Excluding users from UA campaigns

At a glance: It is important to exclude existing users from user acquisition (UA) campaigns. Why? More installs for the same budget means a profitable app. 

Issues and consequences

If your app receives traffic from multiple media sources, then these sources can target your existing users in their UA campaigns

An advertiser's campaign performance can suffer for the following reasons:

Double payments Paying for user impressions/clicks that you paid for in the past.
Distorted conversion rates UA campaigns seem less successful. There are fewer installs as impressions are wasted on existing users.
Loss of alternative users Non-users could have seen the ads and become your mobile users.

SRN mistargeting is a similar and common performance issue. This significant issue may happen if both your UA and retargeting campaigns are with the same SRN. Learn more 


These solutions outline how to update ad networks to exclude existing users from UA campaigns.

Manual update

Collect your raw user-level install data from AppsFlyer to manually build device ID lists. Then, send these lists to ad networks to ensure user exclusion.

There are several ways to add this raw data to your BI system:

  • Download raw-data reports
  • Use periodic raw data Pull API requests 
  • Use Push API to implement real-time collection
  • Get conversion data from the SDK


In the time gap between manually sending the next list to the ad networks, UA campaigns can target your newest app users.

Data Locker 

Data Locker is an AppsFlyer premium feature. Your raw data is deposited into an AWS bucket in near real-time.

Use Data Locker to automatically share your data with your ad networks. This may require some dev integration by both you and the ad network. 


Audiences is an AppsFlyer premium feature. Every day, selected segments of your user base are sent automatically to multiple ad networks, as chosen by you.  

Audiences is very useful for maintaining exclude lists

Low effort No development work or maintenance is required by you or the ad network.
User-friendly After a short, initial setup you can start uploading audiences.
Efficient Segments are sent to ad networks automatically every 24 hours.
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