In-App Messaging and Chatbots: Do They Really Drive User Engagement, Signups, and Sales?
Words by
Jennifer Poblete
Last updated
February 21, 2023
In-App Messaging and Chatbots: Do They Really Drive User Engagement, Signups, and Sales?

Perhaps most SaaS's goal is to get users engaged with the app. Attracting a new customer costs 5x more than keeping an existing one. So better keep your users engaged, right?


But how can your SaaS encourage engagement and signups? 

Directly providing users with timely, relevant information—something that in-app messaging and chatbot messages can do. Check this out:

  • Braze found that in-app messages were the most effective channel for user engagement with a 39.88% engagement rate

  • Compared to email and push notifications, in-app messaging has an open rate that’s 45 times that of email and nearly three times that of push

  • 68% say they like how fast chatbots respond when they search and inquire

Isn't that cool? 😎

So, in this blog post, we'll explore in-app notifications (plus chat messages) and learn how they can help you boost engagement and conversions. 

Let's get started!

What is in-app messaging?

In-app messaging is a way of sending targeted notifications to users while they're using your application, website, or product. You can use this for various purposes, such as providing customer support, delivering promotional offers, or simply keeping users up-to-date on product updates.

Unlike push notifications—sent directly to a user's device outside of your app—in-app messages are only received by users who are currently logged into your app. Thus, they're perfect for time-sensitive or contextual messages. 

For example, if a user’s having trouble completing an upgrade or purchase, they’ll receive an in-app message with a helpful video tutorial. Or, if a user hasn't used your app in a while, you can send them a message reminding them of all the valuable features they've been missing.

Importance of in-apps

Yes, in-app is a powerful tool. Here are some excellent reasons why.

  • In-apps can be used for marketing purposes

You could send promotional messages to people who haven't used your app in a while or offer exclusive discounts to your most loyal users. You could even use it to gather feedback about your app so that you can make improvements based on what people are saying. 

  • In-apps can improve customer satisfaction

One use of in-app messages is in customer support. If an app user faces roadblocks, it lets businesses address customer concerns in real-time. It's a good way to resolve problems quickly and prevent negative reviews.

  • In-app engagements create urgency

Pop-ups and notifications can be used to create a sense of urgency and encourage users to take action before it’s too late—like a message that says, “Sign up now and save 50%!” Urgency can be an effective motivator in getting people to convert to paying customers.

  • In-app communications show that you care about your users

Done right, in-app interactions can show that you care about your users and their experience with your product. If your users see a message asking if they need help with an issue, the company shows its interest in providing support and ensuring users have a positive experience.

🚀🚀🚀 We also have an article that elaborates on the benefits of in-app messaging for SaaS businesses.

CaaSocio’s case study about a conversion attribution tool showing 3x engagement after optimizing their app copy shows how important the messaging is. 

By the way, here’s what we did.

CaaSocio-in-app-messaging-case-study notifications and chatbots: Are they the same?

The thing is—chatbots and in-app notifications are two tools that can be used to engage with users, but they serve different purposes. 

In-app notifications are for currently active users to inform them of what's happening in the app. And they don't require any user interaction—they just show up onscreen as needed.

Meanwhile, chatbots are interactive AI tools when a visitor (yes, they aren’t necessarily a user yet) contacts your tool and a simple question & answer usually occurs. Bots are programmed to answer predetermined questions before eventually transferring a query to live support. In a nutshell, it’s a two-way communication between you and a visitor that happens in real time. 

In-app notifications are best used for short, one-time messages that need to be seen by all users (such as alerts or reminders). In contrast, chatbots are best used for more extended conversations or FAQs where users can get more specific information on their own time.

9 creative ways to use in-app messaging [and chat messages]

So if you're not yet using in-app or chat messages in your SaaS application, you could miss out on a valuable opportunity to engage with your users. 

We've got 9 ideas for how you can use them creatively.

1. Welcome first-time site visitors

Use chatbots to engage first-time site visitors. You can answer questions quickly and efficiently using automated chat on your site without needing a human customer service representative.

Here’s how Braze uses chatbots on their website:


2. Help onboard new users

In-app messages are an ideal way to onboard new users. You can use tooltips (a type of in-app) to introduce new features, highlight key benefits, or offer helpful tips on how to get the most out of your application.

LastPass uses tooltips to guide users.


While Salesforce uses in-app as a checklist of the first tasks to be completed:


3. Offer customer support

If you offer customer support through live chat, in-app messages can be a great way to let your users know that help is available. You can use them to provide links to FAQs or customer support channels or even just let users know that someone is available to answer their questions.

4. Post official announcements

In-app messaging are also a great way to make official announcements, such as changes to your terms of service or a new version of your application that contains important updates. It makes sure all your users see the announcement regardless of what their activity is..

5. Aid cross-selling and upselling

In-app messages can be used for cross-selling and upselling purposes. For example, if you have a paid version of your app with additional features, you could use an in-app message to showcase it to users of the free version. Or, if you have other products or services that might be of interest to your users, you could use in-app messages to advertise them as well.

Jasper, an AI copywriting SaaS, does it like this: 


6. Answer pricing page questions

On your pricing page, you can include an in-app message that pops up when a user attempts to leave the page. In the message, thank them for their interest and kindly ask if they have any questions or concerns—a great way to deal with any objections a user may have about your pricing. 

Typeform does it like this:


7. Advertise promos and discounts

If you're running a promotion or offering a discount on your products or services, in-app messages are a great way to spread the word. You can use them to highlight the details of the promotion or offer a coupon code that users can apply at checkout. It's a great way to boost sales and keep current customers happy.

Here’s Jotform promoting a discount for the Black Friday sale:


8. Collect user feedback

In-app messages are a great way to collect feedback from your users about their experience with your application. You can use them to solicit feedback about specific features or ask general questions about what users think of your app. 

Like Hubspot just before you exit the app.


9. Extend engagement after email links

Have you ever clicked on an email link that took you to a blog post, only to be greeted by a popup asking you to subscribe? Well, that’s in-app triggers. You can send emails hyperlinked to blog posts or landing pages that’ll trigger in-app messages to pop up. If done right, that in-app can increase the chances of getting them to engage with your content.

Best practices for in-app messaging

Trying these messaging now? Let's break down some best practices for in-app messaging so that you can make the most out of this service.

  • Keep it relevant- the whole point of in-app messaging is to provide users with information that is relevant to them and their current situation. So it’s best to segment your users based on things like features and usage. That way, you can send them messages that are tailored to their specific needs.

  • Keep it short and sweet- users' attention spans are shorter than ever these days, so it's important to keep your in-app messages concise. Get straight to the point.

  • Make it personal- personalization is important in any marketing effort, and in-app messages are no exception. Using their names and tailoring messages to their interests will make them more engaged.

  • A/B test your messages- as with any marketing campaign, it's important to test different versions of your in-app messages to see what works best for your audience. Try different copies and CTAs, and track how users respond to tailor your strategy.
  • Use it sparingly- in-app messages should be used to share important information with users, but they shouldn't be used all the time. If you message users too often, they may find it intrusive. So, make sure you only use in-app messaging when you have something important to say.

Now, do in-app messaging and chatbots really work?

I'd say yes!

In-app messaging and chatbots are proven to increase user engagement, signups, and sales. They can also improve the visitor experience. 

But they're not magic solutions. 

Hence, for them to be effective, you need to use them strategically and make sure that your messages serve a purpose. Otherwise, you might end up annoying your users.

If you're thinking of incorporating them into your app or website, you can always reach out so we can help you craft the microcopies. And if you need help finding the key pages where they'll work best, book a call with us. 

We'd be happy to chat about how we can help you increase your app's engagement and conversions.

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