Adjust supports retargeting campaigns automatically, out of the box. We reattribute any user that comes into your app after a successful re-engagement. The setup for a retargeting campaign is essentially the same as any other campaign, with the exception of a few minor differences detailed in this guide.

A retargeting campaign targets, partially or entirely, users that have already used the app. This means that those users have already been analyzed by Adjust and attributed to a source or as organic traffic. These users will then be reattributed onto a new segment.

1Setting up retargeting campaigns

Retargeting campaigns are set up in the same way as a regular campaign: simply place the tracker link as the destination of your ads, and we will attribute converting users to your retargeting campaign.

There are a few particular considerations, though:

  • Inactive users that are re-engaged from your marketing campaigns will be reattributed - moved from an existing segment (like the first campaign, or “Organic”) onto the campaign they were re-engaged with.

  • Reattributions only trigger if a user who was inactive for a specified period—the inactivity period—re-engages with an Adjust-tracked source before returning to your app within your defined reattribution window. By default, the user must be inactive for at least 7 days. You can configure the inactive period and reattribution window to your needs.

  • To track reattributions from a campaign, you must include device IDs on the campaign URLs. Make sure to confirm with your network that device IDs are being added. For iOS, this would be the IDFA:
      https://app.adjust.com/f0ob4r?idfa=<idfa>
      

    For Android, this would usually be the Google Play Store advertiser ID:

      https://app.adjust.com/f0ob4r?gps_adid=<gps_adid>
      

    Check the table here for more device ID parameters you can use.

  • Retargeting campaigns are commonly run with deep links. Read more about deeplinking here.

  • Reattributed users trigger reattribution callbacks, not install callbacks. There’s more detail about callbacks below.

2Attributing existing users

Users that have already installed your app have already been attributed to a particular segment, whether that’s another paid ad channel or organic acquisitions. When you retarget or re-engage those users, you’ll want to analyze their performance after the re-engagement. For that reason, the users will be reattributed onto a different segment.

Reattribution happens automatically when a user who was inactive for a specified period—the inactivity period—re-engages with an Adjust-tracked source before returning to your app within your defined reattribution window.

3Deeplinking

In your retargeting campaigns, you may want to link directly into the app with a fallback to the app store if the app is not installed on the device. You can tell Adjust to open a custom URL scheme by adding the “deep_link” parameter:

https://app.adjust.com/f0ob4r?deep_link=myapp%3A%2F%2Fprod_view%2Fid%3D9001

If the device does not react to this URL, the store app will be opened instead. You can read more about deeplinking in our guide to deeplinking.

4Conversion reporting

Reattributions in the Adjust dashboard

The dashboard will show clicks, installs, and full visibility for retargeting campaigns the same as any other campaign. Any users that were successfully retargeted will no longer add activity to the trackers they were previously attributed to. The dashboard will indicate the new trackers successfully retargeted users are attributed to.

The callback API can be used normally for networks or other partners. This is typically the result of an additional callback URL parameter, which specifies a postback URL to fire upon conversions. This is specified in more detail in the Network Integration guide.

4.1Callbacks for reattributions

Reattributions trigger reattribution callbacks, not install callbacks. While your regular UA campaigns most likely sent install callbacks to your network partners, any partner that you use for retargeting should be using reattribution callbacks.

Retargeting campaigns are often run together with one of our special partners. These are “special” because they are set up explicitly in the Adjust dashboard. If you’ve already configured your partner in the dashboard, then no further setup is necessary. Read more about special partners here.

If your retargeting partner is not set up as a special partner, they should append their (encoded) callbacks as URL parameters. This URL parameter is either reattribution_callback (which is triggered only for reattributions) or conversion_callback (which is triggered for reattributions and new installs). This is discussed in more detail in the Network Integration guide.

4.2Configuring the inactivity period

Whether or not a device is reattributed depends on how long that device has been inactive. Generally, a reattribution is defined as a marketing-driven re-engagement of a user that has been inactive for at least seven days.

The app’s inactivity period is the amount of time a user has to be inactive before they can be reattributed - by default, this window is seven days.

Some re-engagement campaigns have goals other than reactivating inactive users. For example, campaigns which target active users in an attempt to drive more purchases, or campaigns focusing on reactivating users who have been inactive for less than seven days.

In these cases, you may want to adjust your app’s reattribution and inactivity period windows. You can do this in the App Settings in your dashboard, by navigating to Settings > Attribution Settings > Reattribution Settings.

A lower inactivity period may cause more users to be reattributed. The inactivity period should be configured for your particular campaigns - otherwise the quality of your segments and users will decline.

If you want to use very short inactivity period - e.g. re-engaging users almost immediately after the install - make sure to read through the details on very short inactivity period.

You can find out more about Adjustable Attribution Windows here.

4.3Using very short inactivity periods

In some cases you want to enable instant reattribution, for example if you are retargeting users immediately to complete very recent funnels.

To reattribute your users within the same app session, you will need integrate SDK version 4.11.4 or higher. All previous SDK versions will only be able to reattribute users after the first session is complete. A new session begins after 30 consecutive minutes of inactivity.

A inactivity period of 0 (a zero-day inactivity period), though, may result in overzealous reattributions, because there is no requirement that a user is inactive in order to reattribute that user. For example, a user may return to your website an hour after having installed the app, and click on a tracker there to return to the app via a deep link. In this case, the user would be removed from the original acquisition source, and reattributed to the website, which is perhaps not desirable. In this case, we want to turn off reattribution on the website tracker.

You can turn off reattribution entirely on particular trackers by adding the rt=0 parameter.

  1. Create a new tracker, or use an existing tracker, for the source that shouldn’t result in reattributions. We’ll use f0ob4r as an example:
     https://app.adjust.com/f0ob4r
     
  2. Copy the URL, but before you use the tracker in an ad or on a website, add the rt=0 parameter.
     https://app.adjust.com/f0ob4r?rt=0
     
  3. You can now use this tracker in locations where you don’t want users to be reattributed. Adjust will see the rt=0 parameter and ignore any potential reattributions.