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Why Should You Use In-App Notifications for Customer Engagement?

In-app notifications can be a very effective weapon in the marketer’s arsenal, but they are much misunderstood and misused. Used well, they can improve the customer experience while boosting your app’s profile and providing valuable customer data. However, used badly, they can drive away otherwise loyal customers, hurting your returns.

Here we will explore what they are, how they work, and how to use them effectively in order to drive engagement and ROI.  

What Are In-App Notifications?

In-app notifications, also known as in-app messaging, are messages that appear while a customer is using your app. These can present as pop-ups or overlays, and can take up the whole screen or only a portion of it.

The content of these notifications can vary. They can be a call to action (CTA) like asking your customer to rate the app, or opt in for push notifications. Or they can promote deals and offers, or other features of the app that the customer might have otherwise missed.  

What Are the Benefits of In-App Notifications?

In-app notifications are all about engagement. By prompting the customer to act with a CTA, marketers can increase their level of engagement. And a more engaged customer is more likely to interact with your brand in the future.  

Since your customer is using the app when they receive the in-app notification, they are already engaging with your brand, and so are more open to communications. They are letting you know it is a convenient time for them. By contacting them at this time, rather than out of the blue with a push notification, you are less likely to inconvenience them, and more likely to increase stickiness (the frequency with which customers keep engaging with your company).

In-app notifications can also open the door to other methods of communication, like push notifications, by requesting a customer’s permission. And they can request consent for other customer data too, like their location, which can benefit both marketers and customers alike – it gives the former more information to improve customer experience, and the latter access to more features like ‘offers near me’ by leveraging their geolocation.

Of course, in-app notifications are a good way to prompt customer feedback too, by asking them to rate the app. This will help you improve your app experience, driving conversions.  

What Are the Best Practices for Creating Effective In-App Notifications?

In-app notifications are less intrusive than push notifications as the customer is already engaging with the app. However, to ensure effectiveness, you need to identify unique users within the app, then selectively target, schedule and notify those customers. It is also vital to analyze the impact of in-app notifications, so that you can measure the effectiveness of your strategy.

Here are some best practices:

1. Know your goals

Customers don’t appreciate being interrupted while they use your app, so you had better know why you are doing so.

2. Keep them to a minimum  

See above. Keep interruptions to a minimum – once every 20 uses, for instance.

3. Segment your customers

Dividing your customers up into different groups using AI will help you know what will appeal to each, in order to make your notifications more compelling and driving engagement.

4. Think of your integrated marketing strategy  

In-app notifications should not stand alone, but be weaved seamlessly into your integrated marketing strategy. Only by knowing your brand’s values and goals can you create in-app notifications that further your ends. Your in-app notifications should not repeat communications already expressed in your email marketing, for example, or you will risk driving customers away.

5. Be timely

Once you have segmented your customers, you should know the best time of day to reach out to them, and so they are most receptive.   Like any marketing channels, in-app notifications should be used as part of your broader strategy. By segmenting your users and knowing their cross-screen behaviors, you will be better placed to create compelling content and drive engagement with your app and brand.


Do you want to know more about how to leverage an AI-powered marketing automation platform to create more personalized and powerful in-app notifications? We are here to help. Get in touch with our consultants today for an exclusive discussion!

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