Mobile App Remarketing Has Arrived in a Big Way

By John Koetsier November 16, 2016

Arguably, the biggest trend in app marketing this year is the dramatic increase in mobile app remarketing spending versus just a year ago. We’re seeing this trend manifest itself across categories, regions and app revenue models.

And the underlying cause is that app marketers are now strongly focused on cultivating quality users and enduring customer relationships with their ad and other marketing programs. What we thought we’d do here is outline a series of data points for this trend so that if you researching this important topic you will have a lot of facts at your fingertips.

Low App Retention – The Industry’s Chronic Problem

Most people in the app industry know that retention is a challenge for app marketers. With relatively few exceptions, apps tend to lose the lion’s share of their users within the first 3 months of a customer engagement. In fact, a big chunk of that loss occurs in the first week. We examined our own install data from organic and ads-based UA, and the figures posted by others, and determined that the average app loses about 83% in the first 7 days, 90% in the first 30 days, and 95% in the first 3 months. That’s counting a lost user as someone who fails to login every day. Now, that’s a high bar for some categories. But even if your definition is a lot looser than daily usage, it’s plain that far too many users – the vast majority of users – fail to become regular users/customers.

Demand for Revenue – The Catalyst for Change

Rapid user loss has been a problem for the industry for years. So why are people getting so exorcised about it today? Well, the key reason is that marketer KPIs have changed dramatically. As recently as a year ago, most marketers were measured primarily by the number of installs they drove. Today, most are measured based on revenue. In a recent survey of mobile app marketers we conducted in association with our partner, Thomvest Ventures, more than 80% said they are measured primarily based on revenue rather than install figures.

All that focus on revenue means that marketers can’t look at installs in the same way as they did before. Almost 80% of the marketers surveyed told us that they care more about user quality than they did a year ago, and that user quality is measured primarily by long-term usage and revenue.

Another important data point underscoring this trend is that our customers are spending far more time in our platform than they did in the past, and are conducting much more retention, uninstall and revenue analysis. All of these are signals that the challenge facing app marketers has changed markedly.

The Money is Flowing

Both the amount of mobile app remarketing ad spend and its share of total app investment are growing rapidly. Across the Singular attribution footprint, remarketing now accounts for about 14% of all paid events. That’s a lot of ads! This is up from about 4 percent at the close of 2015.

Remarketing Advertising and Custom Audiences

What makes mobile app remarketing advertising most effective is when the advertiser carves out a specific audience of its users for customized advertising and messaging. These highly targeted mobile app retargeting campaigns leverage custom audiences that share specific past behaviors.

Most Popular Use Cases

Given all of this new mobile app remarketing ads expenditure, many marketers want to know which strategies are proving most effective for marketing to users of mobile devices. Our analysis indicates that the following six use cases are the most common for enterprise app publishers:

Note: A version of this blog post was published first on the Apsalar blog, prior to Apsalar’s merger with Singular. Learn more about our united company at

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