Deep Links: The Small Thing That Can Make A Big Difference

July 12, 2018
Ross Hamer
Ross Hamer


July 12, 2018

"Smartphones are the ultimate instrument of distraction," says Swrve's Content Marketing content guru, Ross Hamer. Let’s see a show of hands for who picks up their phone with intent, only to be found ferociously scrolling a matter of seconds later, with no purpose and no idea what distracted you along the way...

All well and good, but for apps who send push notification campaigns with the intention of getting a user to do a certain action, any distraction is simply disastrous. It is therefore vital to reduce, by as much as possible, the chance of a user losing their way from a push notification to whatever the end goal is. Thankfully one small thing can make a big difference: deep links.

A deep link can take a user from a push notification or an in-app message to a specific page within an app; not merely the app homepage. This matters from a user’s point of view - just think how frustrating it is, as a user, if you click on a push notification expecting to be taken to the relevant part of the app, only to be faced with (gasp!) a homepage.

It matters from a business point of view as well. We’ve written numerous times about why you should be wary of vanity metrics like number of clicks, and instead focus on what you want users to do when they click. This is essentially what deep links do - ‘joining up’ the journey for the customer, ensuring that they don’t lose the thread and close your app without doing what you want them to do. A homepage is no longer acceptable.

Let’s take a look at some examples across different industries to show you how simple but effective deep linking can be:

Media: A good example for a media company is a push notification letting viewers know that there's a new episode of their favorite TV show available to watch. Adding a deep link to the notification will direct viewers, once they’ve clicked, right to the location where that episode is located, where they can immediately start to watch. At Swrve our OTT capabilities even enable media businesses to do this on the TV itself through in-app messages.

Telco: A customer receives a push notification informing them that their pay-as-you-go credit has expired. Clicking on the notification deep links them directly to the top-up page of the app where they can purchase more credit. It’s quick and easy and allows your customers to continue with the rest of their day with minimal friction.

Travel: Sending a push notification to passengers who have yet to check in for an approaching flight is a useful and welcome service message. It makes perfect sense to deep link them directly to the check-in page; in fact, there’s really no excuse not to, and it can alleviate a little bit of the dreaded travel stress.

Retail: Letting people know about a particular discount or special offer through a push notification can be a great way to engage potential customers. Deep linking to that offer, or the item in question, is a great way to increase conversions - which, let’s face it, is the aim of the game. One of our customers generated twice the revenue from a campaign with deep links, compared to the exact same campaign without.

So, there we have it! Sure, these are small things, but they all add up to make a difference to your users and your business. Deep links should be used, and should be regarded as, one more vital cog in the machine which creates a seamless customer journey, every step of which needs to be optimized to give your app the best chance of succeeding.

Interested in learning more?  You can reach Shaw + Scott at +1.520.762.4842 and press option 1, or reach out through our simple contact form.

Swrve: Deep Linking

Tags: Digital Marketing, User Experience, swrve, deep linking, notifications, customer journey

Guest blogger, Ross Hamer has found his home at Swrve having taken the perfectly logical career path from Latin teacher to record store manager. In his spare time, he records albums with his friends in his bedroom in Dublin. Ross leads the Content Marketing team for Swrve, a complete cross-platform customer interaction engine for enterprises. Swrve gives you everything you need to build great relationships with customers, interact 'in the moment' on any channel, and drive engagement, retention, and revenue as a result.

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