App User Acquisition vs Retargeting Creatives

Best Practices May 18, 2016

Best practices for designing mobile app creatives

Mobile user acquisition and app retargeting campaigns differ greatly, especially when it comes to the ad creatives. We are currently running over 37302 display ads, not counting native or video ads. By testing different ad variations and continuously analyzing their performance, we have identified key elements that directly impact banner performance. We’ve put together a few best practices to help you out when you’re creating new banner ads for your campaigns.

Use different design templates

It may be tempting to recycle your User Acquisition (UA) display ads for retargeting by changing the Call To Action (CTA). Resist the temptation. Users are unlikely to notice so small a difference as the copy on the button. Most likely, they will think it is the same ad they clicked on to download the app in the first place.

Personalize the Call to Action (CTA) with key event data

Ads serve a purpose. What are you hoping to accomplish? What’s the end goal?

Mobile user acquisition

In app user acquisition campaigns, you want to acquire users, which means getting users to download/install the app. Think of your copy as an opportunity to tell the user WHY they should download the app. Highlight what the app does and how it is useful to the user. In this case, CTAs are impossibly easy, because your CTA drives only one action: Download.

App retargeting

Simply put, in re-engagement campaigns you want users to open the app and use it. Your business relies on users that take action inside your mobile app: booking rides, making purchases, adding items to the wish list, browsing new offers, etc. So you need to tell them why they should return. It helps if you know where and why they left, so study your event funnel and identify which in-app events are critical to your app business. You can see a few examples below:

Copy and CTA aren’t just tied to what action you want users to take, it’s also closely tied to who you are targeting.

Know your audience — Customize copy for each segment

Your funnel analysis will help you understand who you are targeting. As with any marketing campaign, you should have a target audience and a goal in mind. Let’s talk about the audience piece: Who are your ads addressed to?

  • Users who downloaded the app but didn’t use it?
  • Users who made a purchase in the last x days?
  • Users who left items in the cart?
  • Users who haven’t used the app in x days?

Once you understand your audience, ensure your Copy and CTA addresses the in-app action to be taken by users in each segment. See the table below for examples:

Retargeting ads remind users about your app’s value. They tell your users how your app can help them complete a task or solve a problem, whether that’s booking a ride home of finding a pair of shoes.

WrAPPing Up

Here is a handy guide with examples of what to consider when you’re designing ad creatives for your mobile app.