It’s been almost two years since Apple rolled out iOS 14.5, changing the way iOS app marketers can target and acquire new users on iOS devices. While Apple’s deprecation of the IDFA has made retargeting iOS users more complicated, it has not removed the ability to run successful mobile programmatic retargeting campaigns. Below, we discuss what’s happened since Apple’s deprecation of the IDFA and how app marketers can still retarget high-value users on iOS.

How ATT changed retargeting iOS users

Until iOS 14.5, Apple had made its unique device identifier available to advertisers. This powered advertisers’ ability to create rich audience profiles and serve hyper-targeted advertising — both to new users and users that had already come in contact with their brand. The IDFA also powered better performance. iOS app marketers could deterministically tie impressions to conversions and use this data to better optimize their ad spend. With the deprecation of the IDFA came the restriction of this capability and also diminished performance and scalability.

The state of ATT opt-in rates today

Given the above information, it’s understandable how the industry reacted in a spiral of doom and gloom when Apple first announced it would be restricting its unique identifier back in 2020. In the run-up to iOS 14.5’s release, there was a spate of dire predictions that ATT opt-in rates would be as low as 0-20%. Two years after these initial speculations, opt-in rates have leveled out to be much higher than expected. According to Statista, as of March 2022, the overall ATT opt-in rate by iOS users worldwide was 46%. This means that almost half of all users trust iOS app marketers enough to share their IDFA for a more personalized experience. For certain app categories, this rate is even higher. For example, for finance and utilities apps, 53% of users consent to sharing their IDFA on average.

It’s clear Apple’s ATT framework is not going to disseminate marketers’ ability to retarget their best users like the industry previously thought it might. With the ability to retargeting iOS users on still very much possible, it's time for app marketers to shift spend back to iOS to re-engage their valuable, high-spending users.

The value of an ATT pre-prompt

According to AppsFlyer, 80% of apps have implemented the Apple ATT prompt to ask if users consent to sharing their data. While the majority of app developers are using a prompt, many are still not using a pre-prompt, which is a key strategy for increasing your brand’s opt-in rate, as IOS app marketers.

retargeting iOS Users

A pre-prompt is a popup message that apps can show users just before Apple’s ATT prompt. Unlike Apple’s prompt, the pre-prompt gives advertisers more ability to customize copy and design in order to better personalize their opt-in pitch to new users.

3 ways to boost your ATT opt-in rate with a pre-prompt

Include user-centric copy

When crafting your pre-prompt, focus on creating copy that clearly communicates the value of sharing the IDFA. In Hello Fresh’s pre-prompt below, the headline clearly states the value proposition of opting in: “an app experience made just for you.” As iOS app marketers, rather than focusing on what’s in it for your brand (in this case, having the ability to target and track users), focus on the benefits to the user.

As users are unlikely to read large blocks of text, keep copy short, sweet and to-the-point. Hello Fresh’s use of call-out bullets makes its pre-prompt even more readable and communicates the key value points of the ask even if a user is just skimming the text.

retargeting iOS Users

Use graphics that match your brand’s design

Using the right graphics can help you craft a pre-prompt that matches the overall flow of your user experience. Gaming apps like Subway Surfers serve visually striking pre-prompts. These pre-prompts are not only appealing to look at, but also match the look and feel of the game to create an immersive, streamlined user experience and can be used in an iOS app marketer’s strategy..

Subway Surfers’ pre-prompt also includes a note that a user can update their privacy preferences at any time, which is another strategy for enhancing the message to be more approachable.

retargeting iOS Users

Show your pre-prompt at the right time

Timing is everything — and most specifically when it comes to popping the privacy question. If your user experience includes an onboarding sequence, try serving your pre-prompt right after it. This helps streamline your pre-prompt in your funnel rather than creating a separate pop-up window that might feel more intimidating to a user.

The below example of Nike’s pre-prompt is shown after their onboarding sequence which gives a user time to build a relationship with their brand before asking for a user’s permission to track.

As advised for iOS app marketers in the previous point, the copy is short, approachable and fits Nike’s brand identity. Furthermore, the “Learn More” button shown at the bottom of the message is a great way to put a user at ease by giving them the opportunity to educate themselves on the subject even further.

retargeting iOS Users


While initial predictions assumed ATT opt-in rates would be as low as 0-20%, an average 46% of Apple users globally opt-in to sharing their IDFA. It's time for app marketers who initially shifted spend away from iOS to get back to retargeting their valuable, high-spending users. iOS app marketers should utilize serving a pre-prompt as a key strategy for brands to increase their opt-in rate.

3 ways to boost your ATT opt-in rate with a pre-prompt:

  • Include copy that succinctly communicates the value of a user sharing their IDFA. Focus on highlighting what’s in it for the user, such as a more personalized, relevant experience with your app.
  • Use graphics that match the look and feel of your app to create an immersive, streamlined user experience.
  • Show your pre-prompt at a key moment in your user experience such as right after your onboarding sequence.

Ready to retarget high-value users on iOS in 2023?

As an iOS app marketer, start your 2023 growth and retention mobile strategy off right by investing in retargeting  iOS users. Reach out to our team of mobile experts to get started today.