Report: Effective In-App Messages Result in Higher Retention

New research from Localytics breaks down the impact in-app messages have on user retention and engagement.

Localytics, an analytics and marketing platform for mobile and Web apps, has released its latest research, measuring the impact of in-app messages on user retention and engagement.

While Localytics says only one-third of app marketers are using in-app messaging as part of their mobile engagement strategy, when this kind of communication is used effectively, the results are great. Specifically, apps that send in-app messages were shown to have 2 to 3.5x higher user retention and 27 percent more app launches than those apps that do not.

While Localytics says only one-third of app marketers are using in-app messaging as part of their mobile engagement strategy, when this kind of communication is used effectively, the results are great. Specifically, apps that send in-app messages were shown to have 2 to 3.5x higher user retention and 27 percent more app launches than those apps that do not.

On average, apps that send in-app messages were shown to be opened 13.2 times per month, compared to only 10.4 monthly launches for apps that do not utilize in-app messages.

In terms of monthly user retention, Localytics’ data shows developers who utilize in-app messaging are retaining 46 percent of their users three months after the initial download. That’s compared to just 13 percent for apps without in-app messages.

Localytics In-App Messages

Simply including in-app messages is a step in the right direction for developers, but the triggers for their delivery also greatly impact their effectiveness. Specifically, the average click-through rate for an in-app message is 28 percent. However, when the message is triggered at an appropriate time, after the user has taken a specific action inside the app, the click-through rate, on average, is double that of messages simply presented at the beginning of a session.

Depending on the app type, this click-through rate can be even higher, with photography and sports apps leading the pack. For sports apps, this may see developers triggering messages when news breaks about a user’s favorite team, while photography apps may remind users of lesser used, but still valuable features they offer, as examples.

Josh Todd, chief marketing officer at Localytics, commented:

There’s an outdated belief among app owners that in-app messages are viewed as intrusive or “spammy.” In this new research, we chose to challenge that way of thinking. What our data shows is that—when done right—in-app messages can actually be strategically used to drive increased loyalty and engagement by showing users the true value of an app.

Localytics’ complete research is available here.