Introducing Mobile Carousels: The best way to engage customers on mobile

Main illustration: Joshuah X. Miranda

Our smartphones are the most personal computing devices imaginable – with us at all times, they have become, in many ways, an extension of ourselves.

As a result, mobile apps pose an exceptional opportunity for businesses to build deeply personal, long-lasting relationships with their customers. But forging that connection with customers on mobile is notoriously hard –  somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of users abandon an app after their first use and only 32% of users will launch an app more than 10 times.

“Welcome to the most versatile and customizable way to reach, engage, and support your customers on mobile”

For any business, supporting and engaging your customers is critically important at every stage of the relationship. We have long designed and built industry-leading solutions for customer onboarding, support and engagement, but we heard loud and clear that you needed a better way to accomplish these jobs in your mobile apps.

So we built it for you – today, we’re incredibly excited to announce Mobile Carousels! Welcome to the most versatile and customizable way to reach, engage, and support your customers on mobile. With Mobile Carousels, you can show users around your smartphone app, highlight the things you know they’ll love, share product announcements and promotions, and provide proactive support before they even know they need it. Mobile Carousels helps your app stand out from the crowd.

Product Tours in your pocket

Last year we launched Product Tours, a way to introduce customers to your product with guided experiences that successfully drive adoption on the web. It was a hit. Judging by the messages in our inbox, though,  people wanted more. “Hey, love the concept of Product Tours! When will it be available for our mobile app?” was a common refrain.

On the surface, then, it looked like all we needed to do was build a version of Product Tours for mobile.

However, when we asked people why they wanted to use Product Tours in their mobile apps, we uncovered a range of needs. People thought that it would be the answer to better onboarding. They also thought it would be the answer to better feature announcements. Better proactive support messages. Better activation triggers.

“What people really needed was a messaging Swiss army knife that made it easy to achieve several goals”

So while people were asking for a tool for onboarding customers into their apps, what they really needed was a messaging Swiss army knife that made it easy to achieve several goals, spanning the customer lifecycle. That’s why we created Mobile Carousels, a mobile-first approach to customer engagement.

Meet Mobile Carousels

First impressions count, and we want your customers to feel immediately at home in your app when they use it for the first time. We also want to set them up for success, making it straightforward to know what the key features of the app are.

Mobile Carousels are the smoothest, most engaging way to show multi-screen content, rich with images, gifs, and compelling text, that your customers will love swiping through. Behind the scenes, all the Intercom features you love are there, such as fine-grained audience targeting, A/B testing, goal tracking, and more.

This makes them a perfect tool for:

  • Onboarding: Welcome new users to your app and show them the key features. Seamlessly convert sign-ups to loyal customers with stellar, engaging experiences, directly in your mobile app.
  • Nurture and retention campaigns: Target specific groups of users to highlight features they’re missing out on, helping them get the most out of your app. After all, engagement messages aren’t so effective if they’re not being sent to the right people.
  • Announcements: Tell your users when you launch a new feature or promotion, or when you need to update them about your service.
  • Proactive support: Let people know about changes or issues that might affect them, and even allow them to start a conversation with your support team directly from the carousel message.

What makes Mobile Carousels better?

Mobile Carousels are highly customizable and can range from the simplicity of a single screen to an elaborate sequence of several messages. Change the colors to blend in with your app, or use new layout options to get your message across succinctly.

You also want to drive action from your customers. Mobile Carousels are a completely unique approach to messaging that focuses on helping your customers take the next best action.

The design is clean, modern, and feels at home in your app. It’s designed to be familiar to your customers on Android and iOS, so they’ll be able to use it effortlessly. There’s no friction, which encourages them to absorb your message and take action.

Mobile Carousels marry the power of the Intercom platform with smart, highly customizable in-app messages, so you can dynamically show content based on what you know about your customer, tailoring the experience to ensure high engagement.

Mobile Carousels have a few qualities that make them extremely powerful and effective:

Simple to create

Our simple visual editor means that you don’t need to stress about writing custom code to make your message look amazing, and you can easily get up and running with out-of-the-box templates.

Permission prompting

Send dynamic carousel messages prompting users to enable push notifications, location services, camera access, and more – even after they’ve been onboarded.

Save time and resources

Once you have the Intercom mobile SDKs installed in your app, all of this can be done without any help from your engineering team.

Offer frame-by-frame support

Resolve common questions right in your app – before they ever reach your team.

Custom, behavior-based content

Customize the content your users see, based on how they’re interacting with your app. For instance, have they already enabled push notifications? No problem, we’ll automatically skip that screen.


Our SDKS are so small that they’ll hardly make a dent in your app size, so they will be fast to download.

A/B testing

Set up A/B tests in your app experience to find the most effective images, CTAs, copy, and more.

Simple and beautiful mobile engagement

Mobile Carousels are beautifully simple to build, and beautifully effective. In testing, customers have seen remarkable results using Mobile Carousels.

You’ll know that your customers are hearing your message – we’ve seen completion rates over 80%, and even higher for single screen carousels. You’ll also know your customers are getting the most out of your app, with 75% enabling a permission when it’s requested.

“We’ve consistently found a 5 percentage point uplift in 21-day retention in control group tests”

The growth-minded among you will also love the impact Mobile Carousels have on customer retention. We’ve consistently found a 5 percentage point uplift in 21-day retention in control group tests. As your app grows, long-term retention is crucial, and that retention will increasingly hinge on your mobile experience.

The most personal perspective

Gone are the days of mobile engagement being treated as an afterthought. With Mobile Carousels and other features such as the best Business Messenger available, Intercom for mobile is packed with the same powerful tools and features you’d find for desktop – just in a smaller package. Now, you can provide a seamless experience for users across desktop and mobile.

“A successful engagement strategy is all about sending the right messages, to the right people, at the right time and place, to help them get to a desired outcome”

Our mobile phones and tablets are the most personal devices we possess. They’re part of our everyday lives, and the experiences we have in the apps we use every day have a lasting effect. Making the best first and ongoing impression in such a personal space is crucial to every app’s success.

As Des said in our book Intercom on Customer Engagement, the key to a successful engagement strategy is all about “sending the right messages, to the right people, at the right time and place, to help them get to a desired outcome.”

Mobile Carousels empower you to do that better on smartphones than any solution out there, and we’re excited to see the impact they have on the relationships with your customers, and on your business.