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Push and In-App notifications: Why Do You Need Them

Push Notifications VS In-App Messaging

March 29, 2024
9 min read

Notifications on your screen can be annoying and distracting your focus a lot. Other ones can be valuable and timely. It's like a courting — the nice and smart person fascinates us, whereas the tiresome or impudent windbags are (in the best-case scenario) ignored.

So, how to win users' hearts through push notifications and in-app messages? What is the difference between them? How to use in-app messaging properly and in what cases push notifications are inappropriate? Let's check it together!

How apps talk to users

It is hard to imagine today's world without push notifications and in-app messages. A new follower on Instagram, reminders from Google Calendar, stunning discounts on the favorite store — all this data confetti appears on our screens daily.

<medium>Push and in-app notifications <medium> allow brands to stay in touch with their audience with less risk of messages getting lost among junk mail. It's a handy approach for the companies to form the "being there" effect.

Push and in-app notifications

Both push notifications and in-app messages are designed to <medium>encourage immediate action and are instantly delivered to a subscriber's desktop or app screen when a predefined action occurs.<medium> Each message can trigger a micro-moment and present consumers with relevant opportunities to engage with your brand.


Often companies design app messaging campaigns in a chaotic manner. <medium>Poorly targeted promotions, annoying pop-ups, weird discounts — all that make a road to hell.<medium>

But smart marketers with push notifications in one hand and in-app messages in the other can turn users from strangers into loyal customers.

In the strategy we trust.

Let's figure out what does push notification means and how it differs from in-app messages.

What are push notifications?

push-notification elements

Knock, and it shall be opened to you. This probably could be a perfect push notifications motto.

What do push notifications mean and how to use them properly? Surely you've dealt with them more than once.

For example, we can send a push notification alerting our readers about something new on our blog. As well as a <medium>food delivery & restaurant takeout app shortly before dinner that sends a push message about a new Margarita with pesto drizzle<medium> they'd prepare for clients'. Whereas <medium>EdTech app users can get notifications about the new courses on Monday mornings.<medium>


<medium>Push notifications keep users informed about major updates.<medium> In fact, it's such a reminder of your company's existence. Whether the application is inactive or running in the background, sending a push message ensures that relevant information is delivered on time.


What is in app messaging?

in-app messaging elements

<medium>In-app messaging is a key ingredient in the recipe for strong customer engagement.<medium>

Messages that appeared on the users' app screen reach them at the right place, at the right time, and are consistent across platforms. This ability to be leveraged for both mobile and web applications makes in-app messaging a core component of a cohesive onboarding and marketing strategy.

While mobile apps are overrun with push notifications, in-app messaging is a little overshadowed.

Thus, make sure you exploit its potential fully — in-app messaging is a real multi-instrumentalist. It's a guide through your UX roads and UI landmarks; it's a waiter providing you special offers and amuse-bouche from the chef; it's a clerk, assisting you and organizing your activities.

<medium>In-app messaging is a hyper-targeted notification strategy. Such messages are sent to users while they're using a mobile or desktop application and contain clear and concise information.<medium>

It allows product owners in collaborating with marketers following business superpowers:

  • engaging users at just the right time
  • acilitating onboarding
  • simplify the process of the user's interaction with the app
  • sharing product updates
  • offering support
  • promoting relevant offers
  • increase app value
  • ...and many more

Despite all these benefits and virtues, in-app messaging receives unequal less attention while it can be a critical factor in the user's decision to stay with your app (or not).

Let's highlight some popular types of in-app messages you can implement in your platform.



In-app messaging campaigns are so effective because of their ability to hyper-target messages based on audience behaviors, attributes, and their place in the customer journey. Just choose the best messaging types that match your audience's lifestyle and preferences.

In-app messaging and puch notifications: big players cases

When and where to use in-app messaging? Here are some examples of how popular apps benefit from creative and clear in-app messaging.

Welcome and thank you users gently: Domino, Harry's, King Arthur Flour


Tooltips for easy app discovering: Ikea, LinkedIn, Airbnb

Your users may be missing out on the feature they need–and the one that would boost engagement with your app. A friendly, informative message is just what they need to discover their new favorite thing about your app. (It's also a great way to promote exciting new features–we'll talk about that, too.)


Tell what's updated and what's added: Instagram, DuoLingo, RunKeeper, Apple Music


Offer subscriptions and free trials: Spotify, Harley Davidson,VSCO


Share reminders, alerts and other important data: United Airlines, Uber, Honda


Tell about relevant discounts and happy hours: Starbucks, Amazon


Gather feedback and improving app ratings: PayPal, Typeform, USA Today



What challenges can app messages help you deal with

Can't keep up with content delivery

content delivery

Both push notifications and in-app messages are designed to deliver relevant and important information timely. This applies in particular to messages that inform users about some emergencies/breaking news or, relative to eCommerce, about last-minute deals or discounts.

Timely updates and urgent news on the wings of push messaging are must-have things for your product. Keep things fresh.


Targeting the wrong audience

targeting wrong audience

Marketers don't call push notifications & audience segmentation a 'super combo' for nothing. Strategic push notifications campaigns can be designed to appeal to customers at each stage of their buyer journey for encouraging actions.

<medium>Relevant push notifications can capture consumers at the right moment with the right message.<medium>

By segmenting consumers into groups based on their on-site actions, like viewing a particular product, watching a video, reading a blog post subscribers to a newsletter advertisers can better connect consumers' relevant brand interactions and activity with the advertisers' push strategies.

It's not a new strategy, but full-funnel marketing can be enhanced by utilizing push notifications to share content in fresh ways, driving consumers toward conversion.


She's gone: customer adds items to the basket and... exits

checkout button

In eCommerce, it's called 'abandonment'. This term describes a visitor who leaves that page before completing the desired action. For example, users who add items to the shopping cart, and exit without completing the purchase.

And here is push notification arsenal comes into the game to combat cart abandonment. <medium>You can engage your lost visitors and drive them back to your app/website with personalized notifications they will love.<medium> Just remind them quietly and unobtrusively.


Lack of dialogue: users feel lonely

user-oriented messages

When people land up on your app or website, they are there for a purpose to interact with your brand. And the lack of dialogue is what kills the user experience. Have you already guessed what is the key tool to engage with your customer on a one-on-one level? Yes, yes, push notifications and in-app messages again.

In-app messaging is a great tool to provide valuable tips and remind users why they should continue using your app or opt-in to certain features.

<medium>Holiday cards, automatically picked up individual tips & offers<medium> — various personalized user-oriented messages can win users' hearts.



You have good content but you don't now how to showcase it efficiently

content marketing

Infrequently updated content is a real failure. But what if you keep with time and permanently update your source but your content doesn't engage users? That's where push notifications and in-app messages will come in handy.

The content has to be dynamic and the content strategy should target a specific audience and communicate in a way that is relevant to them. Be concise and intriguing — brief push notifications and in-app messages will be perfect tools to makes an effect.


Summing it all up

Push notifications and in-app messages are not just a way to increase traffic. It's a <medium>channel to build your relationship with the customer.<medium> Such a trusted and tactful relationship, which is closer to the friendship idea.

The best solution is to combine this duo in the proper and wise way. Well-built app messaging campaign results in:

  • value for users
  • convertible consumers actions for the product owner

Remember, that your app's notifications make users check out their phones constantly. It means you take their resources: attention and time. So make it worth it, valuable, and unique.

Are you looking for new ways to expand your audience reach? Is it time to enhance your app with joyful UX features? We are ready to make your ideas happen. Just choose among the workable solutions we are offering.

Click here to learn more about Freshcode, our tech stack & the services we've provided to helps our partners' ideas happen. You can contact us on Linkedin or fill the contact form and one of our representatives will contact you within one business day.


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