What are smart banners?

Glossary What are smart banners?

Although mobile apps account for the majority of sales on mobile devices, the research stage of the mobile user journey is still conducted primarily on web browsers. This means that in order to have the highest possible conversion, app marketers must bridge the gap between web and mobile apps. This is where smart banners come into play.

Smart banners definition

What are smart banners?

Smart banners are a pop-up that launch a call to action (CTA) banner as app users browse your mobile website, encouraging them to download your app to continue browsing there. This tool is beneficial to marketers as it seamlessly bridges the web-to-app flow, converting web users to app users who are more likely to make a purchase.

Smart banner example

How to

How do smart banners work?

There are a few paths a user can experience with smart banners.

If the user has previously installed your app, and clicks on the CTA button of the smart banner, the app will open either to the app home screen, or to a deep link based on where they left off (using deep linking), depending on your chosen banner setup. For example, if the user is browsing the socks category on your mobile website and the smart banner prompts them to go to your app, the app can open on the corresponding socks category page they were looking at.

Alternatively, if the user has not previously installed your app, a deferred deep link will take them to the appropriate app store to download and install the app, which will then direct the user to the home screen or designated deep link that corresponds to the webpage they were browsing.

Deep linking for smart banner ads

iOS vs. Android

iOS vs. Android smart app banners

Apple launched the smart app banner for iOS with the release of iOS 6. These smart banners are compatible with Apple’s Safari browser, and offer a smart-recognition CTA. This means that if users had the app downloaded, the smart banner shows an “Open” CTA and the subtext “Open in the [App Name] app”. Otherwise, the smart banner displays a “View” CTA and the subtext “Get – On the App Store”.

iOS smart banners also recognize the user’s geographic location, and will not appear in the user’s browser if the app is unavailable to download in their location. Apple smart app banners are easy to implement on iOS as they simply require the following code in the head of your mobile website:

<meta name=”apple-itunes-app” content=”app-id=myAppStoreID, app-argument=myURL”>

Hint: If you’re looking for customization of your smart banner ad, or wish to select the page placement of your ad, Adjust has the solution for you.  More on this in a bit.

Google, however, lags behind Apple on the smart banner front. Android smart app banners are a little more complicated to use with Chrome. Developers must include both the prefer_related_applications and related_applications properties in their web app manifest, and a list of criteria must be met before the smart app banner can be launched for the app user.


Benefits of using smart banners

The primary benefits of using smart banners are:

Lower user acquisition (UA) cost: Unlike traditional paid digital marketing, smart banners can bring users to your app during an organic customer journey.

Higher conversion rate: By creating a frictionless path to the platform of highest mobile revenue, you will naturally see an increase in conversion.

Unobtrusive: Smart banners fit naturally into the customer journey and create a more seamless experience.

Lidl, for example, launched its new app alongside a smart banner to increase customer awareness and drive app conversions. Jet demonstrated the value of smart banners for conversion by driving 33% of its install traffic with a smart banner.


Adjust and smart banners

Adjust's Smart Banners solution empowers marketers with the tools to create and implement smart banners effortlessly. An intuitive setup allows for quick and smart work, enabling marketers to increase lifetime value (LTV) and user retention by customizing banners that connect with high-value users.

In fact, you can tailor your smart banners as much as you’d like. Edit the title, description, button, button text, font type, the background of the banner, and even add a custom image instead of the app icon. Taking your smart banner ads to the next level helps attract users who are more likely to spend time and money during meaningful app sessions, driving new users and more traffic to the app.

Customization options with Adjust smart banners

Core features of Adjust Smart Banners

Unlimited banners: Create an unlimited number of banners for each app, tailored for both iOS and Android platforms, optimizing your workflow.

Advanced attribution and deep linking: The choice is in your hands to attribute users to either the previous ad or the banner itself. Deep linking technology then seamlessly drives users from web-to-app or app-to-app, all manageable within the intuitive interface.

Design customization and placement options: Customize icons, font type, content, and choose banner placement options (top, bottom, or full-page), so that the banners align perfectly with your app’s design and marketing strategy.

Unlimited language localizations: Cater to a global audience with localized content for each banner, reaching high-value users across the globe.

Ready to explore the potential of Adjust's Smart Banners in driving app growth? Discover the three simple steps to set up Smart Banners in your Adjust dashboard, contact your sales rep at sales@adjust.com, or request a demo.

Never miss a resource. Subscribe to our newsletter.