15 Best In-App Messaging Examples To Improve Customer Engagement In SaaS

15 Best In-App Messaging Examples To Improve Customer Engagement In SaaS

Product communication through in-app messaging is crucial, as it can influence user behavior or promote a new feature. Here are some examples of in-app messaging that will help you make the most of personalized messages and help users feel like you care about their job-to-be-done or JTBD.

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TL;DR

  • In-app messages work well with behavioral segmentation and behavioral marketing since they can be triggered based on segments, events, or when users click on a specific element.
  • In-app messages can encourage freemium users to upgrade to a paid subscription by highlighting the extra value of certain features — increasing expansion MRR in the process!
  • In-app messages can increase customer lifetime value and improve retention rates by promoting advanced features or a personalized demo.
  • In-app messages help you nudge users towards key activation points within contextual onboarding flows.
  • Onboarding checklists and other types of in-app messages can reduce the time between a user signing up and them having their AHA moment.
  • In-app messages can provide valuable insights into customer behavior by collecting feedback through microsurveys.

What is in-app messaging?

In-app messages are targeted messages that can be used to onboard users, engage users throughout their customer journey, and drive user engagement by highlighting new features.

They can also be used for feature announcements, promoting limited-time offers, or to guide users with new functionality that they aren’t familiar with.

What is the difference between in-app messages and push notifications?

People often use in-app messages and push notifications interchangeably since they both involve sending messages to users. However, they are different when it comes to intent and location. Users receive push notifications while outside the app, while in-app messages appear within the app.

Userpilot in-app messaging
In-app vs push notifications

They also serve different purposes since push notifications are generally sent to engage users who aren’t actively using the app while in-app messaging helps guide users whenever they run into complex features during the onboarding process (or even in other stages of their customer journey.)

In short, in-app messages help users learn, while push notifications are used to inform them of account activity they missed.

Why is in-app messaging important?

In-app messages increase engagement and help users move through the onboarding flow a lot smoother but that’s not all these messages are good for. Here are a few benefits that in-app messages can bring whenever they notify users:

It’s also worth noting that an in-app message can be triggered based on any event, behavior, or segmentation rules which makes them ideal for contextual onboarding. This makes in-app messages a powerful tool when targeting a specific user segment or promoting a premium feature.

15 best in-app messaging examples to improve customer engagement

Looking at how other companies use their in-app messages to delight users and make the in-app experience more visually appealing can offer a good example of how to utilize these strategies for your own product.

Let’s take a look at the types of in-app messages you can use at different stages in the user journey.

  • Onboarding: where your customers learn about your product and you learn about your customers.
  • Adoption: encouraging users to try your stickiest features.
  • Retention: ensuring that users continue to engage with your product long-term.
  • Account expansion: increasing the value you deliver to customers so they generate more revenue as a result.

In-app messaging examples – user onboarding stage

In the onboarding phase of the user journey, you want to learn more about your user and help them understand your product. You should make this stage as contextual as possible and drive them towards key activation points from the get-go.

#1 – Postfity uses welcome screens to personalize the onboarding process

Welcome screens are an effective form of in-app messaging since they can personalize the user onboarding process. In fact, Postfity has seen great results when using Userpilot to create welcome screens for their personalized onboarding flows.

Postfity welcome screen
Postfity welcome screen

In one fell swoop, they’re able to identify the size of their customer’s business and how technically savvy that user might be.

#2 – Kontentino sets the right expectations for users with welcome screens

On the other hand, Kontentino uses their welcome screen pop-up to help app users get set up while encouraging questions and feedback.

Kontentino welcome screen
Kontentino welcome screen

Lastly, we have Canva who uses in-app welcome screens to start the customer segmentation process early in just a few clicks and ensure that all their onboarding messages are relevant to the specific customer.

Canva welcome screen
Canva onboarding microsurvey

Regardless of what you’re using them for, welcome screens can make both web and mobile apps a lot less intimidating for new users.

In-app messaging examples – user adoption stage

The user adoption rate is one of the most important metrics for SaaS companies since the entire business model is centered around generating recurring revenue over the long term. In-app messaging can highlight the stickiest features of your product to ensure you get an ROI on all your acquisition efforts.

#3 – Userpilot uses multiple in-app message types to drive new feature adoption

When trying to drive feature adoption, you should create in-app messages that educate users about the features they’re missing out on and give them a reason to opt-in to using them. Userpilot uses a full-screen modal to promote its in-app resource center that shows users how to use all the features the app has to offer.

Userpilot resource center
Userpilot’s help center

To go the extra mile for Userpilot users, a slideout also promotes our webinar that teaches users how to best use the resource center. In-app notifications like slideouts work so well because they use motion to catch the eye of users.

Userpilot webinar slideout
Source: Userpilot

#4 – Loom uses checklists to drive users to the AHA moment

In-app onboarding messages can make a huge difference when it comes to product adoption. Perhaps the most prominent example of in-app messaging in the context of product adoption would be onboarding checklists.

That said, you should only include steps that push users towards that AHA moment and fast-track user activation. Loom’s onboarding checklist focuses solely on the core offering of its product which is creating and sharing videos.

Loom onboarding checklist
Loom

#5 – Respond.io uses checklists and interactive walkthroughs to shorten the time to value

Obviously, your checklist should shift depending on the type of solution you’re providing. Rocketbots, the business messaging platform now known as Respond.io, knows that their product is stickier when multiple people use it together so their checklist reflects that.

Rocketbots onboarding checklist
Rocketbots’ checklist

Interactive walkthroughs are a powerful way to show off both the core product as well as secondary features. After all, customers who try out features earlier on in their journey are more likely to adopt them — therefore increasing engagement and retention rates.

Get a Newsletter’s two-step walkthrough also proves that your flows don’t have to be very long to help users out.

By driving feature adoption, in-app messaging and checklists can also reduce the number of laggards you have in your product adoption curve — which is essential for SaaS companies that offer innovative and/or disruptive software.

In-app messaging examples – user retention stage

Now that you’ve gotten users to adopt your product, the next step is to ensure they continue using it long-term. While retention may center around push notifications for mobile apps, a web or desktop app should rely on in-app messaging elements to promote regular engagement.

#6 – BacklinkManager uses secondary onboarding checklists for advanced feature discovery

In-app checklists can be very effective for secondary onboarding flows. You could use them to promote obscure features or teach customers how to use the product better. For instance, BacklinkManager uses its checklist to help users automate their link-building workflow.

Backlink.io checklist

#7 – Moz uses modals to announce new features

In-app messages must be relevant to the user and have a clear purpose. That’s why using in-app messages to announce a new feature is an ideal use case. New feature announcements are something that both you and every customer cares about.

One example of how to announce a new feature using in-app messaging is how Moz announces every new feature with a modal. This gives users a clear idea of what the new feature will look like in the app itself and gets them excited to try it out.

Moz new feature announcement modal
Moz’s new feature announcement

#8 – Kommunicate uses tooltips to launch new features in-app

If you don’t want to use modals for new feature announcements then you could follow in the footsteps of Kommunicate. They built a tooltip with Userpilot to highlight their WhatsApp integration when it first launched.

Kommunicate tooltip
Kommunicate in-app new feature announcement

#9 – Miro’s “what’s new” oversized modal keeps users up to date every time they log in

Miro is another testament to how effective in-app messaging can be when it comes to promoting opt-in courses and new features in apps.

Their “what’s new” modal is the perfect spot to advertise feature updates since the user will see it as a full-screen popup.

Miro whats new modal
Source: Miro

#10 – Jira collects in-app feedback on new features

In the same way that in-app messages transmit information, you can also use in-app surveys to collect information from your users.

Having microsurveys in your SaaS product is a key part of the customer experience optimization (CXO) process so you can identify the root of any issues.

Jira adds user feedback surveys in apps they provide to try to get as much information as possible from their customers, especially when it comes to newly released changes.

They took the same approach when they released the new issue view to get immediate user feedback.

Jira in-app feedback survey
Jira’s in-app feedback

#11 – Dribble collects customer satisfaction surveys after the user’s interaction with customer support

You should also try to personalize your survey designs based on your ideal customer profile. Dribble, the social network for digital designers, runs feedback microsurveys with a stylistic twist that’s relevant to their user base.

Dribble happiness survey
Dribble’s customer satisfaction survey

#12 – Use exit surveys to offer users alternatives and reduce churn

In-app churn surveys can provide insights into the reason why your users are leaving or even give them a chance to reconsider their decision. You could also offer to pause their subscription instead of canceling it which increases the odds they’ll return.

Churn survey
Churn survey

In-app messaging examples – account expansion stage

Account expansion is all about providing more value for users so they generate more revenue for your company. Upselling is the primary source of expansion revenue but other methods like cross-selling other products or offering add-ons can also be highly effective.

#13 – Intercom prompts users to upgrade with contextual tooltips

You’d be surprised how much expansion revenue an in-app message can generate with a simple upsell.

It makes sense though since it’s more likely that a user clicks on an in-app upsell versus opening an email promoting a special offer (that may or may not end up in the spam folder.)

When it comes to customer expansion strategies, you need to be smart about what you promote and where you promote it.

Intercom uses an upgrade tooltip to advertise their product tours add-on — something that could more than double their ACV for that user in some cases.

Intercom upgrade tooltip
Intercom’s upsell example

#14 – Zapier triggers an ‘upgrade now’ modal when users reach their account limits

Rather than offering additional features, Zapier takes the account expansion approach of limiting the number of tasks users can have without upgrading their subscription. They then use an in-app message to remind the user that they can lift the restriction by upgrading, upselling at the right moment.

Zapier upgrade prompt
Source: Zapier

# 15 FigJam uses different banner types and placements to drive users to upgrade

While modals and tooltips may be more popular, in-app banners can be just as effective when it comes to generating upgrades from your users. FigJam uses a banner to prompt an upgrade from their beta users which increases their trial to paid conversion rate.

FigJam upsell banner
FigJam’s in-app banner

Conclusion

In-app messages can be extremely effective for onboarding new users, increasing feature adoption, or simply making your voice heard with a feature announcement.

They are also a great example of how you can improve the customer experience by taking a conversational approach and diving deeper into offering the right help at the right time.

If you want to start reaping the benefits of in-app messages, collect feedback from users, and upsell them to generate expansion revenue then get a free Userpilot demo today!

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