What are deep links and deferred deep links?

There are 3 types of deep linking:

3 types of deep links

What are deep links?

A deep link is a link that takes you to the content screen in the app rather than the more generic home screen of the app. Most website links can be categorised as deep links.

In case of a mobile app, there are two scenarios that can rise

  1. If you already have the mobile app installed- Then clicking on the deep-link will launch the app and take you to the relevant content as per the deep link
  2. If the app is not installed- Then clicking on the link will take you to play store to download the app. Once the app is installed and launched, it will take you to the home page and NOT the relevant content.
How deep links work
Benefits of deep linking

Basic deep links help reduce much of the friction associated with app usage. For instance, users who click on standard mobile links online or in an email promotion are sent to the homepage of an app, assuming they have the app downloaded (the link will not work otherwise). This forces them to manually navigate through the app to find the content they are interested in accessing. That friction can deter users from engaging with the app. Deep links help solve this problem by sending users directly to specific content within an app instead of to a generic welcome screen if they have the app installed on their mobile device. 

Deep Links provide marketers and developers to optimise their app marketing campaigns, increase conversions, improve engagement and build retention of the app. Thus, it becomes imperative to incorporate deep links into the mobile strategy at every possible channel. This includes email, SMS, push notifications, mobile web and even within the app through in-app messages.

What are deferred deep links?

  1. If the App is installed- Deferred deep links and deep links act alike. There is no such difference.
  2. If the app is not installed- Deferred deep links will take the users to the Play Store or the App Store to download the app. And on launching the app, the user will be taken to the specific content rather than the home screen (like in deep linking scenario).
What is deferred deep linking?

What is Contextual Deep Links?

Contextual deep links incorporate basic deep links/deferred deep links plus it provides a higher level of personalization by providing information about the user viz. who they are, referral links, who referred them, or any specific promotion code they want to apply, etc. Thus, contextual deep links allow marketers/developers to give users a much more personalisation and targeted app experience immediately after the app is opened. The term Contextual deep links is coined by Branch.io.

So all you marketers and developers, get deep links enabled in your app and improve your user experience and engagement. Please share your thoughts/suggestions in the comment section below. 

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