Adaptive Links Solve Mobile’s Cross-Platform Problem
In last year's fourth quarter, 50 percent of emails were consumed exclusively on mobile devices. In addition, Google announced at the recent Mobile World Congress that mobile search volume will eclipse desktop search volume within the next year. Meanwhile, new data shows that nearly 90 percent of smartphone internet time and 80 percent of tablet internet time is spent using apps rather than the web. So what steps can cross-platform marketers take to stop directing their mobile audience to the mobile web when most prefer an app experience?
Many companies invest heavily in apps but very few effectively direct traffic to them. Traditional web landing page URLs lack the intelligence to determine whether a user also has that brand's app installed; these URLs simply direct the user to a mobile web page. This leads to a poor mobile experience that frustrates users, limits app engagement and wastes the mobile app investment.
The same holds true for social marketing, paid search advertising and the list goes on. Traditional social profile URLs, for example, often lead consumers to a disruptive login request rather than to the native app they already use actively. The result is mobile abandonment, the worst possible outcome.
Adaptive links, a new take on deep linking and mobile redirects
Adaptive links are the next evolution of both deep linking and mobile redirects. These intelligent URLs identify when users are on a mobile device, and if the user has the target app installed, they open the app to the corresponding app "page." If the user doesn't have the app installed, the adaptive link directs to the mobile web instead and can even suggest an app download or allow the consumer to indicate their preference for the mobile web. The adaptive link directs desktop users to the standard website.
Deep linking (i.e., directing searchers to relevant pages rather than the homepage) has been a standard practice for search engine optimizers for years, reducing bounce rates and increasing conversions. Coinciding with the rise of consumer mobile adoption, mobile redirects have become a best practice for retailers and marketers. Adaptive links take both concepts, combine them and layer on mobile app detection for a single comprehensive solution. Best of all, adaptive links can be utilized in any channel — email, search, display, etc.
Despite the stated benefits of using intelligent, app-friendly links, few marketers to date have employed them in marketing campaigns as a means of appropriately directing traffic to target destinations. By employing adaptive links in a multitude of channels, marketers can capitalize on the mobile movement and maximize their investment in their apps and social profiles.
Of course, for marketers, the ability to measure the effectiveness of adaptive links and tie the results to the success of a campaign is tantamount. Measurement capabilities can and should be built right into the adaptive links, providing insight into which devices, operating systems and apps consumers use, enabling marketers to tailor their strategies to optimize engagements. Combined with in-app measurement capabilities to determine how consumers use the app (e.g., do they browse or make purchases?), marketers can get a complete view of consumers’ engagement and purchase cycles. If an adaptive link provider doesn't offer these measurement capabilities, it's probably best to keep shopping.
Adaptive links can help marketers better direct traffic and increase engagement with mobile apps and social profiles by removing unnecessary barriers such as disruptive mobile logins and clunky mobile web interfaces. Removing these obstacles to direct engagement and optimizing campaigns based on user data can play a significant role in boosting campaign effectiveness. If you haven't already, it's time to embrace adaptive links and create the kind of intelligent experience today's mobile consumers expect.
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