Why Do I Need In-App Messages?

why do i need in-app messages

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In mobile marketing, push notifications get all the love. There’s reason for that on some level: push is a great tool for increasing retention, and it’s crucial for pulling users back into your app. But with all this fuss about push notifications, it’s easy to forget that the in-app experience is what affects people the most. For that reason, in-app messages can be a mobile app’s best friend.

In-app messages are a broad category. Whether you’re offering a discount or prompting the user to leave a review, in-app messages can be used to drive a wide variety of business goals.

You may ask yourself, “Why do I need in-app messages?” In this article, we’ll go over a few in-app message use cases to explain how you can make the most of this underutilized channel.

1. Use In-App Messages to Announce a New Feature

why in-app messages

It’s a mistake to assume that you have to use in-app messages for promotion. In fact, many of the messages that we encounter on a daily basis are purely informative. Examples include app update alerts, new business partnerships, and user account updates.

Among these informative messages, one of the most exciting options is the new feature announcement. If you deliver the good news when the user opens the app, they’ll start the session on a high note. The message can deep link straight to the new feature if you want the person to try it out right away.

In-app messages can be used in conjunction with push notifications for new feature announcements. If a user hasn’t opened your app in several days, it might be more effective to send the announcement via push and deep link to the feature. Whereas if a person is a daily user (or better yet, if they’re already in your app), in-app messages are the way to go.

2. Leverage In-App Messages to Prime for Push Notification Opt-Ins

how to use in-app messagesUsers are people too — they don’t want to deal with generic, spammy messages as soon as they open an app. They certainly don’t want to give an unknown company the right to bother them with push notifications. Studies have shown that asking users for push notification privileges at app startup yields a poor opt-in rate. It’s easy to understand why. The first time a user opens an app, they’re often flooded with requests to access the phone’s camera, photos, contacts, location, and more. The user needs a reason to trust the app before opting in to push notifications.

One app, Last Minute Travel, found a better solution. By using Leanplum’s Push Pre-Permissions feature, the company improved their opt-in rate by 182 percent. They jumped from a below-average rate to a number that beat the industry standard by almost 20 percent, just by using this solution.

One reason why Push Pre-Permissions are so effective is because they respect the user’s desire for privacy. It’s natural that people hesitate to accept push notifications — they don’t want the app to bother them with offers that they don’t need. By waiting until the app has proven its value, companies can get on the user’s good side before asking something in return.

3. Employ In-App Messages to Optimize Onboarding

onboarding experience

New user onboarding requires a delicate balance of instruction and immersion. If your app has several features, it’s likely that your users won’t discover all of them right away. A good mobile onboarding experience will reveal your app’s value without slowing the user down with excessive hand-holding.

A tip-of-the-day feature is a good way to engage new users. The first few times a user loads your app, you can display an in-app message that highlights a different feature. Furthermore, you can customize your campaign to stop showing these messages when the person has tried out every feature or after they’ve used the app a few times. This way, you’ll provide a helping hand to the users who don’t immediately see the full value of your app without slowing the rest down.

4. Harness In-App Messages to Recognize Achievements & Milestones

in-app messaging

Gamification is a powerful engagement tool. You might associate achievements with games, but many non-gaming apps use a game-like progression system to encourage user engagement. By acknowledging milestones like creating an account, writing a review, or uploading a picture, you reward the user for contributing content and encourage them to contribute more.

In-app messages are the perfect channel to recognize these milestones. Since the user is already engaged, the message will be immediate and impactful. This compounds with the instant gratification that the person might already feel from completing a level in a game or from adding a new photo to their profile.

Of course, milestone recognition messages can be combined with other types of in-app messages. You can use the opportunity to request a 5-star review or offer a discount. By segmenting users during “happy” moments in your app, you’ll likely see more success.

These four use cases are some of the broad applications for in-app messages, but there are plenty more related uses.

Perhaps you app doesn’t have a gamified milestone system, but it does have a loyalty program that rewards the user for every purchase. Or perhaps you don’t want to add a tip-of-the-day feature, but you want to make your new user tutorial more dynamic by adding message overlays instead of full-screen instructions.

There are many variants of these use cases, but most of them revolve around the same themes: reward and engagement. Unlike push notifications and email, in-app messages have the potential to reach users while they’re already enjoying your app. Leverage these moments by granting awards, offering deals, and making requests.

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.