In-App Retargeting: Boosting Your App's Sales

In our previous article, we discussed what in-app retargeting is and provided some statistics regarding its effectiveness. Today, we delve deeper to understand how to properly utilize in-app retargeting to enhance your sales. This exploration is essential for anyone looking to maximize the potential of their mobile application.

1. Understanding the Need for In-App Retargeting

Every app growth campaign starts with User Acquisition (UA). Initially, the focus is on increasing installs, account registrations, and encouraging new users to explore your app. However, it’s crucial to not just gather new users but to also keep them engaged.
The long-term goal is to enhance the lifetime value of users. A common misconception is to delay retargeting newly acquired users, under the assumption that they will convert organically. Yet, a significant number of users tend to forget or even uninstall an app soon after downloading it.
To combat this, it's vital to complement user acquisition campaigns with well-planned retargeting strategies from day one. This proactive approach ensures that user engagement doesn't wane and helps in maintaining a healthy user base for the app.

2. Identifying Primary Goals

The reasons for employing in-app retargeting can vary, but defining clear goals is a fundamental step for effective implementation. Here are some objectives you might consider:
  • Enhancing Brand Awareness: Remind users about your app to keep it top of mind.
  • Cross-Selling and Upselling: Use retargeting to introduce complementary or higher-value products to your existing customers.
  • Recovering Lost Sales: Target individuals who abandoned their carts or browsed without making a purchase.
  • Supporting Upselling Campaigns: Highlight the advantages of premium subscriptions, new features, or products within your app to encourage user spending.
When developing your in-app retargeting strategy, it’s important to focus on early retention metrics. Concentrate on day 1, 3, and 7 retention rates in your retargeting campaigns. Acting early, rather than waiting until day 30, can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your strategy.

3. Selecting the Appropriate Retargeting Platform

Once your objectives are defined, the next step is to determine how you will achieve them. You can opt to manage this in-house or collaborate with specialized companies like Mediasurfer, which offer retargeting campaign services.

Crafting a retargeting strategy involves numerous nuances, making it a challenging task to undertake independently. At Mediasurfer, we offer our clients customized retargeting strategy development and execution services. To maximize efficiency, we've developed our own AI-based platform,, which we discussed in a previous article.

A retargeting partner like Mediasurfer leverages your in-app data to segment users based on their activity and spending habits. Personalized ads are then crafted to appeal to these segments. Importantly, the content of these ads is dynamically generated using AI, ensuring that each ad is not only tailored to the user's preferences but also highly relevant and timely.

Our approach involves algorithmic performance optimization to predict and enhance user conversion rates based on their in-app behavior.This sophisticated method has propelled Mediasurfer into the top 10 of the AppsFlyer Performance Index in 2024.

4. Harnessing Data for Retargeting Success

The key advantage of retargeting is access to data from users who have already installed your app. This data is a goldmine for effective marketing strategies.
Utilizing User Feedback

  • Actively gather user feedback to gain insights into their app usage and perceptions. This feedback is invaluable in identifying and addressing issues leading to user attrition. Also, consider obtaining feedback from former users to understand what improvements are necessary.

Identifying Drop-off Points

  • Monitor the onboarding process and overall app journey to pinpoint where users drop off. These moments are critical for improving the app and can be opportune times for engaging with users.

Segmenting Audience with First-Party Data

  • Use the data you have on how users interact with your app to create sophisticated audience segments. Tailoring ad experiences to these segments can significantly boost your conversion goals.

5. Segmenting Your Audience Effectively

Segmentation errors can be detrimental to your campaign. It's essential to align your segmentation with your initial goals and the data gathered from your app users. Consider these key points:

  • Segment Based on Interest and Behavior: Divide your audience according to their level of interest, behavior, or stage in the customer journey. This allows for targeted ads that resonate with specific user segments.
  • Competitor Analysis: Tracking competitor campaigns can reveal valuable insights. Similar apps might have similar users with comparable behaviors. Understanding these patterns can help optimize your retargeting strategies.
  • Partner Selection: Choosing the right partner for your retargeting efforts is crucial. A competent partner can assist in effective audience segmentation and leveraging competitive insights.

6. Never Compromise on Ad Quality

While focusing on the technicalities of the campaign, the creative aspect of your advertisements should never be overlooked. The quality of your ads plays a pivotal role in capturing the attention of your audience and persuading them to engage with your app again.

Creative Strategies for Retargeting Ads:

  • Dynamic Content: Incorporate elements such as product images, prices, offers, or testimonials that align with your users' interests and preferences. Tailoring messages and calls to action based on the campaign goal and customer journey stage can significantly enhance ad effectiveness.
  • Contextual Advertising: For example, a food delivery app can target users with offers just before meal times, creating a sense of urgency and relevance.
  • Behavior-Based Targeting: Use past user behaviors, like previous purchases or viewed products, to craft personalized ads that are more likely to result in conversions.
Example 1: Targeting for a Food Delivery App
In a food delivery app, retargeting can be finely tuned using the user's order history. For example, if a user frequently orders sushi, they could be specifically targeted within the app with personalized offers from sushi restaurants. These targeted promotions could be presented as in-app notifications or featured within the app's main interface, ideally timed around typical meal times. For instance, a notification like "Craving sushi? Enjoy a 15% discount at your favorite sushi spot, only until 2 PM!" sent around lunchtime can effectively prompt the user to place an order.
Example 2: Personalized Advertising in a Shopping App

For a shopping app with diverse product categories, retargeting can leverage users' browsing and purchasing history. If a user has shown interest in fitness equipment but hasn't made a purchase, they can be targeted with personalized ads within the app. These ads could highlight special deals on fitness gear or new arrivals in the fitness category. A strategically placed in-app banner or a section on the app's homepage, such as "Recommended for Your Fitness Goals", showcasing curated products based on their past behavior, can effectively re-engage the user and encourage a purchase.

7. Embracing the Testing Phase

With the right partner selected, audience segments defined, and ads crafted, it's time to embark on the crucial phase of testing. This stage is essential for identifying and rectifying any mistakes in real-time and experimenting with different ad variations and targeting options.

Key Testing Strategies:

  • Ad Variations and Targeting: Experiment with different ad formats, locations, devices, times of day, and demographics to refine your reach and relevance.
  • Variable Experimentation: Test varying audience segments, platforms, ad formats, content types, and ad frequencies to ascertain what resonates best with your audience.
  • Performance Monitoring: Track metrics like impressions, clicks, conversions, and revenue. Adjust your strategy based on this data to optimize your retargeting campaign.
  • Frequency Caps: It's vital to set limits on how often users see your ads to prevent ad fatigue.
  • Retention Analysis: Continuously monitor in-app event data and retention reports to fine-tune audience segmentation and campaign strategies.

8. Analyzing Campaign Results

After running your campaign, it's time to analyze the outcomes and draw conclusions.

Evaluating Success:

  • Key Metrics and KPIs: Assess impressions, clicks, conversions, cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-conversion, conversion rate, and ROI. These metrics provide a comprehensive view of your campaign's effectiveness.
  • Incremental Analysis: Evaluate how much incremental conversions and revenue your retargeting campaigns generate per segment. This helps in understanding the true impact of your campaigns.
  • User Behavior Insights: The data collected can offer extensive insights into user behavior, which can be invaluable for future marketing campaigns.
  • Refining Future Strategies: Based on the results, reassess your goals, audience segments, and ad creatives. It’s crucial to stop targeting users who have already completed the desired action within your app (like re-engagement or first purchase) to avoid wasting resources.

Post-analysis, it's time to set new goals aimed at retaining and re-engaging your users. This continuous cycle of setting goals, testing, analyzing, and adjusting is key to evolving and improving your in-app retargeting strategies, ensuring sustained user engagement and increased app profitability.


In conclusion, this approach of in-app retargeting not only retains existing users but also transforms them into loyal customers, thereby boosting overall sales and app profitability. With the right strategy, retargeting can be a game-changer for your mobile application.

For further assistance in crafting such a strategy, feel free to contact us at Mediasurfer. Our expertise is at your disposal to help navigate and implement effective retargeting solutions that can elevate your app to new heights.