Mobile retargeting: what you need to know

Mobile retargeting: what you need to know

In today’s overly competitive online marketing arena, it pays huge dividends to find a means by which you can connect with potential customers in an affordable and efficient manner. Although a myriad of services and platforms exist today through which you can splash your ads across generic search engines and heavily trafficked websites, we guarantee that the money you invest in this process will be significantly more than the money that is returned to you by way of successful conversions.

Retargeting is one of the most important and yet, simultaneously, often underlooked aspect of mobile marketing today. Although mobile retargeting is widely considered to be a “must-have” element of a digital marketer’s toolkit, many app owners simply shrug their shoulders when the process is explained to them. For these individuals, as well as app marketers alike, developing a more transparent and concise description of the benefits and strategies behind retargeting will lead to improved revenue for all parties involved. With that in mind, we have compiled this brief description of the process, as well as several best practice tips selected from professional mobile retargeters today, in order to ensure that you have all the information you need to deploy this powerful technique in your next advertising campaign for your mobile app. Good luck!


Retargeting only works if you have a very clear conception of your objectives and your audience. By definition, mobile retargeting is a process through which “high priority” customers are targeted over the internet and shown very specific advertisements which they are likely to “convert” – otherwise defined as clicking – on. With that in mind, app owners and digital marketers alike must carefully develop a profile of what their high priority audience members actually looks like.

Consider the following questions: A) What age range is most likely to convert on your advertisement? B) What geographical location is most likely to host likely customers, C) What gender is more likely to be attracted to the product or service you are advertising? Such questions are the bedrock of a successful retargeting campaign, no matter what specific industry you may be involved in. Ask any mobile marketers with experience in ad retargeting how they have created a successful campaign, and their answer will most likely be “customer research”. Knowing how your audience members traverse the web, and the specific mobile tools they use to do it can revolutionize your mobile retargeting campaign and help you achieve new benchmarks in user acquisition and audience engagement alike.


If, in the best case scenario, an audience member is attracted to your advertisement and successfully converts, what happens next? Where will the ad you have created lead them? Even the most effective of retargeting schemes can still turn out to be a flop if the mobile retargeting funnel leads to a dead end. If, for example, your ad is highlighting a specific product or service on your website which is one of many possible items that can be purchased, it doesn’t make sense to lead customers to your landing page. Make sure that the ad retargeting campaign very clearly serves as a step in the right direction, rather than just a random promotional tool.


It is incredibly important to identify the various types of advertisements which you may be able to use in your mobile retargeting campaign before blindly launching into this tactic. For mobile retargeting purposes, we define mobile advertisements as either mobile banners or interstitial ads. A mobile banner can best be described as a small promotional graphic that commonly appears at the bottom or side of a webpage. Regarding pixel dimensions, the most common size of mobile banners used is approximately 320×50. An interstitial ad is often significantly larger, and will appear as an independent window outside of the primary page the audience member is visiting. These ads are often sized at either 320×480 or 480×320.

Keep in mind, however, that the mobile advertising format has its own strengths and weaknesses. While mobile banners are more commonly used to drive web impressions i.e. the number of users who see your banner, interstitial ads often produce a significantly higher engagement rate, i.e. the number of active conversions. Of course, engagement does come with a price: interstitial ads are often significantly more expensive to use compared to banner ads. Depending upon the specific size and depth of your retargeting budget, you may find that one of these formats is more compatible with your needs than another.

This is a perfect opportunity to explore A/B testing with your mobile ad retargeting campaign for your app. Try developing and launching two unique ad formats, each with similar content. After running the ads for a brief period of time, you can analyze the results to determine what, if any advantages one specific ad format may have over another. This is a popular tool that mobile app marketers use to craft consistently effective mobile retargeting schemes.


If your advertisement doesn’t capture the attention of everyone who passes by it, then your retargeting tools aren’t going to help. A poorly designed advertisement can wreak havoc on even the most sophisticated targeting mechanisms you have at your disposal. Here, traditional design strategies come to the forefront. Make sure that you use a compelling call-to-action, combined with a dynamic color scheme, font selection and graphic design in order to ensure that your retargeting budget achieves a worthwhile ROI. After analyzing countless mobile retargeting schemes, aesthetics are, in many situations, just as important as the research driving the audience targeting, The better looking your ad can be, the better your odds of snaring the perfect audience.


We hope that this information will allow you to move forward with a clear idea of who you should be targeting and how you can best connect with them. No matter if this is your first mobile retargeting campaign or one of many, there is always room to find tune and tweak your strategies so as to ensure the best possible outcomes for all involved.

We strongly encourage business owners and mobile app marketers alike to experiment with a variety of A/B testing scenarios in order to uncover which particular design and targeting parameters lead to the best possible engagement levels. While your first mobile retargeting campaign may not be your most effective, your results will definitely improve over time.

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Mobile retargeting: what you need to know

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