There’s no denying that the best way to reach your users is directly in your app. In-app messaging allows you to directly communicate with the people you want to reach in the exact moment you want to reach them; where else could you do that other than inside your product? The problem is, it’s super easy to misuse in-app messaging. You send too many messages, you don’t send enough, you aren’t sending them in the right area of your product, you’re sending out irrelevant information. Any of these can completely disrupt the user experience flow and turn a user away from your product. That’s why it’s so important to understand what in-app messaging is and the best ways to utilize them. 

What is In-App Messaging?  

In-app messaging is exactly what it sounds like; any form of communication that you send to a user directly inside of your app. This could be anything from a banner message to a pop-up pointing users to a new feature. Because of the inherent convenience of sending information in the exact place your users already are, in-app messages tend to have a higher response rate than email messages or push notifications. In fact, in-app messaging typically receives 8x the direct response rates of push notifications.

Benefits of In-App Messages

If executed correctly, in-app messages can be super beneficial to your users, and in turn, beneficial to your business. While not an exhaustive list of benefits, here are just a few ways in-app messages can help.

1. Reach the right audience at the right time

As obvious as this may seem, reaching your entire audience at once is one of the most effective ways to communicate relevant information. The best way to do that? In-app messaging. Even something like push notifications are not nearly as effective at reaching your entire audience as in-app messages. In fact, push notifications have been found to only reach about 45% of your audience. 

Something important to note here is that sometimes you don’t want to reach your entire audience at once. Maybe you only want to send a message to users who have tried a new feature in your product, or users who have been in your product longer than 30 days. A tool like Parlor allows you to segment out your users into different populations based on characteristics like this and send target in-app messages to them. That way, you can communicate with specific groups of users while maintaining the effectiveness of reaching them directly inside your app.

2. Enhance in-app experience

In-app messages are designed to match the design and look of your product, allowing them to fit seamlessly into the user experience. Instead of disrupting the workflow of your users, well-designed and integrated in-app messages will provide relevant information to your users at the exact moment in the journey that it’s most meaningful to them. Without forcing them to leave your product to answer any questions or concerns they may have, in-app messages help you provide insights to your product while they’re inside your product.

If utilized properly, these types of messages will add to your user’s journey through your product and not distract them from using your product. If you’d like to go deeper on this topic, you can check out our blog post on best practices of designing in-app notifications that won’t annoy your users.

3. Personalize their experience

As we mentioned before, segmenting your users into different populations can allow you to send highly personalized messages that make a user’s experience in your product that much better. With contextualized in-app messaging, you can send a quick message or survey to a user who just completed a certain action to see how they felt about it, or send a questionnaire to users after they’ve been in your product for a certain amount of time.

Connecting with your users in a highly personalized fashion shows your users that they’re important to you and that their experience in your product is something that you care about. In-app messaging allows you to specifically target different users based on distinguishing characteristics, and can help you target messages that most apply to them.

5 Types of In-App Messaging You Should be Using

1. Ask for feedback at the right moment

We all know how frustrating and confusing it can be to get inundated with feedback. Gathering the right feedback from the right users at the right moment is the key to simplifying this whole process and improving your product. In-app messaging allows you to get contextualized feedback about what matters most to your users. Maybe you’re trying to understand which areas of a newly released feature cause users the most friction. Sending a simple message to ask for feedback can give you valuable insight.

However, we all know how annoying it can be when you’re right in the middle of doing something in an app and you are interrupted with a pop up asking for feedback. Whether you’re asking for generalized feedback or you’re asking users how they feel about a specific aspect or feature of your product, you have to make sure that these in-app messages aren’t disruptive to a user’s experience. By making sure that the notification’s timing, placement, and audience are correct, you can get valuable feedback that isn’t jarring for the end user.

2. Announcing news and updates

What better place to share any new product features or updates than directly in your app? This kind of messaging allows you to immediately direct your user to any new features that you’re announcing when it is most relevant in their user experience.

For example, sharing product updates and new feature announcements right inside your product allows your users to read these announcements in-app, and immediately explore any new features. They can even react to these announcements or potential feature releases so that you can get real-time feedback. This gives you a clear understanding of what features your users actually care about and find valuable.

3. In-app messaging for onboarding

Having a strong onboarding experience is incredibly important. If a new user has a negative onboarding experience, they’re going to assume the rest of your product is the same way. In fact, roughly 80% of your users are likely to abandon your product after the first 30 days if you don’t communicate with them. Checking in with your users as they’re exploring your product for the first time can help ensure that they’re having the most positive experience possible. The best way to do this? In-app messaging. 

Since in-app messaging is the most direct line of contact to your users, it can be one of the most efficient ways to communicate with new users. Provide additional resources, offer guides to point them to a handy feature, or explain how a certain aspect of your product works if it isn’t inherently clear. Utilizing in-app messages to help guide users through onboarding can improve their overall experience and increase their knowledge of your product. Win-win! 

4. Add surveys to better understand your customers

Delivering surveys via in-app messaging allows your surveys to be highly contextualized and presents them to your users when it’s most relevant to them in their user experience. If a survey is triggered by a certain event (it’s been 60 days since they downloaded your app), or when your user has completed a certain task (they just finished onboarding), it can help you get more reliable and relevant feedback.

By keeping your survey short and targeted for a specific purpose, such as finding out how easy or hard it was to accomplish a certain task, you can utilize in-app messaging to get feedback through contextualized surveys.

5. Recruit users to validate your roadmap

Imagine being able to validate any feature you’re thinking of working on with your actual users before spending any time or money building it. This is a process called “concept validation”, and you can use in-app messaging to motivate users to participate in it. Not only do you get feedback directly from your users in-app, but your users get to ensure that you’re working on the things that will actually add value to them. 

Show your users a preview of any new feature you’re thinking of working on directly in-app and let them leave a review. You can even invite your users to become part of a beta-testing group, customer advisory board, or product panel to get targeted feedback. This not only gives your users a strong feeling of connection to your product because they feel they have a say in what you’re building, but it also helps to keep them engaged with the product and gives you valuable insight into what they want.  


In-app messaging can be one of the most efficient ways to reach targeted users and get valuable insight into their experience with your product. Whether you’re looking to gather specific feedback on a certain feature or experience, or you’re wanting provide additional resources to users who may be a bit lost within your product, in-app messages can be the best way communicate with your users.