What is in-app messaging, and how do they work?

In-app messages are timely and hyper-targeted content displayed to users as they interact with the app. This form of communication helps drive business growth and improve users' in-app experience by delivering valuable communications where users expect to see them the most. In-app messages are hyper-personalized, do not require the development of the application, and allow you to build communication in the app based on particular user behaviour. Such messages come in various types and forms, allowing you to tailor communication to your specific use case and business need as desired.

The difference between in-apps and push messages

Some people still use the two terms interchangeably, but there is a clear difference between these types of messages that everyone needs to be aware of.  

We can indicate several factors that differ between push and in-app messages, such as:

  • Targeted audience - both messages target different audiences, with push messages mostly sent to potentially unengaged audiences, while in-apps target users who are currently active in the app.
  • Possibility to disable notifications – compared to push notifications, the technology used in in-app messages allows for more effective reaching of users without technical limitations such as consent to notifications or active tokens.

In-app message types

Depending on the location of the message on a mobile screen, there are different types of in-app messages:

  • Full-page message,
  • Message in the middle of the screen,
  • Top banner reminding the push notification style,
  • Bottom banner for less intrusive communication

What is important, the user within each type of campaign can prepare any creation that he wants according to his business needs. So, for example, by choosing the bottom bar, he can create a message in the form of a cloud on the right bottom corner

In-app message use cases

Onboarding tours

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After downloading an app, users try to figure out its operation, and a simple onboarding series can be a great way to help get them more familiar with the app. Such a quick and insightful walkthrough helps educate and guide them through the key features of the app, and allows you to gather consent for further communication. It's also a great place to demonstrate the value and usefulness of your app in solving all of your users' challenges and possibilities for meeting their needs.  

Personalized messages

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The flexibility of in-app messaging allows it to be used at every stage of a customer's journey, making them engage more deeply with your products. Personalizing such messages creates a special bond with users, making their interaction with the app more enjoyable and richer, encouraging them to take targeted actions. The variety of personalized messaging is vast and allows you to execute any business scenario you have in mind, assisting you in achieving certain goals and KPIs. Some of these scenarios can include abandoned shopping carts, personalized discounts and promotional coupons, product recommendations or reminder campaigns, and many more.  

Product updates  

There are different types of updates that you implement in your application. Some of them are minor, but others are more significant, having a huge impact on the application's usability. Most of the time, users are not willing to take their time to search for such updates on their own, which is why it is so important to create visible communication for them to make sure everyone is aware of upcoming changes or recently implemented ones. A simple in-app message is an effective way to communicate this kind of scenario.

These messages can be targeted to a specific group of users to promote the adoption of certain features among those who will benefit most from them without disturbing users who will not be interested in such updates.

NPS surveys

In-app messaging is a great opportunity to ask users for feedback on your products or services while they are already engaging with the app.  

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Gamification scenarios

Gamification is a great practice to keep your users engaged and motivated while using your app. You can implement a variety of entertaining gamification scenarios with in-app messaging that will include, for example, a reward system, time limits, passive goals, and more.  

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Best practices  

An in-app campaign is a powerful tool for marketers. It is an effective way to promote app usage and improve the customer journey when used with other customer success tactics. Below, we'll share some best practices you can apply to your in-app campaigns.

Choose the right timing

In-app campaigns should be pushed at the right time and offer specific value to users. You'll want to send them at the appropriate moments, but not too often that it seems spammy. The best timing is the moment a user completes an important task or specific action, so you can provide them with the next steps in the process or continue to increase engagement.

Welcome your users

Make sure to give a warm welcome to your users with in-app greeting messages. This is your chance to make a good first impression on them, especially during their first interaction with the app. You can introduce them to the basic features of the app and answer questions that may arise at the very beginning. This way, they will feel more taken care of and willing to continue interacting with the app.  

Keep messages short and simple

Make sure your message is clear and transparent to each user. Keep each message logically linked to user actions and tailor it to specific user behavior patterns.  

Personalize your messages

Every user is looking for unique opportunities and offers tailored to their current needs. To meet their expectations, you can create a number of personalized campaigns that present additional value to the user. Such campaigns can feature various customized promotions, offers, or insights that would be extremely valuable to users.  

Test the results of your campaigns

Understand the impact of your in-app messages by analysing data on user reactions to different variations of your campaigns. See which ones work most effectively and adjust the content, colors, and styles of your messages to best optimize them.  

Why use Synerise in-app messages?  

Synerise allows you to create the most engaging and customized in-app messages that will improve your user's experience without being intrusive. You have everything you need to style the perfect in-app campaigns that will fit your brand.  

By leveraging user events, you can instantly respond to every action of your app's users, allowing you to create even better contextual messages based on their behavior. With the power of Synerise Analytics, you can always be sure to reach the right audience, using the full potential of your user base by creating the most tailored segmentations. Our content creator allows you to execute any ideas for visualizing your messages that are supported by several layouts which help you style your content application to specific business needs. With a communication limitation mechanism, you can avoid the frustration that can arise from receiving too many in-app messages. And finally, you can fully personalize your in-app campaigns by leveraging all your behavioral data.

Get inspired by examples of use cases you can implement with Synerise

In-app campaign with like/dislike swipe functionality

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Increase engagement and discover what your users love or dislike with this swipe mechanism. In this use case, we will describe the process of creating an in-app mechanism presenting bestsellers with the swiping system. The campaign will be displayed after the customer adds any product to the favorites.

In-app message with a reminder about a promo code  

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In this use case, you will learn how to create a reminder via in-app messaging for customers who have received a specific promo code and have not yet used it.  

Show basket value needed to enable a promotion  

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This use case describes the process of creating an in-app message with information about the amount a user needs to spend to qualify for a specific discount. This is an example of a campaign that will help you to encourage your users to increase the value of their shopping carts.

Loyalty points program balance reminder in in-app message

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Loyalty programs are an important part of any business, as they help companies build strong relationships with their customers. This use case describes the process of creating a reminder for customers about the balance of loyalty points they have in their account and the time left for the points to expire via an in-app message.


In-app messaging is a great form of communication with your customers that helps improve their in-app experience and helps you stay connected with them at every stage of their in-app journey. Don't miss the opportunity to use this communication channel to reconnect with your customers with the most valuable content that meets their needs and expectations. Create, experiment and test - there is no limit to the scenarios you can implement.