Like onboarding campaigns, in-app marketing campaigns take place while a user is within the app. The key difference is that onboarding campaigns occur immediately upon opening the app, whereas in-app messages happen during use.

Effective in-app messages guide users through your funnels and help them complete tasks. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of rich media and match your company’s unique branding.


Spotify syncs to multiple user devices. When a user opens the app on a different device, Spotify anticipates anticipates that the user may want to switch devices--and uses in-app messaging to make it a seamless experience.

Whenever you launch significant new app features, make sure you share them with your users by giving them a very quick overview of the update, and highlighting key enhancements. This strengthens the user experience and boosts engagement since users can see you’re invested in making your app better.


PRO TIP: Use an interactive tutorial to walk users through new features. SoundHound points out new functionality, and makes it easy for users to try it out on the spot.



Too many apps overlook how they ask users for the various permissions their app needs to provide the best possible experience (push, location requests, etc.). sers tend to be happier when they’re in place, but they’re also not typically inclined to grant permission for an app to use them right off the bat.

What’s the best way to get those permissions?

  • Hold off on asking for push notification permissions until after a user’s first login. Show them some value, then make the request.
  • Ask for one permission at a time. So if you ask for push in one session, wait for the next to ask for location tracking.
  • Make sure you tell them why they should give you permission.


It’s tough to resist the latest and greatest, right? For users who are opening your app without something specific in mind, guiding them to a popular new option is a better user experience than forcing them to go down the path of discovering content themselves.

Audible serves me up some other books I should be reading, based off my previous download history. Can you tell I’m expecting? While this content is spot on, it would be nice for them to include a few non-baby audiobooks as well, but I did download five or so books all at once on this subject so that’s probably why:



Offering a one-day only discount, or hosting a special sweepstakes for concert tickets? Let users know while they browse your app so they can take advantage.

PRO TIP: Avoid blasting every sale you have to the masses. Segment your offers based on user history and searches so they’re highly relevant. For example, if a user has never listened to Adele in your app, it’s best to exclude them from your promotional message about her upcoming concert.

  The History Channel effectively uses in-app messaging to serve up a new offer based on browsing history.

The History Channel effectively uses in-app messaging to serve up a new offer based on browsing history.


When users convert within your app, it’s important to have in-app messages in place confirming these conversion actions.  A simple confirmation message will ensure their transaction is complete, reassuring them that they’ll be subscribed to all the breaking news they need.

PRO TIP: Follow up a transactional in-app message with an email to users so they have the details they need in an additional place.



After a user has spent a little time in your app, request that they give you a rating. A great way to do this (and encourage positive ratings in particular) is to ask if they’re enjoying the app. Speaking of reviews, creating an in-app message that asks users to ‘rate the app’ via an NPS score is a perfect way to separate your promoters from the detractors.  If a shopper’s rating indicates they are neutral or a detractor, you can have the in-app message request that they provide feedback via a text field. You get valuable insights into your app’s weaknesses, and users can vent privately rather than in a public app store review. If a user is a promoter, the in-app message can include a CTA linking to the app store so they can leave a glowing review.

ESPN does a great job at using in-app messaging to send a custom NPS request to users. They can send promoters directly to their app listing to rate them, and can collect valuable feedback from the detractors.