Singular Links Best Practices and Examples

 

Note: Singular Links are being rolled out gradually to our customers, starting August 2019.

 

Deep Linking Tips 

Use Cases

There are two ways to use deep links:

  1. Use deep linking to direct the user to specific content in the app - like linking to a specific page in a website.
  2. Take advantage of the data passed in a deep link to influence the user’s experience going forward. For example, in a shopping app, you can record a promo code associated with the ad that the user clicked, and then apply the code later during check-out.

Both approaches offer interesting options to engage users and help drive them to experiences in your app. It’s important to understand what your engagement goals are and how they can be tied to those experience via deep links.

URL Structures

If your app was developed for multiple platforms, we recommend using the same deep link URL structure for all platforms. This will make it easier to enable deep linking in your Singular Links, as you will be able to use the same deep link URL for both versions of your app.

For example, if you have a clothes shopping app that has iOS and Android versions, make the following deep link URL work in both platforms to lead the user to a specific product:

myshoppingapp://path/to/product?productid=1234&category=shoes

Deferred Deep Links

Singular recommends designing and handling deferred deep links in the same way you handle deep links in your app.

Using Deep Links in Re-engagement Campaigns

Some partners that support re-engagement also support deep linking. Reach out to your partner to understand what deep linking options are available.

In some cases, partners support deep linking but allow the attribution provider to perform the deep link. If that is the case with your partner, make sure to generate the tracking link with the expected deep link URL in Singular.

Passing Dynamic Data to the App with Passthroughs

After you create a tracking link in the Link Management page, you can use it as-is in your campaign. However, you can make the link do even more work by adding data to it dynamically as you display your ads. This data can then be read and used by your app if a user engages with one of the ads and then arrives into your app.

You can do this by appending the _p query parameter, and any value, to a Singular Link. _p (for "passthrough" allows you to append any URL-encoded value to make that value available when the app is opened. The parameter supports structured (JSON) or unstructured strings.

For example:

  • Let’s say you have a shopping app, and you show dynamic banner ads of different shoes on a mobile website. You have created a Singular Link that looks as follows: https://myshoppingapp.sng.link/A59c0/nha7
  • When you display the ad, the specific pair of shoes shown has a product ID, e.g. “Shoes123”.
  • You append the product ID to your Singular Link using the “_p” parameter.
  • The result: https://myshoppingapp.sng.link/A59c0/nha7?_p=Shoes123
  • Whenever a user engages with that banner and then installs and opens the app, your app can read the product ID using the Singular SDK. Your app team can use this information to personalize the user’s first app experience.

Passing JSON Objects

As the passthrough value is just a string value, you can pass even more information using JSON objects.

For example, you build a JSON object as follows:

{
“productid”:”Shoes123”,
“qty”:1
}

Then you URL encode it and append it to the _p parameter in your Singular tracking link. The result:

https://myshoppingapp.sng.link/A59c0/nha7?_p=%7B%22productid%22%3A%22Shoes123%22%2C%22qty%22%3A1%7D

Try It Out

Try passthroughs with our app by changing “Shoes123” to different values:

https://singularassist.sng.link/A59c0/nha7?_dl=singularassist%3A%2F%2F&_p=Shoes123

Using Landing Pages 

Use a landing page when your product needs an additional explanation in order to effectively convert a user.

If you decide that a landing page is right for your campaign, and your campaign depends on a mobile attribution provider for tracking, first consider the following:

  • Make sure there is a way for the user to convert to the app from the landing page.
  • Consider the media channel you’re working with. Integrated partners may support different methods to execute a landing page.

Then, decide which touchpoint would you like to attribute the install to.

  1. Tracking the click that takes the user to the landing page: In this case, just use the Singular Link you generate in the Link Management page as usual, and define the landing page as your Mobile Fallback URL (see the Singular Links FAQ).
  2. Tracking the click that the user engages with within the landing page: If you choose this option, embed the Singular Link is in your landing page. Make sure the link from the ad to the landing page passes any necessary tracking values through to the landing page.

Limitations of Custom Sources

You can use Singular Links to track your marketing efforts in self-owned channels such as social media or SMS. However, deep linking only works in some channels with some technologies.

We’ve compiled a list of known and common redirect limitations:

  Android iOS
  Fallback to Google Play Store Deep Link Fallback to App Store Deep Link
Facebook Feed Yes Landing Page Required Yes Landing Page Required
Facebook Messenger Yes Landing Page Required Yes Landing Page Required
YouTube Yes Landing Page Required Yes Landing Page Required
Gmail Yes Yes Yes Yes
Instagram Yes No No Landing Page Required
LINE Yes Yes Yes No
Mail (iOS) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Messages (iOS) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reddit No No No No
Slack Yes Landing Page Required Yes Landing Page Required
Twitter Yes Landing Page Required Yes Landing Page Required
WeChat Yes No No No
WhatsApp Yes Yes Yes Yes

Adding Granularity Parameters for Custom Sources

When you use Singular Links in custom sources, you can add dimension information in order to get that added granularity in your reports. For example, if you pass the campaign name in your tracking link, you will get campaign-level granularity in your report.

To pass the information, add it as a parameter value to the link when you serve it. For example, the following link records the Campaign Name dimension as “CoolShoes123”:

https://singularassist.sng.link/A59c0/u53f?_dl=singularassist%3A%2F%2F&_p=%7B%22productid%22%3A%22Shoes123%22%7D&pcn=CoolShoes123

See the full list of tracking link reporting parameters.

Overriding Redirects for Links

In some cases, you may want to dynamically modify redirects for existing Singular Links. This can be useful if you’re serving a dynamic deep link based on some input from the user or on the context of the user engagement.

The following query parameters can be appended or modified as needed. Remember to URL-encode the value when appending it to a parameter.

Parameter Description
_dl Deep link for all mobile platforms.
NOTE: Overriding/using this query parameter is only possible if the original link was enabled with deep linking.
_ddl Deferred deep link for all mobile platforms
NOTE: _ddl can be enable deferred deep linking even if not enabled via the UI during creation
_fallback_redirect The fallback redirect for all platforms (web + any other platform)
_android_dl Deep link for Android. This is typically used if your deep link URL on Android is different from your iOS app.
_android_redirect Redirect URL if app not installed on Android. This is typically the app store URL
_android_ddl Deferred deep link for Android. This is typically used if your deep link URL on Android is different from your iOS app.
NOTE: _android_ddl can be enable deferred deep linking even if not enabled via the UI during creation
_ios_dl Deep link for iOS. This is typically used if your deep link URL on iOS is different from your Android app.
NOTE: Overriding/using this query parameter is only possible if the original link was enabled with iOS deep linking.
_ios_redirect Redirect URL if app not installed on iOS. This is typically the app store URL.
_ios_ddl Deferred deep link for iOS. This is typically used if your deep link URL on iOS is different from your Android app.
NOTE: _ios_ddl can be enable deferred deep linking even if not enabled via the UI during creation

For example:

Using Shortened Links

After you generate a custom tracking link in Singular, you can shorten it by clicking Shorten Link.

This option is primarily useful for custom channels where the URL is exposed to the end-user, or for channels with restrictions on the length of the URL, such as SMS.

However, shortened links have another benefit: since the link does not contain parameters explicitly (instead, the parameters are resolved by Singular whenever the link is clicked), you can change these parameters in the Singular UI to update live campaigns directly.

For example, you may use a banner or landing page to track a regularly changing promotional offer. If you use a full-length Singular tracking link, you have to swap out the link whenever you want to change the promo details. If you use a shortened link instead, you can just update the promo details from the Singular Link Management page (by changing the link parameters).

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