Top 4 Retargeting Strategies to Maximize On-Demand Mobile App Revenue | Remerge | Open the microphone

Top 4 Retargeting Strategies to Maximize On-Demand Mobile App Revenue |  Remerge |  Open the microphone

In this article, we review data-driven retargeting strategies that app businesses can use to improve revenue and retention. We also discuss how user data plays a role in delivering personalized and effective advertising campaigns.

The rise of on-demand platforms and the channels they promote

In a digital-first world, consumers are accustomed to convenience and immediacy. From streaming services and food delivery to e-commerce and comparison sites, we can fulfill our needs with just a few clicks on a smartphone. Apps and websites quickly offered digital solutions to previously offline products and experiences – paving the way for today’s on-demand economy. The industry has grown tremendously since its inception, most notably between 2016 and 2019, when the number of on-demand customers more than doubled. Today, for example, it is estimated that more than 50 million people in America alone regularly use food delivery apps.

In recent years, the increased competition in the field of applications has led to a gradual but inevitable plateau in market penetration. This means that on-demand businesses (and the ad agencies that represent them) are forced to make more strategic marketing decisions to ensure customer growth and revenue. Although the approach may vary depending on the products or services offered, a wide range of advertising channels have proven suitable for most on-demand businesses – including offline channels such as satellite television or out-of-home advertising such as billboards.

However, because on-demand businesses exist as web- or app-based platforms and can leverage extensive data points collected about their users, online marketing channels are generally the most valuable for running targeted and performance-driven campaigns. Owned channels like organic social, email marketing, and push notifications are not only free, but a great way to re-engage existing customers. On the other hand, paid channels (such as social media and in-app ads) are arguably even more valuable because they can be tied directly to your app’s data stream. This helps you identify and target new customers while allowing you to retarget your existing user base.

The importance of combining user acquisition and retargeting

Advertising an on-demand business through paid online channels requires a two-pronged approach. The first stage is user acquisition (UA), in which ads typically focus on conveying brand awareness and product benefits to potential customers who have not yet downloaded the app. The purpose of these ads is to acquire new users and increase install rates. Getting users to download your app is only the first step in the marketing funnel, however, as a new install doesn’t guarantee that the user will make a purchase from the app or even interact with it. Studies have shown that in 2022, 49% of all apps downloaded will be uninstalled within the first 30 days.

Since revenue and retention are the keys to business success, the next phase of your marketing strategy should include retargeting campaigns. Retargeting is when you show ads to existing users who have already installed your app. By segmenting these users based on their in-app behavior, you can show them personalized messages that prompt them to take specific actions—like registering an account after installation, using certain in-app features, or first time and repeat purchases. This helps move users through the sales funnel and reduces customer churn. It also drives retention, in-app engagements, and revenue events like purchases that increase user lifetime value (LTV).

Retargeting campaign ideas and best practices

Once you’ve set up and optimized your UA ads to continually acquire new users, it’s time to think about which retargeting campaigns you want to run to keep new and existing users using your app. As mentioned, the traditional approach to retargeting is to segment users based on where they are in the sales funnel and then serve ads with personalized messages to bring each group closer to the point of purchase. This approach addresses key stages of the user journey and can scale to the entire user base – but there are many specific campaign types and user signals that app businesses can use to improve their ad performance and return on ad spend (ROAS).

1. Timing
On-demand apps are used spontaneously by their customers – but that doesn’t mean their behavior is hard to predict. By analyzing the purchase history of your existing users, you can retarget them with ads ahead of the peak sales period. For example, a food delivery app can increase sales by retargeting users shortly before a meal. Couple this with a sense of urgency (for example, offer a discount at your favorite restaurant if you order before 1pm) and the user is much more likely to make an in-app purchase.

2. Geographic targeting
In-app and social media advertising also offers the opportunity to retarget your existing users based on their location. While segmenting your audience to target specific geographies can be somewhat time-consuming, on-demand apps can benefit from it in a number of ways. For example, people living in areas relatively poorly served by supermarkets or public transportation may be more inclined to buy from on-demand apps that deliver groceries or offer mobility services—such as car rentals and bike rentals.

3. Personalized recommendations
On-demand applications with a wide range of products (such as shopping platforms) can use the user’s previous purchases and recommend products that they might want to buy in the future. You can target users with ads for a product they’ve viewed before but never bought, or you can advertise to them a product they’ve bought a few times in the past and want to buy again. You can even introduce completely new products to users, knowing that these products have proven popular among users with similar characteristics.

4. Dynamic product advertisements
Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) can connect to an app’s “product catalog” and automatically populate themselves with relevant product offers based on the attributes of the retargeted user. This means you don’t need a fresh ad and copy for every product ad, as the information comes directly from the app. You can even use deeplinks in DPAs so that when a retargeted user clicks on your ad, they go directly to that product within your app. This allows for a much shorter user journey as the user does not have to manually search for the product in the app.

Because in-app ads and social media can deliver highly personalized ads, it makes sense to use both channels to facilitate data-driven retargeting strategies like the one outlined above. Facebook’s advertising tools are useful self-serve platforms that allow your team to easily and independently experiment with retargeting campaigns. In contrast, in-app advertising (where your ads appear in other apps) is done in collaboration with a mobile advertising partner – also known as a display-side platform or DSP. While DSPs (such as Remerge) are typically “managed services” rather than self-service platforms, they offer unique benefits such as greater flexibility for customization, more personalized support, access to higher quality users, and better overall performance for experience and thanks to experience. expertise developed by managed DSPs.


Marketers tasked with promoting on-demand apps must advertise strategically to generate revenue in an increasingly competitive market. User acquisition campaigns are as important as ever to drive app growth, but retargeting remains the best way to retain users and increase customer lifetime. App businesses can work with a number of advertising channels, but the most valuable for retargeting are paid online channels such as social media or in-app ads. These channels can be connected to an app’s data stream to leverage real-time customer insights, such as their shopping habits, current time, or current location. This allows app businesses to identify and retarget their existing users with personalized ads that are most likely to convert.

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