Case Study

8tracks supercharges retention with Branch links in email and web to app transition

40%

email retention

89%

one month retention

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Summary

8tracks, the popular user-curated music service, has been focused on growing their mobile app to new users and existing web users. With native app usage surpassing mobile browsing , the 8tracks team aimed to create a seamless experience to draw people into their app. To help, they integrated the Branch deep linking platform. In this case study we’ll examine two use cases: email marketing efforts, and web-to-app user conversions.

8tracks has very loyal users, but since implementing a deep linking web-to-app transition button, 8tracks has seen a 69% increase in 1-day retention rate, a 77% increase in 1-week retention rate, and an amazing 89% increase in 1-month retention rate. Similarly, the 8tracks deep linking emails have seen over a 40% increase in user retention rates across all retention metrics.

Goals

  • Improve user retention rates
  • Increase engagement and app usage
  • Simplify access to in-app content

Approach

  • Implement deep linking from mobile web and emails with Branch SDK
  • Deep link into specific playlists where possible
  • Create retargeted marketing campaign

Results

  • Increased total usage by 74%
  • Increased one day, one week, and one month retention rates
  • Refocused marketing efforts based on install analytics

Background

The music industry is a very competitive vertical. To get ahead of competitors, 8tracks decided to upgrade their service with contextual deep linking. In both scenarios, engagement emails and web-to-app conversions, 8tracks uses contextual deep linking to improve user experience and capture install and click data.

Engagement emails

The Problem

8tracks sends their customers a weekly digest email with suggested playlists. These emails used to have two different “Install the app” buttons for iOS and Android users. These buttons always link to the respective platform’s app store. The buttons were redundant for users who either had the app already, and didn’t offer clear data on how many installs originated from the link.

The Solution

Today 8tracks has a “Get the app” button backed by a Branch link at the top of the email. Since Branch links can tell whether a user has the app already, this button takes existing users directly into the app, and new users to the relevant app store. 8tracks both saves valuable space in the email and knows their users are getting routed into the optimal flow. In addition, 8tracks gets attribution data so they can track installs and opens from that specific link. They found that users installing from this button have a 1-month retention rate that’s 2.3 times higher than the average 8tracks install.

This button has been so successful that soon 8tracks users will be routed directly from an email to the exact featured playlist in the app with the help of Branch contextual deep links.

Web-to-App Conversion

The Problem

To convert users finding 8tracks on their mobile web platform into app users, 8tracks needed to create a way to easily transition users to their native app. They knew that the number of users abandoning the flow would increase with each step they were forced to take during the transition flow. 8tracks turned to contextual deep links to solve this problem and create a seamless transition.

From 8tracks on mobile web the user is presented with an interstitial to easily transition to the same track in the 8tracks native app

The Solution

8tracks targets users listening on mobile web to switch to the more favorable native app experience through the use of a small interstitial and a simple green button in the mobile web UI. Clicking either of these buttons will automatically generate a contextual deep link. That link brings users to the same playlist the user was listening to on web in the app, where they can resume listening in the superior UI. A user that is deep linked to content spends 197% more time in the app compared to a user that installs and has to search for the intended content themselves. With the addition of this web-to-app transitional button, 8tracks realized an 89% increase in 1-day retention rates - in other words, 8tracks cut app abandonment in half for this portion of their user base.

Similar to the interstitial, when a user discovers a playlist on mobile web they’re able to graduate from the mobile web experience (using the green button at the top right and deep link to the native app where the music begins playing from where they left off.

Conclusion

By enabling deep linking and creating an innovative, simple, and intuitive way for users to enter the app, 8tracks produces a better user experience that keeps users coming back. Deep linking allows 8tracks to change the way users interact with their app and engage through various channels. The same type of Branch link lives behind both engagement methods. This keeps things simple. Branch even hosts these links, handles every edge case, and maintains all routing logic to make deep linking easy.