Mobile retargeting, or mobile app retargeting, means showing advertisements to people who have previously engaged with your website or your mobile app. These ads will try to drive users to a specific page of your app. It helps you maximize your returns from potential and present customers, and also increases your brand awareness.

According to eMarketer, 3 out of 5 viewers notice and consider visiting the product for which they have already seen on another website. Another study shows that retargeted website visitors are more likely to convert to sales by 43%. 

Retargeting your ads includes showing advertisements to both present and potential customers. For example, you could retarget a person who visited your ecommerce website but didn’t download your app. On the other hand, you could also show an ad to someone who has already downloaded your app and made a purchase to keep them engaged with the app.

Retargeting is a way of making the most out of the people who have come across your service at least once.

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What is mobile retargeting? 

Mobile retargeting is based on the deep links technology. Deep links are the links that directly lead a user to a page on an app on their phone when they click on it. 

For mobile retargeting to work, the deep link should lead the user to a relevant page on the mobile app, and not always the home screen. An example of a deep link would be someone’s Instagram profile link on Facebook. When you tap on the profile link, Instagram automatically opens on your phone, and instead of the home page, it takes you to the profile of the person you click. That is a deep link.

In case a person doesn’t have the mobile app, the link should lead them to the App Store or Google Play Store. For example, if you have visited or bought from the Amazon website at least once and don’t have the Amazon app on your phone, then you will be led to Amazon app’s download page when you click on a product advertisement on Facebook by Amazon.

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What are the benefits of mobile retargeting?

These are the reasons you should be using mobile retargeting:

More sales

Retargeted online users are 70% more likely to convert into a paying customer. 

Retargeting is also a way of customer retention. According to Investp, an existing customer is 60% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more than a new one. Additionally, according to Spiralytics, the average click-through rate (CTR) for display ads is 0.07%, while the average CTR for retargeted ads is about 0.7%. 

Highly precise way of selling

With mobile retargeting, you not only pitch your mobile app and its services to random people on the internet, you are showing ads to people who have at the very least bought once or have the probability of buying from you.

92% of customers visit a brand’s website for the first time to browse or look around but not buy. By retargeting, you maximize the chances of people actually buying after visiting your site. 

Brand awareness

Mobile retargeting helps improve brand awareness by reminding people about your company and its services. It helps create a favorable image of your brand in people’s minds. According to eMarketer, 30% of people have a positive or a very positive reaction to retargeted ads. 

Constantly letting people hear about the good things about your company is definitely going to create a great impact on your branding. This is the reason 70% of marketers use search retargeting as their primary technique to increase brand awareness. 

More engagement with your app

According to Localytics, 21% of mobile users abandon an application after one use. Additionally, 71% of app users churn within 90 days.

With more than 2.87 million apps on the Google PlayStore and 2 million on the App Store, there is a lot of competition in the app market. Retargeting ads by including updates, special offers, and new features will provide people a reason to continue using your application and not go for another app providing the same service.


As seen in the statistics above, retargeted ads have a higher Click Through Rate (CTR) as compared to other ads. Moreover, retargeting ad clicks can cost 2 to 100 times less than the general search ads in competitive industries like health, finance, IT, e-commerce, and business.

Showing retargeting ads cost less than creating ads for people to see the same ad for the first time. Furthermore, they bring in more revenue than general ads. 9% of brands allocate a separate special budget for their retargeting efforts.

What are the best practices for mobile retargeting?

Now that you know what retargeting is and why it is necessary, we discuss the right way to approach mobile retargeting:

Start by defining your goals

For mobile retargeting, you start by clearly defining the goals of what you want to do with your advertisements. Normally, these are the three things brands want to achieve with their mobile retargeting strategies.

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve app engagement
  • Increase conversions and ROI (make a sale / download)

Your audience and the type of advertisements you do vary depending on your goal of creating an ad. 

For brand awareness, your audience can be both your existing customers and ones who are interested in your services.

To improve app engagement, you should focus on people who already have downloaded the app. This includes people who have bought from you, and those who have already viewed your products but haven’t bought from you.

For conversions and ROI, you may target your app users if you want to make a sale, or look for prospects if you want app downloads.

Segment your audience

The more you can segment your audience, the better the results you will get because you can be more specific with your retargeting. You can do it on the basis of your customer’s demographics like geography, age, sex, and etc., and their behavior on your website or app.

Generally, these are the audience segments in a retargeting ad based on the behavior:

Cold audience: Cold audience are the people who haven’t watched your advertisement though they fit into the business’s target demographic. For example, if you are marketing a tennis mobile game on Facebook, your cold audience is a person who has a smartphone and likes the Wimbledon Open’s page.

A cold audience hasn’t visited your website yet, but they have a good chance of converting if they do.

Warm audience: Warm audience are people who have visited your website, but haven’t downloaded your application. 

Hot audience: A hot audience, in the case of mobile app marketing, is someone who has downloaded your application, but hasn’t used it. For example, they may have downloaded your ecommerce app and visited a product, but haven’t bought anything yet.

App users: They are active app users.

The idea is to create different types of advertisements for different classes of audience, keeping these audiences in mind.

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Don’t be annoying with your ads

You want your customers to engage more with your application. That doesn’t mean you should overwhlem them with ads to the point you become irritating.

77.4% of US customers report that seeing too many ads from the same retailer annoys them. The irritation will be even more so if you show ads to people who have already purchased your product.

One of the reasons we do segmentation is to regulate the number of ads shown to different classes of customers. You don’t need to feed your app users as many ads as you would do to a cold audience.

While showing ads, you should use both frequency and recency capping:

Frequency Capping: Frequency capping means limiting the number of times a banner ad is shown to a user in a specific period of time.

Frequency capping avoids overexposing people to ads. It helps maximize your CTR and helps in effective ad budget management by reaching more audiences. For example, if you have paid $10 to show your ads 1000 times, frequency capping will ensure that instead of those 1000 times being used for the same audiences many times, you will reach more users when you limit the number of times a person can be shown an ad.

Finding the perfect frequency cap is a matter of experiment. You start a minimum with 1 ad per 24 hours (or a set period of time), and then gradually increase the frequency until you get the most optimum CTR. 

What Is Mobile Retargeting and How to Optimize It for Perfect Results 4The table measures how the CTR changes with increasing frequency cap for a company. After a lot of experimenting, they found out that a frequency capping of three works the best for them.

Recency capping: Recency capping is the amount of time between specific ads shown to a user. Frequency capping means controlling the number of times an ad is shown during a period of time, while recency capping means setting a minimum time between two instances of an ad on a user’s screen.

For the best CTR, you should use frequency and recency capping together. It is all experimental: you should set your frequency and recency depending on what converts the most.

Use personalization

Personalization means creating something to meet someone’s individual requirements. It is the key to every type of advertisement, including mobile retargeting. As personalization involves tailoring your ads for a single person, it provides you the highest level of relevancy. 

91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that show them personalized recommendations. 

You need to track the behavior of your application users and show them ads accordingly. Your deep links should also follow the theory of personalization.

Say that you have an ecommerce site. One of your customers put some items in a cart but didn’t check out. You decide to show them the ad of the product again.

When the user clicks on the ad link, you will increase your chances of selling if you can lead them directly to the product checkout screen that they left previously.

Don’t only focus on unconverted customers

This is one of the biggest mistakes during mobile retargeting. You don’t only reshow ads to people who didn’t download your app or use a service.You also need to target your existing customers.

Here are some important customer retention statistics:

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while the chance of selling to a new person is 5 to 20 percent. 65% of a company’s business comes from its existing customer base. 

A typical business loses 15% of its customers each year. You need to be careful not to lose your customers, because as you can see from the above statistics, the cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than retaining an existing customer. 

In addition to those above stats, according to Criteo, after re-engaging an app user through retargeting, the user is 30% more likely to return to you and shop from the app without further encouragement. 

What are the most popular mobile retargeting platforms?

Retargeting ads will perform the best when you place them on the right platforms. Here are the best mobile retargeting companies that can help you reach the right audience with your adverts:

Google Ads

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The Google network has more than 2 billion active users on Android alone, making Google Ads a perfect place to show your retargeted ads.

Google allows these types of retargeting (remarketing) ads:

Standard remarketing: Standard remarketing means showing ads to past visitors of your website. It is based on cookies, which are small text files sent by the websites you visit to your browser to remember your information. For example, cookies help remember your login information, so you won’t have to sign in every time you visit a site.

Standard remarketing uses the cookies in the user’s browsers to know they have visited your site. This helps Google ad networks to show them the ad.

Dynamic retargeting: Dynamic Retargeting is mostly helpful for ecommerce websites and applications. It shows the ads of specific products that the user opened on your website, but didn’t buy. 

Remarketing lists for search ads: Again, this one is for ecommerce sites and apps. This time, you show ads to people if they have looked for a product on your website, didn’t buy it, but later searched for the same item again on Google.

Video remarketing: Video Remarketing shows ads to people who have watched your YouTube videos before. It is helpful mostly for you when you create a trailer or an ad for your mobile app on your YouTube channel.

Customer list remarketing: You can submit your customer’s email addresses to show ads to them.

You can visit this link to know more about how you can start a Google Retargeting ad campaign.

Facebook Custom Audience

Facebook has more than 2.45 billion monthly active users. Additionally, an average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month. Furthermore, 94% of the platform’s ad revenue comes from mobile users, making it one of the best mobile retargeting companies.

What Is Mobile Retargeting and How to Optimize It for Perfect Results 6You can create ads for various objectives, including brand awareness, reach, and traffic. 

To start a retargeting campaign, first, you will need to install Facebook pixel events on your website. The Facebook pixel is a code that you place on your site, which syncs your website with your Facebook page. It helps you to record the traffic that comes to your website from Facebook, and also lets you gain insights to people’s behavior on your site so that you can create better ads optimizations in the future.

Facebook pixel creates and stores cookies in your visitor’s browsers to know things such as how often they visit your website, which pages they open, and also what they buy.

After that, you can create a custom audience based on their actions on your website, and also look-alike audience (they aren’t your customer, but have similar browsing habits to your custom audience).

Facebook ads provide you with a very comprehensive way to segment your audience.

What Is Mobile Retargeting and How to Optimize It for Perfect Results 7Custom audience for a video in Facebook ads.

You can also be highly specific with your custom audience in the case of e-commerce sites. You can track customer’s behavior and show ads to:

  • Visitors who haven’t purchased in the last 30 days.·        
  • People who abandoned a cart.
  • Buyers in the last 180 days.  
  • People who watched your video up to a certain percentage.
  • People who opened your website.

What Is Mobile Retargeting and How to Optimize It for Perfect Results 8Creating a custom audience for a website

Visit this link to know about how you can set up a Facebook Retargeting ad campaign.

Twitter Ads

Twitter may not be as popular as Facebook. Still, with 330 million active monthly users and 145 million active daily users, brands that have a large following on social media can use it as an effective mobile retargeting platform.

What Is Mobile Retargeting and How to Optimize It for Perfect Results 9Twitter ad setup.

Twitter’s ads service is just as comprehensive as Facebook, allowing users to show ads for followers, website clicks, video views, engagement, app installs, awareness, and other campaign objectives. Audience segmentation can be done on the basis of demography like gender, age, location, language, and behaviors like search keywords, events, conversation topics, etc.

Twitter has a feature known as tailored audiences, which allows publishers to show advertisements to specific people who have visited their website. Check their blog to know more about the feature and how you can get started with it.

Perfect Audience

Perfect Audience is an affordable yet efficient ad retargeting platform. The minimum price to run a campaign is $25 per week, and companies like American Apparel have reported up to 400% increase in ROI.

What Is Mobile Retargeting and How to Optimize It for Perfect Results 10Perfect Audience dashboard.

They have their own SDK for mobile phones, and you can retarget audiences based on app action, device Id, location, device type, and OS. They allow banners and interstitials (ads that cover the whole screen) on mobile devices.

These are the types of campaigns you can run with Perfect Audience:

  • Web retargeting
  • Facebook retargeting
  • Dynamic retargeting
  • Cross-device retargeting (showing people ads that they have seen on a desktop on mobile screens and vice versa)
  • Mobile retargeting
  • Twitter retargeting
  • HubSpot retargeting
  • Connect (reaching new people)

Perfect Audience’s ad network includes Google, Bing, Yahoo, OpenX, Rubicon, Hubspot, Twitter, Appnexus, Facebook, Instagram, and Pubmatic.

You can visit their official link to find out how you can get started with their tool and their pricing options. 


Their slogan is “retargeting done in the right way”. The claim is true, and the site boasts more than 40,000 clicks on their retargeted ads, with an average CPA of $8.29. Thus, we could say that the acquisition is extremely cheap when compared to the likes of Google Adwords and Facebook Ads; their average CPA across all industriesare $48.96 and $18.68 respectively.

You can choose between site retargeting, CRM retargeting, contextual retargeting, audience retargeting, search retargeting, and lookalike modeling. For websites and applications with a lot of traffic and budget, they also provide services of a dedicated account manager.

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The price of the packages ranges from $500 per month to $5000 per month, all dependent on how specific you want to be with the segmentation of your audience. They let you categorize your customers based on every recordable behavior and data, including geography, interests, contextual data, Google search, and identifiable information.

Retargeter’s network consists of all the major ad sites and platforms, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Bing, OpenX, Twitter, and Rubicon. Here is the official link to the mobile retargeting company.

Conclusion: Mobile retargeting means showing ads to people who already know about your mobile app and its services. This is done to maximize your chances of selling, increase engagement and brand awareness, and to get a better insight into your customer behavior so you can be cost-effective at the same time.

There are various mobile retargeting platforms that help you find the right people to reshow your ads. Whichever you use, always remember what you want to do with the campaign, segment your audience in a proper way, personalize the ads, and don’t irritate people with too many of them.

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