Mobile App Marketing How-To Series: Welcoming New Users

Our research shows that 70% of users abandon an app within 30 days of app install. The good news? That statistic can be cut in half when users opt-in to push notifications and can be messaged.

An onboarding campaign or welcome message is a vital tool in your toolbox to increase retention and long-term user engagement. It also helps apps make a great first impression.

An app welcome message can:

  • Educate users on what they will get by using your app

  • Illustrate easy steps to get started using the app

  • Explain why they should opt-in to push notifications and location sharing

  • Gather user preferences

  • Provide a welcome offer

Getting Started

Urban Airship Engage makes getting started very easy by making the “first open” event automatically accessible as an automation trigger. You can find the “first open” event in the automation drop-down in the new Engage Message Composer.

Implementation Examples

Below is an example of the welcome message that Redbox uses to greet new users with upon the first app open, including a code for a free rental.

Here’s another example of a welcome message that Flipkart implemented to onboard users to their app. Note that they not only welcome users with a friendly greeting, but also give them some directive advice by asking them to login (which benefits both the user and the brand).

Tried a welcome message and want to take automation a step further? You can then follow an initial welcome message with a subsequent message based on whether your user interacted with the initial message by using “tags” as an automation trigger. Don't send this if the user has a tag set indicating they have already logged in. Using rules-based automation you can orchestrate a sequence of messages based on whether the user has or hasn’t interacted with a previous message.

Mobile App Marketing Best Practices

  • Trigger your welcome message within 24 hours of “first open”

  • Send an automated follow-up to your welcome message that highlights another feature or benefit a few days later. This approach is similar to an email drip campaign.

  • Add a call to action: this will help users know what to do next, and let you track user engagement

  • Consider a seasonal welcome message around the holidays, such as, “Thanks for downloading! We're offering tons of deals this holiday season. Personalize your notifications to find out more.”

Technical Requirements

“First open” triggers are supported on iOS, Android and ADM devices, and works out of the box with SDK version 4.0+ for iOS and SDK version 5.0+ for Android/Amazon.

Mobile Marketing Strategy: Your Next Steps

Want to implement a welcome message for your app, or further your mobile marketing strategy with Urban Airship Engage? Read our docs on how to trigger a welcome message using our Composer, or get started for free today.