When it comes to in-app marketing on desktop and mobile, customer acquisition is only part of the equation. In addition to encouraging adoption of your product or service, you need to find a way to keep your audiences engaged, educated and coming back.

With digital channels being a staple in consumers’ lives, in-app messaging provides a direct way to build critical relationships, establish a sense of trust, and improve customer success. Understanding this trend, many marketers are crafting strategies to encourage re-engagement, identify upsell opportunities, and communicate with customers on a 1:1 level. The challenge? Many of these approaches are missing the mark entirely due to messaging techniques that are too general and/or irrelevant.

Here are some tips that can help consumer-facing finance brands outsmart this learning curve and develop a high-performing in-app messaging strategy.

1. Be empathetic to information overload

When you’re at work, your company is the center of your universe. Your site and app users? Not so much. Just put yourself in their shoes: at any given time, especially when you’re using your cell phone, there are a million different things that you can be doing.

One of the most basic yet high-impact steps that you can take with your in-app messaging strategy is to ‘trim the fat’ and only deliver messages that are relevant and helpful to your target audience. Make sure to do the following:

Figure out your audience’s pain points and most critical moments of need

Develop messages that meet those needs

Bucket each pain point and need by persona and/or user type

Using technology, you can create the perfect timing of events: the right messages delivered to the right audiences at exactly the right time. This approach will help ensure that your messages are seen, add value and are contextually relevant.

As an example, take a look at Bank of America’s mobile site. When customers log in, they’re prompted with a message to download the app—a value proposition that is straightforward and helpful. The ‘download’ prompt appears when users are thinking “hmm, I wonder if there’s a more efficient way to do this” or “I wonder if a mobile app is available.”

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Increase engagement with your brand by being a mind reader — providing helpful tips when needed.

2. Create targeted, tailored offers and promotions

One of the biggest challenges that consumer-facing finance companies face is targeting. From phone upsells to direct mail campaigns, there’s significant inefficiency in campaign planning. Why? Consumers are bombarded with information and don’t have the mental bandwidth to sift through (or listen to) irrelevant promotions. In-app messaging can help break through the noise. By collecting psychographic data about your audience, you can better tailor your offers and promotions. No more spammy pop-ups or unwelcome junk mail.

For inspiration, take a look at financial services company Synchrony, which targets its ads by geography.

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Using historical data, the company can create audience profiles and ensure that the right promotions are reaching people who will be interested. No more advertising homeowners’ insurance to non-homeowners.

3. Reach audiences in real time

You have a split second to capture your audience’s attention, and there’s no better time than when they explicitly express interest in learning more about your company.

Instead of waiting to respond, react immediately with real-time, in-the-moment messaging. Respond to a request for help, share a relevant promotion about a credit card or account feature, or offer up a helpful piece of content from your blog. Be fast to avoid suffering from lag: there are countless other financial services companies with competing services.

In-app messaging will ensure that your offers aren’t missed and that you’re the first to respond to a need—because you’re predicting it ahead of time. It’s the ultimate form of empathy and a strong sign to your audience that you care about their needs.

And while we have your attention, we want to leave you with a message...please check out our in-depth guide on in-app messaging strategies!