Comment & Opinion

Retargeting your way to success in 2015

Don't let your players get away

Retargeting your way to success in 2015

Glenn Kiladis is SVP New Media Solutions | Games Evangelist, Fiksu

Acquiring new users for your mobile game isn't easy.

Acquiring new users who repeatedly come back to your game, make purchases, and remain loyal is more difficult and more costly.

But despite all the hard work and money it takes to get those users in the door, they could be gone before you know it.

The challenge of user decay is one that any app faces, but it's particularly a challenge for games. A study released by Flurry revealed that games have the shortest "half-life" of any app category at just two months.

In this case, half-life is the point at which an app's monthly users have declined to 50% of their peak.

In addition, competition in the games category - which represents more than 20% of all apps in the App Store - is stiffer than anywhere else. Even dominant titles like Candy Crush and Angry Birds haven't been immune to these challenges.

But thanks to new tools and tactics, there's now a way for mobile game companies to help combat this decay: mobile retargeting.

Retargeting explained

Retargeting is the ability to deliver specific messages to groups of users who have previously downloaded your game.

Retargeting can help fuel deeper engagement amongst your current user base.

While retargeting can help you overcome the challenge of app abandonment, it can also help fuel deeper engagement amongst your current user base, driving increases in revenue through additional in-app purchases.

Retargeting is also a great way to encourage use of your game when you have new features or upgrades to highlight.

For one Las Vegas multiplayer card game working with Fiksu, retargeting was able to help increase total revenue 95% and purchasing users 110% - and do it at a cost 75% lower than new acquisition.

To learn more about how they and others were able to achieve similar results, download our new ebook.

Segmentation is key.

When running retargeting campaigns, the first and most critical step is segmentation.

A segment is a group of users that share a set of characteristics (e.g., they've registered but haven't purchased, or they played at least three times but haven't opened the game in 2 weeks).

Since each segment will have unique characteristics, you don't want to address them all with the same message. By targeting the creative to each specific audience, you have a much better chance of achieving your desired results.

For example, a mobile game targeting users who hadn't opened their app for a while might show ads encouraging users to "play now." If that same game was targeting users who had registered but hadn't yet made an in-app purchase, they may show an ad offering "1000 free coins" with a paid purchase.

In addition, since the makeup of many of these segments will constantly change, they should be constantly and automatically refreshed to ensure the best level of success.

Our data has shown that automated daily refreshes can actually improve cost per purchase metrics by 2x when compared to periodic manual updates.

Where you can retarget

Retargeting can be done across a variety of networks, and you want to be sure you're working with a partner that can reach across all of them.

Facebook and Twitter both allow you to reach specific audience segments at scale, making them great choices for retargeting. On Facebook, the feature is known as "custom audiences," and on Twitter, it's "tailored audiences."

To get the most out of your investment, you need to regularly optimize your campaigns.

In addition to social networks, real-time bidding (RTB) is also a great source for retargeting.

One thing to remember is that since you're working with smaller audiences sizes than you would be with user acquisition campaigns, if you don't have enough reach, you risk not being able to find enough of your audience.

Getting it right

Optimization and reporting are the final pieces of the retargeting puzzle. Like any mobile marketing campaign, retargeting isn't just "set it and forget it."

To get the most out of your investment, you need to regularly optimize your campaigns.

By programmatically optimizing your campaigns in real time, your spend and campaign structure will be automatically adjusted to react to changing conditions: your media investment will be guided towards the most effective combinations of targeting, channel, and creative. And accurate and flexible reporting will bring it all together.

The insights you'll get will help you make decisions like how much of your overall budget should be allocated to retargeting in the future.

By incorporating retargeting into your overall marketing strategy, you'll be able to decrease user decay while at the same time adding incremental gains to revenue, purchasers, registrations, and more.

While you shouldn't stop focusing on growing your user base with new users, you should also not be ignoring the robust group of existing users you've already acquired.

To learn more about retargeting and how you can use it, download our latest ebook - Retargeting: Why Your Mobile Marketing Strategy is Incomplete Without It. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.