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In-app marketing is the act of using features like in-app messages and in-app notifications to market to users.
In the age of mobile app marketing, the three main focuses are customer acquisition, engagement, and retention. In-app marketing focuses on the latter two. While push notifications occur outside of the app and encourage dormant users to return and convert, in-app marketing focuses on improving customer engagement once the app is open.
The most common form of in-app marketing is in-app messaging or in-app notifications. These can range from full screen pop-ups to small overlays, yes/no prompts, and interstitials. Marketers set up these messages to encourage users to interact in some way, thereby directly benefiting the marketer either by encouraging a sale or promoting new app features. For example, users can be presented with a yes/no prompt asking if they are enjoying the app. A ”yes” answer could invite them to rate the app on the App Store, whilst a ”no” answer could take them through to a survey page which will give marketers tips on how to improve the app.
In-app marketing has three basic goals: to inform, reward, and monetize. Notifications designed to inform users are usually based around app updates or promotions. Reward-based marketing, meanwhile, is particularly apt for gaming apps or for retailers who want to reward customer loyalty. Users are targeted with notifications to inform them of their progress, encouraging them to ”play on” and thereby increase engagement. Finally, monetization messages simply alert users with notifications designed to encourage them to convert — for example, offering an incentive to those who make a purchase within 24 hours.
In-app marketing is crucial for marketers who want to increase the lifetime value of their users. Studies have shown that 21 percent of users delete an app just one day after downloading it. In order to retain customers and ensure they eventually convert, marketers must constantly target users and make them feel valued.
In-app marketing is also hugely beneficial in the onboarding process, for example by giving customers interactive tutorials to make their learning process as fluid as possible. This in turn will reduce app deletion rates and should encourage users to convert in the future thanks to improved confidence in using the app.
Marketers are better able to make important decisions about their app based on the results of their in-app marketing. By reacting to feedback from user reviews, marketers can improve the overall user experience of an app and therefore increase the App Store rating. With more satisfied customers, marketers can extend their reach to an even bigger scale and continue to develop apps in line with ever-changing customer trends.
To make the most of the messaging tools available to you within your mobile app, read Leanplum’s Guide to in App Messaging.