For digital first and digital focused products, customer engagement metrics is a key measure of the product success and its future. It’s the need of the hour when it comes to analyzing the product engagement and to act upon it. There are many tools in the market you can use to analyze the product engagement and get actionable insights.

Today, we will focus on one such aspect which will surely help improve the customer engagement. In-app messages are considered one of the best options to communicate with the users directly through the product. It’s one of the best options because it displays messages while the user is engaging with the product.

In-app messages surely drive in more engagement because they are not only interactive but also informative to educate the customer. In-app messages can be delivered in various types: a popup, a tool tip, a banner, a product tour, a notification, a survey, a csat star rating question, a feedback form or sometimes even a video tour. 

Following are some of the use cases of in-app messaging that can be used to increase the product engagement and customer retention:

  • In-app help: Product tours, guides, tool-tips are some of the examples of in-app messaging that can be used to provide help to the users who are engaging with the product. These guides are handy for users who are new to the product, which will help them to learn the product quickly.

  • User Onboarding & Employee Onboarding: Most of the SaaS platforms consider User and Employee onboarding as one of the most important aspects and hence they use Onboarding Checklist which consists of various getting started guides or to-do lists for new users. Similarly for employee onboarding, to-do lists are designed in the manner with the help of in-app guides so that they can learn the product quickly and efficiently.
  • New feature releases: In-app messages can also be used widely when you have released a new feature and you would like to let your users know about it so that they can try it.

  • Product Outage Notifications / Scheduled Maintenance Notifications: Every product goes into a state where there might be a scheduled maintenance or there might be an outage, in such situations many SaaS platforms tend to either send an email or to make sure the news reaches out more people tend to create banners or notifications using in-app guide creation tools. This is a great way to let your users know beforehand so that the users can plan their projects,campaigns accordingly.

  • Conversion / Pricing offers: In-app messages can also be triggered based on timing or user metadata like location. Hence in-app messages can be used to alert a user about the expiration of their free trial,  for targeted up-sell offers, or invitations to upcoming events.
  • Transactional Feedback / Survey:In-app messages can also be used to collect constructive feedback from the user based on the feature/functionality usage like a transactional CSAT or customer effort score survey question in a popup asking for the feedback or a simple popup with a comment box question asking for more detailed suggestion or a feedback. There are various platforms which also use in-app messages to push NPS questions to the users at certain time intervals in the customer journey.

Now, let’s see what are the best practices for creating an effective in-app messaging

  • Do your homework: Make sure you first analyze which are the pain points in your product that require a simple guide or product tour to explain the feature/functionality and increase the engagement for it.
  • Language: In-app messages should be relevant and meaningful.The language used should be simple and precise. Try to add short descriptions of the feature/functionality.
  • Onboarding List: Create an onboarding list for new users, so that they will get an idea from where to start.
  • Personalize: It’s been observed that people tend to go towards tools that offer more personalized experience. So make sure you personalize the in-app messages.
  • Catchy Headlines: Try to use some catchy and attractive headlines for offers or new releases to get more engagement.
  • Standout Call to Action: If you have a call to action button in your guide make sure it stands out in the message. Use the color schema that matches the user interface.
  • Multilingual Guides: Users generally love to see or get help messages in the language they are comfortable in, so if you create multilingual guides, it would be more helpful for users across the globe.
  • Multimedia  Usage: Make use of multimedia like small 1 minute videos, good resolution images or GIF images to explain some functionality. It is observed that usage of multimedia increases engagement with the in-app messages instead of using just text.
  • Segment: Segment your users based on the variables like their location, industry they belong to, package/license level, based on feature usage, based on time spent in the app and other relevant information. Using segmentation you will be able to target the in-app messages perfectly to the correct set of users.
  • Thorough Testing: Make sure before deploying your in-app messages to your users, you do a thorough testing of them on your testing environment and production environment. You can do an A/B testing to a small set of users to understand which variant of the in-app message you are getting more engagement.
  • Deploy & Analyze: Once deployed, keep an eye on the engagement and analyze the results week by week to make sure everything is in place. If you find out any issues where users are dropping after certain steps in the guides, try to make alterations accordingly.

There are various tools in the market that provide you with the ability to create the in-app messages as well as provide you the option to analyze your product. Some of the most popular ones are Pendo, WalkMe, Whatfix, Appcues, Nickelled, Intercom.

To sum up, effective in-app messaging would certainly increase the engagement of features in your product, if you follow the above guidelines.

If you liked this article, do check out our other blog on Customer Journey in MarTech.