The Right Way to Run User Acquisition + Re-Engagement Together featured

The Right Way to Run User Acquisition + Re-Engagement Together

By Henry Wang | April 7, 2020

When should I start retargeting? How can I run user acquisition and retargeting together more efficiently? These are legitimate questions that don’t have clear cut answers. While the answer is unique to every app, the fundamental answer is the same.

Today the app industry will tell you to start retargeting on day 1 because it’s common knowledge that retention gets progressively worse after day 1. However this is a flawed approach for two reasons: 1) you may be retargeting users that would have converted anyway, and 2) you will be making attribution murky (did your UA partner drive the user action or was it your re-engagement partner?).

Retargeting on Day 1 is also inefficient as it takes time for users to familiarize themselves with your app before taking your desired action. For example, if you’re a gaming app, you can’t expect your users to start making in-app purchases on Day 1.

Give your users time to convert

A better approach is to implement a grace period following the install for your users to convert before retargeting.

Here’s what this looks like:

  1. Let’s say you have an ecommerce app
  2. You know that organic users take on average 7 days to make their first purchase
  3. You implement the same 7 day grace period for your paid users

By implementing a grace period, you’ll ensure that your retargeting efforts drive incremental value – driving users to convert who wouldn’t have otherwise converted. More importantly, you will make attribution straightforward, giving you clarity on how your UA and retargeting campaigns are truly performing.

What’s the grace period for my app?

If you’re a Liftoff customer, you can see your users’ time to conversion in your dashboard, defined as the time it takes 90% of users to complete an event after install for their specific app. But if you are not running with Liftoff, fear not. Below is a time to conversion table of events by vertical. Note that these are aggregate averages and are based on Liftoff data.

To run UA and retargeting efficiently, we recommend starting with a grace period, whether that be from your data or Liftoff benchmarks, to allow users to convert. Then over time, adjust that grace period accordingly. If you see most of your users converting quicker, shorten the grace period and vice versa until you find the sweet spot.

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