Rob Gioia is a Senior Solutions Architect at Branch. He helps companies get up and running using Branch's suite of SDKs and products. Prior to Branch he worked as a cross-platform mobile applications developer for several years, and uses his mobile development experience to guide clients through using best practices and elegant coding solutions.
Apr 12, 2022
Imagine a customer on your e-commerce website is in the process of making a purchase and they get prompted to install your app. However, after the app is installed, instead of being deep linked to their cart to complete the purchase, they just land on the home screen. For many iCloud+ users who have Private Relay enabled, this is a likely scenario — even if you correctly and successfully set up deferred deep linking in the past.
Apple’s release of Private Relay on beta for iCloud+ users sent a shiver through the mobile linking and attribution world. As we’ve detailed previously, by removing the ability to view a user’s true IP, Private Relay threatens the success of deferred deep linking — the ability to ensure a user is passed through the install experience into the relevant in-app content.
Private Relay does not impact every user, but it does mask the IP address of iCloud+ customers using Safari. Without an IP address, deferred deep linking will not work as expected for those users. They will experience broken links, and you will experience a loss of attribution data for your owned and organic channels.
Branch has solved this with an innovative solution for iOS users: NativeLink™. Our NativeLink solution ensures the Private Relay deferred deep linking experience is always accurate and attributable for the relevant iOS users. And the best part is that our data has shown brands that have implemented NativeLink have seen no measurable dropoff in install rates versus the typical deep linking flow. But more on that later.
NativeLink removes the dependency on IP addresses for deferred deep linking. Instead, it utilizes the native iOS clipboard copy and paste on-device functionality to power the deferred deep linking flow. With NativeLink, a customer who clicks a call-to-action (CTA) leading into an app will be shown the NativeLink interstitial to complete their journey. Once they click through NativeLink, they will be taken to the app store to download the app and then be redirected to the relevant in-app content.
No longer are you risking users landing on your app’s home page simply because Private Relay has interrupted the deferred deep linking experience for iOS users.
While NativeLink is an innovative solution to ensure deferred deep linking for iOS users with Private Relay enabled, it does add a new step to the experience. We thought it was important to ask how this plays out in the real world. Does having a new opt-in screen in the install flow affect the click-to-install (CTI) rate?
The short answer to that question is NO!
Based on our data study of customer apps that had NativeLink enabled, we found that there was no statistically meaningful difference in CTI rates between brands implementing the NativeLink experience (11% CTI) vs. the non-NativeLink experience (12% CTI) with a margin of error of +/- 1.0%.
We do want to point out that the CTI numbers we are sharing represent an aggregate sample, and results can vary by vertical, campaign type, or a number of other factors. The goal in sharing this data is to highlight that the vast majority of our customers should not see any meaningful difference when implementing NativeLink!
You can now be confident in implementing NativeLink, which offers benefits like:
Ready to try NativeLink?
If you want to continue to engage users who have chosen to enable Private Relay on iOS to maintain the best possible user experience through install, NativeLink is the only proven and privacy-centric option to maintain your CTI conversions. NativeLink is available at no additional cost for Branch customers.
To help you fuel cross-channel and cross-platform mobile growth, our team works hard to deliver the most current, relevant resources.