Deep-Linking: When Does It Make the Most Sense
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘deep-linking’ odds are you still know what it is. If you’ve ever selected a tweet from within a webpage on your phone, or clicked on a mobile Facebook notification, then you’ve most likely been deep-linked into the Twitter or Facebook mobile application. But deep-linking doesn’t mean merely launching the mobile app from an external source. It means linking even deeper to the relevant regions within the application, the very places that makes the most sense. If you received an email notification that it is a friend’s birthday, then the link should send you to the place within the application that allows you to write a message on their wall.
The Benefits and Limitations of Deep-Linking
In the past, deep-linking was slightly more difficult to implement, which caused developers to shy away from deep-linking, and redirecting to a mobile web or browser experience instead. To a certain degree that continues to be the case, but as deep-linking has become increasingly exposed (see what Bitly and URX are trying to accomplish here), the opportunities to drive customer traffic to the right place within the app are proving to be not only more beneficial for the user, but easier to accomplish from the development side. And as developers are familiarizing themselves with the many ways to deep-link, these same developers are coming up with creative ways to achieve it, not just from web links and emails, but from within one mobile application to another. You may be playing a game and receive a compelling message that takes you into a completely different place in another app.
Compelling Examples of Deep-Linking
Even though there isn’t a standards-based approach yet for deep-linking (it’s been on the to-do list for a while now), the powers that be are taking notice. Apple’s iOS 9, for example, now allows for apps to not only deep-link to one another, you can now link to your search results in Spotlight. In the app-to-app approach, you may find a song shared in one social app, like Facebook or Twitter, that deep links to the actual song in another music app like Spotify or within iOS in your iTunes account. Rather than simply launching the application, the link takes you directly to the song, skipping the step of having to search for the song. Or if you’re in Foursquare and need a car. Now you can order the car in a way that appears to summon an Uber vehicle, from Foursquare directly.
Taking Deep-Linking to the Next Level
So now that we see how compelling deep-linking is for both developers and mobile users, where exactly does proximity fit in? How can location-based triggers enhance the user experience when it comes to deep-linking within mobile applications? Imagine you’re playing a mobile game that has awards based on the places you visit. You achieve a certain reward level because you’ve accumulated the required number of coins or points, and you’re now eligible for certain prizes. The notification could be triggered based on your location and then provide a deep link into an application that allows you to ‘buy’ prizes at your eligibility level. It may even allow you to purchase and pick up the prize if the store is nearby. In Europe, a telecom is currently notifying customers when their battery level is low, and, if they happen to be close to one of their stores, communicated via notification that they’re welcome to stop in and recharge. If the customer is also eligible for a phone or device upgrade, a deep-link can be provided to the telecom app listing the device upgrades with a button to upgrade displayed. Now that the customer is already in the store, the upgrade process is not only initiated, but completed. All of this from a location-based trigger.
Time Travel: Deferred Deep-Linking and Proximity
Another compelling use case for location-based deep-linking comes from the power of proximity to inform buying decisions that may take place in the future. With proximity, mobile apps are able to tell where and when a user is, or, more interestingly, was. By creating unique profiles of users, it becomes possible to determine, based on the location history of users, to make an informed assumption as to what applications the user may be interested in. By setting up rules-based triggers, mobile applications can now target users for application installs based on where they’ve been and offer the application at the appropriate time. By combining this offline data with online behavior, it becomes easier to offer a user the invitation to install a ticketing app like StubHub because they’re near Madison Square Garden a few hours before a concert, if they’ve also been near the same venue for more than 2 hours during performances of similar artists and they’ve appeared in their playlists. If the user installs the app, the deep-link will take them to the appropriate concert event ticketing page set to take place nearby in the very near future.
Smartwhere Proximity Platform
We understand that messaging is difficult. And our full-stack proximity platform allows you to create and send those messages to your mobile users however you see fit, whether the triggers are beacon events, geofences, wi-fi, or even NFC and QR. We also allow you to send those messages based on user profiles and market segments gathered from location-based data. If you’re interested in learning how proximity data can integrate with your existing marketing platform, click below to see the ways in which we can help you better engage with your customers.
Smartwhere is a powerful proximity platform that allows you to quickly and easily integrate proximity solutions into your existing environment. Whether it’s mobile retail, interactive marketing, or location-based advertising, Smartwhere is an all-in-one proximity platform that delivers and manages relevant content to consumers and other end users when and where they need it.