August 5, 2015

Reboot Your Display Advertising: Deep Link to Your Mobile App

Display advertising continues to dominate multi-channel marketing spend. According to eMarketer, in the U.S. alone, spending on display advertising is projected to reach a staggering $37.36 Billion USD.

What’s even more striking, however, is the split between desktop and mobile display advertising. Beginning in 2015, spending on mobile display advertising will surpass desktop.


Given changes in mobile consumer behavior, where should display campaigns take the customer? Brands and retailers are striving to answer that question in part by personalizing the customer experience using a combination of online and offline data to deliver the right message (i.e. product or offer) at the right time. Rightly so, as one survey by the company Monetate found that 74% of consumers want retailers to use their personal information to improve the shopping experience.

Consumers are clearly getting more comfortable with personalization and retailers are getting better at it while they invest in new websites that are dynamically or responsively designed. It follows, therefore, that display campaigns should check for the device and send mobile users to the mobile website – right? Wrong if you’re a retailer or brand with an app! Consumers are spending the vast majority of their smartphone internet time in apps (more than 86% according to Nielsen). If you’re not checking for the app and opening the page within the app (also called deep linking) then you are likely to see a high abandon rate for app users at the point of login for the mobile website.

First Class Customers. Second Class Experience.

Consumers that have taken the time to install your app are likely to be your strongest brand advocates and your most loyal customers. Your display campaigns are likely a great way to keep your app users engaged. If your display campaign is linking to your mobile website without checking for the app, you are in effect treating every app user like a brand new customer. That experience is directly at odds with the trend in personalization.

Smarter Display Campaigns for Omni-Channel Retailers


Consider REI, who wanted to understand if the people clicking on their mobile ads were users of their mobile app. Using URLgenius, REI is able to check for the app and open it directly when it’s present. When the app isn’t present the user is sent to the mobile Website. To their great surprise, up to 80% of clicks across all display campaigns had the REI app installed. The actionable insight REI learned was that the display channel was a great way to engage app users.

Intelligent Routing Designed for Marketers

The concept of checking for the app, opening it when present and going to the page within the app may seem simple but “deeplinkifying” your app requires more development resources than many retailers realize. The major platforms including iOS, Android as well as Facebook and Twitter have all released SDKs or software integration kits to address deep linking in different ways. What’s needed, however, is a more holistic strategy independent of the development timelines of other companies. Check out our build or buy blog post for more details to consider.

When it comes to display advertising, equally important to fast implementation is the ability for marketers to control and test different content among different campaigns. URLgenius offers a simple, intelligent platform that efficiently routes customers to the right place yet it requires no SDK integration or major development resources offering you a fast way to boost the ROI of your display channel. Plus marketers gain new insights from real-time analytics that help optimize display campaigns in new, innovative ways that are always aligned with campaign goals.

If you’re a retailer that’s not deep linking to your mobile app from your display advertising campaigns, there’s still time to get this implemented before for the holidays. Contact us to get started.

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