Over the course of this series, I've introduced the concept of Pirate Metrics, followed by individual posts discussing how to track (and improve) acquisition, activation and retention with Firebase and its' suite of products.

Every product owner dreams of seeing the work they create go viral. When your users love what you built so much that they want everyone around them to use it as well, it validates all the effort and hard work that went into it.

But here's the thing: while your users are typically more than happy to refer your application to their friends, family and colleagues, they are unlikely to be interested in putting in a lot of effort. The simple, easy way is to ensure you make it easy to simply share the URL for your application. However, you want to easily track how your referrals are doing, and you also want to smoothen the onboarding process for the new, incoming user.

The first product I'd like to talk about in this post is Dynamic Links. These links, which can be generated either on the Firebase console or programmatically, offer the benefit of redirecting users appropriately based on where they're opening them. That is, users on Android can be automatically sent to the Play Store while users on iOS can be sent to the App Store. If the user already has the app, they can be deeplinked to specific content inside it.

You can take Dynamic Links a few steps further as well by taking advantage of the fact that the data associated with each links survives the app installation process. This means that if the link was meant to deeplink to specific content (such as a product in an E-commerce service), you can take the user straight to the appropriate page once the new user completes the installation.

You can also consider using Dynamic Links to personalize the onboarding process for new users. For example, if you provide a referral bonus to users which relies on sharing of codes, you could ensure the link has this code already added as a parameter and add it automatically for the user right after install. This offers the opportunity to earn a lot of goodwill.

Links are only one part of the solution we have to offer - if you also use Firebase Invites, you can provide users with a simple options of choosing which contacts they would like to share your app with instead of relying upon third party apps. This list of contacts is also sorted to highlight those people the user frequently communicates with.

Firebase Invites referrals are sent over SMS and E-mails, and give you the benefits of Dynamic Links mentioned before. You can customize the invitation content, including the ability to specify templates with rich HTML content for E-mail. And you don't need the user to be signed in to your service or know their E-mail address either.

Your users are your best advocates, and we highly recommend minimizing the friction that might prevent them from sharing your application with the other people in their lives. Regardless of what your product is, you are likely to benefit from gently nudging - especially your more active ones.