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New Year, New Strategy

Posted on January 26, 2017

The following post is by Account Executive, Erica Robinson. Erica is an app retention expert with many years experience and extensive industry knowledge of advertising and mobile marketing.

Happy New Year Mobile Marketers!

The start of another trip around the sun means it’s time to make resolutions to ensure a prosperous 2017. Whether you are vowing to go to the gym every day, or determined to learn a new language, change and goal setting are top of mind. But resolutions should not be limited to the individual; resolutions are crucial for businesses too, especially for mobile app developers in the increasingly competitive mobile industry.

It is essential for app developers to reflect and plan on how they are going to meet their marketing goals for the New Year. With the cost of UA continuing to rise and the market saturating, it is more important, and cost effective than ever to retain your existing users in your app. In a recent infographic from Invesp, CEO Khalid Saleh, shares that it is 5 times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain a new one, yet despite this knowledge, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies have an equal focus on acquisition and retention.

Does Retention Really Matter?

YES - and the numbers don’t lie; 1 in every 4 people abandon their app after one use according to TechCrunch, and results are similar across the board, with Localytics reporting the average user churn to be 63% in the first month after download. So if you have an app and you haven’t considered retargeting yet, it’s time to hop on the early adopter train before you’re left behind.

So buckle up for a ride through a series of retention insights that will help you exceed your revenue goals along with some trends that will shape your retention strategy in 2017.

#1 Make Your Strategy Scalable

Scalability: The buzzword of 2017! It is essential to ensure a diverse strategy to achieve maximum reach. Leverage a variety of messaging formats like push notifications and emails on top of your display ads to reach your customer with relevant content that will keep them engaged in your app. But don’t stop there- Uber’s Andrew Chen) shares that 60% of your users opt out of push notifications. Make sure you are using all avenues to reach and cover any users that slip through the cracks with mobile app to app retargeting, allowing you to reach users outside of your app in other apps, ultimately catching them while in a “mobile moment”. Don’t just rely on Facebook alone, look into retargeting programmatically across SSP’s and ad exchanges with a reputable retargeting partner to cover as much of the mobile ecosystem as possible.

#2 Get More Granular!

Segmentation is one of the most important aspects of your retention strategy, as the more you know about your users and user behavior, the more targeted you can be to reach your users with the right message at the right time. If you’re just getting started with retargeting, start with a more broad approach with a best practice segmentation strategy for your app category to maximize scale. For example, a previous purchaser that has not launched the app in 45 days, or a non-purchaser that has not launched in 30 days. From there, you can get more advanced in your segmentation based on your known churn points from user behavior analysis.

#3 Go Dynamic!

We often get asked, what’s the ‘secret sauce’ to re-engagement? When asked about the mandatory ingredients needed to see success with re-engagement, Remerge’s Director of Account Management, Emmanouela Androulaki, shared that “a dynamic set-up to gain insight as to the real-time behavior of the user as well as more granularity of data via a more sophisticated setup with advanced creatives are key.” While other factors like deep links, redemption offers, and promotions can add value to your overall campaign, being able to utilize real-time data and behavioral insights take the cake for being the biggest factors of success. Make sure you set yourself up for success by working with partners that allow you to get more granular with your segmentation vs. a cookie cutter approach, along with a partner that gives you full transparency into your data.

#4 Know Your Churn Points

While partners may be able to notice some trends and best practices, the only one that can really know the true fall off points in your app is YOU. Invest in your analytics/BI teams to make sure you have the data infrastructure in place to collect data and know where the churn points are in your app. Where are people dropping off? Are there too many steps to get fully registered? What does your cart abandoner ratio look like? Is the tutorial too long? The key is to analyze and monitor your existing users to know where their pain points are in the user flow, and to capitalize on those churn points with user re-engagement. Monitoring the behaviour of your users over time to gain insight into drop off and how changes to your app’s UX or targeted display ads may push them further down the funnel are crucial to more granular segmentation.

#5 Test Creative Ad Formats and Creatives

There are so many new ad formats available now, and all offer benefits for you and your customer. Try new formats to keep your users engaged and to reach them at scale. FoodPanda saw success in leveraging and testing native and dynamic ads after successful campaigns with static ads, resulting in 22% additional sales and a 617% ROAS. Even beyond ad formats, the creatives themselves should be made with the user in mind. Making sure you have a call to action in place specific to each segment will bring significant value. For example, messages to non-payers should be different than that to payers. Pending your app category, dynamic ad banners have the potential to take your ads to the next level, as the tailored messages help you reach the user with maximum relevancy. Dynamic ads should always include a dynamic background image to draw in the user, a title based on the user behavior, and the most relevant call to action according to a user profile. For example, a fast food chain might track their users behavior via previous searches for “pizza” alongside the product feed displaying the pizza image. With a title like “Feeling Hungry” and a call to action of “Order Now,” who wouldn’t be tempted? Keep challenging yourself and your team to test formats types and AB testing creative performance for maximum results.

With 2017 already under way, I hope these tips get you thinking about starting or refining your retargeting strategy to meet your retention and revenue goals.

If you’d like to learn more about how Remerge can help you to retain your app users, shoot an email over to