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Deferred Deep Linking Explained
January 18, 2021

What do you do if you want to create a link to content inside an app that a person doesn’t have yet? Deferred deep linking is what solves this problem.

Deferred deep linking is an integral part of mobile deep linking. It allows you to create links to content within an app that has not yet been installed.  The connection to the deep link is “deferred” until the app has been downloaded. Once the app is installed, the deep link completes the connection to the intended content.

What is Deferred Deep Linking?

It’s a concept invented by the deep linking industry in 2014. It refers to the process of taking a user to specific in-app content after they install that app for the first time. If a user tries and is unable to access the desired content after clicking a deep link, they can install the app and access it after installation. Deferred deep linking ensures that the user gets to the right spot in the app immediately after the install.

AppURL takes deferred deep linking to the next level with advanced logic that also determines the type of device a user has. It takes them to the correct app store based on their device. After the app has been installed, it continues the deep link request taking the user to the intended in-app content.

A common use for deferred deep linking is to drive installs by linking to functionality in a not-yet-installed app. This gives the user an incentive to install it and offers a smooth experience during the process.

Deferred deep linking gives developers and marketers a way to seamlessly automate and deliver a user experience. This has been shown to improve both conversion rates and user retention.

Why Deferred Deep Links Are So Special

Links that open webpages are not the same as links that open mobile apps.  A website’s “deep link” is simply a URL that points to any webpage that is not the home page. People share these links all the time. This is why the term “deep linking” is rarely used when talking about websites.

Apps, however, do not use URLs. Links to them do not behave like links to websites. Apps use URIs, or uniform resource identifiers.  They must be configured correctly and can only be opened by the user using a “URI scheme”. The URI scheme is accessed from an app store and must be configured correctly.

Previously, the only way to integrate deep linking was if a user already had a particular app installed. If they did not have the app, they had to be taken to another link and asked to select their app store for download.

This was a huge barrier that created a poor user experience. It often caused customers to abandon the deep linking process because they did not want to take an additional step. Without a URI scheme, there was no way to deliver the user to the app’s content so the process could not be completed.

Benefits of Deferred Deep Linking with AppURL

Fortunately, the AppURL smart URL shortener offers deferred deep linking technology. This comes with many benefits:

    • Optimal Conversion Opportunities: Drive users straight to the point of sale immediately after install. Deferred deep linking allows e-commerce and service apps to close sales quickly and more easily.
    • Better User Experience: If an app is not yet installed, users are driven to the right app store. Then, they are driven to specific content in the app after the installation. The process is fast and seamless.
    • Customization: Customize the title, description, and image previews of your digital marketing campaigns without having to change these fields on your website or in your app. This is perfect for A/B testing. Create better ads and a better customer experience for improved conversions.
    • Personalization: Deferred deep links allow user information to carry through the install process. This enables apps to deliver a custom welcome message or personalize the user’s first experience in many other ways. Use advanced marketing strategies to capitalize on this capability.
    • Link Security: Links created with AppURL are encrypted with industry-standard HTTPS encryption. Security measures are taken to ensure that links are not infected with malware. Once a link is created, it cannot be altered or redirected by spammers.
    • Efficiency: Create efficient campaigns by cutting high uninstall rates. Users that have a smooth, automated experience are more likely to see the entire process through and download your app.
    • Analytics: Real-time data can be analyzed by integrating your AppURL link with your Google Analytics account.

Users convert up to 2.5x higher when they come from a deferred deep link instead of a regular link. Deep links have a higher intent, which means a much higher lift in revenue. Industry reports show that “deep linking provides a 148% lift in average revenue per user (ARPU). Users who click on a deep link are 2x more likely to spend money in your app and will spend 2.7x more dollars on average.”

Our deferred deep linking capabilities help you get more people to install, open and view specific content within your app. Use the AppURL smart URL shortener to shorten long links and unlock the power of deferred deep linking now. Get started.