Sending a mobile message can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. It could be as easy as writing a few words and pressing send to all your users at once, but if you’re intent on boosting conversions and increasing ROI, there are quite a few more factors to consider when it comes to crafting and sending the perfect mobile message.

We’ll break down the basic mobile messaging channels to show you how to use each one, then dissect the anatomy of the perfect mobile message, to give you a step-by-step guide on what to do before pressing send. Ready to learn how to create the ultimate mobile message? Then read on.

Mobile Messaging Channels

mobile message

Push Notifications

Most of us know that push notifications are the little alerts that buzz our phone endlessly throughout the day. But here are a few other things to know about the mobile messages known as push notifications:

  • They require permissions access from the user
  • They reach users outside of an app in the mobile moment
  • They are capable of deep linking and driving users to specific app content

Push notifications are great for alerting shoppers to a flash sale or travelers to flight updates. Push is the channel for timely and relevant alerts.

in app messages

In-App Messages

An in-app message is any alert or notice sent to your users within the app itself. Here are a few things you need to know about these mobile messages:

  • Users will only see them inside of the app (unlike push notifications)
  • Users can engage with or dismiss them — they are not permanent
  • They can work in tandem with push (i.e. a push can deep link to an in-app message)

In-app messages are useful for notifying gamers about special events or for priming users for push permissions. Similarly, Kurve suggests using an in-app message to prompt users to leave a review. This is the channel for onboarding, tutorials, and promoting in-app content. This is the channel for onboarding, tutorials and the promotion of in-app content.

app inboxApp Inbox

Your app inbox is a newsfeed of information for your users. A few things to know about app inbox:

  • It is a persistent container of messages and notifications that does not disappear (unlike push or in-app messages)
  • It houses past notifications so users know where to look for updates and news
  • It does not require permissions or engagement — you will always reach 100 percent of your audience

App Inbox is a great place to store reminders of on-going events, such as sales or special offers. This is the channel for long-lasting messages and in-app events.

app email marketing automationEmail

Using email as a channel is another way to reach users outside of your app. Here are three things you need to know about email:

  • It can be used to reach users who opt out of push notifications
  • It can reach dormant users who haven’t used your app recently
  • It integrates easily with your other messaging channels to reach a breadth of users

Email can help combat shopping cart abandonment and is another way to reach users outside of your app when push may reach your whole audience. This is the mobile messaging channel for re-engaging dormant users and reaching users who might have opted out of other mobile messages, like push notifications.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating and Sending Mobile Messages

multi-channel messaging

1. Choose a Channel

Using the guide above for reference, ask yourself the purpose of your message. Does it provide timely information? Does it engage users inside or outside your app? Does it provide information for the long-term? Is its purpose to re-engage dormant users?

Determine the function of your message, then select the channel from the options above that will best serve those needs.

personalization for retention hacking2. Customize the Content

What should you include in the mobile message itself? This is a broad question that can include the intended copy, images and other media – even emojis. Consider the type of content you’re planning to include, and choose content best suited to your chosen mobile messaging option.

Customizing your message content to include personalized information such as a user’s name, app achievements or saved items could mean the difference between an opened or dismissed push notification. Make sure your messages work for your intended audience to maximise the potential results of every interaction.

push open rate

3. Select the Delivery Method

After selecting the channel and the content, you’ll need to choose how you’re going to deliver the message to your users.

Mobile messages can be sent manually, scheduled by time zone, or programmed to send using a machine learning algorithm like Optimal Time that automatically schedules messages when users are most likely to open based on their previous app history. Optimal Time results in open rates 3x that of those scheduled by time zone, and is another highly effective way to personalize your messages to the individual user.

use optimal time to boost push notification open rates 3x

Additionally, you could use a mobile message tool like Programmatic Delivery, which automatically sends messages to segmented groups of users based on key behavior or customer intent, in response to external events like news updates, content releases, and promotions.

programmatic delivery

Start Optimizing Your Mobile Messaging Today

Scheduling and managing all the messages for your marketing campaigns doesn’t have to take all day. Tools like Leanplum can manage all of your mobile messages, as well as allow you to A/B test your content and analyze your data to see what’s working and what isn’t.

To take advantage of the tools that Leanplum has to offer, like Optimal Time and Programmatic Delivery, schedule your personalized demo today.


Leanplum is the most complete mobile marketing platform, designed for intelligent action. Our integrated solution delivers meaningful engagement across messaging and the in-app experience. We work with top brands such as Expedia, Tesco, and Lyft.

Schedule your personalized demo here.