In-App Messaging: 5 Key Elements to Drive Better Mobile Engagement

More than ever before, people have the ability to interact with brands and businesses anytime, anywhere through mobile apps, leading to completely new levels of engagement and communication between businesses and their customers.

Consumer action rarely happens without some form of invitation or engagement. And, at this point, we know that mobile marketing strategies must extend beyond app acquisition or risk high levels of churn. Keeping this in mind, brands need to focus on high-value relationships with their app users from the moment they download the app. Especially since, currently, only 45% of users opt in to push notifications.

That’s where in-app messaging comes in. Messages delivered while users are engaged in the app, they reach 100% of your app audience and don’t rely on opt-ins for the ability to engage users.

Neiman Marcus alerts app users to a special offer of points and savings with an in-app message; the point opportunity is reinforced on their app home page.

Mobile Messaging Channels

Mobile apps can have three distinct messaging capabilities: push notifications, in-app messaging and message centers. By understanding the uses for and benefits of each, you can build a mobile messaging strategy to create a compelling experience for your app users.

In-App Messaging Best Practices that Drive Action

1. Make It Brief

In-app messaging shows up for a limited amount of time (15 seconds), so you need to keep it short and sweet. For example, “Your order shipped!” is much better than “We have just shipped your order to you.” Choose one call-to-action per message to avoid confusion. Make it easy on your users and keep it simple.

2. Make It Relevant

Use audience segmentation to target users with the right messages. Identify users who share specific attributes and preferences and craft personalized content for this segment. A good example of this strategy is purchase history. Brands can send an in-app message with a discount for a product that users have purchased in the past.

3. Brand Your Messages

When in-app messages are branded, they look like they are naturally part of your app, creating a better user experience. Customize the background and font color of your messages. Or upload your custom font. All of these customizations reinforce your brand identity.

4. Use Your Brand’s Voice

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to your brand identity and voice/style. Make sure that all messages feel like they authentically come from your brand. Showcase your brand’s personality in the brief copy that you write, whether that’s funny, approachable or informative.

5. Use Deep Linking & Social Sharing to Your Advantage

Leverage deep links (hyperlinked text that directs to a specific page or destination on a website or in an app, beyond the home page) to direct users to the information they need or to a specific conversion event like buying tickets. You can also embed social sharing capabilities in these messages to activate your users’ networks.

Next Steps

With well-executed in-app messaging, brands gain the ability to drive customers to immediately take action. To learn more about in-app messaging options, check out our In-App Campaigns Inspiration Guide, and get started today with our Engage Starter Edition for free.