In-app messages are a great communication tool for engaging users who are already using an app, says a study by Localytics, although only one third of app marketers use them as part of their engagement strategy.
The study found that apps that send in-app messages show two to 3.5 times higher user retention and 27 per cent more app launches, and when in-app messages are triggered off of an event they have higher click-through and conversion rates than those triggered at the start of an app session (click image to enlarge).
The report describes in-app messages as “the perfect tool” to guide users to the most valuable parts of an app, because they either act as directional guidance to get to the next step or serve as an opportunity to offer incentives delivered at appropriate points in the app.
Once a user sees the value of an app, they are more likely to return frequently and often.
Recommended in-app messages include asking a user to opt-in to notifications, making personalised recommendations, notifying them of gaming achievements, badges, and other forms of “level up” wins, and prompting them to share content or achievements on social media as well as quick tips about how to better use the app.
In-app messages also solve a problem faced by app makers of how to create content that isn’t viewed as spam and doesn’t detract from the user experience, assuming the messages are relevant.
Certain app categories see a higher lift in click-through rates when using in-app messages triggered off of an event.
For instance, photography apps see the most significant uptick, with click-through rates increasing by 19 per cent (click image below to enlarge).
“While photography apps may seem like a straightforward use case that do not require reminders or incentives, there are often highly valuable features worth pointing out to users that can add to the experience, enhancing the usefulness of the app,” the study noted.
Sports apps land in second place when it comes to click-through rate lifts, experiencing a 19 per cent lift when in-app messages are triggered by an event.
A well-timed in-app message calling out a new piece of relevant content is a great opportunity to engage users in a new way, keeping them informed of the latest and greatest information, the study says.
“In-app messaging is an often overlooked engagement strategy but, with the right approach and benchmarks to compare performance, they have a powerful impact on user retention and engagement,” the research concluded.