Mobile Deep Linking: The Future of App Advertising

Mobile Deep Linking: The Future of App Advertising

By Jonathan Hilgart • May 28, 2015

We take it for granted that the Buzzfeed article, “10 Puppies You Need to See Now” will bring you directly to that article and not to the Buzzed main site.

Why not apply that same concept to your mobile app in the form of app links?

Over the last couple of years content has shifted away from being discovered on the web to being found on mobile devices. Alongside this trend, we’re seeing that the time spent consuming media is accelerating towards mobile.

Today, most mobile users discover content by searching on the mobile web. With native mobile apps becoming more popular, however, we now spend almost 90% of our time on mobile in applications. That means there is a disconnect between where we spend our time (in mobile applications) and how we discover content to occupy this time (on the mobile web). App links are a powerful and efficient way to bridge the gap.

What this means for you

For starters, it is not enough to have users simply download your app in the hopes that they’ll monetize. The average number of applications a typical user will engage with over a week has remained constant at 3.7 applications since 2009. Getting those who have downloaded your app to re-engage is therefore difficult and imperative. In fact, companies with less than $10M in annual revenue have a median churn rate of 20%. Unsurprisingly, companies earning more revenue see this figure drop to a more respectable 8.5%.

App links can help. They can keep a user engaged longer and open up new traffic to your application from previously unavailable channels. As an example, to use app links effectively in your mobile games, you should think of the following types of users.

  1. Players that have not played in seven days
  2. Players who have not played in 30 days
  3. Highly engaged users who have not played in 28 days
  4. Engagement targeting people who installed the app within seven days

Starting with your VIP users, one strategy to keep them engaged includes giving access to exclusive material or “sneak peeks” at upcoming features. You can offer deep discounts to repeat customers using your mobile e-commerce application, such as a push notification that links to the application’s content.

You should also consider users who are highly engaged in your application but haven’t converted yet. This is an opportunity to offer a discount via a sale; for these users, you could also incentivize social sharing of your application to gain more users (who may later monetize). Finally, you can use deep links for new user acquisition to decrease the friction of monetizing.

With app links, it is easier for apps to communicate with each other. For instance, what if your smart watch communicated with your fitness app to create personalized workouts based upon your activity level for the week? The workout could be pushed to you, thus saving you time otherwise spent curating a workout. This is one way that the “Internet of Everything” will use apps to communicate with each other and make the most of deep links.

How to use these techniques

At Ampush we’ve seen the following re-engagement campaign tactics work well with our clients:

  1. Launch ads with copy targeting engagement such as “For a limited time, top players will be entered in a lottery to be flown to meet our team!”, or “Region eight has just been unlocked, play today!”
  2. For creative, make sure you highlight an in-game event, or new content that has been updated.
  3. When targeting, be sure to try all combinations of groups to determine the best for re-engagement. For example, a hardcore game could re-engage players who haven’t played in 30 days, while a casual game might be better targeting players who haven’t played in seven days.

Using these techniques, we’ve seen 80% lower CPIs ($1.5) vs CPE ($.30) for our Android campaigns*. For some mobile gaming clients, we’ve seen 28-day new user acquisition return on ad spend (ROAS) just over 10%. One client achieved 28-day ROAS on re-engagement campaigns of 425% for iOS campaigns and over 330% for Android campaigns.

Moving Forward

The world is moving towards an experience where people’s apps communicate with each other, providing context to the actions we take on our mobile devices. App links/deep links are one important step to expanding mobile discovery options for consumers. Not only can they improve the experience of using a mobile device, but they are an essential transition toward providing the right information to the right users at the right time. When we look back, we may well find that if 2014 was the year of the download, then 2015 was the year of re-engaging your users.

*Cost Per Installs for our new user acquisition campaign, and Cost Per Engagement for our re-engagement campaigns.



mobile advertising deep links