February 2nd, 2017
Airbnb, the community marketplace providing access to millions of unique accommodations and experiences in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries, knew that getting mobile right was critical to their strategy. That’s why in early 2016, they saw an opportunity to ensure that their marketing links work across every single digital entity, specifically the mobile app, where users have been proven to convert up to 6x more often than the mobile web. They also knew the importance of the app to their business, and that using links to drive users to app content instead of mobile web would increase revenue by providing the best user experience on mobile. However, building, maintaining, and optimizing a linking infrastructure that worked across every device and platform was not only a daunting business problem, but also a challenging technical endeavor. It required huge upfront investment and ongoing maintenance with dedicated engineering resources.
But when the team members at Airbnb were introduced to Branch, they found the ideal mobile linking solution: links that work across 6,000 edge cases; and links that can drive users directly to a specific piece of content inside their mobile app, including keeping context through the app install process.
When Airbnb approached Branch in early 2016, they knew their 1% conversion rate on mobile web needed to be improved, but ultimately, they knew that driving engagement to the mobile app would directly impact their conversions. After implementing Branch links across all of their marketing channels, they saw their app install rate increase by 19%. In fact, Branch links can be found across Airbnb’s mobile website, in-app sharing, email, paid acquisition, social, and desktop Text-Me-The-App marketing channels, and have driven 3.5 million app downloads in 6 months. And 47 (10% of the San Francisco office) Airbnb employees now use the Branch dashboard to utilize Branch links across the entire company.
Airbnb features an option to “Download the App” on their mobile website’s navigation bar that Branch links power; along with Branch links behind their banners and interstitials to drive users from the mobile website into the mobile app. Because Branch’s banners are easily customizable, Airbnb was able to run hundreds of growth tests over a three-month period to determine the optimal banner and targeting strategy for driving app installs from mobile web.
To find out the remaining marketing channels that Airbnb used to drive mobile growth, download the full case study here.