The challenge for marketers and agencies is making sense of deep linking technology and learning how to generate deep links that will open the app when installed or gracefully fallback to a website or the right app store when it's not installed. There are many solutions out there that can help with app deep linking challenges but most are designed for app developers which puts the user experience outside of a marketer's control. To get control over the customer journey, marketers and agencies need to understand these five commonly held myths about app deep linking.
Myth 1: SDKs are required for app deep linking
Look for a deep linking platform specifically designed for marketers and agencies that doesn't require any tech installation or SDK. App deep links can be composed and implemented immediately and typically there is no charge for testing the links which saves you time and resources. Such platforms typically function by updating a typical web URL in a way that embeds the app open and fallback URL instructions. This type of deep link uses a URL scheme configuration within your app which functions like an address that opens the app to the right place, screen or feature.
Myth 2: Marketers have no control over fallback URLs
Fact: Marketers need to have control over fallback options. The fallback URL is where the user is sent when the app is not installed. Your deep linking platform should give your marketing department or agency complete control over the fallback URL at all times. Look for a link level option to set the fallback to a specific URL or to the app stores for iOS or Android.
For maximum flexibility, marketers should be able to change the fallback setting instantly at anytime even while the link is in production. This allows marketers to optimize campaign goals or change landing page destinations on-the-fly as needed.
Myth 3: Apple Universal Links and Google Firebase are required for app deep linking
Fact: Apple Universal Links and Google Firebase are technologies designed to surface app content that is relevant to mobile search results and also offer some deep linking capabilities. Marketers and agencies, however, typically need deep linking for email and paid media channels and often don't realize that they can create their own app deep links anytime in a way that is independent of these technologies.
Marketers should also know that Universal Links and Firebase may not work from certain marketing channels or in certain use cases. In addition, marketers may need to link to app-only content or features where Universal Links and Firebase have not been applied or cannot be implemented for technical reasons.
These roadblocks need not slow down marketers or agencies that need app deep linking capabilities for other channels and campaigns. Consider app deep linking as an effective marketing strategy that can be deployed anytime in conjunction with or without Universal Links and Firebase. You should be able to create and test your app deep links immediately at no charge.
Myth 4: Deep linking does not work with embedded browsers like those used by Facebook and Instagram
Marketers and agencies in particular need an app deep linking solution that supports any app as well as any browser including embedded browsers. This is important because most email and paid campaigns take customers to (or from) an app or from one app to another app.
Myth 5: Deep linking does not work with my analytics solutions