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Deep Link vs. Deferred Deep Link: Differences, and Use Cases

Arslan Jadoon
5 minutes

Deep and deferred deep links are often used in mobile app development and marketing. Deep links serve as navigational anchors, seamlessly directing users to specific content within an app. On the other hand, deferred deep links introduce a layer of versatility by preserving context even when the app is not installed. 

This duo’s significance extends beyond mere technicalities, impacting how developers and marketers strategically engage with their audience. Whether enhancing your app development strategy or developing marketing strategies, understanding these concepts is the key to unlocking your app’s potential. 

Let’s get straight to it!

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What are deep links?

Deep links are URLs that lead directly to specific content or pages within a mobile app, bypassing the app’s homepage. They enhance the user experience by allowing seamless navigation to targeted information.

What are deferred deep links?

Deferred deep links, like deep links, lead to specific app content but add the capability to retain context even when the app is not installed. Users are directed to the intended content after installing the app, enabling a personalized and uninterrupted experience.

Deep link vs. deferred deep link: What’s the difference?

Deep Link:

  • Immediate Navigation: Deep links provide immediate access to a specific page or content within a mobile app. Users are directed straight to the desired information, bypassing the app’s homepage.
  • Installed App Requirement: For a deep link to function, the corresponding app must already be installed on the user’s device. It optimizes user engagement and streamlines navigation within the app.

Deferred Deep Link:

  • Context Retention: One key differentiator is the ability of deferred deep links to preserve context, even if the app is not installed. This means that users clicking on a deferred deep link can be directed to the intended content after installing the app.
  • Enhanced Onboarding: Deferred deep links are particularly useful for onboarding new users. They ensure a smooth transition from the initial interaction, such as clicking a link, to a personalized experience within the app.
  • Installation Flexibility: Unlike basic deep links, deferred deep links accommodate scenarios where the app is not yet on the user’s device, offering a more versatile approach to engaging users.

Use deep links for seamless navigation

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How do brands use deferred deep links?

Brands leverage deferred deep linking in various strategic ways to enhance customer acquisition and streamline the user experience, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction. Here are common use cases:

1. Placement on the company website:

Brands strategically place deferred deep links on their official websites and banner advertisements. This not only encourages users to explore promotions but also facilitates a seamless transition for those interested in downloading the app. By providing direct access to specific content or promotions within the app, brands attract and engage new customers more efficiently.

2. Integration in social media ads: 

Integrating deferred deep links into social media advertising is a powerful strategy for brands. Whether through sponsored posts or targeted ads, these links guide users directly to relevant content within the app. This approach proves highly effective in capturing the attention of potential customers on popular social platforms, contributing to increased app downloads.

3. Inclusion in e-mail marketing campaigns:

Brands enhance their e-mail marketing campaigns by incorporating deferred deep links. This integration ensures a smoother journey for users, allowing them to seamlessly transition from an email promotion to the app. By providing direct access to specific offers or content, brands increase the likelihood of user interaction with the app, thereby strengthening customer engagement.

4. Integration in messages and notifications: 

Including deferred deep links in SMS campaigns and push notifications serves as a promotional tool within other applications. This not only increases visibility but also provides potential users with easy access to download the app, encouraging quick and convenient adoption.

Also read: How to Create a Deep Link for a Seamless User Experience?

Use deep links for seamless navigation

Trigger more clicks, conversions & app installations with fully customizable deep links.

Learn More!
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Deferred Deep Linking Best Practices

To optimize your marketing campaigns with deferred deep links, adhere to these three straightforward best practices:

1. Personalization: Tailor links for each user

Create individual, tailored deferred deep links for users to enable highly targeted marketing. Whether re-engaging lapsed users or personalizing onboarding experiences for new downloads, utilize user-specific links to enhance engagement and drive conversions. For instance, offer exclusive discounts to users who dropped off after ‘add-to-cart,’ sending personalized links via email or SMS to increase the likelihood of completing the checkout process.

2. Attribution: Measure success with data

Leverage attribution data provided by deferred deep links to measure the success of your campaigns. By attributing user and conversion data to specific channels and campaigns, you gain insights into audience behavior. This information enables informed decision-making, helping you understand which campaigns are most effective and allowing for strategic adjustments over time. Design, experiment, measure, and refine your campaigns based on actionable insights.

Also read: What is a Tracking URL and How to Create One?

3. Brand consistency: Stay on brand

Maintain brand consistency across all aspects of your deferred deep linking strategy. Whether creating links automatically via API or through a user interface, ensure that your deferred deep link provider supports the seamless integration of your brand elements. Consistent branding enhances user trust and reinforces your app’s identity throughout the user journey.

Elevate your app’s success with Replug’s deep links

Transform customer journeys seamlessly with Replug’s Deep Links – the key to uninterrupted in-app navigation. Say goodbye to disengagement and customer dropouts, and hello to a flawless online experience that keeps users hooked from start to finish!

  • Smooth navigation: Prevent disengagement with uninterrupted in-app navigation.
  • Boost discovery: Whether installed or not, guide users effortlessly to desired in-app content.
  • Effortless traffic drive: Use a single deep link for emails, ads, QR codes, banners, and social media to channel users to the relevant app store.
  • Conversion funnel streamlining: Drive engagement and sales by guiding users directly to specific products in your online store.
  • Re-engage users: Utilize deep links in push notifications to bring back existing app users for targeted content access.
  • Cross-app connectivity: Create instant deep links for popular apps, enhancing user experience and engagement.

Also read: How to share Videos using Deep Links?

Use deep links for seamless navigation

Trigger more clicks, conversions & app installations with fully customizable deep links.

Learn More!
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How does a deep link differ from a regular link?

While a regular link typically opens the app’s homepage, a deep link takes users directly to a specific page or content within the app.

What are the benefits of using deep links?

Deep links enhance user experience by providing targeted navigation within an app, improving user engagement and retention.

How can brands use deep links for marketing?

Brands can incorporate deep links in various channels like websites, social media, emails, and notifications to drive traffic, enhance user experience, and improve conversions.

Can deep links be used for re-engagement?

Yes, deep links are effective for re-engagement. Brands can use them in push notifications to bring existing users to specific content within the app.

Do users need to have the app installed for deep links to work?

For basic deep links, yes, the app needs to be installed. However, deferred deep links allow users to be directed to specific content even if the app is not yet installed.

How do deep links contribute to app discoverability?

Deep links drive traffic to apps from various sources, making them a valuable tool for enhancing app discoverability and attracting new users.

Can deep links be used for cross-app connectivity?

Yes, deep links can be created to connect users to specific content within various apps, facilitating a seamless and efficient user experience.

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Arslan Jadoon
Meet Arslan, a skilled website blog and content writer who combines creativity and expertise to deliver engaging and informative pieces that captivate audiences.

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