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Catalog Spree delivers 6x mobile engagement boost via deep linking

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November 20, 2013

The Catalog Spree iPhone app

Digital catalog aggregator Catalog Spree recently tested URL links in emails that drove users online against links that dropped consumers directly into its mobile application, with the app links delivering a 6X increase in mobile engagement.

Marketers such as Catalog Spree that have invested in developing robust mobile apps are looking for ways to drive return visits from an installed user base that typically contains some of a brand’s best customers. Deep linking directly into the app from social media, email and ads is one increasingly popular way of accomplishing this.

“Including deep links in our emails lets us detect the device used, and more importantly if that device has the Catalog Spree app,” said Joaquin Ruiz, CEO of Catalog Spree, Los Altos, CA. “Rather than sending people to the mobile Web site, Catalog Spree can send them straight to the desired content within the app.

“Because the majority of email and social channels are read on mobile devices, this capability helps to give users an optimal experience,” he said.

“Consumers clicking on Catalog Spree’s smart links in email, social and marketing campaigns have resulted in 6X the amount of time spent in the app versus time spent on the mobile Web.”

Direct connection
Catalog Spree has partnered with Sparq to power all of the links in its emails so that users who have already download the app can click on a link and be delivered directly into a catalog experience.

For example, Catalog Spree’s recent “Seven Days of Gift Giving” email campaign featured deep links to various gift catalogs within the app.

During the campaign, users received an email everyday announcing a new gift catalog such as Gifts for Her and Gifts for Kids. The email featured the daily catalog as well as a link that sent users straight to the catalog within the app.

As a result, recipients were able to jump right into browsing.

Driving engagement
Until recently, links in digital marketing have typically taken users to a brand’s Web site because most devices have a browser.

However, deep linking has gained as more retailers invest in creating mobile apps and are looking for ways to drive engagement with their apps.

The strategy also makes sense as the rate of mobile email opens continue to grow.

The deep links work in several ways. Marketers can create a link for a specific page on Twitter, Facebook or another social media site and include it in an email intended to drive social followers. Recipients who have the social media app and click on the link from their phones will be delivered directly into the app.

Sparq identifies whether a click is coming from desktop or mobile, if the user has the app or not and whether the click is coming from an iOS or Android device.

For retail apps, clicks deliver users directly to a product page in the app. This significantly decreases the number of steps required to complete a purchase.

“If I have taken time to download a retailers app, that says something about me as a consumer,” said Jim Watson, chief operating officer at Sparq, Seattle. “It is says that I am interested in doing business with that brand and there is a likelihood that I am one of that brand’s better customers.

“So, if you don’t deliver them to the better experience, which is the mobile app, you are losing out on that opportunity,” he said.

“With Catalog Spree, the results are showing that is the right thing to do in terms of their business.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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