In-App Messaging Explained
The only guide you’ll need while working on your app’s in-app messaging.
What is In-App Messaging?
In-app messages (or In-app notifications) are the “pop-up” messages that users see in your app while they’re actively using it. When used well, they can be a part of a highly contextual journey for your users that can encourage engagement, conversions, and loyalty. The versatility and targeted nature of in-app messages makes it valuable both independently and as a part of a larger multi-channel communications strategy.
HOW ARE IN-APP MESSAGES DIFFERENT FROM PUSH NOTIFICATIONS AND OTHER CHANNELS?
When it comes to apps, a typical outbound marketing channel like email, text messages, and push notifications is geared towards bringing the user back to the core product. In-app messages are different in that they do not appear unless the user is already inside your app. Unlike other outbound channels in the marketer’s toolset, in-app messages help marketers engage with users within the app instead of acting as a reminder that the app exists. This opens up some unique opportunities to communicate with your most engaged users while being personalized to the specific user and contextual to their specific actions.
5 BENEFITS OF IN-APP MESSAGES
In-app messages come with their own set of advantages over traditional outbound communications. They include:
EASY TO IMPLEMENT
HIGHLY ENGAGED AUDIENCE
HIGHLY PERSONALIZED MESSAGES
INTEGRATED WITHIN THE APP
5 STYLES OF IN-APP MESSAGES
While there are a myriad uses for in-app messages, there are just 4 styles that are commonly used.
STICKY (HEADER OR FOOTER)
FULL SCREEN COVER
WHAT ARE THE WAYS I CAN USE IN-APP MESSAGES?
In-App messages can be valuable in every stage of your user’s app journey, and if used well it can be for your users as well. To be cliché, we can claim that in-app messages are limited by your imagination. We’ve listed a few use cases to help you and can gain inspiration from.
WHILE ONBOARDING A USER
Similarly, in-app messages can aid in promoting and educating a user of a new feature.
They can also push a user to the first time conversion event.
REWARD, ENGAGE, AND RETAIN
You could recommend activities, actions, or products based on the historical actions and preferences of the user. This makes it easier for users since they don’t need to browse too long, and it makes it better for you since your application’s engagement and conversions shoot up. Hotstar’s app does this well with the in-app messages merging well with their other movie and show listings, while also providing recommendations.
In-app messages can also guide users who are in danger of dropping off to parts of the app where they would find more value. Swiggy, for example, directs its customers back to list of restaurants once they’ve emptied the cart and are in danger of dropping off.
TO INCREASE CONVERSIONS
You could also use them to promote a deal that is tailored to them, to encourage more purchases. This may be showing them a deal for the shoes in their wish list, or offers that are specific to the products they regularly use. For example, Airtel’s app promotes Airtel Wallet by offering discounts for accounts associated with the app.
TO INCREASE OPT-INS
You could also run a gamified promotion to encourage your users to opt into future email promotions.
Outside of promotional opt-ins, in-app messages can help to prompt users to fill in your user information forms for tailored offerings.
DRIVE SOCIAL ENDORSEMENT
If you’ve a new sale going on, you could also ask your users to share it on their social media for special discounts or prizes.
You could also ask your users to share the special moments your app generates for your users, increasing your app’s virality. The best example of this is that of fitness apps that actively encourage its users to promote their achievements on social media.
9 BEST PRACTICES IN USING IN-APP MESSAGES
WHO DO YOU TARGET AND WHEN?
The first question you should be asking while designing your newest in-app message is who you’re targeting and when the in-app message will show up. Remember that you’ve limited real-estate on both your app screen and your user’s attention, and you shouldn’t be consuming it with an in-app message unless absolutely necessary. So you’ll need to target the perfect user, personalize the message, and time the message for maximum relevance.
TARGET THE PERFECT USER
PERSONALIZE THE MESSAGE
TIME THE MESSAGE
HOW SHOULD YOUR IN-APP MESSAGES LOOK?
KEEP YOUR USERS IN MIND
In-app messages need to be fine-tuned keeping your users in mind.
WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY IN YOUR IN-APP MESSAGES?
Keep in mind that your screen space and your user’s attention is a limited resource. To take advantage of both you will need to be efficient in your messages, you need to look great while delivering the message, and you need to drive your user to the action you find desirable for each in-app message
COPY IS IMPORTANT
GREAT VISUALS CAN ADD
ALWAYS CALL TO ACTION
REMEMBER TO TEST
In-app messages are obviously quite useful to every app owner. We at Netcore understand that, and have deployed multiple successful campaigns around it. If you’re inspired with a use case for your app, do reach out to our team and we’d be glad to help you deploy and test your in-app messages. As with your app, the sky’s the limit.