Two people viewing their Apple Search Ads accounts on computer screens.

Best Practices


Including previous customers in your audience can help renew interest in your app, drive growth, and unlock additional revenue.
Use the following suggestions to develop a reacquisition strategy that reaches
these users.

Understand the value of redownloads.

Engaging returning customers represents a key growth opportunity on the App Store. People download and delete apps for a variety of reasons, and many of them will end up redownloading apps. In fact, 92 percent of surveyed iOS users said they’ve redownloaded apps.* And 33 percent of returning users said they redownloaded apps specifically to make a purchase.* Ads on the App Store can be critical in reminding users to redownload apps they relied on for functionality, services, or just plain fun.

92% of surveyed iOS users have
redownloaded apps.

This key App Store audience can only be
reached by campaigns set up to include them.

Selecting all users in customer type menu.

Make sure you reach
the right audience.

You can reach previous customers by setting your audience refinements to include all users or returning users. Reaching out to all users will allow you to drive both new downloads and redownloads.

Structure ad groups for redownload optimization.

There are a couple of different ways you can set up your campaigns to engage previous customers. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with our campaign structure best practices.

Ad Group Structure for Engaging Everyone

The simplest approach is to set all of your ad groups to the “All users” customer type.
This will allow your ad to show to both new and returning users, maximizing your reach.
Diagram of campaign types and associated ad groups to maximize reach.

Ad Group Structure for Dedicated Reacquisition

To manage your reacquisition budget separately, create dedicated campaigns with all ad groups set to the “Returning users” customer type. This structure can help you customize keywords, bids, and creative for previous customers. As you learn which terms perform well in your discovery ad groups, move them into the other ad groups as keywords.
Diagram of dedicated reacquisition campaigns and associated ad groups.

Promote new features and offerings.

If you’ve made updates to your app, be sure to update your App Store product page to reflect
them. You want returning users to see what’s new since the last time they used your app. Adjust
your keywords, app title and description, app previews, and screenshots in App Store Connect
to highlight new features or updates.   
Side by side comparison of original ad for example app TripTrek and an ad highlighting a new feature.

Let’s say we had a travel journal app called TripTrek, and wanted to showcase a new step-counting feature. We could upload new assets to App Store Connect so that our ad would promote this new feature to both new and previous customers.

Be seen by returning users before they search.

In addition to promoting your app in search results, you can run ads on the Search tab to engage previous customers before they search. Search tab ad groups offer the same audience refinement options as search results ad groups, so you can choose to focus on all users or returning users only. This is a great way to remind previous customers about your app even when they’re not specifically searching for it. Search tab ads can be particularly helpful in reaching past customers during key seasonal moments and events, when you have content or feature updates, or during big promotional periods for your business.

Evaluate keywords using the redownloads metric.

Apple Search Ads includes a redownloads metric in the install counts you see in your All Keywords and Ad Group Keywords dashboards. A redownload is counted when a customer downloads your app, deletes it, and downloads the same app again after tapping an ad on the App Store. Or when they download the same app on an additional device. Monitor the redownloads metric to understand which keywords are most effective among returning users and to make informed decisions about optimization.
Redownloads metric highlighted in All Keywords dashboard for example app TripTrek.



Ad Variations