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In-App Messaging Best Practices for Higher User Engagement

Best practices for user engagement through in app messaging

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    It is never too late to jump on the in-app messaging bandwagon to welcome new or existing users for your business, thus boosting user retention rate. In-app notifications are 8 times more likely to be opened than push notifications because it provides a better user experience as people are now used to messaging apps.

    In-App Messaging Best Practices for Higher User Engagement

    According to a research, businesses who are using in-app messaging are retaining 3.5X more users compared to those who are not adopting the new technology. So it is now time your business must initiate in-app chat and some of the valuable best practices for proper in-app messaging are discussed below:

    “According to, by the year 2023 there will be almost 5 billion smartphone users, half of them will have accessed over-the-top messaging apps to communicate.”

    1. Make your in-app messages visually appealing

    No matter how crisply you have written a message, too many words can be frustrating for users & ruin your chance to actively engage them with your actual features. Instead, make your in-app chats visually astonishing by using images and videos. Your user will interact with these types of messages more rather than only written copies.

    Take a look at the image below.


    Here you can see popular image and story sharing platform Tumblr is interacting with its customers using images. To collect user’s’ preferences and customize their experience, Tumblr uses picture board. Images are more likely to attract your users than written words. So, instead of only words try visually engaging images or videos to welcome or engage with your customers respectively new and old.

    2. Celebrate your users’ milestones through in-app communication:

    What can be more fun if your downloaded app wants to celebrate your birthday? Nothing! The ultimate goal for all these messages is to be funny and personal.

    If an app can remember your birthday or any other special day by awarding you a coupon. it will bring a smile to your face.

    Also, rewarding your app users when they hit a certain milestone will keep them engaged with the app. It is found that players of smartphone games consider reward just as precious as a challenge. So game developers put rewards for players after completion of certain challenges.

    Try to maximize the impact of these systems by using flashy appealing in-app messages in order to enjoy seeing your app users keep coming back for more.

    3. Send in-app messages about announcements

    Businesses are all about timing nowadays. If you can keep up with the times, you will be increasing user engagement significantly. And more engagement means more exposure and hence more sales.

    One of the best ways to keep up with your users is to regularly send them updates, announcements, and various offers through in-app push notifications.

    These in-app notifications will let your users know about all the latest information and do not forget to use tip #1 here. A visually promising announcement will be more effective than a text message-only image. See the two images below and decide which one will get more clicks:


    Some of the common announcement types are:

    • New feature release
    • Special promotional offer
    • Promo codes
    • Reminders
    • Order status

    4. Use of right tools

    One of the most important things for businesses nowadays is capturing visitors’ data in order to plan ahead and take appropriate action for each campaign. In-app messaging can be helpful in terms of getting your users to use your app, thus you can get their valuable information and measure various metrics.

    Capturing visitor data from users can be done in a couple of ways. They are:

    a) Use mobile app analytics tools

    You can find hundreds of different mobile app analytics tools in the market currently. Of them these 2 hold the high regard in the industry due to their ease of use, accurate data provide, and so on. Some of the popular you can try are

    1. App Annie
    1. Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

    b) Use of messaging SDK tools

    REVE Chat helps to manage such conversations efficiently with its chat SDK such as Android Chat SDK and iOS Chat SDK so that businesses can get real time insights about the users and their conversations. This helps businesses to know your users profile and deliver personalized conversations easily.

    5. Ask users about feedback

    According to a report, by just increasing app rating from 2 stars to 4 stars increases conversion by 540%. Yes you have heart it right. Can you imagine what charm it will bring to your customer acquisition costs which tends to get higher day by day.

    Apart from getting stars for your app from the users, they often tell you the problems they are facing while writing reviews. It is a great way to know and solve these problems. Why always rely on your QA team?

    The below example is from an Indian leading automobile app. They are giving a choice to rate their app through ‘rating in-app’ message by using two-button. User can rate the app now or skip it and the in-app message will be shown to them at a later point for feedback.

    in-app messaging notifications

    There are various types of in-app feedback messages you can go for. Some of them are as follows:

    • Recent transactional experience: Your message can be asking for a recent transaction they have experience from using your app.
    • Chat support experience: Your app may have live chat customer service and you can write your message to the users how they have felt using the chat support.
    • Brand experience: and of course time to time you can craft your messages with visually appealing way to share their brand experience.

    6. Segment your users for better targeting

    According to a report, targeted emails have a higher conversion rate ( approximately 208%) than all out email blasts. The same goes for in-app messages, segmentation gives you the best results.

    Businesses must put their customers first. They must not agitate an user by sending them something that they have already used or purchased or accessed. For example: Take a look at the example below.

    Some of the app messages are really well-crafted, properly segmented and smartly personalized. They show in-app notification for people who have missed an earlier promotion and they can take advantage now. Also you will see the app is also showing user’s name – smart isn’t it?

    7. Work on your in-app messaging copy

    In-app messages must be short, simple and original. This is the initiating point where your user will go forward with the message or skip it totally.

    Each in-app campaign you create must be impactful. A great headline can lead your users to your end goal which can be purchase, subscribe or download. Always keep in mind that you are dealing with a very short amount of space and if you are using an image your characters get limitation as an over-crowded message will sure get ignored. An enterprise class live chat experience is something what you should aim for.

    Following example is from an exercise app and see the smart things they have done here by keeping the message short, using an image and providing a button for you to click on.

    in-app messaging best copy

    8. Do not forget to A/B test

    Test. Test. & Test. There is no one perfect copy to convince them all. You have to have back up plans or in this case a 2nd copy to measure your results. Create 2 copies and send them out to your segmented users. See which in-app message gets the most engagement fro your users.

    Once you have your best responding in-app message, use mobile app analytics to measure impressions, click-through, conversions, lifetime value and so on. See an example below for 2 sets of message copy with different looks along with click to action design:

    9. Brand consistency is a must

    Consistency in terms of color scheme as per with your brand is important to build a strong brand association in the mind of your users. It should resonate with the app experience users will get afterwards.

    Most brands have their own unique color scheme which can be found in the logo and it is used for branding in all the marketing channels so why not for in-app messages too. Again, too colorful message can be distracting.

    See here is a interesting example of a more simplistic color scheme pulling out from the logo through its in-app messaging by Apple’s Health App.

    in-app messaging best practices

    Final Thought

    In-app messages when executed perfectly can boost-up your app marketing you were dreaming of lately. It is, therefore very important part of your overall marketing strategy & these are the in-app messaging best practices I have covered here.

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    Snigdha Patel

    Snigdha Patel is a customer experience researcher, author, and blogger. As part of REVE Chat, she focuses on helping organizations maximize customer experience using omnichannel messaging and conversational AI.

    She creates contextual, insightful, and conversational content for business audiences across a broad range of industries and categories like Customer Service, Customer Experience (CX), Chatbots, and more.

    Serving as the lead content strategist, Snigdha helps the customer service teams to leverage the right technology along with AI to deliver exceptional and memorable customer experiences.

    Being a customer service adherent, her goal is to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage and win customer loyalty.

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