+1 vote
by (2k points)

3 Answers

+1 vote

I've heard these terms used interchangeably.

I think there are two situations where there are substantive, non-semantic distinctions between the two. The first is if the campaign in question is meant to shift people between products versus reaching a lapsed user for just one product.

For instance, if I operate a product portfolio with two products, A and B, and I know that users in Product A tend to also be very engaged in Product B, I might run a re-targeting campaign for Product B aimed at Product A users. The idea of re-engagement here wouldn't make sense since the users targeted in the campaign for Product B may not have ever been exposed to it.


The second potential difference is when re-engagement is used not for lapsed users but for engaged users to bring them into a specific "moment" in the product, like a sale or a tournament. You can imagine a mobile commerce app running a "re-engagement" campaign against its most active users around Christmas, and the term "re-targeting" wouldn't make sense for that since re-targeting is generally thought of as a means of re-activating lapsed users.

by (15.1k points)
+1 vote
I agree with most of Eric's answer.

I will just add that I usually hear and use re-targeting when the goal is to target a lapsed user outside the app (via ads typically) while re-engagement has a broader meaning and can include CRM (email, push) on in-app message channels.
Expert in Mobile Marketing by (1.1k points)
0 votes
It might also be defined as:
- Retargeting - converting users who have not yet completed product onboarding (for instance downloaded the app but didn't actually register)
- Re-engagement - getting users who have completed onboarding (and already registered / experienced your product) but have churned - to return and make additional purchases (or higher purchases)

The messaging might be different since one type of user has not experienced your product yet, whereas the other type may have used it repeatedly and eventually stopped. The unique value prop needed to entice each back into your app/site/product may be very different.
by (200 points)