A Marketer’s Guide to Mobile Communication Channels: Exploring Push, In-App & Mobile App Inbox


With the increasing dominance of mobile usage, it is essential for marketers to step up their mobile marketing game. Stay ahead of the curve by implementing innovative mobile marketing strategies to capture the attention of mobile users. According to this Statista report, there will be nearly 7.5 billion mobile users in the world by 2025

This implies that there is still a lot of scope and untapped potential that you, as a marketer, can leverage to reach your audience at the right time and the right place – the right place being the users’ mobile phones! To achieve this, it is crucial to prioritize mobile-first experiences while understanding the various channels that can help you uplift your mobile marketing strategy. In this blog, we will explore 3 mobile channels that you can use to communicate with your users and drive better engagement.


Push Notifications

Push notifications are pop-up messages sent to a user’s device even when they are not actively using the app. Push notifications are displayed in the ‘notification tray’ of a mobile device and usually viewed on a user’s mobile home screen. They are received even by users who haven’t recently engaged with the app, as long as the users are opted-in. These notifications never get labelled as spam or get missed in your customer’s inbox. They can be used to re-engage dormant users, announce special offers or product updates, deliver personalized recommendations, or remind users about abandoned carts, offers or relevant news items, and encourage users to take desired actions. 

Push notifications are effective for reaching a large audience and driving app-opens. Additionally, to receive push notifications, users don’t need to be logged into the app. Thus, it is an excellent way to re-engage with disengaged users. Depending upon the context, messages can be customized to make them more effective. You can also use plain text, icons, images, GIFs etc. to personalize for various demographics and psychographics and drive better engagement. The image below is an example of 2 different types of push notifications.


Push notifications are a great way to: 

  • Easily reach customers and capture their attention, rather than getting lost in their inbox
  • Drive app usage
  • Notify users about important information and real-time updates such as abandoned cart reminders, back-in-stock alerts, order updates, and more
  • Alert users to new releases
  • Prompt users to take action or complete transactions. 

Pro Tip: Try not to be too “pushy” – Avoid sending too many push notifications in a short span of time. As these notifications are directly sent to the user’s phone screen, this might frustrate the customer and adversely affect the brand.


In-App Messaging

In-app messaging involves displaying messages within the app’s user interface. As the name suggests, these are messages that users receive while they are actively using your mobile app.  In-App messages can be used to provide onboarding tips, highlight new content or features, offer personalized recommendations, or gather user feedback. In-app messaging is particularly useful for delivering interactive and visually appealing messages. 


In-app messages provide useful information to enhance the users’ in-app experience. This includes:

  • Encouraging product discovery to deepen engagement within the app
  • Prompting users to convert with limited-time offers
  • Sharing announcements
  • Surfacing personalized product or content recommendations

Pro Tip: User experience is key! While building your in-app messaging strategy, think about engaging the user so they stay within the app and do not leave.


Mobile App Inbox

Mobile app inbox messages refer to the messages or notifications that are received and stored within a mobile application. These messages are controlled by you and typically sent by the app and are displayed in the app’s inbox or message center. Inbox messages serve as a communication channel between the app and its users, allowing for important updates, notifications, or personal interactions.

The advantage of mobile inbox messages is that the users can go back to these messages at a later time as they are saved in the inbox. Messages delivered to a customer’s mobile inbox reduces friction and interference with their activities within the app. Thus, customers can continue with their tasks (such as placing an order or watching a show) without any interruptions, and they can view notifications at their convenience. This feature can help drive customer engagement, without negatively impacting the user experience.


The purpose of mobile app inbox messages is to enhance user engagement, improve user experience, and provide important information or updates.

Inbox messages can serve various purposes and provide different types of information, depending on the app’s functionality and design. Here are some common examples:

  • Longer form messages 
  • Important updates, events, or new content
  • Coupons and coupon code information (for them to refer back to while making a purchase)
  • Transactional messages such as order updates, payment confirmations, shipping details, or account notifications
  • System alerts to inform users about errors, updates, or maintenance activities. These messages typically appear in the inbox and provide important information or instructions for the user.

Pro Tip: Ensure that the message you are sending via mobile inbox is worth the users’ attention. For best results, the messages need to be relevant, valuable, and respectful of the user’s experience.

Mobile Channels at a Glance

The Major Takeaways

The table below highlights the key aspects of the three mobile communication channels that we discussed above. 


In addition to the elements in the above table, the choice of what channel to opt for while sending mobile communications will largely depend on the type of campaign you are running, the persona you are reaching, and the overarching strategy behind the campaign. To drive greater engagement, you could harness the power of multiple channels in a customer journey to create a seamless, cross-channel experience. Using AI, you can also leverage channel engagement scores to ensure that the right customers are being targeted on the right channel.

While designing these mobile messages, you can also get creative with the formats of messages to make them more personalized according to the context and the preferences of the recipients. To facilitate this seamlessly, Blueshift provides an in-house creative studio that lets you easily design mobile messaging templates, experiment with various content types, and test messages across devices. 

Learn more about the Blueshift platform and check out our smart guides here