How to Engage Customers with In-App Marketing Techniques

Mobile marketing is a channel that’s tailored according to user interests.

This means when talking about mobile marketing we cannot just push our main agenda but engage the user with targeted content ie no hard sell but valuable and usable content needs to be offered in order to make the potential customer delighted.

App messaging should reach the user at the right time and with the right content, to engage him or her further. Let’s talk about what is in-app messaging and how it can be used to engage your users better.


In-app Messages As A Marketing Channel

In-app messages are notifications displayed while the user is active in a certain app. This form of messaging can be triggered based on the user’s interactions and hence can be tailored. In-app messaging is better at delivering results. It is very likely that in most cases the session started due to in-app message will end up as a successful conversion.

When done correctly, in-app messages can resonate with 28% of the users.

Let’s take different industry case studies to understand better how in-app messaging can be beneficial for different domains.


E-commerce apps:

Flash sales are marketing campaigns that send time based coupons to users. These sales can be limited to hours, or even minutes.

The key is to segment users in two groups. The ones who use your app frequently and the ones who use it less often. These sales are more profitable for the first type of users.


What can we learn: When a user is busy scrolling on the app, it is best to gently ‘tap’ them on the shoulder with an offer making it more likely for them to make a purchase.

In this example the interactive design will push the user to click on the ad and most likely make a purchase which would not have been possible with a hard sell message.


Gaming apps:

Advertising in games is one of the common in-app marketing strategies.

In this example,  Microsoft ran a program with Appssavvy in nqmoco’s GodFinger All-Stars. In this game, players control their own planet.

Appssavvy brought a Windows Cloud into the game. Players could visit the Cloud and earn in-game currency for doing so.The result, during the promotion period, 10% of the game’s players visited the Windows Cloud leading to 6.1 million visits.


What we can learn: Although Windows and its services are completely unrelated to the game and it’s offering, when used tactically both benefited mutually leading to a higher visit for Windows cloud and greater revenue for GodFinger.


Food and beverage apps:

According to a report from BI Intelligence, 21% of Starbucks transactions are done via their mobile app. The question is how a physical store chain did so good with a mobile app?

An important aspect of their overall mobile campaign was in-app messaging. With their in-app message, user can fill out surveys. With each survey filled out, more stars are given to the customer that can be later redeemed at store.


What can we learn:

The in-app message not only led to a higher customer engagement, the free rewards and redeemable offers led to higher retention too. So when used according to the need of the customer, in-app marketing can lead to success even in industries that are not specifically mobile.


Social apps:

Feature updates and new versions can be easily overlooked by a user. But when you are a Social app, you just cannot afford this.

Take the example of Instagram’s location feature that was launched in 2013. The company highlighted best practices and the ability to opt-out. All of this content was nicely packed into an in-app message that triggered when a user attempted to add a location.


What we can learn:

These type of messages increase customer loyalty and overall brand image of the product. This gives the user a better sense that the company cares about their privacy and wants them to get the best experience.


Marketplace apps:

Century21 is the most respected brand in the real estate industry and has also been the most visited real estate franchise website. With the launch of its app, the objective was to increase the amount of active users, promoting usage and generating leads.

They ran an in-app messaging program asking the most active users to rate the app and improve ratings.


The result? Number of app store ratings became 6 times higher.

Thanks to in-app messaging!


What can we learn:

In-app messaging cannot only be used for user acquisition but also for getting reviews and valuable user feedback. It can help in overall brand development.

To conclude, in-app marketing is the need of today for any app to become successful. With over 2.8 million apps available in Play store and 2.2 million in App Store, it is mandatory that your app marketing offers something unique to get ahead of the competition.

After reading this post you know what to do with your in-app marketing strategies to get higher results. It’s time to implement them.


Thomas Kriebernegg can look back on over 10 years of experience in Online Marketing and 5 years in App Marketing. He is an app enthusiast and the CEO at App Radar, an online App Store Optimization Tool that helps app developers understand and optimize their app store appearance.