Mobile retargeting best practices and worst mistakes
Monday, June 11, 2018
Mobile retargeting research is explained by Alexei Chemenda, CRO of Adikteev, which talks about the best marketing practices for retargeting users in mobile marketing campaigns.
Audio commentary below
Retargeting has been a key component of growth strategies for most leading apps, but creating a successful retargeting strategy and measuring its success can be a slippery slope, especially without a clear market standard.
Adikteev recently released a whitepaper with insights and best practices for having an efficient app retargeting strategy so we caught up with Alexei Chemenda, CRO for apps and managing director in the US to talk about mobile retargeting and how to measure the impact of retargeting with a scientifically valid method, plus the ideal impression / click capping optimization and the impact that creative tools have on user experience.
ADM: What exactly is mobile re-targeting?
Chemenda: Mobile retargeting is when you display mobile ads to your existing users while they’re using another app, in order to drive them back into your app in the hopes that they spend more time and money in your app.
ADM: In today's generation of privacy mandates, isn't there a fine line when capturing user data for later marketing?
Chemenda: It’s all about user consent. As long as you have the user’s authorization, you can “green light” capturing a bit of data. Most app retargeting companies don’t actually use sensitive information, such as email or phone, but rather base it on device ID and in-app actions.
ADM: What sort of data is best to capture for later retargeting, phone number, email, etc?
Chemenda: It depends on what your service is building, but for a mobile app wanting to do app retargeting, the most important is in-app actions: “purchase," "app open,” “add-to-cart,” etc. That will allow you to segment your audience to make sure you send out different retargeting messaging based on what the user did in the app. This is often referred to as your user segmentation strategy.
ADM: What are some best practices when retargeting users on mobile?
Chemenda: Capturing as many data points as possible in your app to allow for a more granular segmentation. Measuring the incremental value brought by retargeting and using a control or target group. Optimizing your impression/click capping for the ideal balance between scale and performance. Identifying strong signals for success early on, such as “add-to-cart” if the goal of the campaign was "purchase."
ADM: How should brands measure the impact of a retargeting campaign? More specifically, what KPIs should be used and why?
Chemenda: This is an important one. Unfortunately, too many companies focus on ROAS or Cost per App Open. Except in some specific cases, retargeting KPIs should be incremental ROI (or incremental value). In other words, what did the retargeting campaign bring in value that would not have happened without the retargeting?
The nuance is very important since you’re targeting your existing users, and a lot of them will purchase in your app, whether there is retargeting or not.
ADM: What are some common mistakes made in retargeting campaigns?
- Marketers are not looking at incrementality. Marketers are not using rich media and interactive creatives. Using these tools works so well in UA, why wouldn’t you use them in retargeting?
- Marketers are not adopting the creatives using a product or personalized feed. For example, this would ensure that if you browsed for a pair of shoes, you’d actually be retargeted with a pair of shoes.
- Marketers are not re-targeting active users, which could be solved by incrementality
ADM: After how many impressions does retargeting become aggressive and repetitive?
Chemenda: It depends on how personalized your ad is. If it’s very personalized, and therefore changes at every impression, it can take a while to become repetitive. We have some campaigns that have an ideal impression capping of 12 impressions daily. By “ideal capping,” I mean the last impression that is still profitable to dive in-app purchases, anything after that impression becomes not profitable and doesn’t perform well.
ADM: What is “capping” and why is it important in mobile retargeting campaigns?
Chemenda: Capping (daily capping or lifetime capping) is setting a maximum number of times an event can happen for the same user. Often, you’d set a daily impression capping (how many times the same user can see an ad) and a lifetime impression capping. For example, you can set a maximum of three impressions per day AND a maximum of 10 impressions lifetime to the same user.
You can also use a click capping. An example would be that if my daily impression capping is 10, but with a lifetime click capping of two, anytime that same user clicks twice on the ad, that user is blacklisted.
ADM: What creative tools should be used in retargeting campaigns to find the most success?
Chemenda: Marketers will mainly find the most success with rich media creatives and Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO). DCO is what allows your creative to be optimized by itself, changing elements inside the creative and using external factors, such as day of the week or the weather to be more customized.
ADM: What can be done to decrease user churn in apps?
- First of all, if you don’t have a great product, churn is inevitable.
- Social proof and connections often help retention. For instance, if I see my friends using this app, I’ll often stay longer with the app. Marketers need to make it obvious and often use “friends” pictures or names” in the app.
- Define a good push strategy to make sure you keep users in your app. Give them a good reason to come back daily. For example, use a special of the day or a friends ranking noting that they will fall off if they don’t connect.
- App retargeting is obviously critical to increase retention
ADM: What is incrementality and what role does it play in retargeting campaigns?
Chemenda: Incrementality (also referred to as uplift test) is the delta between what actions (I.e purchases) you would have received no matter what, compared to what actions you have received thanks to your retargeting campaigns.
In other words, it’s the “extra value” generated. In retargeting campaigns, since you’re targeting your existing users, it plays a critical role since you’d need to understand what portion of the purchases driven in-app were driven exclusively thanks to the retargeting campaign.
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