Appboy

Setup

This guide will walk you through how to integrate your email service provider with Branch. If you have not completed the getting started steps, please follow this documentation first.

Configure your ESP

To open the app directly on iOS 9.2+, you must configure your email integration and your app to support Universal Links in emails.

Tell us your click tracking domain

Contact your Appboy Account Manager and request the Email Click Tracking Domain and the SendGrid Data domain associated with your SendGrid account.

Once you’ve retrieved this information, enter both the click tracking domain and the SendGrid domain in item 1 of this step:

image

On Done click, an AASA file - required for Universal Links - specific to that domain will be generated.

Configure your app for your click tracking domain

image

In this prompt, enter the email of someone on your team who is qualified to modify your iOS app, and then click Send. They will complete the technical setup steps below.

Technical setup

The following app changes ensure that your email integration supports Universal Links. You will need access to your app code to make these changes.

You should have received an email from Branch with your ESP's click tracking domain. If not, likely you or someone on your team still needs to complete the Deep Linked Email setup flow.

How does it work?

Apple recognizes the click tracking domain as a Universal Link, and opens the app immediately without the browser opening. Once the app has opened, Branch will collect the referring URL that opened the app (at this time, it will be the click tracking url). Inside the app, Branch will robotically “click” the link, registering the click with the ESP, and returning the Branch link information to the Branch SDK inside the app. This information is then used to deep link the user to the correct in-app content. See the Support section for more information.

Set up your click tracking domain

Create a CNAME for your click tracking domain and point it to thirdparty.bnc.lt.

Add your click tracking domain to your Associated Domains

To enable Universal Links on your click tracking domain, you'll need to add the click tracking domain to your Associated Domains entitlement.

  1. In Xcode, go to the Capabilities tab of your project file.
  2. Scroll down and enable Associated Domains if it is not already enabled.

    image

  3. Copy your click tracking domain from the email you received from Branch, or retrieve it from your ESP's settings.

  4. In the Domains section, click the + icon and add your click tracking domain. For example, if your click tracking domain is email.example.com, add an entry for applinks:email.example.com.

    image

Having trouble or new to Universal Links?

Follow these instructions for more details on enabling Universal Links in the Branch dashboard and in Xcode.

Validate and test

image

The last step of the Deep Linked Email setup flow validates whether you have completed all necessary steps and whether an engineer on your team has completed the technical setup steps. You will also see recommendations for how to improve your email integration.

Usage

Once you’ve completed the one time setup steps, it’s time to send your first email.

This guide will identify which web links you'd like to open the app and deep link, as well as convert them to Branch links.

There are a few different ways you can create Branch links that are compatible with Deep Linked Email and your ESP. You will need to replace the web URLs in your templates with these. To create Branch links, you can either:

  1. Making regular Branch links compatible with email
  2. Create email links via API without changing your email templates
  3. Convert all web links in your email to deep links

Appboy uses the shortcode e_ab for links in emails - please use this in place of e_xx in the guide below.

Be sure to add "$3p":"e_xx" to the deep link data of any links you use in email to ensure Universal Link and click tracking works as expected.

To create email links via API, please use the instructions on how to create links via API, but include the following key value pairs in your call:

  1. "$3p":"e_xx" This is required for Universal Link and click tracking functionality.
  2. "$original_url":"{{your web url URI encoded}}" For each piece of content, include a URI encoded version of your content's web URL. You can also add deep link data as query parameters on that web URL. This ensures accurate Content Analytics reporting. Example: "$original_url":"https%3A%2F%2Fshop.com%2Fshoes%2Fbrown-shoes%3Fmy_key%3Dmy_value%26campaign%3Dshoe_discounts"

We have provided a way of easily converting web links to Branch links, as well as an example. The example takes an html email (as a string) and applies the script to it.

Here is the script:

var crypto = require('crypto');
module.exports = function(original_url, branch_base_url) {
    if (!original_url) { return new Error('Missing original_url'); }
    if (typeof original_url != 'string') { return new Error('Invalid original_url'); }
    if (!branch_base_url) { return new Error('Missing branch_base_url, should be similar to https://bnc.lt/abcd/3p?%243p=e_xx'); }
    if (typeof branch_base_url != 'string') { return new Error('Invalid branch_base_url'); }

    return branch_base_url + '&%24original_url=' + encodeURIComponent(original_url);
};

Here is how links look before and after (the latter being a Branch deep link).

  1. Before: http://example.com/?foo=bar
  2. After: https://vza3.app.link/3p?%243p=e_xx&%24original_url=http%3A%2F%2Fexample.com%2F%3Ffoo%3Dbar

Note that these are simplified examples, not actual demo links.

To use Branch links within your appboy campaigns, you’ll need to add an HTML tag to the Branch URLs within your appboy email templates.

  1. Create your email template same as you normally would.
  2. Add Branch links to your email for all links you would like to deep link users to specific app content (this works for existing app users as well as those without your app). Be sure to add "$3p":"e_ab" to the deep link data of any links you use in email to ensure Universal Link and click tracking works as expected. 1.Once you’re done composing your email template, click on the “Source” button in the email creator toolbar

    image

  3. Add universal="true" to the HTML for any link which you want to convert intoa Branch deep link, for example:

    <a href="links.example.com" universal="true">Link to your app!</a>
    

    image

All done! So long as you’ve taken the above steps, the links in your Appboy email campaigns will now dynamically deep link users to app content, even if they have uninstalled your app, giving you the best chance of engaging or re-acquiring them.

More information

Curious about how email works and more FAQ? Visit our general email support page.

Comments