Ancestry® Increases App Engagement by 3x Using Branch’s Universal Email




> $1B




increase in app opens


increase in app downloads in the U.S.


increase in engagement

About Ancestry®

Founded in 1983 in Provo, Utah, Ancestry® is a family history and consumer genomics company that operates a network of over 30 billion records online. The company offers a range of services, including DNA testing and analysis, family tree building, and access to historical records. Over the years, Ancestry has become a trusted and well-known brand, helping millions of people learn more about their family history and connect with their ancestors. Recently, Ancestry also developed a mobile app which allows users to access their accounts and search for ancestors on the go. The app includes features such as the ability to view and share family trees, receive notifications about new records that match their search criteria, and collaborate with other users to build a comprehensive family tree.


Before finding a mobile linking partner or MLP, Ancestry struggled to measure the effectiveness of its email campaigns and gain actionable insights to improve overall user experience. The company needed to retain existing app users and at the same time drive app user acquisition to maintain their core user base and drive revenue growth. Ancestry also observed low adoption of various app features. To address these challenges, Ancestry partnered with mobile linking partner (MLP) Branch to gain comprehensive and actionable insights into user behavior and engagement. 


In August 2022, Ancestry launched a targeted app retention email campaign for existing users. The subject line “The Ancestry app can do that?” was designed to capture users’ attention. The email highlighted five key benefits of the Ancestry app, including Photo Scanning, which is exclusive to the app. The email also featured photo colorization, photo tagging, and Ancestry stories.

The campaign included clear and direct calls to action (CTAs). By utilizing Branch’s Universal Email, Ancestry was able to personalize the CTAs based on whether the user had already downloaded the app. Users who did not have the app saw “Get the app” and were directed to the App Store to download it, while users who already had the app saw “Explore the app” and were taken directly inside the app to explore the highlighted feature.

Creating a seamless cross-platform experience can be a challenge, especially when it comes to measuring the performance of email as a channel across both web and app. Branch’s Universal Email product helped Ancestry tackle this challenge by offering a consistent and personalized journey from email to app. Tailoring CTAs to the specific audience segment increased engagement and conversion rates for Ancestry. Branch’s solution allowed Ancestry to easily track and measure the success of their email campaigns across platforms, ultimately improving the overall user experience.

User without the app 

Four phone screenshots showing a user flow from an Ancestry® email promotion with a "Get the app" CTA, to the Ancestry® app shown in the app store, then to the intended in-app content.

User with the app

Two screenshots showing a user flow from an email to in-app content. The first image shows an Ancestry promotional email with an "Explore the app" link. The second image shows the content shown in the Ancestry app.


The email campaign showed significant improvements in key metrics. App opens increased by 44% week over week, app downloads in the U.S. market rose by 50%, and international markets saw a nearly 100% increase in app downloads. Furthermore, there was a nearly 3x increase in engagement with the app features highlighted in the email campaign.

Branch’s comprehensive suite of solutions and expertise in mobile growth helped Ancestry increase user retention and acquisition, as well as drive feature adoption.

“Working with Branch has been a great experience as we integrate their services into our app and deep linked emails. They are responsive and extremely helpful in addressing any issues that arise.

Headshot of Brandon Winter

Brandon Winter, Marketing Production Manager

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