Marne Litfin | Adjust

Deep linking is the smoothest way to take a user exactly where you want them. By helping bypass the onboarding phase and eliminating distractions, deep links help drive installs during acquisition campaigns, amplify the customization of retargeting campaigns, enhance the success of referral and reward programs, and turn attribution into a more precise affair. Designed to take the friction out of the mobile web to app journey, deep linking is a powerful tool for gaming companies looking to cross-market a portfolio of apps.

For gaming apps, which have more competition in the app store than any other vertical, the wins that come with implementing deep links can mean the difference between rocketing up the app store’s bestseller charts or permanently fading to the back of the pack. Here are our top tips for utilizing deep links in your game’s next acquisition, engagement, or retention campaign.

App to app

Cross-app deep linking is a strategy that allows you to transfer data from one app directly into a second app––if your user is playing a word game and you want to send them into your new crossword puzzle app––cross-app deep links allow you to simultaneously feed their data over. App to app deep links placed in relevant partner apps personalize the on-boarding process; the user reads about a specific level or feature in a game chat or review app, clicks the deferred deep link, lands on the correct app store and downloads the game, and is finally redirected to the exact part of the game that caught their eye.

Social sharing to app

For many games, a lion’s share of the revenue comes from ‘whales’––a few big spenders who make up a tiny fraction of your overall audience. Getting those folks to share your game is key to your success. When they share achievements (like a high score or completed puzzle) on social media, this word-of-mouth referral can lead to what’s known as demonstration virality. It’s a powerful way to acquire new higher-value users organically. Turning the links to that shared content into deep links adds a double boost–– users who convert from deep linking have higher retention and conversion rates than users arriving from any other type of link.

Email to app

It may sound old fashioned, but email remains a reliable and high-performing acquisition channel for many marketers. If your arcade has a new game, deep linking to it in your email blast introduces it to your players in a way that reduces friction. Users click the link and are taken straight to the new game. This creates a simpler, faster user funnel into the app, where user experience is at its best––making deep linking a superb tool for engagement-focused campaigns.

Referral to app

If you’re thinking about using a referral reward program to increase installs, utilizing deep links eliminates many of the superfluous steps that would-be referrals often get stuck in. For example, if your app is an educational language learning game, and you require a user to invite a friend to come play with them at the more advanced levels, placing a deep link into a personalized invitation (that can be shared on a social media post, in a text, or sent via email) brings the new user directly into the experience, no promo codes or extra steps necessary.

Learn the lingo

Don’t know your standard deep links from your deferred deep links? Becoming familiar with the current state of deep links, including the ins-and-outs of Universal Linking in iOS, will help you determine which type of deep link best corresponds to acquisition and retention campaigns. Do you really know the difference between default, deferred and contextual deep links? And what function each provides? Well, it can be really helpful to know it all.

For a start, Adjust provides built-in deferred deep linking – and we tackle all of the tracking, so you can keep your gamers happy from first launch to the finish line. Take a look at our deep linking guide, which can give you a much larger overview of what deep links are, and how you can work with them in the Adjust platform.