When Winery Passport first launched in July 2013, it was only available on iOS. All of the marketing materials, including hundreds of dollars in printed business cards and counter stands, had the “Download on the App Store” icon and a QR code to scan and take you to the App Store.
After I found success with Winery Passport over the next couple months, moving to the Android platform made logical sense. When we launched on Android in May 2014, the marketing materials all had to be changed.
I’ll admit, I was slow to making the updates to the business cards and counter stands. I had excess inventory remaining and didn’t want it to go to waste. But now that I’m nearly out of both, I am in the process of re-ordering.
Adding the “Android App on Google Play” button made perfect sense. But including two QR codes did not. The core purpose of the business card is for wineries to hand out to someone who can download the app and start stamping their passport. Multiple QR codes would be too confusing, especially on a 3.5”x2” business card.
Luckily, I discovered deeplink, a New York based startup aiming to own the deep linking space. While directing traffic to specific content within an app is extremely valuable, it hasn’t been an easy undertaking for companies. They’re either trying to build an internal solution or there hasn’t been a company that’s mastered this space yet from an SDK perspective.
While I’m still not there in terms of deep linking to specific winery listings in Winery Passport, I still found value in deeplink’s offering. When I create a link in deeplink’s portal, I enter my iTunes app name and Android package name. That one link will now do all of the following:
1. Direct a user to the iTunes App Store if they’re on an iOS device
2. Direct a user to the Google Play Store if they’re on an Android device
3. Launch the Winery Passport app if it is installed on an iOS device
4. Launch the Winery Passport app if it is installed on an Android device
This provides a ton of flexibility to consolidate marketing links. It’s why my business card can now have one QR code.
I spoke with deeplink’s co-founder, Noah Klausman, who said deep linking is becoming top-of-mind for many products and companies.
“It has been well established that conversion and engagement rates in apps are significantly better than mobile web,” Klausman said. “Brands have spent money and time building out curated tap experiences and linking to mobile website doesn’t make sense in an app world.”
Klausman also explained how deeplink fits into the marketing mix.
“We’re creating the connective tissue of the app world. Apps were created as a standalone universe, that didn’t link to each other and everything was siloed. That’s in the past and times are changing. What we’re doing is creating a platform across apps. We’ve streamlined that so the highest value customers that have your app go to your app.”
I feel like the deep linking space is starting to improve. Solutions like deeplink, button and Tune’s new integration are making it easier than ever before for companies to start directing traffic to specific content in an app. It’s an area of the mobile marketing space that hasn’t caught on, whether it’s been technology or understanding, but needs to in 2015.