Growth & Marketing

October 24, 2022

October 24, 2022

10 Best Ways to Increase User Retention with In-App Messaging

Table of contents

After spending months with the product team and designing a stellar app, your hard work is ready to pay off because you’re about to launch your app.

But if you think the challenging part is over, you’re probably wrong! Why?

With 56% of users uninstalling the app within the first seven days of installing them and 23% of users uninstalling an app within the first 24 hours, retaining users is a challenge. 

What happens when a user downloads the app for the first time? After downloading the app, a user might open it once or twice and doesn’t return anymore.


That’s the moment of truth and frustration because the app for which you burned the midnight oil cannot retain users. 

That’s why it’s essential to focus on user retention strategies. These strategies ensure that people don’t abandon your app. 

In this article, we discuss 10 best ways to increase user retention with in-app messaging:

10 Best Ways to Increase User Retention with In-App Messaging

Here are 10 best ways to increase user retention with in-app messaging:

1. Simplify the onboarding process and use simple in-app messages

Companies use in-app messages when onboarding new users. To ensure a seamless boarding experience, send messages that help new users familiarize themselves with your app. 

This is where most of the brands fail to live up to expectations and forget the importance of getting users acquainted with the commonly used features of their app. 

Before onboarding a user, focus on sending in-app messages related to only the important features, ensuring users don’t get overwhelmed with excessive information in one go

The key here is increasing user retention because you might contact the user to explain other underutilized features of your app. 

Here is an onboarding message a user receives after installing the Flipkart app. The message is clear and gives users a place to start. 

If you wish to know how to create in-app onboarding or other messages, refer to this in-app messaging guide. The guide provides you with every detail related to in-app messaging. The guide uses examples to show you features that ensure a seamless onboarding experience for users.

2. Deliver a personalized user experience

Adding a personal touch to the user experience increases the retention rate because it makes the users feel that the message was tailored. 

Though in-app messaging personalization might come in various forms, addressing users by their names is the simplest. 

During the onboarding process, if users provide their name, ensure all your in-app messages address your users with their name instead of saying, ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey.’ 

Here’s a great example. HealthifyMe, during the onboarding process, asks questions and makes diet and fitness recommendations based on the answers provided.

3. Use headlines

As a headline is the first thing a user sees, great headlines can help attract users and convince them to read on and not skip messages. 

Even with a limited amount of space, headlines make your user interested in your message.

If the headline of your in-app messages sounds interesting, informative and relevant, then users are likely to click on the call to action (CTA).

To increase user retention, keep the headline of your messages short and noticeable and tell users what the message is about. 

Typically, when creating a headline refer to UX design tips to choose a text color scheme that resonates with your target audience.

4. Get visual with images and emojis

Due to lack of space, having a clutter-free design is the key to success, but that doesn’t mean you should not use images and emojis. 

Using images and emojis in your in-app messages adds a visual punch and conveys your message.

Before drafting the in-app message, pick an image or video you want to include. Ensure that your images are relevant and captivating.

Here’s an example that uses an image in the background, and places the message in-line with the image.

5. Collect user feedback

Using in-app messages, try to gather user feedback after completing a specific task or achieving a milestone on your app. 

For instance, if a user makes their first purchase on your application, celebrate their achievement and ask for relevant feedback.

Instead of sending emails, in-app messages help you collect feedback at the most relevant point in a user’s journey. 

Here’s a great example. After a user purchases from the Hem & Stitch app, the company tries to collect the user’s experience using the following feedback form. 


6. Retain existing users

Apart from helping you onboard new users, the beauty of in-app messaging is that it empowers you to retain existing users.

Retaining existing users is more important than ever because acquiring a new user is between five and 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. 

Use the power of in-app messaging to minimize this cost. Retain existing users by creating a campaign based on the existing behavior of your users. But how do you create messages and campaigns encouraging users to use your app?

Ensures your in-app messages feel organic and don’t seem sales-oriented or forced. When messages sound like an extension of your app, it’s likely to serve their purpose and deliver the right meaning. 

Predictive suggestion techniques make it easy to influence the user's decision-making process. To create personalized messages, use the power of personalization tokens in your messaging to build a highly targeted campaign for users. 

The timing of sending the in-app message is another crucial factor for ensuring your messages stay relevant. 

7. Design keeping users in mind

In a quest to make your in-app messages punchier and juicier, don’t overlook the design of your messages. This is critical because even the best text might fail to deliver the intended message if the design is wrong. 

Avoid having a cluttered format. Instead, focus on clear, clean, and minimal design. 

Here is an example. This in-app message includes the logo, title, and message in a neat design. Without cluttering the screen, Flipkart provides essential information about their application. 

This neat design ensures the company shares as much information as possible without overwhelming the users. 

8. Allow users to skip messages

Nothing can be more frustrating than forcing a user to take action on your in-app message. Your users are humans and deserve the option to exit the popup message if they want to read or take action. 

This is especially beneficial when collecting user feedback on their experience. Don’t force users to give you reviews. 

Instead, give them the option to skip messages.

9. Provide new features and update announcement

Another great strategy to increase user retention with in-app messaging is to provide new features and update announcements.

Your users will not know about your app's recently launched feature if you don't tell them. Did you know that only 21% of users install iOS app updates within one week of release?

Only when users know about new features and updates will they take action. This is because users are less likely to risk updating the app when they see no value.

With a fear of change hardcoded in our human DNA, providing new features and update announcements encourages users to acknowledge the change.

It’s a great way to show users about your services.

10. Focus on your CTA

Your in-app messages are worthless without a vibrant and meaningful CTA. 

Your CTA drives conversion and encourages users to take the desired action. Your CTA can be creating a new profile, learning about new features and redeeming a promotion. 

While creating a CTA button might not seem like an uphill battle, a lot goes into consideration. Nailing the right color, font and text is what differentiates a good CTA from an average one. 

Use a catchy color to ensure your CTA stands out and attracts the customer's attention. Try to limit the text on your CTA to two to three words. The shorter your CTA, the better it is. Here's an example of a short and crisp CTA that encourages users to take the desired action.


Users who choose a brand expect a seamless experience across all channels, and your in-app messages are no different. 

Today in-app messaging is a powerful tool in your arsenal because it helps you connect with your users in a personalized and intuitive way.

Well-thought, well-crafted and rightly timed messages increase user retention and enhance the experience.

While in-app messages help you engage users, they’re helpful if you don’t overdo them and use these strategies.

These 10 proven ways to help a marketer taste success inside the company’s app.

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