Article Mobile App Development

The 5 Best Deferred Deep Linking Providers

Categories: Mobile App Development
Posted 02 December 2020

Never used deferred deep links before? well, you don’t know what you are missing out on. Let’s find out more.

What are Deferred Deep Links?

Deferred deep links take users to a contextually relevant point in your mobile application after they install the app for the first time. These smart-links can be used anywhere: 

  • Physical Locations – QR codes displayed on promotions
  • Email links
  • Websites, banners or landing pages
  • Social media posts
  • Referral links  

They are smart, because the link knows whether you already have the app installed. If you do, you are taken straight to the correct section of the app. And if you don’t, then you are taken to the Apple app store or Google Play store to download, then to the destination within the app.

But there’s more… good deferred deep link solutions remember what link was clicked on to create the download in the first place, so you know which media sources are generating your best users. Also they will show you which promotions are working best and where you are getting best engagement in your promotions. 

Why are they so popular?

They are used by many of the world’s most successful mobile applications because they help businesses engage with their existing users, and drive acquisition of new users. 

For existing users, they are a great way to catch the attention of occasional or lapsed customers and bring them back into your app. They also allow you to engage with users who haven’t opted-in for push notifications, to keep them engaged. By taking these existing users directly to the specific areas in the mobile app, you can encourage interaction with your promotions to drive up sales. 

For those who don’t have your app, they first take them to the app store to download the app and then onto the promotion, so you get new, highly motivated users going directly to the conversion areas of your mobile application. 

Whether you are looking to engage existing users or acquire new users, the links can also be personalised to include promotional codes and discounts or to pre-fill login areas, so they remove important friction points from both onboarding and conversion journeys. 

Who should you partner with?

Whether you are looking to use deferred deep links for the first time or looking to partner with a new provider, we have selected our top five providers based on the strength of their proposition and wider offering.

Here’s our pick: 

1.     Kumulos

Kumulos is an omni-channel mobile user engagement platform.

Their Mobile Marketing Hub allows you to see all aspects of user engagement in one place, which is (in our opinion) much more appealing than working with several different companies for your app marketing. From acquisition tools such as deferred deep links and ASO, to engagement tools like mobile push notifications and in-app messaging, Kumulos covers all areas of the app user engagement journey. They also offer dev support, which is super helpful for those that are more experienced in marketing than developing.

Kumulos’ strengths seem to lie in its wide variety of features that cover all aspects of the mobile app customer journey, from acquisition, to engagement and retention. There is also built-in analytics to evaluate app performance and message campaigns which really rounds off the feel of an all-inclusive platform.

Kumulos are up front about pricing with features priced from $50 dollars per month, they also offer free demos and trials to allow you a chance to experience all the features for free before paying. What’s not to like!

Notable Customers Include: Subway, ATP Tour, Sandals

2.     Branch

Branch offers both deep linking and deferred deep linking alongside an excellent attribution offering that make them an effective mobile app acquisition tool. Branch supports most channels for deep linking including email and social, which allows you to widen your net of acquisition activities.

Branch guarantees that unlike other providers, their links will work all the time and not result in broken links that have a negative effect on user experience, this can work as an insurance policy for your deferred deep link activities. 

Pricing starts at free (for up to 10k Monthly Active Users) but rises in price per 1,000 users over this threshold. Pricing for their advanced package is done on an individual case-by-case basis, which lacks the transparency of some other offerings, but is likely to still be competitive.

It’s a good tool with lots of functionality, but the depth of features also means it could be cumbersome to work with (for the in-experienced out there). Their support gets mixed praise from their customers. So ensure you have some SLAs in place with regard to communication timelines.

Notable Customers Include: Buzzfeed, Strava, Dollar Shave Club

 3.     Appsflyer

Appsflyer identify the main benefit of deep linking to be in reduction of user drop-off in the early stages after download.

They are very focused on utilising deep linking to demonstrate your value to users early-on in the relationship, by directing them to an area of the app that is more likely to encourage conversion. This combined with their attribution and analytics offerings makes them one of the more comprehensive platforms on the market that allows you to both acquire, retain and engage users from their toolkit. Similarly to Kumulos, Appsflyer provide elements that covers all bases primarily associated with a complete app marketing strategy.

Deep linking is provided within the free price plan, but features such as your own dashboard that allows you to customise campaigns and see your data in one place is priced at $0.06 per conversion. This is a cheap pricing structure but could quite quickly become a high cost to your business depending on the size of your addressable market and the success of your app.

Notable Customers Include: eBay

4.     Kochava

Kochava focuses their deep linking feature around the channels you can use to distribute smart-links. These include email, QR code, desktop web-to-app (through providing cell numbers on a desktop applet that will then SMS the app link to you). These features are offered by most deep-linking providers, but aren’t necessarily front and centre of other providers proposition.

Kochava offers a user engagement platform with other features such as push notifications that give some more breadth than some of the other Deferred Deep Link Providers, which is really nice. But the depth of features around push notifications aren’t quite as extensive as the pure play push notification providers.

Starting from $100 per month and based on MAU per individual app, it isn’t the cheapest option out there, but based on the other offerings you receive with the platform, it could be cost efficient for your business. However, do be wary when evaluating cost structure, as it is important to ensure that their is a tangible ROI being delivered from your investment.

Notable Customers Include: Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonalds

5.     Adjust

Adjust deep linking includes all of the features you would hope to find from a comprehensive app marketing platform, with attribution included. Their basic plan includes ‘advanced deep linking’ and is priced based on the individual app after contacting them. So it’s hard to say where this falls in the pricing hierarchy on this list. Our assumption would be that their cost structure would be similar to that of Branch.

With tools like ‘Adjust Multi-Touch’, you can track all user touch points before and after conversion, and highlight your key networks by uplift, not just install. This is a comprehensive attribution tool  that gives you all the attribution data and flexibility that you need for evaluation. This allows you to customise the attribution model to suit your business model and create better deep links for customer acquisition and remarketing.

Notable Customers Include:  Tally, AutoGravity

Final Thoughts

Evaluating which provider to choose can be daunting, especially when the product offerings seem to be quite similar. That’s why it is so important to carefully consider what features and functions are ‘Must Have’ and which are ‘Nice to Have’.

It’s easy to get dazzled by companies that offer features as part of a packaged offering that your business doesn’t need. This adds complexity to your business and cost.

It’s also critical to not consider Deferred Deep Link functionality in isolation, as the functionality is a key part of your mobile marketing stack. 

Here at Waracle, we support our visionary clients in creating mobile applications that deliver innovative user experiences. Our experts are passionate about building the next generation of applications for the sensor-rich, internet connected devices that we are habituated to. If you are interested in how we can help you on your mobile journey, get in touch with our team today!