In the early days of mobile, apps were silos. Each stood alone, independent of the others, and there was good reason for this. Consumers who were just becoming familiar with smartphone technology weren’t yet ready to trust apps to have access to each other, let alone contacts and personal data. But as users grew more comfortable with mobile, efficiency and convenience won out. Deep linking, or the ability to create connected mobile experiences, became a necessary item in the toolbox of the sophisticated mobile marketer.
First, let’s begin by explaining deep linking. Just like a website has a domain and every page within it has a unique URL, every screen on an app also has a unique identifier. Websites can link deep into other websites. If I want to send you to my favorite paella recipe, I wouldn’t send you to the home page of the cooking site and expect you to search, I’d send you right to the post you were looking for. Deep linking in apps is the same as with the web. It’s the ability to link into specific locations inside an app, rather than merely launching the app’s main page. –And, it’s a critical component to contextual mobile marketing, transforming silo’d experiences into personalized, cross channel opportunities.
Let’s look at an example.
Online boarding passes are extremely important to the success of airline mobile apps. They reduce staffing requirements, streamline the gate experience and even provide upsell opportunities. By connecting to CRM data triggering messages containing deep links, an airline creates invaluable, personalized content for its customers. In our example, they set up push campaigns that send boarding passes and gate information three hours before a flight. A user receives a push notification with a link to the airline’s app, which directly loads her boarding pass into her phone. Then, fortyfive minutes before the flight, she receives another notification; this one triggered by time and previous purchasing habits. It offers a seat upgrade at a reduced price, with a big “buy now” button. Because she’s a frequent flyer, her credit card info is on file with the airline and she can make the purchase with one click. Everyone wins.
Another great use case comes from enterprise chat platform and SAAS darling, Slack. Rather than making users type cumbersome passwords to log in via their mobile phones, Slack sends an email with a link that the user clicks on from their device. Voila! Login complete. No need for a painful authentication process. This simple innovation removes friction, increases app usage, and makes happy customers.
Sources for deep linking are not limited to email or push. They include QR codes, SMS, and even other mobile apps.
There are use cases for deep linking in nearly every mobile marketing strategy. FollowAnalytics not only provides this capability, we turbo-charge it. By creating segments and triggers based on variables like time-of-day, user preferences, previous behavior and location, marketers provide value to their users, leading to high engagement and lifetime loyalty. Only FollowAnalytics can connect to any customer database, whether it be CRM, DMP, BI or a home grown tool –and respond to triggers in real time.
To learn more about how you can incorporate deep linking into your mobile marketing strategy, request a free 60-minute mobile marketing clinic.
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