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An in-app message is a message that pops up while a user is in your app. In-app messages can be styled as full screen pop-ups or as small overlays, native to your app’s user interface.
While push notifications invite the user to re-open your app, in-app messages focus on the user’s current browsing session within the app. Retaining the customer can be as simple as programming a few in-app messages into your app, such as pop-ups, yes/no prompts, and interstitials. The key factor to remember is that in-app messages should add value to the app.
This value can be broadly defined by three key areas: information, reward, and monetization. Informative in-app messaging can be used in the onboarding process. For example, messages can guide users through interactive tutorials or give customers more insight into app updates.
Rewards, meanwhile, are quite common in gaming apps. These messages present customers with an incentive to keep using the app, like by displaying ”earnings” at the end of a level to encourage users to carry on playing. Rewards can also come in the form of loyalty incentives for frequent shoppers.
Finally, monetization invites users to convert (purchase a product). This often starts with an out-of-app notification like a push notification or email, which leads to a landing screen in the app with an incentive. By clicking on this call to action, users are directed to a checkout page.
App users benefit from in-app promotional alerts, ensuring that customers are aware of every new sale. Users can also enjoy a more fluid user experience thanks to interactive tutorials. This in turn benefits marketers who can leverage in-app messages to acquire more push notification opt-ins. This ensures the app team can target users both inside and outside the app.
Users targeted with in-app messaging will feel more engaged and rewarded — and, crucially, more ready to convert.
In-app messaging won’t just improve customer retention rates. Marketers can also use in-app messages to request positive App Store reviews. For example, StumbleUpon managed to increase its 5-star ratings in the App Store by offering customers a simple yes/no option when asking if they were enjoying the app. Those who said ”yes” were invited to rate the app in the App Store, whilst those who said ”no” were sent to a landing page to leave feedback, enabling StumbleUpon to make fixes to improve customer experience.
In short, by using concise, relevant in-app messaging, marketers will see improved ROI through greater customer lifetime value and more satisfied app users, as well as higher conversion rates.
Onboarding, interactive tutorials, tip-of-the-day — there’s a good chance your app uses one of these instructional flows for new users. In-app messages are frequently used to implement onboarding flows without bogging down the usability for experienced users.
Some updates consist mainly of bug fixes and UI tweaks; these usually aren’t worth calling attention to. But what if you’ve launched a new feature or changed the layout? People want to hear what’s new in a major update, as it improves their everyday experience. In-app messages provide a seamless way to inform your audience of changes as soon as they launch the app after an update.
In-app game messages can enhance a player’s sense of reward. Let’s say players earn a given number of coins for completing a level: you could silently add the coins to their in-game wallet, but it’s more effective to display their earnings in a popup at the end of the level. This way, the player knows exactly what they accomplished and what they’re getting for it.
Achieving a high DAU count is impressive, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Users must monetize for an app business to succeed. For apps that monetize mainly through purchases rather than ads, it can be difficult to convert fans into customers. Many users need an extra push to convert.
To get the most out of your customers with in-app messaging, read Leanplum’s 6 Minute Guide To Mobile App Messaging.