With the ever increasing popularity of the freemium app monetisation model, app developers are becoming increasing reliant on in-app purchase (IAP) sales to drive revenue. I’m always looking for ways to move the needle on IAP sales, and the technique that I’m about to tell you about certainly does that.

And with the average cost-per-install creeping up over $2, finding ways to increase ROI on Facebook ad campaigns is more important than ever.

After you’re finished reading this post, you’ll understand how to drive more IAP sales using mobile app deep links and some clever thinking. No more simply getting people to open your app and hoping they will navigate to your IAP store and buy something. You can have users sent directly to your IAP store when your app opens. Sounds awesome huh!? Ok, let’s get into the details.


New Opportunities With Deep Linking

Facebook have recently extended the capability of Mobile App Install Ads to allow for deep linking. This exciting new feature will opens up brand new opportunities for mobile app developers to increase sales through their apps.

Whether you are monetising via in-app purchases or selling physical goods via an e-commerce app, this will help you sell more in-app purchases without spending more on advertising.

What is a deep link?

A ‘deep link’ gives us the ability to direct a user to a very specific point within our mobile app. Instead of installing the app via an ad and just being taken to the main menu when they open the app, we can send the user to any location in the app via a deep link. This was previously possible with app engagement ads, but it’s brand new for app install ads.

For example:

Let’s think about a clothing retailer with an commerce app. They might create an app install ad that features a red dress in the image. With a standard app install ad, a person would click the ad, install the app, and then the app would open at the main menu.

But by using a deep link, the retailer can ensure that anyone who installs their app after clicking on that ad is taken to the page in the app showing all of the details for the red dress with a big buy now button at the bottom. That’s a huge win for both the user and app developer! It provides a much better user experience because it saves them from having to search for the dress, and it increases the chance of the app developer making a sale.




How can you take advantage of Facebook App Install Ad Deep Linking?

Most of us aren’t Amazon or eBay, so you’re probably wondering how you can benefit from app install ad deep linking if you don’t have a massive e-commerce app. Here are just a few ideas:


1. If you’ve got an app with in-app purchases, focus on a particularly popular one in your ad and then deep link directly to the IAP store in your app.

This is all about removing friction and getting people to what they want as quickly and easily as possible.

The idea is that if someone sees an item in your ad and they decide to click on that ad, it’s a very strong indicator that they liked that particular item that they saw. Rather than having them open the app and having to search for the item, we can send them straight to it.

Here’s an example:

We often see games with unlockable characters that are always way better than the base character. If you owned one of these games, you might want to feature your most popular unlock able character in your Facebook app install ad. Then when the user installs and opens the app they would be taken to the page in your app where they can purchase that character.


2. Give away a freebie that’s exclusive to people who install the app via an app install ad

Instead of deep linking to a product page and trying to sell an IAP like in the previous example, you could simply unlock some IAP content for free. This idea here is that you are providing a special bonus only available to people who use your deep link (I.e only to people who install the app by clicking your ad).

I think there is some great potential here to improve ad performance. By making it clear to people that they will get something extra, completely free, but only if they install via the ad I would expect an improvement in install rates. I can’t wait to experiment with this one myself!


3. Show them your most popular content / features first

Most developers know exactly which features and content are most popular within their apps. In fact, those are probably the things you are showing people in your ads.

With Facebook app install ad deep linking you can send users directly to these features and pieces of content after they install the app. If there’s a particular level in your game that users love, send new users there first. If your app has a new feature that your users are raving about, send new users straight to it. There are so many possibilities here! It really gives you a chance to improve the on-boarding experience & get users hooked on your app from the first session.

Race Car Deep Linking Ad


If this technique was applied to this ad, the car in the image would be automatically selected when the app is opened for the first time.


4. Offer a one-time discount on IAP’s & send people straight to it

With this technique you can create special IAP discounts/offers and send people directly to them after they install your app via a Facebook App Install Ad. This is a great way to drive IAP sales and increase the ROI of your Facebook ad campaigns.

The best part about this technique is you can change the IAP offers as often as you want without having to update the app! That means you can create new offers and promote them using Facebook ad campaigns as often as you want without having to update your app each time. Oh, and it’s all free.


How To Set Up Facebook App Install Ad Deep Linking

If you’ve already got deep linking set up in your app, getting started with this new feature is super easy.

A new field has been added to the Facebook ad manager that lets you define the location in your app that you want to link to. It’s as easy as entering the deep link URL in this field when setting up your ad.

Deep Link Field In Facebook

Once you’re developer has integrated the Facebook SDK and enabled App Linking, it’s as easy as entering the deep link URL here.


If you don’t already have deep linking enabled, don’t worry it’s not a huge task to add it. If you’re running Facebook ads you should have the Facebook SDK integrated in your app. All you need to do is ask your developer to enable App Links, which is Facebook’s cross platform standard for deep linking. Once that’s enabled, enter your URL’s in the ad manager and you’re all set!


How Will You Use App Install Ad Deep Linking?

I can’t wait to try each of these techniques. With some creativity I’ve got no doubt people will come up with some awesome ways to leverage this new feature for higher ad campaign ROI.

How do you plan to use it? Have you already given it a shot?

Tell me all about it in the comments!