Why You Should Use Deep Linking to Increase User Retention

By now, deep linking is used by the savviest mobile developers and product managers. We consider them the early adopters. However, the mass market, the people still buying generic installs from Facebook, are the ones who don’t yet understand the importance of mobile to their product strategy. In business theory, these segments of users are separated by the famous ‘chasm’ that all companies struggle to cross.

As a deep linking company with a robust analytics offering, and many great 3rd party analytics partners, we found ourselves in a great position to offer the ‘why’ when it comes to deep linking. (If you first need to learn ‘what’ deep linking is, we’ve got a page just for you.) We’ve started to study the impact that deep linking has on the apps that use it and the results have been astounding.

Deep Linking Consistently Improves Overall User Retention

We had a hypothesis that users who had a better first impression with an app would stick around a lot more, so we decided to look into the impact on retention. Retention, in this case, being defined as the likelihood that a user would return after a fixed period of time.

Below is the retention data pulled directly from one of our of partners. The staggering thing is that the retention number persists even after 30 days. After this time, over twice the number of deferred deep linked users are still using the app compared ones who came from a standard welcome experience.

Increase user retention with deep links

It’s hard to say exactly why deep links work so well to increase retention. It can be a combination of many factors, but it seems clear that giving users value during their first experience causes them to stay around for much longer. For the companies that analyze the ever-important customer lifetime value, these increased retention rates are a sight for sore eyes. Deep links can bring customers who are staying, sharing, and even paying, for over twice as long. Better yet, this example is not an outlier. This is just one of a few thousand examples where we’ve seen deep linking through install to yield dramatic results on app performance. It seems to be consistent across all app verticals.

If you’re interested in more tips for increasing retention, Braze’s “Ten Ways to Make Your App a Retention Machine” is a great place to start.

How To Add Deep Linking

You’re probably asking yourself how you can get started. Well, adding deep linking is easy, and we’ve done a lot of work to make it even easier. Just drop in the Branch SDK, and register a view inside the app as the ‘deep link view’. Anytime a link is clicked and your app is installed or opened, Branch will handle all of the deep link routing complexity. You can get set up with deep linking in minutes.