For mobile games, retargeting campaigns are key to a well-rounded strategy for monetization. In fact, 2020 AppsFlyer data found that running retargeting campaigns resulted in a 50% increase in paying users. In Q1 2020, apps investing in retargeting averaged a 6.5% share of paying users, more than 50% higher than those not running remarketing.

We cover how retargeting can create value for mobile games and give strategies on how to retarget your mobile game in 2023.

The value of retargeting for mobile games

For mobile games, retargeting is a proven strategy for higher retention rates and long-term engagement. And, for the most part, retargeting is still very much an underutilized strategy for the gaming vertical. According to AppsFlyer, as of 2020, mobile games had a 250% lower share of remarketing conversions than the shopping vertical.

{For reference, shopping apps show at least a 51-65% share of remarketing conversions depending on the region.}

With the Q4 shopping season in full swing, mobile games have a significant opportunity to acquire new users during users’ extended time off during the holidays. According to ApplsFlyer’s 2022 State of Gaming report, game app installs surged 30% between September and December 2021. Savvy mobile game marketers will maximize the Q4 growth opportunity with retargeting campaigns to turn new users into long-term paying players.

retarget your mobile game

Source: AppsFlyer


Want to enhance your retention? Then pay attention

The first step to increasing your mobile game’s retention rate is paying attention to your players. This can take the form of re-engagement campaigns on owned media channels via push notifications, email, and SMS. It can also take the form of campaigns on paid media remarketing campaigns.

According to AppsFlyer, because of paid media remarketing campaigns, gaming saw an over 123% lift in Day 30 retention rates in Q3 2021.

With that said, the data is clear: investing in personalized re-engagement campaigns, starting within a week of install and continuing throughout the user’s lifecycle is a key strategy for creating value in today’s marketplace.

The way to retarget your mobile game in 2023 

From Apple’s IDFA changes to the record-breaking growth of mobile games in the last few years, the rules for winning in mobile have changed greatly since the start of the pandemic. Here are some strategies for retargeting your mobile game in 2023.

Use segmentation to retarget high-potential players

To create high-impact marketing, you have to serve ads that align with a user’s experience of your app. This is where audience segmentation comes in. Audience segmentation involves the grouping of new and existing users based on criteria that can be used to enhance your targeting.

The first step to effective retargeting is segmentation. Do you have players that engage for long sessions but have never made a purchase? Are there certain types of players in your conversion funnel that always seem to churn? Identify your specific player profiles and retarget them based on their unique experience.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Segment users that play often but haven’t converted. These users are low-hanging fruit when it comes to nudging conversions. Send them a special offer to help them level up in your game.
  • Study your churned users. Take a deeper look at the users in your funnel that churn. What level or day after install do they churn? Retarget new players at high-churning levels or times to proactively engage them before they drop off.
  • Reward your best players. Identify your “whales” — players that clock long session times and make big purchases. Thank them by retargeting them with exclusive content and special offers. Never underestimate the power of giving back to your best users to win their long-term loyalty.


Map your user journey to understand what makes your game stick

Mapping your user journey is an important step to understanding what makes your app “sticky”. Are there certain levels of your game where users often churn? Are there certain levels where they make purchases? Identify key events in your game. Next, pinpoint churn moments and any user behavior patterns.

If there’s a particular level of your game when users churn or lapse, retarget them with special offers right before it to engage them. This might include messaging that reminds them they’re about to unlock a new level. You could also offer them a reward to keep playing (free power up, extra lives, etc.).

Match your creatives to contextual signals

Post-IDFA, marketers no longer have access to users’ device level signals unless they consent as part of Apple’s ATT Framework.

Today, app marketers are largely relegated to using privacy-compliant contextual signals to target users with relevant ads. Unlike device level data which gives historical background on who an ad is shown to and what their tastes are, contextual signals give present-moment context — such as where and when the ad is shown.

Furthermore, creative design has emerged as a powerful level of campaign optimization without the ability to target users using rich audience profiles. In today’s mobile landscape, it’s critical to partner with DSPs that have innovated bidding models to marry contextual signals with the ad creative to successfully engage a user in the present moment.

Make sure your ads fit the tone of the in-app environment they’re served in. For example, if you’re advertising in a holiday themed game app, create ads that are similarly holiday themed to align with a user’s tastes.


Retargeting campaigns are key to a well-rounded monetization strategy for mobile game apps. Running retargeting campaigns can result in a 50% increase in paying users. Mobile games should invest in personalized re-engagement campaigns, starting within a week of install and continuing throughout the user’s lifecycle.

  • Use segmentation to retarget high-potential players
  • Map your user journey to pinpoint and capitalize on the “sticky” parts of your game.
  • Match your creatives with contextual signals to engage a user in their present moment.

Ready to retarget your mobile game app in 2023?

Our team can help you map your user journey, segment your best players and match your creatives with contextual signals to re-engage them for higher ROI. Reach out to our team to get started.