Poor retention rates, intense competition and rising user acquisition costs are just some of the challenges facing app-marketers, which is why effective retargeting has become an increasingly important campaign tactic.

According to a new report from AppsFlyer, an analytics and attribution platform based in San Francisco, global adoption of app retargeting increased by more than 10% in the two years until February 2020, or just before COVID-19 restrictions began to be enforced rigorously outside of China.

The study, entitled The State of App Retargeting 2020 Edition, also revealed that almost a third (30%) of apps with allocated marketing spend now include retargeting in their marketing mix. Furthermore, since lockdowns began in the US, paid retargeting conversions jumped by 35%.

“Global adoption of retargeting continues to grow, rising more than 10% since 2018, proving that it is an effective tool for marketers,” said Shani Rosenfelder, head of content & mobile insights at AppsFlyer.

“With most apps losing 95% of their users within the first 30 days of install, it is no wonder that currently 35% of app marketing conversions result from retargeting, driving better retention and more revenue,” he added. “We still see an opportunity for growth, particularly among gaming apps, which have plenty to gain from retargeting.”

Looking specifically at developments in the US, the report pulled together an anonymous aggregate of proprietary data from 1.1 billion non-organic app installs across 12,000 apps and 800 million retargeting conversions.

It found that photography apps increased retargeting campaigns by nearly 250% from 2019 to 2020, while retargeting in the shopping vertical increased by 25% in a year.

Within the lifestyle vertical, apps running retargeting had a 130% higher rate of paying users, although there continued to be room for growth in gaming because the adoption rate was just 7-8% in “casual” and “midcore” gaming.

However, among “hardcore” games apps, there was a 298% leap in revenue generated by paying users being exposed to retargeting.

Commenting on the findings, Doug McMillen, VP of enterprise strategy at AppsFlyer, said: “As marketers recognize the importance of engagement, retargeting is becoming more crucial than ever to their success, buoyed by the fact that retargeting has shown resilience amid COVID-19.”

Sourced from AppsFlyer; additional content by WARC staff