In-App Messages


What is in-app messages?

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Team Storyly
May 22, 2023
0 min read

What is in-app messages?

In-app messaging refers to any message that users receive while active within an application. These messages can be used for a variety of purposes:

  1. Onboarding: When users first download an app, in-app messages can provide a tutorial or guide to help them understand how to use it.
  2. Promotions: In-app messages can notify users about sales, discounts, new features, or premium upgrades.
  3. Engagement: If users haven't been active in the app for a while, in-app messages can be used to re-engage them, perhaps by highlighting new content or features.
  4. Notifications: In-app messages can alert users about important updates, reminders, or activity on their account. For example, a social media app might use in-app messages to notify a user when they receive a new friend request or message.

These messages can appear as pop-ups, banners, full-screen interstitials, or even as part of the app's UI in a more integrated way. They are typically designed to be unobtrusive and easy to dismiss, but this can vary depending on the purpose of the message and the design of the app.

In-app messaging is a common technique used in mobile app marketing and user experience design. It's a way to communicate directly with users, providing them with relevant and timely information. However, it's important for app developers to use this tool wisely, as too many messages, or messages that aren't useful or relevant, can annoy users and lead them to uninstall the app.

How does in-app messaging work?

In-app messaging works through a series of steps involving the configuration, triggering, delivery, and analysis of the message. Here's a step-by-step process of how it works:

  1. Integration: The first step to use in-app messaging involves integrating a software development kit (SDK) into your app. This SDK enables the application to receive and display messages from the server. It also provides tools for creating, customizing, and managing in-app messages.
  2. Configuration: Once the SDK is integrated, you can configure the in-app messages. This includes designing the message's look and feel, setting up the timing and trigger conditions, and deciding what action should be taken when a user interacts with the message.
  3. Triggering: In-app messages can be triggered based on specific user actions or events. For example, you could set a message to appear when a user completes a level in a game, adds an item to their shopping cart, or hasn't logged in for a certain period. These triggers are highly customizable and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your app and your marketing strategy.
  4. Delivery: When the specified conditions are met, the in-app message is delivered to the user's device. The message is displayed within the app interface, often as a pop-up or banner. This ensures the message reaches the user in a timely and contextually relevant manner.
  5. Interaction: Once the message is delivered, the user can interact with it. They might click on a link, close the message, or perform the action it recommends. The way a user interacts with an in-app message can provide valuable feedback and insights.
  6. Analysis: The final step in the process is to analyze the results of your in-app messages. This can involve tracking metrics like view rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. By analyzing these metrics, you can get a sense of how effective your in-app messages are and make adjustments as needed to improve their performance.

What are the benefits of in-app messaging?

The main benefit of in-app messaging is that it is a hyper-focused method of communication that cultivates relationships with a brand's most valuable customers; those who are already invested in their app. Some other advantages include:

Increased User Engagement

In-app messaging plays a crucial role in driving user engagement. By sending relevant and personalized messages, you can encourage users to spend more time in your app and interact with it more frequently. This can lead to higher user retention and loyalty.

Improved User Onboarding

In-app messages can be used to guide new users through the features and functionalities of your app. This can greatly improve the user onboarding experience, helping users understand how to get the most out of your app from the start.

Promotion of Features and Offers

In-app messaging is an effective way to promote new features, updates, or special offers. By delivering these messages directly within the app, you can ensure that they reach your active users in a timely and relevant manner.

User Retention

In-app messages can be used to re-engage users who may be losing interest or haven't used the app in a while. By delivering targeted messages that highlight new content or features, you can encourage these users to return to your app and stay active.

Gathering User Feedback

In-app messaging can also be a valuable tool for gathering user feedback. You can use it to ask users for their opinions or suggestions, or to encourage them to rate your app. This can provide you with valuable insights that can be used to improve your app and better meet your users' needs.

Driving Conversions

Finally, in-app messaging can be a powerful tool for driving conversions. Whether you're trying to encourage users to upgrade to a premium version of your app, make a purchase, or complete another conversion event, in-app messages can provide the timely nudge that users need to take action.

Most popular in-app messaging softwares

There are many companies that offer in-app messaging capabilities, some of the most popular include:

  • Amity
  • Clevertap
  • Moxo
  • Firebase

What are common use cases for in-app messaging?

In-app messaging can be used for nearly any type of marketing communication and is commonly used for:

User Onboarding

One of the most common use cases for in-app messaging is user onboarding. In-app messages can guide new users through the functionalities of the app, providing tips and highlighting key features. This can help users get the most out of the app and increase their satisfaction and retention.

Feature Announcement

In-app messaging can also be used to announce new features or updates. By highlighting these updates directly within the app, developers can ensure that active users are aware of new functionalities or improvements, which can increase engagement and usage.

Promotions and Special Offers

In-app messages are a common method for communicating promotions, special offers, or sales. For example, an e-commerce app might use in-app messaging to notify users about a limited-time discount, or a gaming app might offer in-app purchases at a reduced price.

User Re-engagement

If a user hasn't opened an app in a while, in-app messaging can be used to re-engage them. These messages might remind users of features they haven't explored yet, highlight new content, or simply remind them of the app's value.

Personalized Recommendations

Many apps use in-app messaging to provide personalized recommendations based on a user's behavior or preferences. For example, a music streaming app might recommend new songs or playlists, while a shopping app might suggest products based on a user's browsing history.

Feedback Requests

In-app messages can also be used to request feedback from users. This can include asking users to rate the app, complete a survey, or provide suggestions for improvements. This feedback can be invaluable for developers looking to improve their app and better meet users' needs.


In-app messaging can also function as a notification system, informing users of important updates, activities, or changes. For example, a messaging app might use in-app messages to notify a user of new messages, or a task management app might alert a user about upcoming deadlines.

What is the difference between push notifications and in-app messages?

The main difference between push notifications and in-app messages is that push notifications can reach customers when they are not using an app, while in-app messages are only available while users are active within an app. It’s important to note that push notifications are much more easily ignored and more often disabled by users than in-app messaging. 


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