Animate Your App Links to Make Them Pop With Branch Quick Links

Sending links to contacts can be pretty

When I finished up V1 of Eureka!, I wanted a nice way to share the app with my friends and people I met in person.

The usual way to get people to download an app is to

  1. Send them directly to your app store listing
  2. Ask them to search in the store for your app
  3. Send them to your website

There are a few problems with each of these

Send Them Directly to App Store

Issues arise here when the app is in multiple stores (Android and iOS), and multiple countries (being sent to the US store isn’t useful in Canada). There’s also the risk of the app store address changing.

If the user does find the app, the attribution is simply counted as ‘direct’. Which is incorrect.

Ask Them to Search

This solves the problem of ‘which app store’ and ‘country’ as the user self selects based on their platform.  But, if the app is new it will be hard to find.

If the user does find the app, the attribution is simply counted as ‘app store search’. Which is incorrect.

Send Them to Website

This gives more control as to the link itself, but there are still drawbacks. If the user views on Desktop, it’s not super useful as they can’t download.  Also, it adds extra steps and friction.

If only there was a way to send a direct link for tracking, proper store detection, and generally delightful experience.  Enter Branch Quick Links

I won’t go through all of the Branch setups, but I wanted to share a cool trick where you can 

  • Send an animated preview of your app
  • Track the campaign
  • Do proper re-directs

Under Link Settings → Social Media Display Customization  → Thumbnail Image

There is an option to add your own preview image, which will also display on direct links. Most app people default to their app icon, which is OK. But, we can do better.

There’s no stopping you to add a more engaging image, such as an animated gif!

Creating the gif itself is pretty painless.

  • I recorded an app interaction on my iPhone as a video [instructions here]
  • I edited and converted to gif via an iPhone app called ImgPlay.  It cost $5.99, but it looks less than 15 minutes to create, so it was well worth it.
  • Uploaded the thumbnail image in Branch

I got fancier with Deepviews, (which are the landing pages itself), but that’s for another day.

Now, when I send the app to a friend, I use a web address like this:

Note: You’ll want to have the web address at the start or end of the message to allow for the preview on iPhone. Also, the recipient needs to have you in their contact list.  

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Mobile Maker and Marketer

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