Last modified November 22, 2014 by Gordon Glauser

Creating In-App Messages

The in-app message workflow enables you to create, customize, preview and test in-app messages.

There are five sets of steps involved in creating an in-app message:

  1. Select a message template.
  2. Add your message content.
  3. Define the target audience for your message and set the message trigger rules.
  4. Select custom goals to report the engagement or conversion of users following exposure to the message.
  5. QA test your in-app message (optional) and, finally, schedule or launch your message.
To enable in-app message creation in Swrve, you and your development team must first complete the required prerequisites. For more information, see Intro to In-App Messages.

If you’d like to read some hints and tips before creating your in-app messages, see In-App Messaging Best Practices.


Select Message Template

To access the campaign workflow and select your message template:

Step 1: On the Campaigns menu, click In-App Messages.

Step 2: On the In-App Messages screen, click Create In-App Message.

Create In-App Message

Step 3: On the Overview screen, enter a Name and Description for the message.

Step 4: Select the message template orientation. The options are LandscapePortrait or Both.

Step 5: Select a message template. The default templates are:

  • No Buttons – enables you to configure a single background image and its associated action (for example, dismiss, deeplink).
  • One Button – enables you to configure a background image, a single on-screen button and the associated actions for both.
  • Two Buttons – enables you to configure a background image, two on-screen buttons and the associated actions for each.

Step 6: Click Next: Add Content to proceed.

By default, Swrve supplies the three templates above, which use safe zones to ensure a single piece of artwork can be used for messages on all devices, irrespective of the size or aspect ratio of the device (for example, both tablets and phones). Swrve automatically resizes each image for all devices.

If you are interested in displaying different artwork on tablets versus phones (for example, iPad versus iPhone), then please contact your account manager who will update your profile with additional templates for targeting specific devices.

In both instances, you must design your images according to the guidelines described in In-App Messaging Best Practices.


Add Content

The sections that display on the Add Content screen depend on the template you selected on the Overview screen.

Step 1: Select the background and button images for your message (for information about image guidelines, including sample images you can download for reference, see In-App Messaging Best Practices):

  • Drag the image you want to use into the palette or click select a file to select and upload the image.
  • Optionally, move the position of the uploaded button or background image by either manually moving the image in the device preview or by clicking Edit Position and entering the number of pixels by which you want to move the image. For example, if you enter 5 into the X field and 10 into the Y field, the image moves 5 pixels to the right and 10 pixels down. Click Accept to confirm the position change.

Step 2: Select a button action from the Action list. No action is selected by default, however Swrve recommends that you always select an action, even if that action is Dismiss. The available actions are:

  • Install – enables the user to install another app from your app portfolio as part of a cross-promotional message. Select the promoted app from the drop-down list and, if required, click Test app store to test that the link to each store works. To create cross-promotional messages, you must first have configured app store links. For more information, see Intro to In-App Messages.
  • Dismiss – enables the user to dismiss the message.
  • Deep Link – directs the user to a particular custom location; for example, you might configure a button to direct the app user straight to your app store. Coordinate with your development team to determine the exact deeplink URL to enter in the custom action field to the right of the Action list.

A preview of the message content is displayed in the section below. You can select the orientation and device that you want to preview and you can also use the Show safe zone check box to specify whether or not you want the preview to highlight the image safe zone (the portion of the image that is always displayed after automatic resizing, regardless of the platform device). For more information about safe zones, see In-App Messaging Best Practices.

Note: To A/B test the contents of your message for best conversions (for example, background image, button text), click A/B test this message. For more information, see A/B Testing In-App Messages.

Step 3: Click Next: Set Targeting to proceed.


Set Targeting and Display Triggers

By default, the message is targeted at all users. On the Set Target screen, you can add additional constraints to your target audience and specify when the message is displayed.

To set the target audience and message trigger rules:

Step 1: Under the Define Target Audience section of the screen, depending on your comfort level with AND/OR logic, select the mode (Simple or Advanced) and primary operator you want to use to filter your audience. For more information about Simple and Advanced mode, see About Audience Filters.

Step 2: Click Add Filter and select the type of data on which you want to base your filter. For detailed information on the data types and filter descriptions, see About Audience Filters.

Step 3: Create your filter using the filter type, operator and value fields provided. Note that Swrve provides an OR condition to enable you to associate multiple values with the same operator. For example, if you selected the DEMOGRAPHIC data type, you could target users who are Norwegian or Finnish speakers by making the following selections from the filter type, operator and value drop-down lists: Language, is Norwegian OR Finnish.

Step 4: Click Add to save the filter definition.

Step 5: In the Set Display Triggers section, select the app events that trigger your message:

  • Include this message in the Message Center – select this check box if your app has an inbox-type feature and you want the message to be triggered from the message center.
    Note: This feature is currently only available as part of our Early Access program and requires use of the Swrve Message Centre API (see the Swrve Message Center API Guide for more information). If you would like to use it, please contact your Customer Success Manager at support@swrve.com.
  • When the user launches the app – select this check box if you want the in-app message to be displayed when targeted users start a new app session.
  • When the user triggers the event(s) – select this check box if you want the in-app message to be displayed when targeted users trigger specific events. Swrve provides an auto-complete feature; enter the event name in the search box and then select the event from the displayed list. For examples of triggers to use in in-app messages, see In-App Messaging Best Practices.
    • Optional: After you select an event, you can add further conditions to the trigger if the event includes payload values. To include payload conditions, hover your mouse over the event and click Add condition. In the Enter payload parameter box, enter the payload key as configured in your app, and then enter the payload value. You can include additional conditions as needed, edit existing conditions, or remove a condition. Multiple trigger conditions are based on an AND operator; it is not possible to include an OR operator at this time.

Step 6 (Optional): To define message-level message display rules, click Message display rules, select the check boxes of the rules that you want to apply, and then complete the selected rule statements, as required. You can define the following:

  • The number of seconds of app usage that must have elapsed before a message can be displayed. Note that this rule does not display if you selected the Session Start check box in the previous step.
  • The maximum number of times that the message is displayed to a user in all app sessions.
  • The number of seconds after message dismissal that must elapse before a new message is displayed.
  • Priority of the campaign over others with the same triggers. A lower number means higher priority over other campaigns.

You can also configure message display rules at app level on the In-App Settings screen. If you have configured both app-level and message-level rules, the most restrictive of the two is applied. For more information about configuring message display rules at app level, see Intro to In-App Messages.


Select Campaign Goals

To select custom reporting goals:

Step 1: While still on the Set Target screen of the workflow, in the Select Campaign Goals section, select the Primary Goal for your campaign. This is the initial event or purchase you want users to make after being exposed to the message.

  • Event – use to track engagement with a specific feature you are promoting in your message. Select an event from the drop-down list.
  • In-App Purchase (using real currency) – use to track in-app purchases of promotional items featured in your message. Select of any item or of a specific item, and if required, select the specific item from the drop-down list.
  • Purchase (using virtual currency) – use to track virtual currency purchases of promotional items featured in your message. Select of any item or of a specific item, and if required, select the specific item from the drop-down list.

Step 2: If required, select the Secondary Goal for your campaign. This might be an event or purchase you want users to make further downstream. For example, the primary goal of the message might be to have users purchase virtual currency for your app and then the secondary goal would be to track users spending the virtual currency.

Step 3: Click Save as Draft: Preview & Test to save your draft message and proceed to the Preview & Test screen of the workflow.

The message status is automatically set to Draft and the message is saved on the In-App Messages screen if you decide to exit the workflow and complete it later on.


Test and Launch

To QA test and launch the in-app message:

Step 1: On the Preview & Test screen, if required, QA test your in-app message before launching it. For more information, see QA Testing In-App Messages.

Step 2: If you are happy with the preview of your in-app message, perform one of the following actions:

  • To launch the message immediately, click Launch as soon as possible.
  • To define the message activation period:
    • In the Schedule launch section, specify the Start date/time of the message activation period.
    • If required, specify the End date/time of the message activation period. If you do not specify an end date/time, the in-app message activation period is open-ended (ongoing) by default.
    • Click Launch on <scheduled date>.

If you launch the message (without scheduling), its status is set to Active. If you schedule the message to be deliverable from a particular date/time, its status is set to Scheduled until this time is reached.

The in-app message now displays on the In-app Messages screen.

To create a copy of the message, on the individual in-app message summary, click Duplicate this campaign. You can edit and launch the copy according to your needs.


Next Steps

  • QA test your message. For more information, see QA Testing In-App Messages.
  • Run A/B tests of in-app messages. For more information, see A/B Testing In-App Messages.
  • View the message and its KPI data on the individual message screen. For more information, see Managing In-App Messages.
  • Change the status of your message using the buttons on the individual message screen. For example, you can edit, launch, pause or finish a message depending on its current status. For more information, see Managing In-App Messages.