or mobile web, app re-engagement can be easily integrated with developers’ existing analytics and tracking platforms, without the need for an SDK.

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