More and more of our activities take place in our smartphones, whether you want to check your bank account, count calories, catch up on the latest news or play games while standing in line. Mobile apps remain extremely popular. The second quarter of 2019 was a record-breaker: the number of app installs around the world exceeded 30.3 billion (excluding repeat installations), and users spent nearly $22.6 B in apps. That's 20% more than the previous year. In 2018, the number of downloads reached more than 194 billion.*
Owners of mobile apps know better than anyone else that an installation is only half the battle. Overall increases in interest in mobile apps can leave an important nuance unnoticed: users have no problem dropping an app and switching to another. Keeping in mind that new apps appear every single day, we can begin to understand the struggle app developers face: no matter how great or handy an app is, or how many installs it has, users can easily drift away. To deal with this problem, retargeting comes in quite handy.
What makes retargeting so useful
The LitRes eBook store, which offers an array of free features, used retargeting to lead users to make their first purchase and increase their frequency. The results speak for themselves: they were able to "catch" two-thirds of their potential audience. Traffic from apps and mobile sites in the Yandex Advertising Network showed an average CR of 67% for reattribution, and 22% for purchases. Find out how LitRes did it, step by step, in our case.
Prompting users to make a purchase or other actions in the app is just one of the possible scenarios in which retargeting can come in handy. Other possibilities include:
- remind users who downloaded the app but no longer use it
- return users who deleted the app
- upsell products or services to loyal customers
- most importantly, save money — interacting with audiences already familiar with your brand is far cheaper than attracting new users.
In Yandex.Direct, you can use retargeting in the Yandex Advertising Network and Yandex Search so that your ads appear to users who have already interacted with your app.
Now let's talk about how to do it.
No rest until you find your users
You are faced with a choice: set up retargeting in YAN, on Search or both right off the bat? To start, you should figure out your goal and gather the corresponding user segment to target your ads.
Search ads respond to current search queries and help handle hot demand. Advertising on ad networks concentrates on the actual user — their interests and browsing behavior — which makes it possible to focus impressions more precisely, combining different conditions and audience segmentation. Moreover, more than half of the visitors to sites in the Yandex Advertising Network are not part of the audience of Yandex Search, so retargeting in the Yandex Advertising Network allows you to reach out to users who could be interested in your offer though they may not be looking for anything at the moment.
There are various ways to differentiate the users you are looking for. The simplest and most convenient option is to connect AppMetrica (an analytics system for mobile apps), with its seamless integration with Yandex.Direct and Yandex.Audience and a separate report for retargeting campaigns. If you have never used AppMetrica, these detailed instructions will tell you what to do.
AppMetrica gathers anonymized data about app users and knows, for example, how many of them stuck with an old app version and didn't switch to the newer one. You can then use AppMetrica data in Yandex.Audience to form the right segments for retargeting.
Setting up retargeting in YAN and on Search
Let's go through the basic tasks that retargeting can handle. Let's say you want to reach our to your users and tell them about 200 cool new features that recently appeared in your app. Retargeting in YAN can help you do this. Here's how it's done:
1. Save the segment in AppMetrica that interests you. Our example uses all the app's users. Then choose this segment in Yandex.Audience:
2. For extra help, you can find instructions on how to set up segments in the Yandex.Audience help guide.
3. In Yandex.Direct, create a retargeting list. Select "At least one fulfilled" and the segment made up of your app's users:
4. Create an ad campaign in Yandex.Direct or go into your existing campaign's settings. Create ads, enable impressions "Only in ad networks" and set the other placement parameters.
5. Use this segment in the Retargeting & Audiences field:
Retargeting on Search works a bit differently: ads will appear for queries containing the keywords you set — provided that these queries come from users in your selected segment. Let's say that there are users of an e-commerce app who happen to be looking for irons. By showing these users ads for irons, you can catch them "while they're hot," right after they click on a product card within the app. An eye-grabbing ad will help your users shorten the path to their purchase.
How to set it up:
1. In Yandex.Audience, select all the app users that AppMetrica gathered.
2. Set up a new retargeting list. By selecting "None fulfilled," the resulting segment will be made up of all users who haven't installed the app:
3. In your campaign settings in Yandex.Direct, set impressions for "Only on search," add keywords and choose the other placement settings.
4. Exclude impressions for users who have not installed the app, using a -100% bid adjustment:
Of course, retargeting isn't only for e-commerce. Other types of businesses can use it — a bank, for example, can advertise its products to users of an app that helps them find loans, or a cleaning service could offer its customers about a new service package. The Yandex.Direct help guide offers specifics sections where you can find out more about settings and bid adjustments.
Deeplinks for all situations
To make sure that a user who clicks on your ad is redirected to the right section of your app, whether that be a product page, the product catalog, their cart or subscription settings, don't forget about deeplinks:
- Set up deeplinks in the app and tracking in AppMetrica (Android, iOS).
- Enter your deeplinks into the retargeting tracker settings in Yandex.Direct.
- Add the resulting tracking link to your Yandex.Direct ad.
You can find instructions for setting up tracking for your remarketing campaigns in AppMetrica here.
How to assess performance
AppMetrica offers all the statistics you need to analyze the results of your retargeting campaigns in a special Remarketing report: clicks, openings and the number of conversions that took place directly as a result of your campaigns.
Offer the best
The average user in 2018 spends about 3 hours a day in mobile apps (50% more than 2016) and opened 40 different apps per month*. In a sense, investing in your app’s development is not enough. If you want to show your users that your app is indeed better or more useful than your competitors’ versions, you need to talk effectively about its advantages, and that includes advertising. Experiment, come up with new scenarios, look for the best combination of targeting types that leads to the best results for your goals for your business.
Are you overwhelmed by the different options available? Don't know where to start? Try launching a retargeting campaign in Yandex.Direct for those users who have not opened your app in the past week — offer them a promotion or some kind of attractive bonus. Check how retargeting works in practice and rest assured that you are remaining in contact with your audience.
Don't forget to share your success stories with us!
* According to AppAnnie data