5 Real-Life App Messages We Received And Why They're Effective


If someone asked you what one of the key focus areas for mobile marketers in 2016 is, odds are you’d say, “effective engagement”. While effective communication comes from highly personalized campaigns driven by user insights, there is also a tactical component that comes into play. After all, driving engagement is not just what you say, but how you say it.

That’s why we’re breaking down real-life examples of apps that nailed effective engagement with us over the past month. Check out the below examples of some best in class app messages the Localytics team received this month:

1. The Emojified Push Message


It goes without saying that emojis are so hot right now, and mobile apps have the unique ability to use the emoji craze to their advantage. With emojis most prominently used on mobile devices, mobile marketers should use emojis to add some character to their app messages and boost their human appeal. Of course, emoticons are not appropriate for all app audiences, so be to sure to run A/B tests to validate their use.

BuzzFeed sent me the above push message just last week, undoubtedly persuading me to swipe through. Great job, Buzzfeed. Ten points for Gryffindor.

2. The Tell it Like it is “Something Went Wrong” Message



Look, sometimes stuff happens. As with all technology, from time to time you’re bound to experience a hiccup or two. So why not be honest about it?

We know from research that app users are extremely fickle and expect a seamless user experience. Being honest when something goes wrong within your app is a great way to not only gain forgiveness from users, but also their trust. Notifying them when something goes wrong reassures them that you know about the problem and will work to address it. In addition, being open and transparent about app issues reminds users that there’s a human behind the code, capable of mishaps and mistakes just like anyone else.

Stitch Fix is spot on with the above app message I recently received from them. Not only did Stitch Fix apologize, but it also provided me with direction on what to do to resolve the glitch. Through addressing this rare hiccup head on, my appreciation for Stitch Fix and the service they provide grew stronger. After all, everyone can appreciate a straight shooter, including if that straight shooter’s an app.

3. The, “Please Rate Us Well” Appeal

espn2.pngOh, app ratings. The Mount Everest of app marketers everywhere. And knowing this, you’d think the app rating requests would be much more of a focus area in terms of presentation and copy-text. Unfortunately, generic app rating requests are still the norm, but there are a few apps leading the cause to change this.

The above example from our friends at ESPN is a best-in-class example of an app nailing the app rating request. For starters, it’s branded to match the look and feel of the ESPN app, which lets the message fit more seamlessly into the user experience rather than appearing as a spammy interruption. Secondly, the rater’s slider design coupled with the humorous copy-text makes it easy for users to take the next step. And most importantly? This branded rater grants ESPN the ability to separate detractors from promoters through the use of an NPS-style survey.

Users who give a “not great” rating can provide feedback directly to ESPN while users who rate “awesome” are directed to rate in the app store. This allows ESPN to gather feedback and resolve issues internally without it impacting their public rating.

4. The Humble Brag Feature Update

waze2.pngYou work extremely hard to develop and maintain an awesome app - when you launch a new app feature that showcases this awesomeness, don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops! Users love hearing that you’re actively improving your app to give them the best experience possible, so keeping them in the know about your app’s latest and greatest features will only boost engagement and retention.

Last month, Waze launched their, “Planned Drive Time” feature which tells users exactly when to leave in order to make it to their destination on time, taking into consideration real-time traffic. For anyone familiar with Boston traffic, I can’t begin to stress how helpful this feature is. Upon opening the app post-launch, below was the app message I immediately received, giving me the low down as well as a CTA to begin using this awesome feature:

5. The “Thanks for Sticking by Us” Reward


In an increasingly competitive world, marketers know all too well the significance of promoting brand loyalty. For retail brands, having an app is the perfect way to earn a user’s adoration. Millennials aren’t keen on physical loyalty cards, but are willing to download and use your app. This is precisely why your app should serve as the modern day loyalty card. In addition to providing a great experience, retail apps should reward users who regularly convert.

Starbucks does so many things right with their app, including their rewards. Take this birthday treat my husband recently received around his birthday last month. Not only does it tell him, “hey, we know who you are” through a timely reward close to his birthday, but also, “we appreciate your business so here’s something on us”.


Your Great App Engagement Examples

 There you have it. Five real-life examples of app messaging done right, proving that effective communication is possible in the mobile space. What other recent app message examples have you come across in your day-to-day? Comment below to add to the conversation.


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