Smart Banners: Web-to-app made simpler than ever | AppsFlyer
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AppsFlyer’s Smart Banners: Web-to-app conversion was never more simple

Elan Freedberg Jun 15, 2020

We’ve had a number of significant product announcements in the last few weeks, and we’re thrilled to share another exciting one.

AppsFlyer’s Smart Banners, a no-cost feature which empowers marketers to turn high-intent web visitors into loyal app users, just got even smarter and simpler. How so? The entire Smart Banners experience has been upgraded, simplifying your ability to create and manage banner campaigns. Here’s a summary of the functionality that we released today:

  • A new UI flow designed to help you organize your “banner estate” and your banner campaigns
  • A new Banner Groups framework enabling you to display banner variants within the same and other Banner Groups simultaneously and with ease
  • New settings, or rules, that empower you to show banners on web pages according to geolocation, scheduling, and URL path settings

The release of these capabilities marks a watershed in the continued evolution of our Smart Banners. They allow you to display banners in a more precise way to the right users in the right geolocation at the right time. The new UI also enables you to take advantage of Smart Banners’ proven ability to move users smoothly from your website so that they can enjoy the benefits of your app.

We’ll provide a breakdown of the features below as well as use cases that demonstrate the value of the new Smart Banners experience. But before that, here’s a quick reminder of what Smart Banners are and how they can help you.

“The Why” behind Smart Banners

What makes Smart Banners so important to your marketing mix? It’s simple. Most brands have a mobile website, and nearly 90% of users discover brands during their web explorations. On the other hand, the lion’s share of revenue occurs in apps. In a nutshell, users discover on the web and convert in-app.

Smart Banners are a magic connector, turning web visitors into loyal users, first through an install and subsequently through revenue generation. In fact, you can think of Smart Banners as a digital version of Magic Johnson; just as Magic artfully created scoring or “conversion” opportunities by passing the ball to teammates, Smart Banners “convey” users to an install, in-app content, or another digital destination. And we know for a fact that Smart Banners are highly effective; data from our customers shows a click-to-install rate of 30%, the highest among commonly used owned media channels.

Source: AppsFlyer, 2020

Of course, a key reason that nearly one of three users clicking on a banner installs the app is that each banner has a OneLink deep link behind it. Deep linking ensures a smooth path to the appropriate app store and to the app itself, and superior user experience is a proven way to increase conversions.

Smart Banners: Banner Groups use cases

In this section, we describe two use cases to illustrate some of the benefits of the new Smart Banners experience, one showing how to display banners to users in a certain geographical area, and the other showing how to display banners during the holiday season. 

1. Displaying banners to users in specific locations
Let’s say you’re a marketer of a music app called Mixter, and you’d like to display your banners only to users in New York and New Jersey. With the new UI, it’s simple to create banners with these settings. We call the group of banners that abide by the same settings a Banner Group. So, we’d set up a Banner Group and define the geolocation according to our needs.

smart banners dashboard appsflyerThe three banners in the Mixter_Routine Banner Group (shaded in pink) will appear only in New York and New Jersey 

Now users with an IP address in New York and New Jersey will see one of these banners — each displayed one-third of the time, sequentially — when they are on your website.

 2. Displaying banners during a specific time period 
For the second example, let’s say you’d like to display a couple of banners during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. You’re especially eager not to work during the holiday week and you’d like the holiday-centric banners to be published automatically. What can you do? Easy: Create holiday-flavored banners in a new Banner Group and schedule the banners to appear during the holiday week. Now you’ll be able to focus on your holiday preparations and your loved ones. 

appsflyer smart banners processThe two banners in the Mixter_Holidays Banner Group (shaded in pink) will appear during the holiday week

The new Smart Banners experience

Now that you’ve read two (of so many possible) use cases, you have an understanding of what the new Smart Banners experience includes. In fact, while creation of the banners themselves is still a cinch (we even provide templates for inspiration), we’ve overhauled nearly everything else, keeping ease-of-use and simplicity at the forefront. Here’s a deeper dive into the new experience:

1. Banner Groups
Perhaps the most distinctive element of this feature release is the way we’re allowing you to organize banners in groups. Each Banner Group includes banners that behave according to the same targeting and behavior rules.
 
What are these rules? They include the OneLink deep linking template that contains the instruction set for a user’s journey; banner appearance frequency rules; the ability to measure the source from which people arrived to the banner (UTM); and we’ve added three new settings which are described in the next section.

banner grouping rules smart banners appsflyerEach Banner Group includes banners that behave according to the same rules

Why are Banner Groups important? Because they allow marketers to put one or more banners into play at the same time on a mobile website. This means you can dynamically enable and disable banners. As well, you can simultaneously execute campaigns with different Banner Groups, for example displaying banners from one group in the New York City area and banners from another group in London.

The bottom line is Banner Groups bring order to the many banners you create and enable. They are your stable of easy-to-create assets that you can enable and disable with a mouse click.

2. New Rules: Location, Scheduling, and URL path
With this release, we’ve added three new rules to help you serve the right banners to the right person at the right time. By enabling you to define the geographic location and day and time that a user will see banners in a Banner Group, you can make banners more relevant to your target audiences and ensure relevant, positive customer experience. In addition to the self-explanatory geolocation and scheduling possibilities, you can also set banners to appear on webpages that include words in the URL path, such as “holidays,” “home,” “music,” “children,” “garden”, “menswear,” “casino,” etc.

3. User interface flow
Last but not least, the entire, refreshed Smart Banners experience is predicated upon a new flow that makes it utterly simple for users to create Banner Groups and Smart Banners and then manage the brand’s “banner estate.” Honestly, seeing is believing, so to get a true sense of what the new UI flow is about, I encourage you to try the magic of Smart Banners by signing up free for AppsFlyer’s Zero plan.

Wait, what? Use Smart Banners at no cost?

Yes, you read correctly. You can start using Smart Banners on your mobile website today, when you sign up for our free-forever plan called Zero. Head to our pricing page for more information and start converting high-intent mobile web traffic into app users today. 

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