Inapp Inbox Notifications

What is In-App Notifications, App Inboxes - The Only Guide You'll Need To Understand SAAS Inapp Notification Solutions

Anjali Arya
January 26, 2024
Unlock the power of In-App Notifications and App Inboxes with this comprehensive guide, demystifying SAAS In-App Notification Solutions.

In the Software as a Service (SaaS) world, fostering user engagement is pivotal for success. This extensive guide navigates the nuanced world of in-app notifications, providing a comprehensive exploration of their types, benefits, classifications, and best practices to create an immersive and compelling user experience.

Understanding In-App Notifications

In-app notifications serve as vital communication conduits within the user interface of SaaS platforms. This section delves into their critical role, unraveling their primary purpose of keeping users informed about relevant events, thereby enhancing overall user experience and stimulating prolonged interaction.

Benefits of In-App Notifications

In-app notifications extend beyond mere information dissemination, offering a plethora of advantages. As catalysts for increased user engagement, they act as reminders, motivating users to explore new features and spend more time within the SaaS environment. Additionally, these notifications drive conversions, nudging users towards premium plans or upgraded features. They also serve as indispensable guides, reducing cognitive friction and providing step-by-step instructions for users to navigate seamlessly.

Classification of In-App Notification Types in SaaS

The expansive SaaS realm witnesses a classification of in-app notifications based on channels, attention levels, and triggering methods.

Channels: Internal and External Notifications

Internal notifications, or in-app messages, are messages delivered within the product. External notifications, often referred to as "push notifications," are short messages sent to users even when they are not actively using the app.

Attention Levels: Urgency and Importance

Notifications can be categorized based on attention levels, ranging from low to high urgency. These include alerts, errors, confirmations, announcements, warnings, success messages, and status indicators.

Triggering Methods: User, System, and Event-Triggered

Notifications can be user-triggered, system-triggered, or event-triggered based on specific conditions or events, adding context to their relevance.

In-App Notification Types

Within the realm of in-app notifications, various types serve distinct purposes.

Modals: Prominence and Intrusiveness

Modals are large, rectangular UI elements that demand immediate attention. They are effective for critical messages requiring instant user action.


Modals, characterized by their prominent and intrusive nature, are large UI elements that overlay on the content, demanding the user's immediate attention. They are most effective for delivering critical messages that necessitate instant user action. It is essential to use modals judiciously, reserving them for situations where the message's urgency requires overriding the user's current workflow.

Slideouts: Less Disruptive Alternatives

Slideouts are in-app UI patterns that slide in from the side, offering a less intrusive way to convey information. They are suitable for less urgent communications such as beta test invitations or upsell prompts.


Unlike modals, slideouts provide a less disruptive alternative. These in-app UI patterns elegantly slide in from the side of the product's display window, offering a space-efficient way to convey information. Ideal for situations where the urgency is moderate, slideouts are effective for delivering messages such as beta test invitations or prompts for upsell opportunities.

Tooltips: Contextual Guidance

Tooltips are text boxes that appear when the user hovers over an element, providing contextual help with minimal disruption. They are particularly useful during onboarding.


ToolTips, serving as subtle guides, are text boxes that gracefully appear when users hover over specific elements. Designed for minimal disruption, they offer contextual help during the user's journey, especially beneficial during the onboarding process. Tooltips use a small screen real estate, making them an ideal choice for delivering concise yet informative guidance without interrupting the overall user experience.

Hotspots: Subtle Attention Guides

Hotspots are non-intrusive flashing circles that draw attention to specific UI elements, serving to announce minor updates and UI changes.


Hotspots, characterized by their non-intrusive nature, are flashing circles strategically placed to draw the user's attention to specific UI elements. While not as attention-demanding as modals, hotspots effectively serve to announce minor updates or changes in the user interface. Users can click on these hotspots to access additional information about a particular UI element, enhancing their overall engagement.

Checklists: Step-by-Step Instructions

Checklists combine in-app messages with to-do lists, guiding users through step-by-step instructions. They are instrumental during onboarding and for driving engagement with advanced features.


Checklists offer a structured approach by combining in-app messages with to-do lists, providing users with step-by-step instructions. Particularly valuable during onboarding, checklists streamline the user's path to activation, reducing the time to value. Moreover, they play a crucial role in driving engagement with advanced features during secondary onboarding, ensuring users explore the full spectrum of a product's capabilities.

Notification Banners: Concise Information Bars

Notification banners are small bars that appear on top of the site, suitable for conveying information such as payment reminders, upcoming sales, and system maintenance announcements.


Notification banners, in the form of small bars appearing on top of the site, serve as concise information bars. Ideal for conveying time-sensitive information, they are effective for communicating messages like payment reminders, upcoming sales, discounts, and system maintenance announcements. The unobtrusive nature of notification banners ensures users are informed without disrupting their current activities.

Notification Feeds/ Center: Organized Information Access

Notification feeds/ center provide a centralized space for users to access and read system-generated notifications without cluttering the screen.

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Notification feeds/ center act as organized hubs, offering users a centralized space to access and review system-generated notifications. This design prevents the cluttering of the main screen with persistent notifications, providing a seamless and organized way for users to engage with important updates. Particularly beneficial for users who receive numerous notifications, notification panels ensure consistency and ease of access.

Microsurveys: In-App Feedback Mechanism

Microsurveys are short, in-app forms designed to collect valuable insights from users at different stages of their customer journey.


Microsurveys serve as agile tools for gathering user insights through short, in-app forms. Deployed strategically at various points in the customer journey, microsurveys help collect valuable feedback on product features, user sentiment (Net Promoter Score - NPS), and personalized onboarding paths. The versatility of microsurveys makes them a powerful mechanism for understanding user preferences and optimizing the overall user experience.

Chat Notifications: Personalized Communication

For apps with chatbots or live chat features, chat notifications inform users of available messages or responses, fostering personalized communication.


Chat notifications play a crucial role in fostering personalized communication within apps equipped with chatbots or live chat features. These notifications keep users informed about incoming messages or responses, creating a direct channel for engagement with support teams. The personalized nature of chat notifications significantly impacts user engagement, especially in scenarios where immediate interaction with the support team contributes to enhanced user satisfaction and, ultimately, increased sales.

External Notification Types

Beyond the confines of the app, external notifications play a crucial role.

Web Push Notifications: Cross-Platform Messaging

Web push notifications reach users on desktop or mobile web, keeping them informed even when not actively using the app.


Web push notifications serve as cross-platform communication tools, reaching users on both desktop and mobile web. Operating independently of the app, these notifications keep users informed about relevant events even when they are not actively engaged with the application. Positioned at the top or bottom right of the screen, web push notifications are essential for maintaining user engagement beyond the app's immediate environment.

Mobile App Push Notifications: Personalized Mobile Alerts

Mobile app push notifications, triggered by downloaded apps, deliver personalized messages often in the form of pop-ups, enhancing user engagement.


Mobile app push notifications are personalized alerts triggered by downloaded apps, delivering messages directly to users' mobile devices. Typically appearing as pop-ups, these notifications offer a direct and personalized way to communicate important information. Mobile app push notifications enhance user engagement by providing timely updates, personalized alerts, and encouraging users to re-engage with the app, thereby contributing to a richer user experience.

Email Notifications: Versatile Communication

Email notifications serve as a versatile communication channel, though they come with challenges such as potential delays and visibility issues.


Email notifications present a versatile communication channel, allowing SaaS platforms to reach users via their email inbox. While this channel offers a broad reach and ease of distribution, it comes with challenges such as potential delays in user visibility and the risk of emails getting lost in spam folders. Despite these challenges, email notifications remain an effective means for conveying detailed information, announcements, or updates, especially when immediate user interaction is not imperative.

Notification Severity Levels

Notifications can be classified based on severity into high-attention (urgent), medium attention (requires attention), and low-attention (informative) categories, each corresponding to different urgency levels and attention requirements.

High-Attention Notifications

These urgent notifications alert users to serious problems requiring immediate action, such as security breaches or critical system failures. They are prominently displayed in areas like modals or banners.


High-attention notifications are urgent alerts that demand immediate user action. Typically triggered by serious problems like security breaches or critical system failures, these notifications are prominently displayed in areas such as modals or banners. Their visibility ensures that users address these critical issues promptly, preventing potential risks or disruptions to the user experience.

In scenarios demanding immediate user attention, high-attention notifications play a critical role. These urgent alerts act as red flags, signaling serious problems like security breaches or critical system failures. Displayed prominently in areas such as modals or banners, their visibility ensures users address these issues promptly.

Medium-Attention Notifications

Notifications requiring user attention for potential issues that are not urgent fall under this category. Examples include customer success acknowledgments and confirmation messages.


Medium-attention notifications are alerts that require user attention for potential issues that, while not urgent, merit acknowledgment. Examples include customer success acknowledgments or confirmation messages. In situations where immediate action is not imperative, these notifications effectively convey relevant information, ensuring users are informed about noteworthy events without causing unnecessary urgency.

In situations where prompt user attention is necessary but without the urgency of critical issues, medium-attention notifications come into play. These notifications address potential issues that merit user acknowledgment, such as customer success acknowledgments or confirmation messages. Though not urgent, they ensure users are aware of relevant information.

Low-Attention Notifications

Informative notifications about events or completed tasks that are less urgent and do not demand immediate user action fall under this category.


Low-attention notifications are informative updates or alerts about events or completed tasks that are less urgent and do not demand immediate user action. These notifications contribute to keeping users informed without creating a sense of urgency. Their purpose is to provide relevant information, ensuring a well-rounded user experience without necessitating immediate responses.

For less critical notifications, those conveying informative updates or completed tasks that don't require immediate action, low-attention notifications come into play. These serve to keep users informed without the need for urgent responses, contributing to a well-rounded user experience.

Trigger-Based Notification Types

Notifications can be triggered by users, the system, or specific events in the user journey, enhancing contextual relevance.

8.1 User-Triggered Notifications

Initiated by users, such as mobile messaging, these notifications are created and directed to other users, fostering personalized communication.


User-triggered notifications arise from user-initiated actions, often observed in functionalities like mobile messaging. In these instances, users create notifications directed at other users, facilitating personalized communication within the app. This user-driven mechanism enhances engagement by allowing users to initiate relevant conversations and interactions, fostering a sense of control and personalization.

User-triggered notifications arise from user-initiated actions, often observed in functionalities like mobile messaging. In these instances, users create notifications directed at other users, facilitating personalized communication within the app.

8.2 System-Triggered Notifications

System-generated notifications, such as requests to update the app, are triggered independently of user actions, providing essential information.


System-triggered notifications operate independently of user actions and are generated by the system to convey critical information. An example is a notification prompting users to update the app. These automated messages ensure that users receive essential updates or alerts without relying on specific user interactions, providing timely information and enhancing the overall user experience.

Independent of user actions, system-triggered notifications come into play. These are automated messages generated by the system, such as alerts prompting users to update the app. Their role is to relay critical information without relying on specific user interactions.

8.3 Event-Triggered Notifications

These notifications react to user actions or input, for instance, suggesting features when a user attempts to complete a transaction.

Event-triggered notifications respond to specific user actions or input during their journey within the app. An illustrative example is suggesting additional features when a user attempts to complete a transaction, enriching the user experience with contextually relevant information.

Best Practices for Crafting Engaging In-App Notifications

As in-app notifications emerge as pivotal tools for user engagement, adhering to best practices becomes paramount.

Personalization for Increased Engagement

Harness the power of personalization by segmenting users based on characteristics, behaviors, or stages in their journey. Tools like Userpilot facilitate advanced segmentation, enabling tailored messaging that resonates with each user segment.

Strategic Timing: One Notification at a Time

Avoid overwhelming users with a barrage of notifications. Strategic timing, coupled with contextual relevance, ensures users receive one notification at a time, preventing user fatigue and contributing to a positive user experience.

Clear CTAs for Guided Actions

Every notification should lead users towards a specific action. Incorporate clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs) that prompt users to engage with new features, upgrade plans, or perform desired actions within the app.

A/B Testing for Continuous Improvement

Perfecting the art of notifications requires continuous testing and iteration. Employ A/B testing to experiment with variations in microcopy, colors, and placements on small user samples. This iterative approach helps fine-tune notifications based on user responses and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Provide Option to Dismiss Notifications

Respect user autonomy by including an option to dismiss notifications, avoiding the imposition of unwanted engagement.


In conclusion, the realm of in-app notifications unfolds as a dynamic landscape shaping user experiences in SaaS. By understanding the diverse types, benefits, and best practices associated with in-app notifications, SaaS providers can elevate user engagement, drive conversions, and provide users with an immersive and personalized journey. Leveraging tools like SuprSend, product-led companies can navigate this landscape with finesse, creating a symbiotic relationship between users and their SaaS offerings.

Written by:
Anjali Arya
Product & Analytics, SuprSend

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