Deep link is a uniform resource identifier (URI) that links users to a specific location within your app. Examples of such locations include merchandise, chat areas, articles, etc. Deep links shorten the path to such content for new users and help effectively interact with users who have already installed your app.
Regular deep link are used after your app has been installed. When a regular deep link is opened, the system identifies and launches its associated app, and transfers the deep link data to that app, so that it can link the user to the relevant destination content.
Regular deep links are often used to interact with the existing users that have already installed your app, for example, for retargeting and user retention.
The weak spot of this technology is that it can be used only if the app has already been installed. For new users that need to visit an app store, install and launch a new app, this technology fails, and the app, when launched, would display its home screen.
When used in tracking links, regular deep links increase the number of redirects needed to bring users to a destination page (deep link or app store); this is due to deep link implementation constraints and mobile platform specifications. So, for a marketing campaign that targets new users, deferred deep linking may be a better solution, as it reduces the number of redirects and boosts conversions.
Deferred deep links were developed to address the main shortcoming of regular deep links that cannot be used to engage new users who have just installed the app. In addition to apps and operating systems, this technology involves a third element, a server that stores information about particular device/app installation and a link to the content to be displayed to the user.
Deferred deep linking consists of the following basic steps:
Deferred deep links will not work without a tracking library (such as MyTracker). Deferred deep links are used most frequently as part of a campaign aimed at acquiring new users. For example, you may place an ad for this or that product, and, after a click on the ad, the relevant product will be displayed, once your app is installed and launched.
Deep links rely on a variety of platform-specific technologies. Their brief descriptions and links to additional information are provided below:
Different types of deep links can be combined or used independently. As a rule, provided that this is supported by the app tracking system, special-purpose links, such as smart link, onelink, etc, are generated. What sets them apart is the fact that they can be used on all platforms, for both new and existing users.
Smart links operation can be summarised as follows:
This approach may be used in MyTracker, provided that you have activated "Use a deep link if the app is installed" and configured deferred and regular deep links. For more details on deep linking, refer to Deep link settings; for information on smart links and their support in MyTracker, refer to Smart tracking link.
MyTracker supports both regular and deferred links:
API-methods provided by SDK for each platform (iOS, Android) enable a consistent approach to implementation of regular and deferred deep links.
For more information on implementing deep link support and using deep links in marketing campaigns, refer to Deep link settings