What are Mobile Deep Links? (& How to Use Them)

How far are you from your cell phone right now?

Chances are, it’s within reach. If you’re like most people, your phone doubles as a calendar, notepad, web browser, entertainment, connection to friends and family, and a way to shop.

We do so much on our phones. In fact, the average adult spends about 3.5 hours of mobile screen time a day.

For the first time ever, more than half of all global digital commerce spend will be executed via mobile devices.

How can you ensure mobile users can smoothly transition from one part of your experience to the next? What can help increase brand loyalty in critical moments along the customer journey?

The answer is mobile deep links. In the post, we’ll show you why.

We’ll cover:

  • What mobile deep links are
  • Ways to use them
  • Why you should use them

What’s a mobile deep link?

A mobile deep link brings mobile users to a specific location within an app, the same way that a web URL can bring users to a specific page on a website.

What are Mobile Deep Links? ( and  How to Use Them)

For a package delivery service, this might mean sending customers from an SMS notification to the right place in the app so they can check on a delivery status. For an ecommerce brand, it might mean driving customers to a specific product in the app to add to their cart.

Ways to use mobile deep links

Deep links can drive users to your app from all sorts of online—and offline—experiences, including:

  • Website to app
  • App to app
  • SMS to app
  • QR Code to app
  • Email to app
  • Search result to app
  • Social media to app
  • Ad to app

Why add deep links to your user experience?

Deep links can play a big role in helping you improve your end-to-end customer experience—while driving key business outcomes.

Customer experience is complicated, especially on mobile devices. While you can rely on your email to point a customer to the right place on your website with a single click, it can take many more taps for a customer engaging with the same content on mobile to land in the right place.

The more work for the customer, the less likely they’ll get to where you want them to go. This means more drop off, less engagement and fewer conversions.

A poor customer experience can have big consequences for mobile commerce brands. According to Business Insider, mobile commerce will reach $ 284 billion—that’s 45% of the total U.S. ecommerce market—by the start of 2021. This means, if you sell products via mobile and aren’t focused on driving in-app purchases, you’re probably leaving money on the table.

Even if you’re not a mobile commerce brand, below are a few ways you can use deep links to drive important metrics for your team and business.

1. To increase app engagement

Instead of defaulting to a web browser, deep links give users the option to have an optimized mobile experience by engaging within your app instead.

Say you’re a digital marketer looking to run ads on Facebook. Considering 91% of all social media users use mobile devices to access social media, you can use deep links to send a user from your ad straight to the most appropriate place in your app. Optimizing your business’s channels so they’re driving to your in-app experience whenever possible is a great way to encourage engagement with your app.

2. To drive app installs

Another benefit of using mobile deep links is that they’ll directly route users to download your app if they don’t already have it. This means they’re a great tool to help increase discovery of your app and drive more installs. This is a win for your business—you gain app downloads—and users—since most people prefer mobile apps over mobile sites.

3. To optimize the user experience

A great user experience can lead to more and higher conversions. Deep links create seamless transitions from your other channels to mobile. They help ensure all of your brand’s communications—email, SMS, push notification, etc.— are device-optimized for the best user experience.

For example, you can use mobile deep links to make it easy for users to perform “one click” actions, like clicking to confirm an appointment, place an order or register for an event.

4. To re-engage users

Deep links make it easy to reactivate lapsed users. In fact, one study found that users who engage with an app via a deep link, rather than a standard link, show double the long-term engagement.

For example, a user who hasn’t opened your app in a while might engage with a link pointing to your website. Since it’s a deep link, they’re routed straight to your mobile app instead of your web experience.

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