For details on the new app conversion tracking and remarketing integration, see specifications here. The new integration provides a much more seamless conversion tracking setup with one-stop linking and conversion import experience. New users should use the latest integration as we will be deprecating the legacy API soon.
The features described on this page are only available for these types of Display Network campaigns: Mobile app installs, Mobile app engagement, and Ads in mobile apps. They are not available for other campaign types, like Universal App Campaigns, search campaigns, or campaigns that show on websites within the Google Display Network.
App remarketing allows you to target users who already have your app installed with ads that can help drive additional usage. Some uses for app remarketing include:
- Show app engagement ads announcing a new feature to current users of your app.
- Remind users who had downloaded your app but haven't been using it recently.
- Encourage users to upgrade to the latest version of your app.
You can even segment users based on past actions in order to tailor more relevant messages to them. For example, you can show a particular ad to users who have made a purchase in your app.
Configuring your app to send remarketing events to AdWords allows you to run these types of app engagement ad campaigns. Read on to find out how.
Usage and disclosure
Remarket to all users of your app
For each new user who installs your app, you should construct a GET request to:
Send this request as immediately as possible after the user installs your app. You'll also want to send GET requests for all existing users to backfill the remarketing list.
MY_TRACKING_ID, sometimes also called Conversion ID, is the parameter that
identifies the AdWords account you are constructing your remarketing list in. To
find the ID, click on Shared Library from the left navigation bar in your
AdWords account. Then click View under Audiences. If you hadn't set up
remarketing before, you'll be taken through a flow that will provide a Tracking
ID. If you had set up remarketing in the past, you'll see a widget in the top
right corner that will show the Active vs. Inactive status of your
remarketing tag, and will provide a Tracking ID under Setup.
The Tracking ID goes into the path of the remarketing ping:
Several URL parameters are also required:
This is an identifier for your iOS app.
Your bundle ID on iOS is not the same as your numeric app ID. Here's how to look up your bundle ID:
First, locate the app ID of your app. For the game LineUp2, the App Store URL is
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/line-up!-2/id476954712?mt=8. The app ID is the
476954712portion of this URL.
You can look up the bundle ID from the app ID, using Apple's lookup service: http://itunes.apple.com/US/lookup?id=476954712
Search the response for "bundleId" and you'll see
Note: You must be using the valid bundle ID of one of your apps that is hosted in the App Store in order for users to be added to your remarketing list. AdWords uses your bundle ID to inspect your app and if unable to do so, will fail any remarketing list additions.
This is the advertising identifier ("IDFA") of the iOS device that you're remarketing to. It is the exact string returned by:
NSString *idfa = [[[ASIdentifierManager sharedManager] advertisingIdentifier] UUIDString];
An example value would look like this:
rdidis case insensitive.
Include the exact string "idtype=idfa" (lowercase) to indicate that the IDFA is the identifier being used.
You must indicate whether the device has "limit ad tracking" enabled. If so, set
lat=1. If limit ad tracking is not enabled, set
Include the exact string "remarketing_only=1". This tells AdWords that the purpose of this ping is to add a user to a remarketing list. If you do not include this parameter, AdWords will assume that your ping is intended to report conversions that occurred after ad clicks, and you will see warnings indicating that you are missing a conversion label.
Remarket to users based on app version and recency of usage
We recommend that you also ping remarketing events to AdWords when your users open your app, in order to be able to remarket to active or lapsed users, as well as those using a certain version of your app.
To do this, send a remarketing ping each time your app is opened, or at least once per day on days when the app is opened. In addition to the above parameters, you should also include:
The version of your app that this device is currently using.
This allows you to target users who have certain versions of your app installed, for example, to get them to upgrade.
Include your app version, with subversion numbers separated by dots, e.g.:
This tells AdWords that you are sending app usage data, so that certain types of remarketing lists can be made available. Among other things, AdWords will assume that each user's app version is up-to-date when it sees that usage is being regularly reported.
The operating system version that the device is using, e.g.,
Use custom parameters in remarketing
To do finely-targeted remarketing, you can also report any other action that
you care about to AdWords, using keys and values of your choice. For example,
you might choose to track all purchases in your app as remarketing events,
using parameters that you decide to call
As before, you would send a ping each time a user takes an action you care
about in your app. This ping should include all the previous required
osversion), plus your
own parameters--prepended with "
data.", for example:
If you are only reporting certain custom events in your app for remarketing
(and are not reporting app usage data on at least a daily basis to AdWords),
usage_tracking_enabled=1. Doing so will confuse AdWords into
thinking that users who are not purchasing items should also be counted as
users who are not opening your app at all.
Be sure to use URL-safe characters in any custom keys or values that you report. The total length of the request URL should not exceed 2048 characters.
If you care about targeting based on user properties instead of individual
actions, you'll need to store these properties in your app. For example, if
you are interested in targeting users who have spent more than $20 on in-app
items over their lifetime, your app should maintain state about the total amount
purchased to date, and then send that up with each new purchase. You might use
an extra custom parameter called
total_spend_to_date. Or, if you care about
targeting users based on the number of items they've bought in your app, you
might store the number of items previously purchased, and send up a custom
Successful remarketing pings will generate
HTTP 200 OK responses from
AdWords. A malformed ping will generate an
Here is an example of a full, properly formatted remarketing ping:
You can also verify in your AdWords account whether each of your apps is successfully firing remarketing events or not. To do so, click on Shared Library from the left navigation bar in your AdWords account. Then click View under Audiences.
You'll see a status widget in the top right corner that shows the Active vs. Inactive status of remarketing in your AdWords account. If at least one of your websites or apps is firing remarketing events to AdWords, then your tag will show as active.
If you expand the widget, you'll be able to see which sites and apps are successfully firing remarketing events (apps are identified by their app store URL) as well as which custom keys and values are being recorded.
Next step: Define lists and start campaigns
Once your remarketing tagging is successfully set up, the final step is to define your lists in AdWords and run your campaigns. Read on in our help center to find out how.