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Overview

Deep Linked Email allows you to automatically convert your email links into multi-platform deep links that take users directly to content in the app on mobile devices, while still maintaining the same web experience for desktop and mobile users without the app.

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With a script provided by Branch, you can dynamically create Branch links in email. In any place the script is called, the web URL is converted into its corresponding Branch link. The email is then sent.

When a link is clicked by a user without the app, it will route that user to the original web URL (including on desktop). When a link is clicked by a user with your app, it will direct that user into the relevant in-app content regardless of platform or email client.

Setup

Prerequisites

  • This guide requires you to have already integrated the Branch SDK into your app.

Contact your Branch Account Manager or accounts@branch.io at any time for assistance with the setup steps.

Choose your email service provider

Navigate to the Deep Linked Email section of the Branch dashboard. Select SendGrid or Mailgun as your email service provider and click Get Started. If you do not know which ESP to select, please contact your Vero account manager. Then, follow the SendGrid or Mailgun setup steps.

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Tell us your click tracking domain

If you use Vero as your sending provider

You will need to request a custom click tracking domain from Vero.

  1. Branch recommends that you setup a new click tracking domain in order to not affect any existing email campaigns which may have been sent prior to integration.
  2. You should create new click tracking domain at your domain registrar dashboard.
  3. Email Vero (support@getvero.com) and request a second / new click tracking domain at your domain. Vero will set this up and email back the DKIM and SPF DNS details for configuring this domain.
  4. Verify the click tracking domain using the configuration provided by Vero

If you plug Vero into your own Mailgun account

You will still need to request a custom click tracking domain from Vero, but with slightly different setup steps.

  1. Branch recommends that you create a new click tracking domain in order to not affect any existing email campaigns which may have been sent prior to integration.
  2. You should create new click tracking domain at your domain registrar dashboard.
  3. Email Vero (support@getvero.com) with your new click tracking domain and ask them to set up the separate click tracking domain
  4. Add and verify your new custom click tracking domain in the Mailgun dashboard
  5. Log into Vero and go to Settings > Email Providers. Add a new Mailgun "account" and input the domain name you have just verified. Vero will now allow you to set this as the default, or use this on a per-campaign basis.

Configure your app for your click tracking domain

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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. Once the CNAME record is added, please allow up to an hour for Branch to generate SSL and AASA files for your click tracking domain.

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.

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  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.

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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

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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.

More information

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

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