Evan was the first marketing hire at Branch, coming in as Marketing Manager in 2015. During his tenure at the company, he helped develop the marketing stack and contributed to the Branch blog.
Jan 15, 2016
The following is a guest post by Kat Sherbo, Senior Content Manager of Braze. Kat is a marketer, writer, and editor with a passion for engaging stories. When not at work in the world of content marketing and mobile apps, she can be found reading fantasy fiction, working her way through watercolor painting books, or watching reality TV.
Deep linking to content within your app is a great way to create customized user experiences which can increase conversion significantly. It’s this ability to personalize an experience that makes deep links an incredibly useful tool for re-engagement campaigns.
According to a study by Braze, people who don’t engage with an app during the second and third week after install only have a retention rate of 29%. But, if they subsequently engage in week four, their retention rate more than doubles, hitting 69%. Re-engagement campaigns are key to reigniting interest from users who would otherwise likely churn.
But one size doesn’t fit all, and one generic re-engagement campaign probably won’t do the trick. Companies can spend a lot of time and resources on their out-of-app re-engagement messages like emails and push notifications, only to wind up sending users to in-app locations that don’t make much sense for a specific user.
Deep links can send users directly to a page tied to the specific goal of your re-engagement message. And lapsing users can be brought back into the fold with experiences that speak to their personal preferences and use of your app. For example, SoundCloud now uses deep linking to drive customers from social shares to the specific songs that were mentioned within the app.
If a customer just came from a re-engagement message encouraging them to add friends, send them directly to the page where they can add friends—preferably with some relevant suggestions loaded from their contacts or social media profiles.
Think of the deep link as the deal-closer of your campaign. You’ve put all this effort into getting lapsing users to take another look, you really don’t want them to be confused and frustrated with the experience. You want them to land on a page that fulfills their expectations immediately.
Re-engagement campaigns should target customers once they’ve lapsed from their normal interaction. For instance, take a power-user who’s now less active than before. They haven’t yet stopped using your app entirely, since you’ll start your re-engagement campaign before their activity has decreased that much. Therefore, your campaigns can still reach them with in-app channels such as in-app notifications and News Feed Cards.
Your most loyal users are also the ones you’ll have gathered the most information about. You can see their past actions within your app, their past purchases, and their preferences. Your campaign should take advantage of this knowledge. Instead of sending a now-lapsing but once-loyal user a message that says “Hey! Come back for 25% off!” and links to a generic sale page, send them a tailored message that speaks to what they’ve been shown to like about your app: “Hi Sue! Did you see our new scarves? They’re on sale!” Deep link directly to those new scarves.
Customers who were never very active, or who have lapsed for a longer time, will have little or outdated customer data. For these customers, more generic campaigns are appropriate. Think of it like reaching out to an acquaintance you haven’t heard from in a while. “How’ve you been? We missed you!” is a more natural reintroduction than something more personal or specific, like, “Don’t you want to see these pink leggings on sale?”
Because users at this stage may be rarely or never opening your app anymore, out-of-app channels like email and push notifications will be necessary to reach them. But deep linking is still your ally—you can send these users to in-app landing pages that have proven to be the stickiest overall, or encourage actions that you’ve seen lead to re-engagement before.
Deep links allow marketers to put the user’s experience first. This is especially important when creating re-engagement campaigns, which target users who need some persuading to come back to your app. Instead of hoping users will see your message, follow it to a generic page, and then decide they’d like to give you another shot, create a logical experience that hand-delivers the value you want your users to get from engaging with your app.
More loyal users can be re-engaged with in-app channels and personalized offers or experiences, while less-engaged users can be encouraged to come back with out-of-app messages that are more general in nature.
With deep links in your toolbox, you can ensure a seamless customer experience from all of your re-engagement content, across web, email, social, and your app.