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Last update: June 2020

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What Is App Inbox?

The beauty of push notifications when it comes to mobile engagement is their versatility. They’re fast, customizable, real-time, and once the user engages with them, they disappear forever. However, every now and then you may wish to send a push notification that doesn’t vanish right away. Whether it’s an evergreen notification, or information your user may gain value from in the long-term. For these cases, the app inbox is there to store notifications for weeks, months or even longer.

app inbox

What Is App Inbox?

Exactly what it sounds like, app inbox is a page within your app where you can store messages. Those can be both push notifications as well as in-app messages, making the app inbox an ideal focal point for a multi-channel engagement strategy. It’s essentially like an email inbox for your app, that your user can navigate through and go back to persistent messages again and again.

When might this come in handy? Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Evergreen Content

No matter what kind of app or mobile game you have, at some point you will send your users content that they will want to keep as a reference. App inbox can act as an archive for these important messages. For example, you could send your user a copy of the terms and conditions for your app – something most people agree to without reading, but may wish to return to in the future.

For mobile games, app inbox can be a good place to store the backstory of your game, or a player’s character stats, or a technique manuals for different moves in the game.

Sales and Discount Codes

Push notifications and eCommerce go hand in hand. However, a push notification’s method of selling is very much surprising the app user and hoping they can push them into making a spontaneous purchase. It works great for limited-time promotions and flash sales. However, if a user isn’t paying attention at the exact moment the notification arrives, they might miss it.

With app inbox, you can take a more slow and steady approach. You can send users coupons that last for a few weeks, allowing them to make up their mind about what they want to buy. They can keep track of ongoing promotions and sales inside the app, and come back to the sale multiple times.

Promote New Content or Categories

This is an especially valuable function for streaming apps. And while this is also in the realm of push notifications, app inbox can be a storage space for suggestions for new content your user might enjoy. Use it to keep different playlists of music curated for your user, based on their previous streaming data. Or suggest upcoming series or podcasts that they might be interested in, based on their preferred subjects and listening history.

This content can be customized as offers expire and new ones come up. For example, if you’re a travel app, you can arrange your inbox like a travel brochure of possible destinations your user might want to visit, with different ticket prices as sales arise. Or you could arrange content on a renewing basis, so that your app inbox is formatted like a newsfeed.

Benefits of App Inbox

App inbox has all the pluses of push notifications – it can be personalized according to users’ interests and actions on their device. However, it also differs in a few marked ways. Messages deliver to the app inbox silently, without alerting the user or distracting them from what they are doing. This is similar to iOS 12’s provisional notifications. Users can explore your messages here at their own leisure. This can be beneficial for those who prefer a softer, less urgent mode of marketing.

Adding into this is the fact that app inbox is permissionless. Users don’t need to opt-in to receive messages to app inbox, and it occurs without distracting them.

What’s more, there is more leeway to be creative with app inbox. You don’t have the character-length constraints that exist with push or in-app messages. You can use a full-screen design, and use rich content and videos to a greater extent than you can with regular notifications. This lets you blur the line between mobile marketing and the actual app experience, and engage users in a different way.

A Complement to Push Notifications

App inbox is no replacement for push notifications. Rather, the two can be used to complement each other in an effective combination of quick, in-your-face mobile marketing and a more laid-back, at-your-own speed style.

OpenBack’s App Inbox feature is a great way to keep all your messages in one place. We provide a simple API that makes it easy to integrate and access, and all messages can be changed or removed by developers.

Get in touch with one of our experts to learn more about how app inbox can help optimize your multichannel mobile engagement campaign.

Read more about OpenBack’s unique take on mobile engagement: OpenBack Provides Dynamic Notifications for Superior Mobile Engagement

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