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Phelim O'Brien

Best Practices

5 Reasons You Should Deep Dive into Deep Links

Did you know most mobile apps lose more than 75% of users within 3 days of being installed? Hi, I’m Phelim, Product Manager with Pulsate and today I want to talk to you about one tool to keep your app users engaged for longer. So let’s get into our 5 reasons that you should deep dive into Deeplinks


5 Reasons You Should Deepdive into Deeplinks

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.@PulsateHQ MOBILE APP BEST PRACTICES [WATCH] 5 Reasons You Should Deep Dive into Deep Links



What is a deeplink?

A deep link is any link that directs a user past the home page of a website or app to the content within the app that that is most relevant that user. A deep link could take a user from a web page or a even different app straight to a specific page of your app, bypassing the need to manually open the app, land on the home page and manually find the content you are looking for.

Deep links are useful because they allow you to bring users directly to the content in your app that is most relevant to them. They connect your app to the rest of the web in a seamless manner that provides an excellent user experience for users as they switch between mobile apps and the rest of the web.

They are also great for directing users around our app to the areas that you think will be most valuable to them. For example, you can embed deeplinks in mobile campaigns that bring users of your app to a payment screen or a screen to RSVP to an event you are inviting them to.

real time marketing Another great use case is that you can send a push notification to a user and take them directly to a specific page within your app when they open it. What’s more, deeplinks are very easy to implement for every view within your app and once setup, they can be a powerful tool.

So we have demonstrated how useful deeplinks can be to guide your existing users around your app. But what about new users who have not downloaded your app yet? Well up until now the biggest shortcoming for deep links has been that they have offered no support for new users. Thankfully, that is starting to change.

Previously users were required to have your app installed for deeplinks to work. This was a big problem and it severely hampered the adoption of deeplinks. It was also difficult to embed deep links on web pages and all of this combined to ensure that not many app develoers were interested in adding deeplinks to their app. Thankfully, there have been some big changes over the past few years and deep links are definitely worth looking at again.

Recently much more intelligent deeplinks have been possible that are contextually aware of where the user is coming from and crucially also work for new users who don’t have the app installed. They are called deferred deep links.

When a new user who does not already have your app clicks on one of these deferred deep links, they are brought to the app store to download the app. So far, so good but the best thing about these deep links is that they are contextually aware so when the app is installed and opened, the user is taken to specific view within your app that is relevant to where they came from.

Etsy are one company that use deferred deep links really well. If you are on their mobile site searching for, let’s say a new watch strap as I was the other day, Etsy asks you if you would like to download their app to get the best experience.

If you click on that link, you are taken to the relevant app store for your device and when you download and open the app, it will open on the product page that you were currently on so that you can continue browsing for that great new watch strap.

Crucially, Etsy have realised that when users download your app for a specific reason or to view a specific product, they probably don’t want to be brought to a generic app home page. Instead they want to seamlessly transition from the mobile web to a native app experience.

This year all of the big boys in tech have made announcements supporting deep links. Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Ebay all see the massive value now that the mobile app world can be connected with the rest of the web through deeplinks.

The big prize for any app is converting installs into Active Users, traditionally one of the hardest parts of mobile marketing. As I mentioned at the beginning, it is not uncommon for an app to lose more than 3 quarters of its app users in the first 2-3 days after users install it.

Tech Crunch recently did some research into this area and found that users who download an app from a deep link are often twice as likely to sign up for your app and also twice as likely to still be an active user after 3 days. 

They are pretty amazing figures! We’ll add a link the article in the comments. So why are users who click on a deeplink so much more likely to stay engaged with your app for longer?

Well if we have learned anything form the last 20 or so years that people have been online, it is that we are all a fickle bunch with an incredibly short attention span. If you make something time consuming for users, they will probably just find another company where it is not so diffficult. 

If I see something online that catches my eye and I take the time to download an app to view that product and the app then forces me to sign up or brings me to a generic home page instead of the product that I was originally interested in, chances are I won’t be too happy with that experience and I will be unlikely to use that app again.

Implementing deep links also allows you to really consider the path to purchase for different users and how you can take a user from an interested browser to a product buyer. When a user clicks on a deeplink, you know exactly where they were and what product or category they are most interested in.

This is valuable information! Maybe you only ask users who download your app via deep link to sign up once they have completed an action within the app? Cleverly, Etsy only deeplinked ask users to sign up once they have placed the item in their shopping cart.

We have already explained what deep links are, how they can improve new customer onboarding and massively improve user experience for your app. But how can deeplinks make sure that users stay engaged with your app for longer?

Patrick talked about a lot about Activation and Acquisition in his series on Pirate Metrics so definitely check those videos out for some great tips in this area.

Straight away using deep links can improve your Activation rate because you can include clear call to actions on websites and social media to target users based on specific use cases. You know that because you have used a deep link for the call to action, the user will be taken directly to the part of your app that is most relevant to what the ad they clicked on even if they are new customers who are installing your app for the first time.

You can also design custom landing pages within your app for each group of users depending on what deep link they clicked. And you can tweak your Acquisition strategy for each group of users depending on where they came from. You may have a different goal based Acquisition target for users depending on whether they came to your app from social media or from a specific product page within your website. The bottom line is that deep links give you much more freedom to plan compelling strategies to acquire and activate new users.

But don’t forget about your current users either. Deep links can be used equally well to target and re-engage existing users. Maybe you have a group of of users who still have your app but are lapsed and haven’t opened it for the last couple of months. Hopefully you will be able to segment those users into different groups based on their previous purchase or browsing history. You can then target each of these different groups of users with focused  mobile campaigns that are relevant to them and use deeplinks to bring them directly to the area of your app that they are likely to be most interested in.

Deep links also open up a whole new world in terms of Intelligent Attribution. I know Patrick has another great video planned that deals with just Attribution so stay tuned for that. For the purposes of this video, I will touch on a few key areas where deeplinks can help you make smarter decisions around Attribution that will improve your overall download and engagement rate. 

If you start using deeplinks, you will suddenly have a lot of valuable information about where new users are coming from when they download your app. Previously you knew that new users downloaded your app from one of the app stores depending on which mobile platform they used. And that was pretty much it. With deeplinks you will know whether users came from social media ads you ran, your own website or indeed another app.

This is immensely valuable information to have and it should definitely inform your marketing strategy. Now you can start to rank the sources that are bringing most users to your app. Do you get more users from Facebook ads than Twitter or Google ads? Great, now you can allocate more resources to Facebook and perhaps it is time for a rethink of your strategy for other platforms. Whatever way you slice it up, using deeplinks will immediately make your attribution strategy a whole lot smarter.

So to recap, today we have looked at what exactly a deep link is and why you should be adding deeplinks to every part of your mobile app. We have seen how deep links can improve user experience for your customers and also help you improve your activation and acquisition rates. Finally, we have seen how using deep links can result in much more intelligent attribution and contribute to a smarter marketing strategy for your app.

That’s all for this week. Please share this video with your friends and colleagues and make sure you leave a comment to let us know how we’re doing. You can also hit us up anytime on on Twitter if you have any questions about any of our videos. See you next time.

Link referenced: http://techcrunch.com/2015/08/20/the-second-coming-of-deep-linking/

real time marketing 5 Reasons You Should Deepdive into Deeplinks