02 Jul 2015

The Importance of In-App Messaging

In-app messaging is exactly what it sounds like: an easy way to communicate with users who have a certain app open. This communication can include asking the user to rate the app, helping them discover some possibly obscure features, and so on.

Apps that utilize in-app messaging enjoy higher retention and app relaunch rates than those which don’t. This is mainly because users who are given some direction instead of being left to wander around the labyrinth of a complex new app will see the purpose and usefulness of the app, and they are less likely to hit that dreaded uninstall button. App marketers that recognize this will drive up their apps’ launch rates by approximately 27%.

Taking this a step further, in-app messages that are measured to be triggered by relevant in-app action instead of simply triggering on launch also deliver desirable results. Messages triggered by actions will bring twice the click through rate (CTR) that messages triggered on launch do,  and as much as four times the conversion rate.

 

App notifications

Despite the loyalty and CTR and conversion rates we see in apps that employ in-app messaging, only a third of app marketers dare to use it in their game plan. Why? We can look at behavioral economics to give us a possible explanation: businesses are more upset when they lose than they are happy when they win. App marketers fear that in-app messaging may be considered as spam and send their apps directly to the trash bin.

This anxiety is not baseless: how many times have you uninstalled an app for the constant push notifications polluting your screen or clicked the X button on an irrelevant pop up ad? It is important, however, to reap in the potential benefits of in-app messaging. Here are just a few of the many ways some apps communicate with their audiences without driving them away, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your own:

1) Have an “opt in” option for in-app messaging. This will separate your audience and ensure that messages are only sent to those that actually want to see them.

Opt in notification

2) Notify users of cool features in upcoming updates in the app. Don’t let them go unnoticed in auto-updates.

In app messaging update

3) Bring some friends along for the ride. Some apps allow people to share their content, which their friends and family can view and discover. Make sure your user knows that your app will be better when he/she is connected with friends.

Mobile app friends

4) Some apps deliver all their instructions when the app is first launched. Many people, including myself, will skip all the instructions and miss some interesting features. Message the user with a tip when appropriate in the app to let them know what they missed out on.

Mobile app instruction message

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