Types of in-app messages
There are several different types of in-app messages that you can use depending on your goals and the needs of your app users. They include:
Push notifications push messages directly to a user’s device. They’re great for time-sensitive messages and can help with engagement. However, too many push notifications arriving too often can annoy a user.
You can use push notifications to deliver breaking news, feature announcements, important reminders, or relevant alerts. More than anything else, push notifications must provide value. Your app users can turn off your push notifications at any time, so you want to make sure your messages are valuable and relevant.
As discussed, these messages show up in the app itself. You can use an in-app message to serve several purposes and present it to your app users in various ways.
These messages can display in-app notifications such as banners, pop-ups, or in-app inbox items. However, just make sure your messages aren’t distracting, disruptive, obtrusive, or unsightly.
Use in-app surveys to gather user feedback, discover issues, make improvements, and increase your engagement with your app users. Ask them to rank features, make suggestions, give opinions, or speak about why they keep coming back. Gathering customer feedback will help you better understand your users.
Just make sure to avoid long or tedious surveys. Try to make them short, straightforward, and fun, if possible. Offering an incentive can help as well.
Chatbots and virtual assistants can answer questions, offer support, make recommendations, or help app users navigate some aspect of the app.
With a chatbot, you can offer more customer service to your users, which can work out especially well for smaller businesses that may not have the means or the need to hire someone to perform dedicated customer service.
Your in-app message doesn’t always have to look like a typical message. You can also use interactive content that can engage users while they engage with your app. Interactive content can consist of practically anything, from mini-games, to videos, to educational quizzes.
Nevertheless, you must ensure the content falls within the scope of your app and doesn’t clash with it. You may annoy users with something that doesn’t belong on your app, or you may offer too much and overload your user’s attention, which can lead to burnout.
Challenges of in-app messaging
While there are many benefits of in-app messaging, it also comes with challenges, such as:
You won’t see much engagement from boring or generic messages. Even when sending mundane update messages, try to make them more exciting. Make use of personalization tools so that even your generic messages will still speak to an individual in a personal way.
Sending too many messages
You want to engage your users, not annoy them. Too many messages can overwhelm your users and lead to user fatigue, which may make them want to avoid your app. You may have to do some testing to find the right balance.
Some users may block your messages in some way or another. Some platforms may not have the capability of delivering your messages properly, especially if you need scale.
So, encourage your app users to pay attention to your messages by sending out high-quality messages that provide value. You may also have a technical issue that goes unnoticed. Always monitor and track your messaging efforts to ensure they're on track with your goals.
Letting automation do too much of the work
Make use of automation, but don’t forget the personalization aspect that makes in-app messaging appealing. Relying too heavily on automated features can lead to diminishing returns. The more human the message feels, the more likely a user will engage with it.
Best practices for effective in-app messaging
If you want to make in-app messaging work for your business, consider implementing some of the following best practices to ensure your efforts are more effective:
Define your goals and measure them
What do you want to achieve by using in-app messaging? Define a measurable goal and use relevant metrics to track the results.
For example, are you looking for conversions as well as retention? Then make sure you keep that firmly at the forefront of your mobile marketing strategy.
When you define your goals beforehand, you can align your in-app messaging strategy with your business objectives and track the results.
Know your audience
Knowing your audience will help your brand in many ways. Your audience should drive every business decision you make, especially if you want to engage in personalized marketing.
Segment your audience to ensure the right users receive in-app messages designed specifically for them. Consider segmenting users based on behaviors, location, or preferences.
Make your messages clear, concise, and targeted
Clear, easy-to-understand messaging will help users take the direct actions you want them to and cut down on any potential confusion. You don’t want to send out a call to action that goes unanswered because your app users didn’t fully understand what your message meant.
Test and optimize your messaging
If a type of messaging isn’t working, then optimize it to make it more effective. You may need to switch to different messaging methods to achieve specific goals. Track the performance of your messages and always strive to improve.
Take advantage of all automation features
Automation saves you a lot more than time, and behavior-based automation still allows for targeting and some personalization. So, make use of it.
That time you save can go toward improving the app experience or investing in ways to bring more value to your app users. However, you still must make use of good practices, due diligence, and ongoing strategy development.