10 wicked examples of push notification and in-app messaging to learn from

10 wicked examples of push notification and in-app messaging to learn from

The most popular communication channels for mobile apps today are without doubt push notifications and in-app messages. Push notifications are a way for you to playfully nudge your users, getting them to open your app when it’s currently closed, whereas in-app messaging allows you to converse with users when your app is open. Together, the two play a huge role in an app’s user retention efforts.

There is a lot to be said around best practices around how to communicate with your users via in-app messaging or push notifications, in terms of frequency, type of incentive / message, timing of messaging and more. But today is about sharing some great examples.

We have been marketing mobile apps for a while now, you can say that we’ve been around. When we are impressed by others we love sharing our enthusiasm and say kudos!

Listed below are ten wicked examples of great use of these two communication channels, each using a slightly different tactic to get their users’ attention.

1. Offer free stuff – Starbucks

The guys at Starbucks are a generous bunch –This is clear by looking at their push notifications which give users rewards and treats for simply owning the app. Who can say no to free coffee?

2. Help your users save (time and / or money) – Kayak

Kayak allows users to set up push notifications for flight prices – alerting them as soon as there’s a dip in cost. I actually like this one, because the user is the one that’s setting up the notification. And because everybody loves a good deal, a lot of push notifications are being created!

3. Upsell based on user behavior – H&M

It seems that H&M really knows how to get to a woman’s heart (and wallet) by using personalized recommendations and upsell offers. H&M’s push notifications use past purchases to suggest additional items. For example, if a user purchased a new jacket from the retail chain, a notification may pop up encouraging them to grab a pair of boots which would go nicely with it.

4. Use unique tone of voice / language – ASOS

ASOS don’t mess around. Whenever a sale is completed (and let’s face it, at ASOS there usually is a sale) they send app owners a notification that reads like it’s an emergency message, with heavy use of exclamation marks and short, punchy sentences, and slight use of humor. It grabs the reader’s attention in all the right ways.

5. We are all news junkies – Waze

Waze is a utility app (navigation), but that didn’t stop them from going all newsy on us by creating a ‘news’ push alert us to any issue that may cause us traffic delays during the day. Extremely proactive and useful and definitely makes me want to go safe and drive with the app open.

6. Get emotional – The Bump

A cute little app that actually makes pregnancy fun. The bump found a way to touch base and keep users interested at the same time. Wouldn’t you want to know that your baby is at the size of a lemon? Adorable!

7. Use emojis – Wanelo

Emojis are a huge thing now, and shopping network Wanelo is leveraging on that. Their notifications feature emojis – adding spice and humor and ultimately encouraging the user to interact with the app.

8. Sharing is caring – Uniqlo

Uniqlo endorses the “sharing is caring” philosophy. that Their app reflects this, offering superbly simple triggered in-app messages for social sharing that allow you to share without even leaving the screen.

9. Announce new & valuable features – Amazon / Instagram

Amazon really knows how to take advantage of a worthy moment and announce a new mega feature with a shiny in-app message. Instagram (aka ‘insta’) took a different direction and went informative. And indeed informative it was.

10. Yes, humor still works – Simon Circles

This one is my favorite. Simon Circles app actually sent out a notification to users, apologizing for hassling them…blaming it all on a random guy named Chad. Hilarious. Shocking. A mistake. Whatever it was, it got users talking. I, for one, truly hope it wasn’t an angry employee sending out those push notifications, but rather a genius marketer.

There are a lot of different and creative ways to use push and in-app messages, and the examples above are just a drop in the ocean. If you have the time and the budget, try testing the water and work with a sample first. Make vigorous notes on which ones appear to be working, and which ones do not. You want to avoid being spammy, but you also want to encourage users to keep coming back for more. Finding the middle ground may take a while, but in the end it’ll certainly be worth your while.