OneLink™ 1/4: Converting users from owned media

At a glance: Create a link that sends new users who don't have your app to the relevant store or web page, depending on their platform. If the AppsFlyer SDK is installed on your app, the users are attributed to the correct source—including to your owned media, such as banners, emails, SMS campaigns, or QR codes on posters.

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Scope of work

Who's involved

Only the marketer is required.

If the AppsFlyer SDK is already installed, you can complete this guide entirely using the AppsFlyer dashboard, without a developer making any changes to your app's code.

Prerequisites

  • An AppsFlyer account with at least one app.
  • For attribution: The AppsFlyer SDK already installed in each of your mobile apps.
    • If the SDK is not yet installed in your apps, it is still possible to create a working redirection link, but it will not be possible to measure installs in your dashboard, deep link, or deferred deep link.

Time required

Approximately 30 minutes

Outcome

  • Users clicking the link will be sent to the correct app store or web page based on their device.
  • Users will be attributed from the click/install to your owned media sources.

 Example

Mark is the marketer of a successful grocery delivery service called "Feed Me". Mark targets his user-base phone numbers to download Feed Me's new mobile iOS and Android apps. An SMS campaign is planned, targeting registered users who have not yet installed the app. However, Mark doesn't know which users have Android or iOS devices.

To solve this, Mark sends the SMS containing a short URL powered by OneLink. When a user receives the SMS and clicks the link, it automatically directs them to the appropriate app store or landing page, where it's easy for them to install the app.

These new installs are attributed to the SMS campaign, enabling Mark to check the success of the SMS campaign in AppsFlyer. 

Setup procedures

Complete the following procedures to set up a custom link that:

  • Directs users to the correct app store or web page based on their device.
  • Attributes the click/install to your owned media source.
WATCH READ

If you completed all three procedures in this article, then congratulations! You have created a link you can send to all new users who do not have your app and direct them to the correct app store.

 

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The following sections contain various FAQs and general explanations about OneLink. 

Additional procedures

Create a custom impression URL

Custom impression links enable you to:
  • Measure the impressions to clicks conversion rates of the ads you display.
  • Receive attribution for clicks.
    AppsFlyer detects the user's device platform and attributes the click to the correct source.

Prerequisites: A working OneLink custom link long URL. Short URLs are not supported.

Who is involved:

Marketer and web developer

To create impression URLs for measuring impressions only:

  1. In the AppsFlyer dashboard, go to Experiences & deep linking > OneLink Custom Links.
  2. Hover over the Actions icon of the link you want to test and click Get URL
  3. Copy the OneLink long URL for editing.
    Example:  https://subdomain.onelink.me/j7rN?pid=email&c=Spring
  4. Replace the subdomain (or the entire Branded Domain, if you're using one) with 'impressions'.  
    Example:  https://impressions.onelink.me/j7rN?pid=email&c=Spring
  5. Copy the impression URL and send it to your developer.
  6. Instruct your web developer to implement the impression URL in the website logic. 

Now you have an impression URL, that can be used to count impressions on your website pages but can't attribute new installs. For view-through attribution, follow the next steps.

To use impression URLs for attribution:

  1. Prepare the impression URL as described in the earlier steps.
  2. Make sure view-through attribution is turned on.
  3. [Optional] If you wish to change the default 1-day view-through lookback window value, add the af_viewthrough_lookback parameter with the new value. For example, af_viewthrough_lookback=1d.
  4. Copy the impression URL and send it to your developer.
  5. Instruct your web developer to implement the impression URL in the website logic. 

Full impression URL example:

https://impressions.onelink.me/j7rN?pid=email&c=Spring&af_viewthrough_lookback=1d&.sh

Create a social media preview

When a link is shared, open graph (OG) tags are used to generate a preview with a title, description, and image.

These OG tags may automatically be taken from the web URL or app store you are redirecting to. However, sometimes this method of generating a preview fails. Therefore, we recommend setting your social media previews in OneLink, either using the OneLink UI, or, for links not created in the OneLink UI, by adding OG tag parameters to your link.

The Social media preview feature is supported by the following platforms:

  • Facebook (posts and DMs)
  • Twitter (posts and DMs)
  • iMessage
  • WhatsApp
  • LinkedIn (posts and DMs)
  • Line
  • Telegram
  • Slack
  • Signal
  • KakaoTalk
  • Discord

To create your own social media preview in the OneLink UI: 

  1. In your OneLink custom link editor, go to the Share on social media section
  2. In the Social media preview section, enter a:
    • Title
    • Description
    • Image URL
  3. Click Update link.

To add OG tag parameters to your link (if it was not created in the OneLink UI, but rather using OneLink API, bulk upload, or SDK user invite):

  • Add the following required parameters:
    • af_og_title
    • af_og_description
    • af_og_image

Note: 

  • You can add the OG tag parameters to your link outside the AppsFlyer UI.
  • If you add separate OG tags for Twitter, they will override the regular AppsFlyer preview.

Customize QR code

You can customize the QR codes generated via OneLink by:

  • Adding your logo to the QR code
  • Changing the color of the QR code. 

Note: QR code customization occurs at the template level; not at the individual link level. Therefore, customizations affect all QR codes based on the edited template.

To customize your QR code:

  1. In the AppsFlyer dashboard, go to Experiences & deep linking > OneLink Custom Links.
  2. Hover over the Actions icon of the template you want to edit and click Customize QR code.
    The QR code editor opens.
  3. Enter the URL where your logo is hosted. For example: https://yourbrand.com/logo.png.

    Logo requirements:

    • PNG or JPG format
    • Square or circular with a transparent background
    • Minimum dimensions 400 x 400 px
    • For printing, use maximum image resolution
  4. Set the QR code color. 
  5. Click Save.

Traits and limitations

Traits and limitations
Trait Remarks
OneLink characters
  • Total URL length must not exceed 2000 characters
  • Link Name and Media Source: must not exceed 100 characters
  • The following special characters are not allowed in OneLink parameters or values: ;, *, !, @, #, ?, $, ^, :, &, ~, `, =, +, ’, >, <, /, {, }, %
  • Short URL ID must not exceed 50 characters
Posting OneLink URLs in web pages Using target="_blank" in the HTML href tag does not result in redirection to Google Play or App Store. If the OneLink URL is placed inside an html a tag with the target="_blank" attribute, it opens a blank page in Chrome on Android and iOS. This affects OneLink functionality. Make sure that the a tag doesn't include the target attribute.
Agencies
  • Agencies are not able to create OneLink templates on their own.
  • Agencies can use existing OneLink templates to create custom attribution links for themselves if the agency is a partner of all the apps in the template.
Add/edit OneLink templates Account users require permission to add and edit OneLink templates.
OneLink templates Up to 600 OneLink templates per account.
Social media preview image If the image type is not supported by the social media platform, it doesn't display.
Desktop When you set the OneLink URL or template to redirect desktop users to a different URL, the web URL is added to the link in the af_web_dp parameter. When the link contains af_web_dp, AppsFlyer does not register a click when it comes from a desktop.
Redirect to third-party app stores

Multiple app stores can be set on the OneLink template only if the app package name is the same for all app stores.

Note:

  • Huawei uses different package names, so the same OneLink template can't be used for multiple app stores.
  • If the package name is the same, but the channel is different, the redirection works, but attribution doesn't.
af_enc_data

Not supported in impression URLs.

Next step

Follow the instructions in OneLink guide 2/4 to send existing app users who click your link directly to the app itself.

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