Revenue is the final goal of every app business, and it’s not easy to achieve. Acquiring (and even retaining) users isn’t enough if those users never convert. Sometimes, marketers try to mitigate this problem by organizing messaging campaigns to tempt users into purchase — but are these campaigns really enough?
For mobile teams, Leanplum’s latest findings are a relief. We found that you really can lift in-app purchases through mobile messaging channels. And since in-app messages are styled to fit the look and feel of an app, they’re well within your control.
How can app teams craft in-app messages that convert? Let’s examine a few different factors to find out.
Designing an engaging in-app message
The first step to making users engage with your messages is to ensure each message looks great. In-app messages are effectively part of the app; they affect the user experience, so it’s important that they’re pleasing to the eye and easy to understand.
Much like with web app messages, it helps to use simple colors and clear calls to action (CTAs). If your interface is designed around a particular color palette, make sure the in-app message is styled accordingly. The same rule applies to typography.
Some app designers go one step further and create custom drawings for their messages. These drawings might feature icons or minimalistic humans using the app. Sometimes it’s more immersive to learn about the app through caricatures of users rather than abstract representations of in-app actions. For example, a retail discount message might show a person shopping in the mall instead of a generic shopping cart icon.
However you choose to approach the problem, be sure your in-app messages have an easy-to-understand design. Earn more clicks — and ultimately conversions — by building alluring messages.
Writing content that converts
Message content is just as important as design when it comes to conversions. One great way to monetize users through message content is through upsells and cross-sells.
Consider how the above message might benefit a travel app. A user may have downloaded the app to book a flight, and they’re satisfied after picking out their trip. But what if the app offers more than just flights, like hotel and car bookings? You can send an in-app message or push notification to alert users about relevant offerings and share a discount.
In some cases, you don’t even have to wait until after the initial conversion to upsell or cross-sell. If the second product directly complements the first, you can promote it with an in-app message when the first product is added to the person’s cart.
I like to call it the “would you like fries with that?” mentality. For example, if someone on a food delivery app adds an entree to their order, offering an appetizer at a discounted price may sound extra delicious at that moment. The same goes for any vertical. Timely offers are much more enticing, especially when the two items fit together.
In either case, in-app message content is invaluable for driving conversions. A well-timed upsell can single-handedly increase your average revenue per user.
Timing an in-app message for the best user experience
Timing has the potential to make or break a mobile marketing campaign. If you deliver a message at the perfect moment, it could prompt a user to convert — but a message delivered at the wrong moment may do more harm than good. Poorly timed in-app messages will slow down the user experience and make the app a chore to explore.
When it comes to push notifications, timing is huge: Well-timed messages can increase retention by 7x, even though 63 percent of marketers are still getting this wrong. Timing matters for in-app messages too, but the catch is that the user must be currently using the app to see the message. Instead of sending messages based on time of day, in-app messages are usually triggered by user behaviors.
These events are often called mobile moments. Sending messages at the right mobile moment means reaching users when your content adds value rather than subtracting. For example, upsells make sense when a user adds an item to their cart, but they’re disruptive if they appear right before payment in the checkout flow.
Any in-app message that’s sent as a modal or interstitial will disrupt whatever flow the user was currently progressing through. Therefore, timing based on user behaviors is critical. You should only disrupt app usage flows when it’s likely to improve the user experience.
Other ways to increase in-app purchases
In-app messages aren’t the only way to lift conversions. Data shows that messages can lead to 9.6x more purchases, while simultaneously making users spend 16 percent more money. Get the details — and a real-world example — in our latest report, In-App Purchases Now.