About App campaigns for engagement

App campaigns for engagement can help you re-engage customers who are already using your app, and encourage them to take specific, in-app actions. Your ads can appear across multiple Google properties, including Google Search, YouTube, within other apps on the Display Network, and more. 

With App campaigns for engagement, you can:

  • Re-engage customers who have downloaded your app, but haven’t opened or used it yet.
  • Drive in-app purchases for your product or service.
  • Remind customers with items in their cart to complete check-out.
  • Re-engage people who haven't used your app for a while.
  • Encourage customers playing a game to finish the final level.
  • Promote a live event or sale.

App campaigns for engagement may help you improve customer retention and long term revenue for your app by increasing your active users, generating sales, and reducing churn.

This article covers the basics of how App campaigns for engagement work.

How it works

Unlike most Google Ads campaigns, you don't design individual ads for App campaigns for engagement. Instead, we'll use your ad text ideas, the images and videos you provide, and assets from your app's store listing to design a variety of ads across several formats and networks. All you need to do is provide some text, images, a starting bid and budget, and let us know the languages and locations for your ads. We also recommend that you provide video for your ads, to help increase the performance of your campaign. Google Ads will test different combinations and show better-performing ads more often, with no extra work needed from you.

When working out where to show your ads, App campaigns for engagement rely on audience targeting, page themes, and information about your app. Learn how to Add page themes to App campaigns for engagement.

Where your ads can appear

Your ads will be eligible to appear across Google's properties, including the Google Search Network, our search partners, YouTube, the Google Display Network, AdMob, and other publishers who host app ads. Google Ads will optimize where your ads show to get you the greatest number of conversions at (or below) your set Target cost-per-action (Target CPA) bid. Note: Your Target CPA will be used as an average, so some bids will be over.

Here are some of the places where your ads can appear:

Google Search Network   

Google Ads uses general information about your app when deciding which search terms to show your ad for, and matches your ad to search terms that are relevant to your app. Learn more About the Google Search Network


Google Ads can show your ads on YouTube in places where they're most likely to be viewed. Learn more About advertising on YouTube.

Google Display Network   

Your ads are eligible to appear where they're most relevant on the Google Display Network and within other apps. Learn more About the Google Display Network.

Campaign optimization and bidding

App campaigns for engagement offer several different ways to optimize for your marketing objectives.


Because in-app actions are likely to be worth more in revenue than new app installs, you should expect to set higher bids for App campaigns for engagement than you would set on regular App campaigns, which are optimized for new app installs. Learn more About bidding for App campaigns for engagement


We recommend that you calculate your bid based on the value of the in-app event that you’re trying to drive. For example, if you’re driving an in-app conversion that’s worth US$10 to your business, your bid should be anywhere from US$0–US$10, but the ideal bid should be as close to the in-app action’s value as possible. If the in-app event has the potential to drive more than US$10, then you could bid even higher.

Performance evaluation

Since in-app events often have longer conversion delays (for example, users typically take longer to complete in-app events after an ad click compared to installing an app after an ad click), it will usually take longer for App campaigns for engagement metrics to accurately reflect campaign performance. 

Location and language targeting 

Since your target audience for App campaigns for engagement (existing app users) is likely to be smaller than your target audience for Universal App campaigns (new app installs), use caution when using additional targeting methods, like geographic or language targeting. Using additional targeting methods on App campaigns for engagement can decrease your audience size, and may reduce the effectiveness of your campaign. 


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