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April 28, 2022
10 min read

Web-to-App Advertising: Use Cases

Let's take a look at practical use cases, when it makes sense to try Web2App campaigns for your app.

Web-to-App Advertising: Use Cases

It's been a year since Apple released iOS 14.5 and radically changed its privacy regulations. Most developers started using SKAdNetwork for their apps attribution, while some are considering other options: using web involvement or switching to Android. In this article, we'll talk about Web-to-App advertising and whether it's actually worth it.

Web-to-App: When to Use?

With the release of iOS 14.5, more marketers are trying to find a way to advertise their apps and track campaign effectiveness in real-time. In our recent blog post, we talked about a Web2App Solution for Facebook and explained how beneficial those campaigns are compared to regular App Install campaigns. But now, let's analyze practical use cases when W2A campaigns for your app are beneficial.

Deferred Deep Linking

Deep Linking is a technique that navigates a user to the right part of their app after clicking an ad banner when they already have the app installed. When the app hasn't been installed, and the user downloads it from the App Store first, it's called deferred deep linking.

For now, SKAN attribution doesn’t support deferred deep linking, and using W2A seems to be the only solution unless the user gives ATT consent on both source and target apps.

You don’t necessarily need a web landing page since a simple blank page with auto-redirect can do the job.

Even though deep linking is mainly spread among eCommerce apps, it gains popularity in apps with in-app purchases. Here are the app categories where using deferred linking would be appropriate:

  • Content-based apps (books, movies, music, etc.)
  • Apps for personalization (widgets, wallpapers, etc.)
  • Fitness apps 

To make it clearer, here is the practical use case: 

A user sees an ad for an exercise to strengthen the back muscles. After clicking on it, they are navigated to the App Store through an intermediate web page that saves their visit information (IP address, device model, etc.). After the user downloads and opens the app, it pulls the attribution data from MMP and loads the necessary exercise screen if they have been successfully attributed to this campaign. 

This process will increase user engagement with a higher chance to subscribe. And Web2App integration will send a Subscribe event to the ad network as if it was made on the web page.

Web Onboarding

You can experiment with the HTML onboarding on the fly. The main advantage is that the user experience isn't interrupted by the app download, which positively affects engagement. Some of the apps may be more than 100Mb in size, and users may forget to launch the app after the download has been completed. In that case, Web onboarding is a solution to avoid user interruption during download.

There are plenty of mobile web onboardings commonly used by Fitness and Food Delivery apps. But, actually, any app category is suitable for this flow. For instance:

  • Horoscopes
  • Dating apps
  • Reader apps

These apps are more likely to provide partial content, like showing the first chapter of the book or scanning your palm. To see the rest of the content, you must sign up and download the app. Typically you should enter your phone number or an email address. And after that, you'll be redirected to the App Store to download the app and continue your experience there.

Web Onboarding for Web2App AdvertisingWeb Onboarding for Web2App Advertising

Payments On The Web

While the global app developers community awaits Apple to allow third-party payments in the app, some developers try those payments on the web before the actual app download.

Web payments aren't yet commonly used since they require registering a Stripe account or its analog. In addition, customer acquisition is pretty hard.

App developers use web payments mainly as an additional or experimental way of monetization. We have seen it in Fitness and Content-based apps.

How it generally works:

Let's take the same example of an ad that advertises an exercise to strengthen the back muscles. After clicking on it, the user navigates to the website with well-designed onboarding. At the end of the process, they will be prompted to subscribe with a discount. If the user subscribes and enters their contact info, they are redirected to the App Store.

What happens after the user opens the app? Well, it’s up to the developer. One option is to try to restore the subscriber by showing the login screen first or try the automatic attribution based on IP, device, model, etc.

If you're wondering which app categories are suitable for web payments, the answer is - all of them. However, keep in mind that calculating unit economics isn't an easy task. You'll have to spend plenty of hours on page design, layout, registering a payment account, etc.

Checkout Page in StripeCheckout Page in Stripe

Why may you need an API integration with the Ad Network?

Since you are running ad campaigns to a web page, SKAN won't work, and events made in the app won't be tied together with web events. That is why app installs and other events must be reported to the ad network as Pixel events. By doing this, your Facebook or TikTok Ads Manager will show an app install and in-app purchase events within a web campaign.

Ad Creative Testing

Another practical use case – testing ad creatives. Currently, it is hard to test creative performance using SKAN because you can see the whole picture only after 48-72 hours. And you won’t be able to see conversion rates for a particular creative unless you make a separate campaign for it. That’s really problematic with current limitations, but we're here to help you out!

Apphud's Solution For Web-to-App Campaigns

Using a Web-to-App funnel may be a solution to analyze your ad creative effectiveness since it shows you all conversion rates in real-time: CTR, Click-to-Install, Install-to-Purchase.

No matter what your use case is, Apphud has an out-of-the-box solution for creating, reporting, and analyzing Web2App campaigns. Here is what Web-to-App Solution includes:

  • Integrations with Facebook and TikTok. Send your app install or payment events to these SANs as browser Pixel events. This means that Apphud events can be used in measurement, reporting, and optimization in web campaigns in the same way as if it was a regular app install campaign.
  • Built-in customer attribution. Apphud automatically matches website visitors with app users. And there is no need to use MMPs for attribution. To achieve this, we developed our own JS script code that needs to be installed on your landing page.
  • Landing Page Editor. You can create a landing page in our web editor in just a few clicks! Select a template, fill in all the fields, and your landing page will be automatically published at our domain. These domains pass verification on Facebook. All JS scripts will already be installed.
Landing Page Editor in ApphudLanding Page Editor in Apphud

        4. Ad Creative Analytics Tool. You can view ad creative conversion rates on our Web-to-App Ad Analytics page to find your best-performing creative. You can use these insights to launch SKAdNetwork campaigns with the best creatives.

Ad Creative Analytics Tool in ApphudAd Creative Analytics Tool in Apphud

The Future of Web-to-App: What’s next?

The future of the W2A funnel is foggy, and we doubt to say with certainty that it will be in great demand. For now, most developers prefer to use SKAN and test creatives using web funnels. Despite that, Web2App has become a must-have tool for testing web onboardings, web payments, and deferred deep links. Apphud is here to help you.

The authorities of various countries are putting more and more pressure on Apple, asking it to allow third-party payment methods. If this happens, Web2App will become even more promising. All we have to do is just wait and see.

Co-founder at Apphud
Ex iOS app and game developer. 11 years in the industry since iOS 3. More than 50 apps are in the background with 4 exits. Entrepreneur and traveler.