Re-engagement is the marketing strategy that targets and entices users who are no longer engaged in an app when once they were via a campaign, usually of the ad variety.

What is Re-engagement

Re-engagement is the process and marketing strategy that targets and entices users who are no longer engaged in an app when once they were via a campaign, usually of the ad variety. Known as “lapsed users” in the industry, this audience makes up users who may have uninstalled an app/game or have it on their device but aren’t an active user. Re-engagement is implemented in order to return them either by opening the app/game (with the aim to use it more frequently) or directing them to the App Store or Google Play Store to reinstall again. 

Why Re-engagement is Important

Re-engagement is vital as it’s a new channel for growth. Any way of increasing growth of an app / game is important to see an increase in installs, or re-installs in this case. 

Users who have had previous experience with an app or game but haven’t opened it, know the brand and are more likely to return. By providing them with creatives / messaging that highlights what’s unique about the game, app developers / marketers stand a better chance of seeing healthy installs than if they were to market to a new user who’s unfamiliar with the product. 

However, within this audience, there will be users that stopped engaging due to a bad experience, (whatever that may have been, unfortunately without feedback, app devs / marketers are in the dark about what exactly went wrong.) In these circumstances, the re-marketing should include messaging about improvements such as bug fixes, what’s better and any new content. 

There are many ways to highlight new content, some companies have found success in mobile game LiveOps or live game events. This is the idea of managing a mobile game over time by making continuous changes to certain aspects of the content or holding live events. It’s a retention and re-engagement tool- by providing new content (like Fortnite’s use of ‘seasons’ of limited edition character skins / new challenges / unique content at regular points in the year) users are constantly engaged and encouraged to participate. App developers must have the adaptability to include these events in their marketing strategy. Would they have the resources to make ongoing changes and continue updating content with a quick turnaround in response to user feedback? Yes, it’s a great tool to bring back lapsed players, but as it’s often a mixture of detailed planning and on-the-fly changes, this must suit the app developer and the team.

Re-engagement and ASO

Combining re-engagement campaigns with user acquisition (UA) efforts is a marketing strategy that covers both bases in the hope to increase conversions and retention. But like anything related to ASO, re-engagement needs strategizing and testing in order to discover what creatives / messaging will convert the highest number of users who already know the app.

Also, the user flow of this audience is different to a first time installer; a lapsed user should see a certain ‘new’ creative as their first impression on an app store page (first impression being what a user sees before they tap or scroll) when arriving to an App Store or Google Play page that entices them enough to re-engage. The most unique way to leverage this is to use the ‘closer look video’ a video shown as the first impression for returning users only, which offers unique messaging that stimulates interest.

Implementing push notifications (a dialog box that pops up) to deliver a message from the app is another re-engagement tool. Notifications should attract attention, not badger a user and blanket messages should be avoided.

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    Related Terms

    • Organic User Acquisition
      Organic app user acquisition (UA) is the science of leveraging a set of marketing initiatives to drive organic app installs.
    • App Store Web Referral
      App Store web referral is a traffic source which includes all visitors that arrive at an app listing from an external source (mobile web), most commonly the iOS Safari browser.
    • Paid App User Acquisition
      Paid app user acquisition is the process of paying to advertise an app or game on UA channels in efforts to drive relevant traffic to an app store and convert new users.

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