How Deep Linking Push Notifications Can Lift Conversions

deep linking push notifications

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Deep links have grown increasingly common in recent years, and for good reason. Deep linking allows URLs to take mobile users from anywhere on the web to a specific screen within an app. They seamlessly bridge the gap between websites and apps. Apps that implement deep links have been shown to acquire 2x retention over 30 days, so it’s no surprise that mobile marketers are making good use of this tool.

Without deep links, URLs can only launch apps to the home screen; they can’t navigate to a particular screen. If you’re browsing an ecommerce site on your phone and you tap a product listing, you might have the option of opening it in the app, but you won’t be brought to the product listing. A non-deep link will simply drop you off at the app’s home screen, leaving you to navigate back to where you were.

With deep links, every screen of the app is mapped out like a website. This means individual screens are accessible from outside of the app. For users, this makes for frictionless transitions between mobile websites and mobile apps.

For a detailed explanation of how deep links work, consider reading this post. There are several different tools that help mobile teams implement deep links, like and the OneLink feature within AppsFlyer’s platform. Whichever solution you choose, adding deep links to your app will help with the user experience, user engagement, and more.

Deep links aren’t only valuable for websites. Mobile marketers can include deep links in push notifications to add value to end users, thereby increasing conversions. In this post, we’ll explore a few ways in which deep linking push notifications makes for better marketing.

Deep Linking Push Notifications to Promotions, Products & More

deep linking push notifications retail | Leanplum

Deep linked push notifications are popular with retail apps, and for good reason. Let’s say your app is running a sale where items of a particular category are 50 percent off. You could announce this sale to app users via push notification, but opening the push will simply take them to the home screen. What happens if the person forgot which category was on sale? Even if they wander back to the correct section of the app, this approach still makes for a bad user experience.

Deep links allow these push notification promotions to take users directly to the sale page in the app. There’s zero friction and zero need to remember which products were on sale.

With deep links, it doesn’t matter if the recipient was using another app or if they weren’t using their device to begin with. Tapping the push notification will take them straight to the sale, regardless of where they started.

Deep Linking Push Notifications to New App Features

deep link use cases

Did the latest version of your app introduce a brand new feature? Depending on the app’s UI, it might take a while for users to organically navigate to the feature and realize it’s there. Some app teams combat this issue by explicitly announcing new features, but how should you make that announcement?

Deep links are an absolute must — and don’t just stop at push notifications. Include deep links in your email marketing and in-app messaging as well. It won’t do much good to announce a new feature without taking users to it, and promoting across all channels. In fact, it would cause more confusion to announce a new feature and then link users to the same old home screen.

The best way to deliver value from a new feature announcement is to deep link straight to the feature in question. User’s won’t be confused, and they’ll be able to test out the feature right away.

Deep Linking Push Notifications to Time-Sensitive Content

deep linking push notifications travel | Leanplum

Time-sensitive content isn’t limited to sales and promotions. Some types of apps lend themselves to content that’s only situationally relevant.

Games can use time-sensitive push notifications in many different ways. You could implement an in-game event that only occurs at a particular time of week (or geographical location for augmented reality games). Maybe a friend just beat your high score, and the game allows you to play a few extra rounds to try and defend your title.

Apps that recommend content based on geolocation also fit in this category. A restaurant review app can send personalized recommendations when you enter a new neighborhood, but those recommendations will cease to be relevant once you leave.

All of these use cases have one thing in common: they’re only relevant for a short period of time, so it’s crucial to reach out to users with push notifications. And since users might be in a rush, you want the experience to be as frictionless as possible. Deep links solve this problem with ease.

Deep Linking Push Notifications to News & Trending Content

deep linked push

Push notifications aren’t exclusively for time-sensitive content. Some apps produce a steady stream of content, and they send notifications to alert users about interesting or relevant pieces.

Deep links are especially important to news apps because of the amount of content they produce. It would be a poor user experience to tap a news headline and end up at the app’s home screen. Navigating back to the article you intended to read may not be easy, and it’s an unnecessary burden for the user either way. Over time, a cumbersome UX like this could lead to app uninstalls.

News apps may be the most obvious example, but they’re not the only one. Social media apps can send push notifications to highlight content that’s been liked or reshared by several of the user’s friends. Other media apps, like a music or video app, could alert users if a piece of content is trending.

Whenever there’s a piece of in-app content you’d like to promote, deep links help users arrive there faster. Even if there’s no conversion associated with the content, well-timed push notifications (combined with deep links) add value to the user experience. By aiding content discovery, you’re increasing the odds of downstream conversions.

Whenever there’s in-app content you’d like to promote, deep links help users arrive there faster. Click To Tweet

Deep Linking for Push Notifications

As apps claim more and more of our time spent on mobile devices, deep links will become increasingly prevalent. The ability to access any screen of an app from outside makes apps just as flexible as mobile websites. And with the other benefits of apps, like improved analytics and faster loading speeds, it’s likely that apps will claim an even greater lead in the race for mobile dominance.

If you haven’t already implemented deep links in your app, this is the time to start. Deep link your push notifications and watch conversions soar.

Leanplum is the mobile marketing platform built for engagement. We help brands like Lyft, Tinder, Grab, TED, and Zynga orchestrate multi-channel campaigns — from messaging to the in-app experience — all from a single, integrated platform. Schedule your personalized demo here.