Re-engagement FAQ

Learn about retargeting, re-engagement, and Singular's re-engagement attribution process. For more about Singular attribution, see Understanding Singular Mobile App Attribution.


Definitions and General Questions


What is re-engagement?

In general terms, re-engagement with a mobile app is a renewed use of the app by a user who has already installed the app in the past. 

Re-engagement is the result of successful retargeting. A retargeting campaign is one that targets existing users of a product, aiming to get them interested in the product again.

In Singular, re-engagement is defined simply as the user's opening of an app that they have already used before, following a click on a retargeting ad.

In other words, the first session after clicking a retargeting ad is considered a re-engagement event.

Once Singular recognizes a re-engagement event, it triggers a process of re-engagement attribution to credit the partner network that caused the engagement. Re-engagements are tracked as a metric in the same way that Singular tracks app installs, and you can see their numbers in your reports.


What is re-engagement attribution?

Once Singular recognizes a re-engagement event, it triggers a process of re-engagement attribution. This works similarly to install attribution. The goal is to credit the partner network that caused the engagement.

After Singular performs re-engagement attribution for a user, any following in-app events (such as purchases or level-ups) are attributed to the source of the re-engagement rather than the source of the original app install.


What methods does Singular use to perform re-engagement attribution? How is it different from the install attribution process?

The re-engagement attribution process is similar to the install attribution process, with some of the main differences being:

  Install Attribution Re-engagement Attribution
Trigger Triggered by the first user session on a device unknown to Singular. Triggered by a user session that follows a click on a retargeting ad.
Attribution Methods Deterministic + Probabilistic (a.k.a. fingerprinting) Deterministic methods only. Singular performs re-engagement attribution only if device identifiers are available or the app was opened through a Singular deep link (see the Singular Links FAQ).
Conversion Type Supports click-through (click-based tracking links) and view-through (impression-based tracking links) Supports click-through tracking links only
How does Singular determine that a certain session is a re-engagement?

For every user session that is not the first session on the device, Singular checks to see if the user has clicked on a relevant retargeting ad.

This check encompasses two processes:

  • Singular looks back in its touchpoint database to see if there has been a click on a retargeting ad from the same device. Singular needs the ad campaign to be marked as a retargeting campaign. You do this by enabling re-engagement attribution when you create the Singular tracking link. Note that not all partner networks support this type of campaign.
  • For Self-Attributing Networks (SANs), which do not support Singular tracking links, Singular just sends the session information to the network and receives back information on whether the user has clicked on a relevant retargeting ad in the network.

If Singular finds one or more clicks on retargeting ads prior to the session, it starts the re-engagement attribution process, based on the last-touch attribution model.

Note: SANs may have their own twists on whether a click counts as a retargeting click, and the nature of working with SANs means that Singular has to accept the partner's report. For example, Facebook has a user retention period of six months. This means that six months after an app install, Facebook forgets the install, and may target the same user again with user acquisition ads (not retargeting ads). If the user clicks on such an ad, and Singular later queries Facebook for retargeting clicks, Facebook will report that there has indeed been a retargeting click.

How are re-engagements displayed in Singular reporting?

To view re-engagement data for your campaigns, include the re-engagements metric in your reports.

For example, the following report shows the number of installs as well as the number of re-engaged users per source, app, and campaign:


What's the difference between "re-engagement" and "retargeting"?

You may have heard the terms used interchangeably. However, in Singular, retargeting is a type of advertising campaign (one aimed at existing users of the product), while re-engagement is the user opening the app again after interacting with a retargeting ad.

Accordingly, when you run reports in Singular, the "re-engagements" field and the "retargeting" field have very different meanings:

  • "re-engagements" is a metric that shows the number of re-engaged users (per app, campaign, source, etc.) in the given date range.
  • "retargeting" is a dimension (breakdown) you can add to your report to have it broken down by whether each campaign was configured as a retargeting campaign or not.
What's the difference between "re-engagement" and "retention"?

In Singular, retention is measuring how long your users keep using your product after conversion. For example, you can run a report to see "Retention 7d" for an app for a certain date range: this will show you how many of the users who installed an app in those dates were still using it seven days later.

A re-engagement event actually resets the retention counter for the user, as it is considered a new conversion for the same user.

See the Retention FAQ for more definitions and information.

What's the difference between "re-engagement" and "re-install"?

Re-install means installing the app again after uninstalling. This does not necessarily signify re-engagement. 

Like any user session, the first session after a re-install may or may not trigger a re-engagement attribution process, depending only on whether it follows a click on a retargeting ad

Note: Campaigns running on Apple Search Ads are an exception to this rule. Apple Search Ads reports re-installs and re-engagements together, so the number of re-engagements you see in Singular reports for these campaigns includes re-installs.

What date is considered to be the date of re-engagement?

The date of re-engagement is the date in which the user opened the app after clicking the retargeting ad.

How many times can the re-engagement attribution process be repeated?

There is no limit on the number of re-engagements per user.

Configuration Options

How do I enable re-engagement tracking for a partner or a campaign?

For self-attributing networks (SANs), re-engagement tracking may be enabled by default. When you set up a SAN in the Partner Configuration page, you can deselect the Enable re-engagement option. Before you do so, make sure you are not running any re-engagement campaigns through that partner. 

Note: To track re-engagements for Apple Search Ads, contact your Customer Success Manager to enable the option for you.

For other networks, you enable re-engagement tracking per campaign. You do so by selecting Enable re-engagement tracking when you create the tracking link (see the Singular Links FAQ).

What is the lookback window for re-engagement attribution, and how do I customize it?

When you set up your partner in the Partner Configuration page, you can customize the attribution lookback window. The same window applies to install attributions and re-engagement attributions. In the case of re-engagement, the window limits the time from the click to the relevant user session.

When you create a tracking link, you can override the default attribution window for the partner and set a different window for each individual link (see the Singular Links FAQ). 

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