Best Practices for App Engagement Ads -

Best Practices for App Engagement Ads

When it comes to creating advertisements for your mobile app, you need to initially consider what end of the user journey you are addressing:

Awareness -> Consideration -> Conversion -> Engagement -> Reminding/Recollecting -> Loyalty

In this blog post, we will discuss the best practices for app engagement ads, ie. ads that address the engagement section of the user journey.

What are App Engagement Ads?

App engagement ads are an effective way for app marketers to promote their products and services and increase user engagement with their apps. They go beyond the simple task of making users aware of the app by persuading them to engage with it; they accomplish this by being designed to drive people to interact with the app, such as by signing up, making a purchase, or taking a specific action (within the app). App engagement ads are typically seen on mobile devices and can be used to drive downloads, increase user engagement, and boost revenue. If the call to action for an ad is to “Sign Up Now”, or “Browse the Holiday Sale”, this is a telltale sign of an app engagement ad.

How do App Engagement Ads Work?

Granted that app engagement ads are designed to prompt users to take a specific action within the app, it is safe to assume that they are targeted at existing or returning users more so than new users. For example, a user might see an ad for a new sale or feature in the app or a timed offer for a discounted purchase. The most important differentiator between an engagement ad and other ads is the redirection path; when the user clicks on the ad, they will be taken directly to the relevant page within the app rather than to the app’s home page (granted that users have already downloaded the app before). By targeting users who are already familiar with the app, app engagement ads can help increase user engagement and drive more revenue.

Creating Effective App Engagement Ads

Tips for creating effective app engagement ads include using visuals that stand out, crafting a compelling message for existing and new users, targeting the right audience with the right placements and on the right platforms.


The aesthetics of your ad have to be suited to the driving idea behind the ad itself, this includes typography and colors. Bright colors are great at attracting attention towards big sales within your app that can incept the purchase decision within your customers. Velvet and gold have always been associated with luxury if you wish to associate that element with your promotional material. Typography includes the font design and font sizes within your ad, it is important to tailor these to your campaign’s main idea as well and make sure they go hand in hand with the color and hue scheme you have chosen.

Compelling CTA (Call to Action)

The content that is visually displayed in your ad is just as important as the visuals themselves, if not more. An incohesive ad can be beautifully promoted with outstanding aesthetics, but will not trigger the engagement decision with users if the content makes no sense. The call to action should intelligibly and concisely inform users what to do, or where the ad is taking them. A discount or sale themed ad that has the CTA “Sign Up Now” may not perform as well as one that encourages users to “Buy Now” as the former implies an incorrect action (or extra steps at best). 

Ad Targeting

Best practices for targeting and placement of app engagement ads involve targeting the right audience, placing the ads on the most relevant platforms, and optimizing the ads for different devices. For targeting, it is important to understand the audience and their needs so that the ads can be targeted to the right people. Engagement ads can be targeted to existing and new users as aforementioned; depending on your marketing strategy, you can tailor your ad targeting to the right audience, as it is highly recommended not to target new and returning users with the same message.

Ad Placement

When it comes to placement, ads should be placed on the most relevant platforms where the audience is likely to be found. OEM inventories and DSPs offer highly advanced and precise targeting options, and offerwalls (rewarded engagements) help you target gamer audiences.

Multi-platform Optimization

Additionally, ads should be optimized for different devices to ensure they look great on all devices. While it is true that most users will see your ad ‘in-app’, you should make sure that your message can be fitted natively in ‘mobile-web’ and ‘website’ placements as well. An un-optimized message across different platforms can be detrimental to your overall marketing strategy.

Ad Performance Measurement

Measuring the performance of app engagement ads can be done by tracking key metrics such as CTR (click-through rate), user LTV (lifetime value), session time, ROAS (return on ad spend) and event conversion rate. By monitoring these metrics, marketers can gain insight into how effective the ads are and make changes as needed.


This metric measures the number of clicks on an app engagement ad divided by the total number of impressions. It helps determine the effectiveness of a campaign in terms of getting users to click on the ad. As it goes beyond simple awareness metrics, it is an important measure of the effectiveness of your ad in promoting engagement,

User LTV

User Lifetime Value (LTV) measures the total value of a user to an app over their entire relationship. It helps to measure the effectiveness of an app engagement ad in terms of bringing users who will be loyal to the app and generate revenue.

Session Time

Session Time measures the amount of time a user spends in the app after clicking an ad. As it helps to measure how engaging the ad is, and how much interest it generated in the app, it is a very important metric to keep tabs on if driving engagement is the goal of your marketing campaign. Pages per Session is a related metric that can inform you of how many different pages a user visits in a single session.


Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) measures the total revenue generated from an ad campaign, divided by the total ad spend. It helps to measure the effectiveness of an app engagement ad in terms of generating revenue; if you have an app that runs on in-app purchases (such as e-commerce) this metric will let you know whether your app engagement ad has performed well or not as it takes the purchase conversion events into consideration.

Conversion Rate

Last but not least (perhaps the most important of all), conversion rate measures the percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, after clicking an app engagement ad. It is a foundational metric that helps to measure the effectiveness of an ad in terms of generating conversions and should usually be the first metric an app marketer looks at to gauge ad performance. It can be manipulated to compare different user events, such as impressions and clicks, clicks and installs, installs and purchases, and so on and so forth.


App marketers are encouraged to consider using app engagement ads as part of their marketing efforts. App engagement ads can be an effective way to increase user engagement and drive more revenue if the strategy is executed properly and the correct channels are used. By following the tips and best practices outlined above, app marketers can create effective app engagement ads that will help boost user engagement and drive more revenue. AppSamurai is an industry-leading user acquisition platform that can help you to realize your app growth potential through its exclusive inventory. Through AppSamurai, you will gain access to the top DSPs, influencer performance marketing, OEM inventory, and rewarded engagements’ placements around the globe. Visit AppSamurai to learn more and sign up to begin your app’s growth journey.



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