Email vs. In-App

Over the past few decades, emailing users has been a tried and true method of communication. Studies have found that compared to other traditional methods of advertising (such as telemarketing, direct mail, and online ads), email has had the highest ROI. It turns out that the vast majority of consumers even prefer to communicate over email as opposed to other methods, such as in-person, telephone, and text message. But is this classic form of communication, well classic in a time period that is rapidly evolving, always the most effective?

The truth is communication is most effective when it is sent to the right person at the right time. While email may be the most common form of user communication, the most effective marketers use a multichannel approach to engage customers at critical moments in the customer’s journey. However, today, there is a big void in the way we communicate with users of our SaaS applications. Traditionally, all of our communication is done outside the platform itself via emails and phone calls.

Think about that for a moment. The best marketers / communicators in the world are adept at “talking” to the customer at the exact moment when the customer is ready and eager to listen and take action. And yet, when we want to drive user adoption of a new feature or reduce user confusion, most companies do this in email or web forms when the user isn’t even interacting with the application.

In-app interactions allow firms to communicate directly with users inside of their web and mobile applications. This new way of engaging customers can help drive behavior within applications. Instead of emailing customers about a new feature, companies can not only alert users about new features, but demonstrate how to use them when the user is actually working within the SaaS app. These in-app interactions can also be useful when users require more guidance inside an application. In fact, some of the leading global technology companies, such as Google and Facebook, are beginning to use in-app interactions to shape user behavior because of how effective it is. You can check out our previous blog post here to see some examples from Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Bottom line, sending the right message to the right user at the right time is the key to driving behavior and adoption. And while email is a great and convenient tool, it’s not always the most effective. In-app interactions allow companies to drive behavior at critical moments, allowing for increased effectiveness of communication with users.

What do you think? How are you using in-app interactions? What examples in the market have you seen?