In-app messages are custom messages that appear while a mobile app is in the foreground. Unlike push notifications, they do not appear when the app is in the background or closed.
In-app messages can:
- Be created with raw HTML or a template editor.
- Contain buttons for closing the message or navigating to specific content.
- Be sent as part of blast, triggered, or journey-based campaigns.
- Be displayed in any order, or prevented from displaying at all.
- Contain metadata that the associated mobile app can inspect.
- Point to new content or functionality in your app, promotions, and other important information.
Iterable can also send in-browser messages, which are in-app messages that target a website. To learn more, read Introduction to In-Browser Messaging.
In this article
How an app receives in-app messages
Iterable in-app works by sending a silent push to your app to notify the client side that there is an in-app message in the queue, ready for our user to view.
Example in-app journey
- A marketer sets up an Iterable in-app message in the Iterable dashboard.
- The Iterable system sends a silent push notification to the mobile app.
- The mobile app receives the silent push and pulls down (does a GET request) the most recent in-app messages.
- Remote messages on the server are added to the local storage for increase performance and speed.
- The user is presented the in-app messages with little workload on client-side performance.
A custom payload enables developers to include:
- Prioritization around which in-app messages to show first
- Determine which view should present the in-app message
- Apply additional personalization with Handlebars
Want to learn more?
For more information about some of the topics in this article, check out these resources. Iterable Academy is open to everyone — you don't need to be an Iterable customer!
- In-App Messages and Mobile Inbox
- Sending In-App Messages
- Events for In-App Messages and Mobile Inbox
- Iterable's iOS SDK
- Iterable's Android SDK
- In-App Messages on iOS
- In-App Messages on Android
- Setting up Mobile Inbox on iOS
- Setting up Mobile Inbox on Android
- Customizing Mobile Inbox on iOS
- Customizing Mobile Inbox on Android
- Animating In-App Messages with CSS
- Image Carousels in In-App Messages
- Testing and Troubleshooting In-App Messages
- In-App Messages Without the SDK
- API Overview and Sample Payloads
- API Overview