What is in-app messaging – 8 practical examples to boost user engagement

Sakshi Gupta
March 5, 2024
4 mins


Have you come across this common scenario? – you're struggling to explore a new mobile or web app when suddenly, a personalized message pops up that solves your doubt. It helps you guide through its features or offers exclusive deals tailored just for your problem.

That subtle nudge is none other than the magic of in-app messaging - a strategic and dynamic communication tool that helps users engage with a product. These are more effective than emails, push notifications, or one-on-one demo calls – with a click-through rate of more than 8% and at least 70% open rates!

Thus, investing in in-app messages is worthwhile for any consumer business building mobile or web applications. In this guide, we help you understand the concept of in-app messaging with 8 real examples of implementation for your inspiration.

What is in-app messaging?

In-app messaging refers to the art of delivering targeted, context-aware messages within a product, providing users with timely and relevant information. It's the secret sauce that bridges the gap between user expectations and app functionality, enhancing the overall user experience.

Typical use cases for in-app messages include:

  • Feature announcements and app updates relevant to the user
  • Guided new user onboarding for maximum retention
  • Share promotions and offers personalized for the user
  • Educate users on making the most of available app features

How are in-app messages different from push notifications?

In-app messages are displayed within the app interface, offering contextual information, while push notifications are external alerts sent to users' devices. The core aim of in-app messages is to enhance user engagement within the app and enable product usage by informing (and not overwhelming).

8 examples of in-app messaging for improving user engagement

Let us explore various in-app messaging examples based on four key use cases:

A) In-app messaging example for user onboarding

You can optimize user onboarding with in-app messaging by delivering step-by-step guidance, showcasing key features, or offering personalized tips. Use timely messages to orient users to foster a positive initial experience.

1) WhatsApp’s in-app message to get started with their advertising tools

WhatsApp for Business gives a subtle message on top of their home screen to check out their advertising solutions. With the title ‘Reach new customers’ – the copy is on point about their value proposition. The in-app message is short and doesn’t consume much screen space, thus not annoying the user.

2) BookMyShow’s in-app message to add mobile number

BookMyShow is a leading Indian movie and event ticketing platform. Here, they ask the existing user to add their phone number to receive tickets directly on their WhatsApp or SMS for convenience. This not only makes their tickets accessible to users but also helps BookMyShow open a new channel for engaging with them. The in-app message is short and at the bottom of the screen which doesn’t hinder the user’s app scroll experience.

B) In-app messaging examples for product adoption

In-app messages help deliver targeted onboarding guides, personalized feature tutorials, and timely tips. You can create a seamless user journey that fosters engagement and increases product familiarity.

1) Zomato’s nudge for enabling notification

Zomato is a leading Indian restaurant discovery and food delivery app. When an existing user opens their app, they receive this in-app message to ‘enable notifications’ for real-time updates about offers, orders placed, and reminders. The copy is ‘asking for permission’ and subtle – thus not forcing users to compulsorily enable them.

2) Typeform’s doodle-rich product tour

Typeform shares an in-app message that prompts the user to explore highlights of the main features of its form design dashboard. Its one-liner copy with branded doodles makes it an engaging in-app message for starting the product tour.

C) In-app messaging example for user retention

In-app messaging makes triggering messages based on user behavior possible. This helps encourage engagement and reinforces your app's value for improved retention.

1) Instagram’s daily story challenge

Instagram is a leading social media platform where users share ‘stories’ accessible to their followers for 24 hours. To encourage their users to post stories consistently, they have introduced a ‘daily story challenge’ to improve app engagement. Users get ‘achievement badges’ on completing different levels of the challenge.

2) WordPress uses modals to announce new features

WordPress’s help section consists of the ‘What’s New’ option which helps existing users check new features they can use to grow their blog. They use a modal window interface having a short copy with a ‘Learn More’ option which takes you to a dedicated feature onboarding page. Their copy mentions key value propositions relevant to a blogger, thus making it a compelling offer to explore.

D) In-app messaging example for upselling

In-app messaging is a powerful way to improve average revenue per user by upselling your paid features, offers, limited promotions, paid trials, and more. Implementing this strategically when the user is most engaged with your app helps drive conversions.

1) Duolingo’s premium user conversion ad

Duolingo has a premium model for its language learning app. To convert the free users into paid – it shares an in-app message ad that clearly defines its value proposition. The ‘Try for INR 0’ provides a sense of a ‘no-loss trial’, making switching to a premium app easy for the free user.

2) Grammarly’s in-app message to upgrade to a paid plan

Grammarly’s Chrome extension is a quick and convenient way for its users to experience its features beyond Grammarly’s app. To convert free users into paid, it nudges them to upgrade to Grammarly Premium. The copy clearly mentions the additional benefits of choosing a paid plan versus free features.

Get started with implementing in-app messaging for user engagement

The more in line your in-app messaging strategy is with your user behavior, the better success numbers you will achieve for your product adoption and retention.

At Nudge, we help you deliver in-app messages at strategic moments to enhance user experience and prevent disruption. You can set rules, design rewards, and customize interactions based on unique customer journeys – book a demo today.

Sakshi Gupta
March 5, 2024