In today’s crowded digital marketplace, a robust creative strategy is your brand’s ticket to standing out, winning users and keeping them. One way to build a powerful creative strategy is by leveraging dynamic, rich media ad formats like MRAID banner ads.

Learn the best practices of MRAID banner ads and how they can transform the performance of your app retargeting campaigns.

The MRAID Banner ADvantage: Why They Perform 

As we’ve written before, MRAID banner ads enable interactive ad units that are highly engaging to users. From expansions to swipes, taps, and interactive content, these ads offer creative dynamism that static banners can't match. The result is a visually appealing and engaging user experience that captures users’ attention and provides valuable insights into their preferences.

According to eMarketer, rich media ads far outperform standard banner ads by a whopping 267%. At YouAppi, we’ve seen an over 2x return on ad spend when using MRAIDs versus static ads. MRAID ads create a more dynamic experience for users, elevating click through rates, engagement and brand visibility.

The Best Practices of MRAID Banner Ads

Design Ads to Fit the App Environment in Which They’re Shown

As with all ad formats, it’s important to align your ad's design with the app environment it's displayed in. This maximizes resonance and presents a seamless and positive user experience. For example, if you’re showing ads in a casino app, you might design them to include dynamic dropping coins to fit the gambling theme. On the other hand, if you’re bidding on apps in the ecommerce vertical, then show ads with clear visuals that entice users to come back and shop.

Use Simple Animations

Adding a simple GIF animation, or animated effects — like CTA buttons that change color or moving text — create eye-catching ads that grab and maintain users’ attention.

Some examples: a simple carousel animation to showcase destinations of recently discounted flights for a travel booking app. A carousel of Thursday Night Football scores to promote a fantasy football app. Falling coins in the background of an ad to entice users to play a casino Match game.

Comply with MRAID Banner Ad Standards

MRAID ads leverage a standardized set of HTML5 and JavaScript-based commands to create rich media ads that communicate certain actions (expand, resize, get access to device functionalities such as the accelerometer, etc) to the apps in which they are being served. With that being said, certain technical requirements must be met in order for MRAID ads to work. If these requirements are not met, then your rich media will not be served. This can lead to low click-through rates (CTRs) and wasted ad spend.

To comply with the necessary MRAID standards, it’s important to have an in-house creative developer who understands the HTML 5 coding standards needed to successfully optimize MRAID ads. Another option is to work with a DSP that can provide those creative services and support.

At YouAppi, we offer custom mobile creative design solutions to our clients in our Appi Studio. This is a free service that we provide to our partners with their mobile marketing campaign set-up regardless of their overall budget. Along with providing overall design services such as editing support and reformatting, Appi Studios also offers MRAID ad design and optimization.

Align Ads with your CTA

This best practice is relevant to all ad format types but matching your ad’s copy and design to your desired action is key. For retargeted ads, it’s important to keep in mind that your ad will not be the first time a user connects with your brand. This is why user acquisition ads should be adapted and reformatted for your retargeting campaigns. For example, instead of showing a CTA button with “Install now”, for retargeted ads, show CTA buttons with “Play now” or “Shop now”. Furthermore, you should align your ad design to your desired action. So if “Shop now” is your CTA, include a dynamically optimized photo of an item a user left behind in their shopping cart. If your CTA is “Play now” show a short animation of your app’s gameplay. Finally, make sure to customize your CTA for Android and iOS devices for a more personalized experience.

A/B test Your MRAID Banner Ads 

Isolating and testing the relationship between user engagement and specific ad elements is key to optimizing your mobile marketing campaigns for success. At Appi Studios we recommend our partners design a variety of creative variations and run tests for at least a month to compare conversion rates, impressions, conversions, clicks, app open rates, KPI metrics (CPAs, etc.) of their designs.

Personalize Your Ads

Targeting ads to users’ personal preferences, position in your funnel, etc. can radically enhance your performance rates. In fact, 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from brands that serve them relevant ads. Furthermore, 62% of consumers say they would drop a brand that delivered generic content.

We recommend segmenting your target audience based on key details (engagement, location, gender, etc.) and serving ads aligned to those factors. This can boost response rates and generate higher ad engagement.


In today’s competitive digital landscape, a compelling creative strategy is key to brand success. Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions (MRAID) banner ads can radically enhance your app retargeting and growth campaigns.

  • Engagement Powerhouse: MRAID banner ads enable highly interactive and engaging ad units, offering features like expansions, swipes, taps, and interactive content. These dynamic experiences capture users' attention and provide valuable insights into their preferences.
  • Impressive Performance: Rich media ads, including MRAID banner ads, outperform standard banners by an astonishing 267%, according to eMarketer. At YouAppi, we’ve seen an over 2x return on ad spend with MRAID ads compared to static ads.

MRAID Banner Ad Best Practices:

  • Design for Context: Align your ad's design with the app environment where it's displayed for a seamless user experience.
  • Embrace Animations: Incorporate simple animations like GIFs or dynamic effects such as changing CTA button colors to grab users' attention and maintain their interest.
  • Adhere to MRAID Standards: Ensure your MRAID ads comply with HTML5 and JavaScript-based commands, meeting technical requirements for successful delivery. Work with an experienced creative developer or a DSP to optimize MRAID ads effectively.
  • Align with CTAs: Match your ad's copy and design with your desired action, especially in retargeting campaigns. Adapt your CTAs and ad visuals to reflect the user's prior interactions with your brand for more relevance.
  • A/B Testing: Isolate and test specific ad elements to understand their impact on user engagement. Create diverse ad variations and run tests over at least a month to optimize conversion rates and other KPI metrics.
  • Personalization is Key: Personalized content resonates better with users and fosters brand loyalty. Target ads based on user preferences, funnel position, and other key details. Segment your audience and serve tailored ads to boost response rates and enhance user engagement.

Harness the potential of MRAID banner ads and transform your app retargeting campaigns with higher engagement and conversions by getting started with our team.