How deep links can minimise friction in your mobile campaigns

Marketers must be smart as to how they manage their mobile campaigns. It doesn't take much to turn off customers. The solution lies in deep links

Mobile is set to become the king of all screens. According to RescueTime, users are spending an average of three and a quarter hours every day on phones. US adults even spend more time on their phones compared to TV for media consumption. For marketers, this change in user behaviour means that they have to focus more of their efforts on mobile. Companies are starting to ramp up their investments in digital channels. By 2020, mobile is set to account for 43pc of total media ad spending in the US.

However, before you take a dive into mobile marketing, you must be aware that it has nuances that you have to be prepared to navigate. Mobile offers richer user experiences (UX) compared to conventional browser-based channels since you can also go online using apps. In fact, users are now more comfortable performing transactions using mobile apps. On mobile, users may also interact with devices through sensors and cameras. These capabilities actually allow you to tap into display ads, image and video content, games, and even virtual reality to engage users.

While these methods provide you with more options to reach out to customers, you must also keep in mind that users appreciate frictionless experiences. Using a wide variety of channels in your campaigns may introduce unnecessary friction to your customer journey which, according to mobile attribution platform Appsflyer, can turn users off.

Fortunately, the right choice of approach and the application of techniques such as deep linking to your campaigns allows you to maximise what mobile can offer and boost your odds of success.

Be wary of friction

One of the contentious drawbacks of today’s highly digital lifestyles is that users have come to expect all the conveniences to be provided for them. This is why designing mobile experiences have been quite challenging. Given how mobile computing is still evolving, there isn’t a definitive template that designers and developers can use to ensure that users will have totally frictionless experiences.

Take the case of display ads. Ecommerce merchants, for example, can use retargeting to display ads that point back to specific products which users have previously searched for or browsed. These ads typically contain links that direct users to specific product pages when clicked. On desktop browsers, these links simply open the product page on the ecommerce site, which brings customers one step closer to purchasing.

However, this experience doesn’t necessarily translate to the mobile experience.

Mobile users prefer to complete their transactions within apps rather than on browsers so these links should ideally open not only the app but the specific product pages within the app. But unless a technique like deep linking is applied, the links would simply only open web pages on the device’s browser instead. This quirky behavior can deter customers from making a successful purchase.

Deep links to the rescue

This is why techniques like deep linking can be of great help as it can guide customers in their progression through the conversion funnel. When tapped, a properly configured deep link placed within an ad should direct the user to the specific product page within the app.

In cases where the app isn’t installed on the device yet, deep linking would direct the user to the app’s store page and prompt the user to install the app. It’s also possible to apply deferred deep linking where users would even be automatically directed to the specific page as soon as the app is successfully installed. Users are effectively put into the perfect position to proceed with the transaction.

Aside from a smoother experience, deep links served through mobile attribution also have the benefit of providing accurate analytics. Mobile attribution help you track how users progress through your campaigns and determine their behaviour within your mobile app.

Mind the experience

Given how complex and competitive the business landscape is today, marketers must be smart with how they manage their campaigns, especially in mobile. It doesn’t take much to turn customers off so it’s important to create meaningful and frictionless experiences.

Knowing how users behave will be critical in formulating your strategy and it should guide you in choosing the most appropriate channels to use. More importantly, you must also be familiar with the features and quirks of the various mobile devices and operating systems as these could very well influence the experience that you can provide.

Fortunately, you can always look at solutions such as deep linking that can help create a cohesive and satisfying experience. Knowing all these details should help you orchestrate your mobile marketing efforts to convert more users into customers.

Sadie Williamson is founder of Williamson Fintech Consulting

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