What is deep linking?
Mobile app deep linking is a powerful mechanism allowing direct access to a specific content within your mobile app via a URI link. Deep linking is a hot trend these days playing an important role in mobile marketing, advertising, and information exchange.
Let us provide a few vivid examples to make sure you get the concept right:
- When your friend shares a link to a great new burger place in town via messenger, you click the link and immediately see this place tagged in Google Maps app.
- When you get a text message with a link to special offer from a shoe outlet you are a regular customer in, you are forwarded directly to the page with all products on sale.
- When a mobile app offers you a discount for liking their Facebook page, you click a link they provide and their Facebook page pops up in from of you in a second.
What is common in all these examples:
- You avoid an intermediary hassle of switching between apps and logging in.
- Each person sees the content relevant to them.
- Different digital communication channels cooperate seamlessly.
Now that we understand what deep linking is, let us transition to the applied aspect of this phenomenon and see how you and your company can benefit from it.
How to Use Deep Linking in Your Mobile App
Deep linking gives extensive opportunities for efficient marketing, customer acquisition and retention, engagement and satisfaction, as well as for ads performance testing and increased visibility in search engines.
Deep linking drives mobile marketing to the new level. Based on the analysis of a customer profile, you are now able to tailor a special offer to align with their interests or preferences. In addition, you can fully engage your app into your marketing communications network and have it easily accessible from the web, email, text messages, QR-codes, social media and the like.
Customer acquisition, retention, and re-engagement
Give your prospect customers a link to a special landing page, tell them everything you have on offer specifically for them, pre-populate the registration form with some of their personal data – make them feel wanted and valued, and you chances of winning them increase exponentially.
Sharing is another exciting acquisition tool – we all tend to trust advice and recommendations we get from our friends, colleagues, and relatives. Companies are smart enough to incentivize their users to share the fact of their affiliation with an app across their network – using existing client base as evangelists of a brand gives much better results in terms of attracting new active users. Celebrities and popular bloggers endorsing your app can have even stronger influence and may be persuasive enough for followers who have never heard of an app to go ahead and try it.
Studies show that users that discovered an app via deep linking are twice as likely to register, twice less likely to churn, and twice as active as those who haven’t been deep-linked. And the reason is probably that the app appears likeable and easy to use at first glance, and, as we know, first impression matters – moreover, it is often determinative of the further relations with it.
Deep linking is also effective in re-engaging your existing, but inactive, customers. Give them a direct link to some unique content, offer, reward for loyalty, or early review of an upcoming new feature, and they may like you again, even more.
There is a so called “three click rule” in website design which requires any page on the site to be accessible in tree mouse clicks maximum. It should definitely be even fewer for mobile. Deep linking allows slashing unnecessary clicks, taps, and swipes to get you straight to where you want to be.
This item is more important for the company itself, but it’s customers who win in the end anyway. By sending different deep links to different random subsets of your customer base you get a perfect opportunity to figure out which links lead to higher customer engagement, more purchases, longer time spent in the app, higher registration or subscription rate, etc. Same techniques can be used for testing several designs of the same page, several implementations of a new feature, or several options of the call for action on a button.
This one is a win-win for both company and customers. Google indexes deep links in mobile applications, so specific content from within the app can appear in search results along with conventional websites. This gives your brand additional chances of being noticed, while also giving users the choice of engaging via web or via an app.
In conclusion, it’s worth highlighting that success of deep linking is directly dependent on the proficiency and appropriateness of its implementation. As user is put on a certain page within the app, specific attention should be paid to making this teleportation through app launch, login, and navigation phases smooth and fast. Clear understanding of architecture and logic of the entire app is critical in building a strong and flexible deep linking campaign.