How to Create Deep Links: Guide for Marketing/Business Teams

When you create a tracking link for your app, you can configure it to be a deep link. With a deep link, if a user clicks the ad and they already have your app installed, not only will the app open - but it will show specific app content of your choice, not just the app's default screen.

You have to plan your deep links before you integrate the Singular SDK in your app. Your engineers will implement the deep links as part of the SDK integration process.

For more details, see the Singular Links FAQ and the Deep Linking FAQ.

  Guide for Marketing/Business Teams
  Prerequisites Singular's attribution service has been set up for your organization.
  Tools A mobile device for testing
1

Plan the Deep Links for Your App

To begin, make a list of all the deep links you want to implement in your ad campaigns for the app.

For each deep link, decide on the following:

  • The app content that should open when the user clicks the deep link.
  • The fallback redirect - i.e., where you want to redirect the user if they don't already have the app installed on their device. Typically, you send them to the app store to download the app.
  • Whether you want the link to work as a deferred deep link. With a deferred deep link, even if the user doesn't have the app installed yet, and they click on the ad and get to the app store, the user sees the special content after they install the app and open it.

Example:

If your app is a clothing store, you may want to set up the following deep links:

Deep Link Content to Display Enable Deferred? Fallback Redirect
New-season sale: autumn fashion Display clothes tagged with "new autumn collection" V <app URL in app store>
Special offer: Register for newsletter and get $5 coupon Register for newsletter screen V <app URL in app store>
2

Create a Link Sub-Domain

Singular Links have the following structure, where [SUB-DOMAIN] is chosen by you:

https://[SUB-DOMAIN].sng.link/[PARAMETERS]

If you don't have any sub-domains set up yet, you have to create at least one in order to start creating Singular Links. To do so:

  1. Log into your Singular account and go to Attribution > Manage Links.
  2. Click Manage Link Domains.

You can create a single sub-domain (e.g., the name of your company or app) and use it for all your links, or you can create several to use for different purposes.

3

Relay Deep Link Plan to Engineering Team

Your developers need to know the deep link destinations before they integrate the Singular SDK/S2S in your app (or before they release a new version of your app with new deep links).

As the developers implement the SDK, they add code that identifies if the app has been opened through a deep link and directs the user to the appropriate app screen or content (step-by-step guides for developers are available for Android, iOS, Unity, React).

Once your engineering team is done, they can give you:

  1. The deep link scheme you will be using for this app (per platform). You need to enter this information in the Apps page in the next step.
  2. A list of deep link destinations (URLs) to use when you set up your Singular Links. For example:

    Deep Link Destination (URL)
    New-season sale: autumn fashion mylinkscheme://automnfashion
    Special offer: Register for newsletter and get a $5 coupon mylinkscheme://newsletteroffer
4

Enter Link Scheme Info in the Apps Page

Depending on your app's platform(s) and the technology that your engineering team used to implement deep linking, there may be some information you need to enter in the Apps page (Settings > Apps).

This information should be given to you by your engineering team.

  1. Log into your Singular account and go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Find your app in the list and expand the details.
    • For Android: enter the Android App Scheme.
    • For iOS: enter the Team ID.

 If your app has more than one app site (i.e. is available for more than one platform), enter the necessary information in each of them.

5

(Optional) Add Deep Link Destinations in the Apps Page

You can add the deep link destinations to your app settings in the Apps page for easy access. This way, whenever you create new tracking links, these destinations will appear in the drop-downs for you to choose from.

This step is optional, as you can always just type in any destination when you create a Singular Link.

To add deep link destinations to the Apps page:

  1. Log into your Singular account and go to the Apps page. 
  2. Find your app in the list and expand the details.
  3. Under Destinations, add the deep link URLs, each in a separate row, and click Save.

6

Create the Link

To create the actual tracking link (with deep linking included):

  1. In your Singular account, go to Attribution > Manage Links and click Create Link.
  2. Enter the link details. For help, see the Singular Links FAQ.
  3. In the Link Settings and Redirects section, after you enable the link for iOS, Android, or both, fill out the following fields:
    • "If the app is not installed go to" (this is the fallback redirect)
    • "If the app is already installed, go to: (deep link)"
    • "After installation, go directly to: (deferred deep link)"

  4. Finish creating the link and copy the tracking link URL so you can configure it in your ad network dashboard.

Notes: 

  • If you get a message saying you need to set up your app scheme or Team ID, you've not set up your deep linking schemes properly in the Apps page (see step 4 above).
  • If you've set up deep link destinations in the Apps page (see step 5 above), they are available to select here so you don't have to paste them in again.
  • The deferred deep link is typically the same URL as the deep link, although you can make them different if you have a special reason to.
7

Test the Link

Now that you've created the deep link, you can easily test it to see how it works.

To test the deferred deep link functionality:

  • Copy the tracking link URL from the Manage Links page and send it to a test device that doesn't have the app installed.
  • From the device, click the link. You should be directed to the app store.
  • Install the app and open it. The app should display the intended screen or content.

To test the deep link functionality:

  • Install the app on a test device.
  • Copy the tracking link URL from the Manage Links page and send it to your test device.
  • From the device, click the link. The app should open and display the intended screen or content.

To test how the Singular Link functions for determining attribution, see How to Test a Tracking Link.

Advanced: Add Dynamic Content to the Link

You can make a Singular 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. 

This is useful, for example, if you have a shopping app and you show dynamic banner ads for different products. When users click an ad, you want the app to open and display the page for the specific product they clicked on. To do so, you want to add the product ID dynamically to the Singular Link.

To implement deep links with dynamic content, follow the same steps described above, starting with planning the link and giving all the information to your engineering team.

Note for Developers: Using the _p Parameter

To add dynamic data to a Singular Link as you serve the ad, append the _p parameter and any value to the end of the Singular Link URL. _p stands for "passthrough" and the value can be a URL-encoded JSON value or an unstructured string value. 

For example, if the Singular Link is: https://myshoppingapp.sng.link/A59c0/nha7

When you display the ad, you can append the product ID to the Singular Link as follows: https://myshoppingapp.sng.link/A59c0/nha7?_p=Shoes123

The passthrough parameter value(s) are made available to the app when you read the deep link URL. For details, see the deep linking support guide for your chosen SDK: Android, iOS, Unity, React.

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