mobile phone showing in-app messaging
You know that you’d like your app to become more popular with users. You’ve even tried to add cool features to stay competitive. The only problem is that growth seems to be stagnating, and people aren’t using the new functions as much as you’d prefer. Have you tried getting your users more engaged? In-app messaging could help you keep people informed about why they should use your app to the fullest and how they can do so. Here are some pointers that might make it easier to get started with this critical form of communication.

How to Use In-app Messaging for the Greater Good of Your Users and Brand

In-app messages pop up and grab people’s attention while they’re using your app. Unlike the dreaded push notification, they don’t make a nuisance of themselves or your brand by throwing ads in people’s faces when they’re busy trying to do something else or staring at their home screens.
What’s the point of contacting someone when they’re already using your software? There are many great examples of how companies leverage in-app messages to keep users more engaged:

Let People Know About Your Service Upgrades

Appgo2market reports that brands like Amazon and Instagram use in-app messages to tell users about new features as they go live. Software design research from User Interface Engineering demonstrates that less than 5 percent of people typically change their software settings from the defaults. Taking the time to publicize changes with an in-app notification is a smart way to ensure that people appreciate all of the hard work you’ve been doing.

Cultivate a Stronger User Community

Not all in-app messages have to come from your brand. Near the beginning of 2017, TechCrunch revealed that YouTube was upgrading its iOS and Android apps to let users send messages to each other.
The goal of this initiative was to keep people in the YouTube app when they wanted to talk about videos that they’d watched or share content with their friends. As the Next Web reported, this move might also help the web giant compete with Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms where people commonly go to repost YouTube content.
Although your business app may not have the huge user base of brands like YouTube or Facebook, you can still learn from their examples. Adding in-app messages to something like a shipping and receiving management app could make it easier for people on the warehouse floor to notify a supervisor when a particular pallet winds up in the wrong place or items go missing.
Integrating such functionality with features like barcode scanning could even help your staff share shipment information so that they can flag production line errors and resolve problems on the spot. You could also send messages from managers to entire departments to disseminate accurate information quicker and ensure that your staff uses your app.

Drive Mobile App Usage With Location-aware Messages

Location-aware in-app messages can significantly improve your application’s usability. For instance, USA Today reported that during the 2017 U.S. presidential inauguration festivities in Washington, D.C., Uber sent in-app messages to people who were actively searching for rides so that they’d know where they needed to go.
According to Fortune, numerous brands rely on their app users’ locations to decide when to notify them about their services and nearby offerings. Some even employ Big Data predictions to send messages when consumers are naturally most likely to make purchases. Although these communications commonly take the form of push notifications, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t also use in-app messages to let people know about local sales or online retail deals.

Using In-app Messaging Techniques in Your Software Offerings

Even though in-app messages have the potential to change the way people engage with your content, they’re not guaranteed to succeed. To get the most benefit, you’ll need to be extremely judicious about what kind of content you send and when you decide to send it. Here are three critical factors to keep in mind:

1. Every In-app Message Has Its Time and Place

Brands should be aware that in-app messages may not always be welcome, especially when users are performing tasks that require focused concentration or extended time commitments. For instance, if you force players to pause your game in the middle of a level so that they can learn about your new in-app purchases, then any goodwill that you cultivated will instantly morph into negative sentiments.
To avoid such situations, consider where your app includes natural pauses, like at content loading screens or when people are sending information to the cloud. Stick to these activity dead zones for your in-app messages.

2. Let Your In-app Messages Flow Both Ways

Some in-app messages should give people a chance to engage with your brand directly. It’s far easier to drive mobile app usage when your users know that you’re willing to listen to feedback and criticism, so sending messages that ask if they want to leave reviews is a tried-and-true tactic. Just be certain to avoid doing this so often that it gets annoying, or people probably won’t share glowing praise.

3. In-app Messages Work Best Within Broader Marketing Contexts

Sending in-app messages isn’t a marketing cure-all. These points of contact are fleeting, so they’re most effective when you use them to reinforce existing brand messages and underscore your previous marketing efforts.
Creating a comprehensive strategy demands that you take a big-picture approach to content. For instance, perhaps you’re announcing a special sale. You might want your in-app messages to replicate some of the marketing assets found on other outreach content, like product imagery.
Maybe you send push notifications about your new software innovations to get people interested in opening your app. Your in-app messaging should be intelligent enough to track whether they’ve actually tried the features. If they haven’t, it should show them a reminder about how to access or use the improvements.

Start Using In-App Messaging to Make a Difference

Do you genuinely want your in-app messages to drive mobile app usage and ensure that people stay current with your latest features and updates? Then you need to build a comprehensive system that lets you deploy message content in tandem with new features. In other words, your software development process needs to facilitate streamlined updates.
Not all apps are up to the task of making it simple to communicate with your adoring public or internal user base. Is yours capable of helping you sustain rewarding contact? Learn more by chatting with one of our specialists about taking your in-app messages to the next level.