“A bird in hand is worth two in the bush” and rightly so for businesses it is always easier to retain an existing customer than to bring in a new one. In an overcrowded app market where there are approximately 10 prominent apps competing in every segment, app capability is certainly no more the differentiator. Hence unless you are the Googles or the Facebooks of the world, you are always at the risk of losing out to your immediate competitor. In order to preserve market share one needs to employ better in-app engagement and retention techniques to keep bringing users back and increase their lifetime value.
Push Notifications had long been the app marketer’s darling and lately there is a new kid on the block i.e. in-app messaging. While Push Notifications are a way for you to playfully nudge your users, getting them to open your app, in-app messages are media-rich messages that you receive in the app. Together the two play a huge role in an app’s user retention efforts.
We have been building Messaging capabilities in mobile apps for a while now, and have seen various use cases of Push Notifications and In-app Messages working in tandem to engage and retain users. In this article we would unveil 8 unique and innovative ways of using these two communication channels:
- Onboard New Users: Your onboarding experience is the user’s first interaction with your app, getting it right increases retention rates by 50% . Help customers navigate from one process to the other: such as creating an account, watching help materials etc. This would make your users familiar with the lay of the land for ease of use and navigation.
- Help Users discover features: In a feature rich app, users might be missing out on the feature they need i.e. the one that would boost engagement with your app. A friendly nudge while they are on the app, asking them to check out a certain feature might just help them discover their favorite thing about your app.
- Show off what’s new: Announce New Features to users: Take advantage of the worthy moment when the user is in your app to announce a major new feature and encourage them to take it for a spin. A good practice is to let them dive right into the new feature via a CTA button, making it easy for them to try it out.
- Help retain Lapsing customers with customized offers: Often when users go dormant and are inaccessible by traditional modes of communication like email or push notification, in-app messaging with a suitable offer can be used for retargeting. This is because in-app messages are triggered when the user is actively using the app and data suggests in-app messages boosts engagement by 3X .
- Personalized Upsell and Cross Sell Messages encouraging purchase: Companies have always looked for avenues to win a customer’s heart (and wallet) and one such technique is by offering personalized recommendations and up/cross sell offers. One way is to use a customer’s purchase history to suggest additional items and while someone does so, it is important to consider factors like apt timing to contact and the customer’s price sensitivity.
- Transactional In-app Messages for user satisfaction: Transactional in-app messages does a great job at giving users peace of mind that their conversion action is completed. It is advisable to take it further with a CTA since data suggests that In-app messages triggered from an in-app event increase conversion by 4X.
A good example is sending users in-app messages confirming their reservation, with an option to add it to Google Calendar. This way your app weaves into the user’s everyday life, increasing the likelihood of them becoming power users.
- Sharing important information and making major announcements: Right information at the right time can delight your customers beyond imagination and make them loyal to your app. Although it can’t be good news every time, but upfront transparency is better in cases where user experience can be negatively impacted later on. For example while Google Maps tells you if a faster route has become available and gives the option to accept a change, Uber notifies users about price surges beforehand, and also when prices have dropped.
- Encourage Social Sharing and Building Brand Advocacy: The key here is to show messages to the right people at the right time with the right copy. The purpose is to graduate active app users into brand ambassadors by encouraging them to rate your app or by endorsing the “Sharing is Caring” philosophy asking app users to share content from your app on Social Channels.
Do you use In-app Messaging? If yes, how and if not, why? Tell us in the comments.