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Sruthi Malla
Sruthi Malla May 13, 2021

What is In-app messaging?

In-app messaging is the communication users receive within the app when he or she is active on mobile or desktop. These messages support effective user onboarding, sharing relevant content at the right time, and present offers and discounts that convert faster.

Difference between push notifications and in-app messages?

Push notifications are extraneous to the app, whereas in-app messages are within the app. Until 2014, push notifications were dominant in the market for notifying the users about product updates, offers, and everything related to brand communication. But when In-app notifications started to get traction, push notifications were limited to timely, crisp, short alerts. In contrast, In-app messages started to nurture users with creative onboarding, providing product tours with relevant screen tips, aiding promotions with offer displays at times. Now, push notifications and In-app notifications paired with emails, create multifold triggers for communication unique in their own ways. 

As in-app messaging happens when the user is interacting with your product or service, It helps to retain users, convert users and educate users at the same time. Listed below are a few best practices for implementing In-app messaging:

Be Relevant: Study your userbase so that you know which user appreciates what kind of messaging. Of course, In-app messages help achieve your business goals, but only when they are relevant to your user interests are more chances of conversion. 

Hyper personalize the content: Once you figure out what interests your users, it’s time that you message them. But a generalized text for all users will not work as one size doesn’t fit all. Take time to personalize your context and content. Think beyond personalizing the user’s first name and last name. You come across as intelligent and caring only if you know something more than everyone else in the market. 

Engage at the right time: Timing matters a lot. Especially when you are building relationships with your customers, we need to be more cautious about what would be the right time to contact them. A rating request would make more sense after the user checks out his/her cart rather than prompting while adding items to the cart. 

Limit the content: Be it a carousel or a full splash screen, ideally, less content should deliver more information. The messaging should be crisp and straightforward. If it is a carousel, limit it to 3 – 5 cards at max so that users don’t skip your message.

Make use of the templates: Almost all in-app messaging creation interfaces come with a set of predefined templates to start with. Try to pick the best template based on content and CTA’s. A better template selection adds more value to your campaign.

Make it visually appealing: Use visually appealing images that convey the message. Visuals are the best way to communicate when you have less space and more to share. The message should match the theme. Or else, it would look like an odd one out. 

Localize the content: Localization converts the text (Plain English by default) to users’ device language. Thus with localization, the message becomes more user-friendly and takes the user experience to the next level.

Use call-to-actions that convert: A simple message never determines a goal to action. That’s when we need to add CTA’s to the message so that users can pick any of the CTA’s, which again redirect them to the corresponding places. For example, in case of items are left in the cart, the message CTA should direct users to it.

Dont’s:

Never spam: It’s great to interact with the user when they are active. But limit your messages count for a specific user for a particular time period. In technical terms, enable a cap (no. of messages) users can receive in a given time. The user may qualify for different segments and campaigns; the cap prevents from spamming the user.

Never disturb the user flow: The user being active might be performing some preferred tasks on the app/website. Splashing his screen with many messages or presenting an in-app in the middle of the user flow can disturb the whole process. For example, if a user is trying to add a card to his payments, and In-app message would be inappropriate in that scenario.

Right tags matter: In-app messages are tagged to different screens to pop up only when the user reaches that particular screen. Adding relevant tags as per the messaging is something every campaign manager should master. For example, onboarding in-apps should always tag to the home screen. Showing them somewhere else would be irrelevant.

Never deploy without testing: We picked the right template, right messaging, right segment, and right tag, but what if we missed out on something while designing the whole campaign. Testing is something that avoids any real-time losses to the business. A discount shared with the wrong user can be a loss to the business and enrage the user if it doesn’t work. So, it is always good to test before going live with any campaign.

Wrapping up : 

We have run several in-app messaging campaigns for major brands across the world. Our experience taught us only one thing, never be afraid to innovate or experiment. Also, be unique in your messaging and try to achieve viral status with innovative strategies. The do’s and don’ts are just the guidelines, but on the real battleground, it’s all about intuition and knowing the pulse of the customers. 

About Upshot.ai

Upshot.ai is an omnichannel, user engagement, and gamification platform that helps digital product owners and marketers improve their product adoption and conversions. Fortune 1000 companies such as GE, UHG, Puma, Sony, ITC, Tenet healthcare are using Upshot.ai and observed a massive increase in product adoption YoY increment in revenues.

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