Push Notifications Vs In-App Messaging

Posted on March 28/03/18

Are you planning to implement push notifications or in-app notifications in your mobile app marketing strategy? Wouldn’t be great if you know the difference between Push Notification and In-app messaging before implementing in your mobile app strategy.

In this post, we will take you through the basic differences between Push notifications vs In-app notifications

Push Notifications vs In-App Messaging

Push notifications are the type of message sent from an application to device, commonly used by mobile apps to deliver targeted messages to users. These notifications appears as alert-like messages on a user’s device when they are not using the app.

Where as on the other hand, In-app messaging broadcast messages to users when they are using the app, directly within app itself. To break it down further, In-app notifications looks like a small pop-up window that can appear at top, middle, or bottom of the screen.


When used rightly, Push Notifications are great way of staying connected with your audience through all stages of customer journey. Push notifications have click-through-rates as high as 40% because app users have high chance of responding to push notifications as it can be noticed even though the app is not been launched. Since push notifications are fast and interactive, you can engage with your audience to take actions on the move.

When it comes to in app messaging these are sent to a captive audience, so there’s better chance of impacting customers with the message. These messages typically have high interactions rates, because users are guaranteed to receive notifications leading to 8X higher response rate than push notifications.

In-app messaging allows your app people to move from just a normal app users to active customers through highly engaged and customized alerts. Therefore, it reduces the probability of app users uninstalling the app, which is the good sign for app monetization. Unlike push notifications, In-app messaging have options for using rich content and other options, to better aid the marketers in app promotions.


Mobile app push notifications are reported to garner about 4 times greater engagement and 2 times greater retention but can only be sent to users who have opted in. What? Yes you heard it right, You cannot send push notifications to users if they haven’t opted for it, thus making the brands to fail to reach the entire app audience.

Push notifications can feel invasive and spammy if it’s not implemented correctly because push notification brings user’s attention from anywhere to the phone. If it is not personalized and providing any value, it could ruin the trust of users on the brand or application.

As the name implies, In-app messages demands users to be on your app already to see and interact with it, thus making in-app messaging to have a smaller audience space than channels like emails and SMS. In-app messaging might be a good option to improve user engagement, however, series of unplanned and unwanted messages can annoy app users and might end up in losing customer base.

Wrap Up

Both push notifications and in-app messaging are the next waves of communication for businesses and brands to engage with users. A recent study says that about 4.47 billion people worldwide owned a smartphone by 2017, which means businesses must embrace mobile marketing methods to ensure a continued connection between brands and consumers.

About the author


Kumaresaan is based out in India, and he loves blogging, traveling and doing cool kinds of stuff in data understanding and visualization.

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