Push Notifications vs. In-App Messaging: What’s the Difference?

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In this blog, we’ll discuss the question What is a push notification and look at the meaning of in-app notifications, the pros and cons of each for effective user engagement and also understand the right decision to make when thinking of a push notification vs in-app notification.

Is there any smartphone app that doesn’t provide its customers with interactive notifications? We don’t think that these kinds of apps exist, and Google search confirms this. The modern world and user experience would be difficult to imagine without push notifications and in-app messaging.

Many businesses have struggled to understand the act of sending these messages, so they end up bombarding users with irrelevant advertisements or bothering them with too many messages. 

As a matter of fact, push notifications per week will lead to 6% of users removing the app from their smartphone, and on the other hand, app engagement may be increased by using the right notifications at the right moment.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are brief notifications that appear as pop-ups on your desktop browser or mobile device’s home screen. These opt-in messages use buttons, rich media, and text to persuade users to perform specified actions, Opt-in rates for push notifications on Android ranges from 49% to 95% and on iOS from 29% to 73%.

When used effectively, push notifications can improve app retention and user engagement. However, it’s important to use them intelligently to prevent overloading your users with useless messages and forcing them to opt-out completely. In Fact, 33% of mobile phone users aged 18 to 34 say they always allow an app’s request for push notifications. 

Types of push notifications

There are several types of push notifications, each suited to different objectives and approaches to user interaction. 

1. Transactional Notifications

These provide users with important information about actions that occur within the app.

  • Food delivery app: Your food order from Glovo is on its way!
  • Taxi apps: Your Uber ride has arrived. 

2. Promotional Notifications

These help to entice users back into the app with special offers or deals.

  • Flash sale! Get 50% off all sneakers for the next 24 hours!
  • Limited-time offer, Double your points on every purchase today! 

3. Informational Notifications

These are notifications that keep users updated about relevant news, app features, or content.

  • Breaking news!
  • New episode of your favorite show is now available!

4. Engagement Notifications

These notifications push users to interact with the app and complete specific actions.

  • Your friends are waiting for you in the game! Join them now.
  • Haven’t finished reading your saved article? Pick up where you left off! 

5. Re-engagement Notifications

They are used to win back dormant users who haven’t used the app in a while.

  • E-commerce app: Hi Alex, We miss you! Come back and check out our new features. 
  • Fitness app: Haven’t used our workout app lately? We have a personalized routine waiting for you!

6. Time-cautious Notifications

This creates a sense of urgency and encourages users to take action.

  • Last chance! This offer expires in 1 hour. 
  • Your auction is ending soon! Place your final bid now.

7. Personalized Notifications

This involves leveraging user data to deliver targeted messages based on preferences and past behavior.

  • Hey Alex, we recommend this new book based on your reading history.
  • Found movies you might like based on your recent watchlist! 

Advantages of push notifications

Here’s how push notifications can benefit users and app creators:

1. Improved User Engagement

If you happen to forget that a program reward is about to expire, an appropriate push notification from the app can remind you and encourage you to use it.

For example, Starbucks effectively uses push notifications to remind users of unclaimed rewards. 

2. Improved App Retention

Let’s say you downloaded a fitness app, but after many weeks you haven’t touched it. A push notification will rekindle your passion with a reminder.

For instance, HotelTonight (Hotel booking software) uses user location and previous search history to target users with appropriate push alerts that entice them with last-minute deals.

3. Increased Brand Awareness & Sales

A push notification that showcases a flash sale on your favorite sneakers can spark immediate action.

Retail stores like Nike and Adidas leverage this effectively, they send targeted notifications about new product launches, exclusive discounts, or limited-time offers, driving sales and brand awareness.

4. Timely Communication & Information Delivery

Reliable news applications can provide you with weather updates or breaking news notifications so you can stay informed while on the road.

For example, Uber alerts you when your driver arrives, saving you the trouble of constantly refreshing your screen. 

5. Personalized User Experience

Picture yourself getting movie recommendations based on your watchlist or restaurant recommendations based on your previous purchases. Apps can provide highly customized push notifications based on user preferences by using user data. 

Spotify sends push notifications featuring new music releases from your favorite artists or crafted playlists based on your listening preferences.

6. Cost-Effective Marketing Channel

Push notifications are an affordable option for reaching a specific audience directly on their devices. As a result, businesses can advertise new products, exclusive deals, or instructive materials without having to dish out a lot of money for marketing.

Disadvantages of using push notifications

Despite the numerous benefits of push notifications, it is also important to consider the downsides in order to reduce the possibility of poor user experiences and operational issues.

1. Declining efficacy when used aggressively

The average smartphone user receives 46 push notifications per day, which shows that effectiveness can drop over time or when utilized too aggressively by marketers.

2. User Annoyance and Opt-Out

Imagine being bombarded with irrelevant push notifications all day, this can become very annoying and bothersome and cause users to uninstall the app completely.

3. Battery Drain

Frequent push notifications can drain a phone’s battery life, especially if it involves animations or rich media. This can negatively impact user experience and discourage app usage.

4. Security Concerns

Push notifications can be used by hackers to spread malware or phishing schemes, that is why users should be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unidentified sources.

5. Limited Content & Interaction

Push notifications are restricted by character limits and screen size which limits the complexity of information they can convey. Additionally, interactivity is limited, making it difficult to present detailed information or complete complex actions within the notification itself.

6. Inconsistent User Experience

Push notification effectiveness can differ depending on factors like user preferences, time zones, and device settings. A notification that might seem timely for one user could be disruptive for another user in a different time zone.

Considerations for push notifications

Even while push notifications are an effective tool, their full potential must be realized through careful implementation. When adding push notifications to your app, keep the following important considerations in mind:

1. User Value & Relevance

  • Focus on giving value to your users: Don’t bombard them with irrelevant messages.
  • Personalize your notifications: Use user data to send messages based on preferences and past behavior.
  • Maintain a clear purpose: Every notification should have a specific goal, whether it’s informing or driving specific action.

2. Timing & Frequency

  • Timing is important: Sending notifications during peak usage times or based on user location can increase engagement.
  • Avoid too many notifications: Too many notifications can lead to user annoyance and opt-outs.
  • Segment your user: Tailor notification timing to different user segments based on their needs and preferences.

 3. Content & Messaging:

  • Keep it short and clear: Make the messaging short and simple to understand.
  • Use strong calls to action (CTAs): Tell your users what you want them to do after clicking on the notification.
  • Emojis and visuals can improve engagement: Use them to grab attention and add personality.
  • A/B test different variations: Test different headlines, visuals, and CTAs to see what interest your audience.

4. User Opt-in & Permissions

  • Always get user consent: Be transparent about the types of notifications users will receive.
  • Make opting-out easy: Allow users to easily manage their notification preferences within app settings.
  • Re-engagement strategies: Use gentle reminders to encourage users to enable notifications if they’ve opted out.

5. Analytics & Optimization

  • Track metrics: Monitor the open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to measure users’ performance.
  • Analyze user behavior: Identify trends and understand how users react to different types of notifications.
  • Continuously optimize: Use insights from analytics to refine your notification strategy and improve user experience.

Use cases of push notifications

Here are some some important use cases for push notifications:

1. User Retention and Re-engagement:

  • Resurrect dormant users by emphasizing new features or reminding them of the app’s benefits to get them back on.
  • Time-sensitive reminders: A push notification can serve as a friendly reminder to users who haven’t signed in recently to get back into the app.
  • Milestone or loyalty rewards: Utilize push notifications to send points, badges, or special incentives to users in order to recognize their accomplishments and encourage continued use of the app.

2. Increasing User Engagement and Sales:

  • Flash sales and limited-time promotions: Use push notifications to advertise flash discounts or limited-time bargains, which will engender a sense of urgency and prompt immediate action.
  • Reminders for abandoned carts: If a customer puts products in their cart but doesn’t finish the transaction, a timely push notification can act as a polite reminder to complete the checkout process.
  • Tailored product suggestions: Utilize user data to target sales or app activity by making relevant product or content suggestions based on the user’s browsing history or interests.
  • Reminders and updates about events: Use timely push notifications to notify users about future events, webinars, or live sessions within the app.

3. Sending Out Information and Alerts Quickly:

  • News and breaking updates: Push notifications can be a useful tool for information- or news-based apps to notify consumers of crucial or breaking news.
  • Updates on order status: Use push notifications to update users on the status of their orders, delivery, or service requests.
  • Alerts about security or account validation: Use push notifications to notify users of unauthorized login attempts or implement two-factor authentication for security reasons.

4. Improving Instruction and User Experience:

  • Greetings to new users: Send a tailored push notice welcoming new users and outlining the main features of the app.
  • Announcements and lessons about features: A push notification can alert you to the advent of a new feature and even include a link to a brief in-app lesson.
  • Updates on progress and inspirational sayings: Use push notifications to provide users with progress updates, challenges, or incentives in gamification-enhanced apps to keep them engaged.
  • Requests for comments and surveys: Send out push alerts every now and then asking for feedback from users via brief surveys so you can better understand their preferences and the app.

Examples of push notifications

The following are some examples of push notifications categorized by the type of app:

1. E-commerce Apps:

  • Good: Hey Alex, your favorite sneakers are 20% off for the next 24 hours! Don’t miss out! ( It is a personalized offer and time-sensitive)
  • Bad: New arrivals! We have everything you need! (Generic, doesn’t highlight user preferences)

2. Social Media Apps:

  • Good: Alex just tagged you in a photo! Check it out now. (It is engaging and  specific)
  • Bad: You have 3 new notifications! See what’s happening. (It doesn’t provide context)

3. News Apps:

  • Good: Breaking news: [Headline]. Get the full story now. (It is informative)
  • Bad: Catch up on the latest news! We have something for everyone. (Generic, doesn’t highlight user interests)

4. Travel Apps:

  • Good: Your flight is boarding soon! Gate number [Gate Number]. (Actionable, time-sensitive)
  • Bad: Don’t forget to book your next adventure! We have amazing deals. (Untimely and irrelevant if the user isn’t actively planning a trip)

5. Fitness Apps:

  • Good: It’s workout time! We have a personalized routine waiting for you. (Personalized and motivating)
  • Bad: Time to get moving! Get fit with our app.”(Generica and  doesn’t address user’s specific goals)

Push notification messaging best practices

1. Focus on value

When sending push notifications, always prioritize value for your users. Don’t send them irrelevant messages and make sure you tailor messages based on their preferences and past behavior to make them relevant. Every notification should have a clear purpose, whether it’s informing them or driving a specific action.

2. Craft Compelling Content

Tell your customers what you want them to do by using a call to action (CTA) like Shop Now or Read More. Use images and emojis carefully to capture attention and try out several headlines, images, and call-to-action (CTA) to know what they like.

3. Timing and Frequency

Sending notifications during peak usage times or based on user location can increase their engagement. You can segment your audience and tailor notification frequency and timing to their needs and preferences (frequent travelers might appreciate more travel deals).

4. Analytics and Optimization

To measure performance you need to keep track of important indicators like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Analyze user behavior to better understand how people respond to various notification formats. 

5. Respect User Permissions

Always get user consent before sending notifications and be transparent about what they’ll receive. Consider using gentle reminders or incentives to encourage users to re-enable notifications if they’ve opted out.

In-App Messages

In-app messages are short notifications that you see on your mobile app when you open it. In-app messages are sent to engaged users who are already interacting with the app.

They serve as a mini-tutorial that assists users in navigating the app’s features or carrying out particular tasks. Personalized recommendations or targeted promotions based on your in-app activity can also be sent to you through in-app messaging.

Different types of in-app messages

Within your app, there are many types of in-app messages that are good for different communication goals. Below are some types of in-app messages.

1. Tooltips

 These are short informative messages that appear when a user hovers over a specific element within the app. They’re ideal for explaining functionalities or providing quick context, like a tooltip explaining a new button’s purpose.

Example: When you move around a star rating icon in a movie app, it might send a tooltip explaining how to leave a review.

2. Modals

 These are full-screen overlays that grab the user’s attention and need them to take action before continuing with the app. They’re good for important announcements, age verification, or promoting limited-time offers.

Example: A food app can use a modal when users login to highlight a new type of food and prompt users to try it.

3. Banners

These are the static strips that appear along the top or bottom of the application screen. They can be used for introducing new features or emphasizing current sales. 

.Example: A news app that displays a banner at the top of the screen promoting their latest investigative report.

4. Slideouts

These are side-scrolling informational panels that provide more extensive content than tooltips but a less invasive appearance than modals. They work well for product recommendations, tutorials, and walkthroughs.

Example: An ecommerce app can use a slideout to recommend complementary accessories when a user views a specific clothing item.

5. Progress Bars & Checklists

These visual elements keep users engaged by tracking their progress within the app. Progress bars can show the completion of tasks and also help to highlight steps users need to take to achieve a goal.

Example: A language learning app can use a progress bar to showcase a user’s completion of daily learning modules.

Advantages of in-app messages

Here’s how the in-app messages can benefit both users and app developers:

1. Enhanced User Onboarding & Education

Imagine being overwhelmed by the features when you first open a new social media app. Appropriate in-app messaging like tooltips outlining icons or a slide-out walkthrough emphasizing important features can greatly improve the user onboarding experience.

The language-learning program Duolingo is excellent at this, they use tooltips to explain new features and short slideout messages to guide users through their first few lessons, ensuring a smooth learning journey.

2. Increased Feature Adoption & User Engagement

Let’s assume a fitness app has a new function that suggests workouts, but the majority of users aren’t aware of it. A strategically positioned modal can entice users to try it out by emphasizing the tool’s advantages.

3. Targeted Promotions & Personalized Recommendations

Imagine getting suggestions for relevant products based on your recent usage of the app. Highly targeted in-app message banners presenting promotions or product recommendations based on user preferences can be found.

Spotify makes good use of this by sending you personalized in-app message banners that suggest new music releases based on your listening preferences, therefore keeping you using the service. 

4. Improved User Retention & Reduced Support Tickets

Clear in-app messages can act as a mini-help desk that provides contextual guidance or troubleshooting steps right when a user needs them. In-app messages are used by apps such as Amazon to help customers with the checkout process or answer often-asked concerns. This lessens the load on customer care staff and may even increase the number of purchases that are completed.

5. A/B Testing & Data-Driven Optimization

In-app messages let you do the A/B test of different phrasings, visuals, and calls to action (CTAs) just. This helps you discover which messages resonate most with your users, leading to better click-through rates and achieving your app’s goals.

Disadvantages of using in-app messages

1. Unwelcome Pop-Ups & Annoyance of Users

Imagine receiving a barrage of in-app messages each time you launch the application. Overbearing or ill-timed messages might irritate users to the point of annoyance or app uninstalling. 

2. Limited Reach & Targeting

In-app messages only reach users who are already actively using the app, they can’t be used to re-engage dormant users or capture attention when users aren’t actively using the app (unlike push notifications).

3. Neglecting User Preferences

Generic in-app messages that don’t take user behavior or preferences into account can feel irrelevant and impersonal. This can lead to users ignoring them.

4. Potential for Information Overload

While in-app messages can be informative, cramming too much text or overwhelming users with complex instructions can be unproductive, so keep the messages concise.

5. Design & Implementation Challenges

Poorly designed in-app messages can be visually unappealing or difficult to understand and intrusive animations or disruptive audio can also annoy users.

Considerations for in-app messages

In-app messages can significantly increase user engagement, but they must be used strategically. Here’s what you should consider:

1. User Experience & Context

Don’t bombard users with too many messages, time them right within the user journey, tailor content to user actions, and ensure they blend seamlessly with the app’s design.

2. Focus on Clear and Concise message

Keep messages short, easy-to-understand, and focused on a single benefit that users will gain from. Try to make your product messaging unforgettable 

3. Choose the Right Message Type

Use tooltips for quick explanations, modals for important announcements, banners for promotions, and slide-outs for more detailed information. Ensure the design is visually appealing and it complements the app’s aesthetic.

4. Target Strategically

Segment your audience and adapt messages to specific user groups based on demographics, interests, or in-app behavior to improve relevance, and send messages depending on user activities to provide contextually relevant assistance.

 5. Measure and Optimize

To encourage user involvement, keep an eye on important metrics like view rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. To find out what appeals to your audience the most, A/B test various message text, image types, and call to action (CTAs). 

Use cases of in-app messages

At various stages of the user journey, in-app messages can be used to assist, educate, and motivate users—a great approach to maintaining their interest in your app. Use cases for in-app notifications include the following:

1. Onboarding and User Education

  • Welcome messages: Greet new users and introduce them to the app’s functions
  • Interactive tutorials: Use in-app messages with walkthroughs or step-by-step guides to explain key features.
  • Tooltips and contextual help: Offer quick explanations or reminders when users hover over specific elements within the app.
  • Progress bars and motivational messages: Encourage users as they complete onboarding tasks, keeping them engaged in the process.

2. Enhancing User Experience

  • Highlight new features: When you onboard a new product, in-app messages can showcase its benefits and guide users on how to use it.
  • Tailored advice: Utilize user data to provide feature, content, or product recommendations based on the user’s browsing preferences or history.
  • Provide hints and strategies: Give consumers useful tips or shortcuts to increase their efficiency when utilizing the app.
  • Declare updates for the app: Notify users of critical app upgrades or bug fixes, and draw attention to any enhancements or new releases.

3. Driving User Engagement:

  • Promote contests or events: Encourage enthusiasm and involvement in the app’s forthcoming events or contests.
  • Elements of gamification: To keep users interested, send out in-app notifications with challenges, awards, or progress updates.
  • Campaigns for re engagement: Send tailored messages to users who are not using the app, reminding them of its benefits and inviting them to return.
  • Surveys and feedback: Utilizing in-app messages to collect user input via surveys or polls can be a handy approach to improve the app. 

4. Optimizing Conversions:

  • Flash sales or limited-time promotions: Use in-app messaging to instill a sense of urgency in customers so they’ll take advantage of exclusive deals.
  • Reminders for abandoned carts: If customers leave products in their cart, gently prod them to finish their shopping.
  • Opportunities for upselling and cross-selling: Make suggestions for related goods or upgrades that users would find interesting based on their activity.

Examples of in-app messages

1. Personalized Recommendation 

Good: Hey Alex, we noticed you like 90s hip-hop. Check out this new playlist: Throwback Thursday Your Favorite 90s Jams (It leverages user data for a relevant recommendation, feels personal, and uses an enticing title to grab interest.)

Bad: New music releases! Explore our latest songs(It  doesn’t consider user preferences, and lacks a value proposition)

2. Encouraging User Action

God: You’re on a 3-day workout streak, Alex! Keep it going with a quick 15-minute core workout. You can do this! (It celebrates user progress, motivates with a clear benefit, and uses an encouraging tone.)

Bad: We have new workout routines available! Start training now(It lacks context about the user’s progress or goals, and the generic call to action feels less personal.)

3. Highlighting a New Feature 

Good: Introducing ‘Story Highlights – Save your favorite stories and share them for longer! Learn More. (It clearly explains the new feature’s value, and includes a call to action to explore further)

Bad: We’ve made some changes to the app! Explore to find out more. (It doesn’t specify the changes or their benefit to the user.)

4. Time-Sensitive Promotion

Good: Flash Sale! Get 20% off flights to Maldives for the next 24 hours only. Book Now!
(It creates a sense of urgency with the limited-time offer, highlights a popular destination, and includes a clear call to action.

Bad: We have special offers on flights! Check them out to save money. (It lacks specifics about the offer and the call to action is weak.)

5. In-App Tutorial

Good: New to our app? Let’s walk you through finding the perfect outfit! Swipe to see a quick tutorial.

(It addresses common new user pain points and offers a helpful tutorial.)

Bad: We have a variety of clothing options! Browse our selection. (It doesn’t address the user’s confusion, and the call to action does not guide the user toward a specific action.)

In-app messaging best practices

A great way to interact with consumers and keep them using your app is through in-app messaging. However, in order to prevent bothering consumers, it’s important to use it intelligently. This is how you do it:

1. Focus on the User Experience

This means prioritizing a smooth user experience over spamming users with messages, you need to time your messages carefully within the user journey.

For instance, after a user completes a tutorial, you can offer a message explaining a new feature or if someone just opened the camera app. A quick tip on using a new filter would be much more helpful than a generic promotion.

2. Every Message Should Deliver Value

Don’t just tell users you have a message, tell them why it matters to them. Explain how the message improves their experience, solves a problem, or unlocks a new feature. 

3. Personalization is Key

Leverage user data to personalize your messages, this could be anything from recommending products based on browsing history to suggesting workouts based on fitness goals, or simply greeting users by name. A personalized message shows you care about your users.

4. Keep it Short, Sweet, and Clear

In-app notifications fight for users’ attention and a certain quantity of screen real estate. So, make sure that your communications are simple to comprehend, and goal-focused. 

5. Calls to Action Guide Users

Instead of using ambiguous prompts like “Learn More,” specify what you want people to do after reading the message by using strong verbs and concise language in your call to action (CTAs).

Ensure that the in-app messages you create are aesthetically pleasing and complement the overall style of your app. You need to have consistent branding, use clear images, and make sure users with vision problems can access your content. 

6. Target Strategically and Time Well

For more relevance, divide up your audience into segments and target messages to particular user groups according to their demographics, interests, or in-app activity.  

7. Avoid Going Overboard

In order to prevent aggravating a user, limit the frequency with which they view the same message. Use frequency capping to make sure your communications are viewed but not too intrusive. 

8. Track, Analyze, and Optimize

To determine user engagement you need to monitor important metrics such as view rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. To find out what appeals to your audience the most, A/B test various message text, image types, and call to action (CTAs).

Difference between push notifications and in-app messages

While both push notifications and in-app messages are used as communication tools within apps, their functions, timing, and reach are different. Here’s how to identify the key variations.:

1. Reach

  • Push Notifications: Users who aren’t actively using the app can still receive these alerts. Even when the user’s phone is locked or they are using another app, they suddenly appear on the screen and capture their attention.
  • In-App Messages: These messages only show up while a user is actively using the application. They are provided right within the app’s user interface.

2. Timing

  • Push Notifications: You can schedule push notifications to be sent at specific times or sent by user actions outside the app (e.g., a reminder to complete a purchase they abandoned).
  • In-App Messages: These are notifications that the user receives in-app based on their activities or where they are in the app (for example, a tooltip that appears when the user reaches a new feature section).

3. Purpose

  • Push Notifications: These are frequently used to re-engage users with the app, promote new features or content, or send time-sensitive alerts.
  • In-App Messages: These are usually used to direct users through the app, educate them on features, make personalized recommendations, or persuade them to take specific activities within the app. 

Push notifications or in-app notifications: How can you decide?

When to use push notifications

Use Push Notifications When:

1. You want to reach users even when they’re not in the app:  Perfect for re-engagement campaigns, reminding consumers about abandoned carts, advertising flash discounts or limited-time specials, or sending out urgent alerts (for example, breaking news updates).

2. You must convey a sense of urgency: Users’ attention can be immediately captured via push notifications, which will motivate them to take action on time-sensitive campaigns.

3. You wish to reveal brand-new functionality or software upgrades: Push notifications are a fantastic method to let users know about interesting updates to the app and encourage them to explore the new features.

4. Personalization is less important: While some personalization is possible with push notifications, they are often best suited for broader announcements or general reminders.

How to use push notifications

Here’s how to use push notifications effectively to engage your app users and achieve your goals:

1. Know your users

 Segment your audience by demographics, interests, or in-app behavior. This enables customized messaging that resonates with various topics. Consider user lifecycles and which alerts are most relevant at each step (for example, onboarding a new user versus re-engaging a dormant user).

2. Craft Compelling Content

Keep it short and to the point, the attention span of humans is low so brevity is key. Use clear, concise language that is easy to understand and use user data to tailor content and offers for increased relevance.

3. Timing and Frequency

Excessive notifications can be annoying and lead to uninstalls, you can schedule notifications for optimal times based on user data or industry best practices (e.g., avoiding late nights or early mornings) and also consider user time zones for a more personalized experience.

4. Calls to Action (CTAs)

Tell users what you want them to do after seeing the notification and don’t forget to use clear language in your CTAs (e.g., Shop Now,  or Claim Your Reward).

5. A/B Testing and Optimization

Test different types of notification content, visuals, CTAs, and timing to see what resonates best with your audience. Track key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to measure user engagement and continuously analyze data and user feedback to refine your push notification strategy for improved effectiveness.

6. Urgency and Scarcity

You can create a sense of urgency to encourage immediate action (e.g., Flash sale ends tonight!), using scarcity tactics to highlight limited-time offers or exclusive content (e.g., Only 20 spots left!).

7. Deep Linking

When users tap the notification, ensure it takes them to the most relevant part of your app (deep linking). Avoid generic landing pages that create a frustrating experience.

8. Personalization

Use user data to personalize notifications whenever possible. This could be anything from recommending products based on browsing history to reminding users about abandoned carts.

10. User Opt-out and Data Privacy:

Allow users to opt out of receiving certain types of notifications and be transparent about the data you collect and how it’s used for notifications.

When to use in-app messages

1. You want to guide and educate users who are already in the app: In-app messages are best for onboarding new users, explaining features, offering contextual tips or tutorials, and highlighting relevant content based on user behavior.

2. You want to personalize the message based on user actions or data: In-app messages allow for greater personalization based on what users are doing within the app or their past behavior.

3. You want to nudge users to complete specific actions within the app: These messages can be strategically placed to encourage users to finish a task, add items to their cart, or unlock a new feature.

4. You want to avoid interrupting the user experience: In-app messages appear within the app itself, this ensures a smoother user flow compared to push notifications that might pop up unexpectedly.

How to use in-app messages

Here’s a roadmap to guide you on how to use in-app messages:

1. Define Your Goals

What do you want to achieve with your in-app messages? Do you want to educate your users about a new feature, nudge them to complete a purchase, or personalize their app experience? Having clear goals will guide the content and purpose of your messages.

2. Know Your Audience:

Segment your audience based on demographics, interests, or in-app behavior, this allows you to tailor messages for relevance and also consider user journeys and where in the app your target audience might need guidance or see value from a message.

3. Craft Compelling Content

Use clear and concise language that is easy to understand and focuses on the benefit to the user. Explain how the message helps them achieve their needs or improves their experience.

4. Choose the Right Message Type

Select the message format that best suits your content and goals.

  • Tooltips offer quick explanations when hovering over an element.
  • Modals are ideal for important announcements or requiring user confirmation.
  • Banners are good for promotions or highlighting new content.
  • Slideouts are useful for more detailed information or mini-tutorials.

5. Design Matters

Ensure your messages are visually appealing and align with your app’s overall design aesthetic, also use clear visuals, consistent branding, and consider accessibility for users with visual impairments.

6. Strategic Timing and Targeting

Send messages based on user actions or context within the app for relevance and time your messages thoughtfully within the user journey.

7. Calls to Action (CTAs)

Tell users what you want them to do after seeing the message and use strong verbs and understandable language in your CTAs.

8. Track and Optimize

Monitor key metrics like view rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to measure user engagement and continuously analyze data and user feedback to refine your in-app message strategy for improved effectiveness.

How Faqprime helps teams build in-app nudges in a no-code manner

Faqprime helps teams build in-app nudges in a no-code manner by creating pop-ups, in-app walkthroughs, and notifications to introduce users to new product features. This can be used to increase feature adoption, event sign-ups, and more.

It allows you to create in-app nudges without needing to write any code. This is helpful for teams who want to improve user engagement or adoption of new features.

How to measure and evaluate the success of your messaging strategies?

Evaluating the success of your messaging strategies, whether push notifications or in-app messages, involves a combination of tracking key metrics and understanding user behavior. Here’s how:

1. Tracking Key Metrics

Engagement Metrics:

  • For push notifications, track open rates (percentage of users who open the notification) and click-through rates (percentage of users who click on the CTA within the notification).
  • For in-app messages, track view rates (percentage of users who see the message) and click-through rates (percentage of users who take action after seeing the message).

Conversion Metrics:

Track the actions users take after engaging with your message. This could be downloads, purchases, sign-ups, or completing specific in-app tasks. 

Retention Metrics:

Monitor user retention rates (percentage of users who continue using your app over time) to see if your messaging strategy influences user loyalty and app usage.

2. Understanding User Behavior

A/B Testing:

Test different variations of your messages, including content, visuals, and CTAs, to see which ones resonate best with your audience. A/B testing helps you optimize your messaging for improved performance.

3. User Feedback

Actively seek user feedback through surveys, app store reviews, or in-app feedback mechanisms. Understanding user perceptions of your messages can show you areas for improvement.

4. Heatmaps and Session Recordings

Tools like heatmaps can visualize user behavior within the app and show where users click and how they interact with in-app messages. Session recordings can provide a more detailed picture of user journeys and identify issues.

Additional Considerations


  • Analyze metrics for different user segments to understand how messaging resonates with specific user groups. This allows personalization and targeted messaging.

App Store Optimization (ASO):

  • Consider how your messaging strategy aligns with your app’s overall value proposition in the app store description and promotional materials. A consistent message across all areas enhances user experience.


1. How can I leverage automation to improve my messaging strategy?

You can set up automated triggers to send push notifications or in-app messages based on user behavior (e.g., abandoned cart reminder) or pre-defined schedules (e.g; weekly newsletter) and it can also be used to run A/B tests on different message variations, and automatically send the winning version to your audience segments.

2. What are some legal considerations regarding push notifications?

Legal considerations depend on your location, but here are some guidelines to follow

User consent: Collect user consent before sending push notifications (opt-in).

  • Data privacy regulations: Comply with regulations like GDPR and CCPA regarding data collection and user privacy.
  • Clear and transparent communication: Be upfront about the type of content users can expect in push notifications and how you use their data.
  • Easy opt-out options: Provide users with a straightforward way to opt out of receiving push notifications.

3. How can I measure the impact of messaging on user behavior beyond basic metrics?

Aside from open rates and click-through rates, you can also consider these metrics to understand user behavior:

  • App engagement metrics: Track time spent in the app, frequency of use, and completion rates of specific actions after users engage with messages.
  • In-app purchase behavior: Analyze if messaging campaigns influence purchase decisions or in-app spending habits.
  • User churn rate: Monitor if well-timed messaging helps reduce user churn and improve user retention.

4. Can push notifications be used for in-app engagement?

Yes, push notifications can be used to some extent for in-app engagement For instance, a fitness app might send a push notification after a user misses a workout reminding them to get back on track and also ensure your push notifications link to relevant parts of the app (deep linking) to avoid users landing on generic screens after clicking.

5. How can I personalize messaging across push notifications and in-app messages?

Personalization is very important when it comes to effective messaging. Here’s how to achieve it across both channels:

  • Leverage user data: Use information like browsing history, location, or past purchases to tailor messages and recommendations.
  • Segment your audience: Group users with similar characteristics and send targeted messages that resonate with their interests.
  • Consider user lifecycle stages: Tailor messages based on whether a user is new, active, or disengaged to provide the most relevant information at each stage.

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