Reach your email channel with email notifications — HTML or plain-text emails you can send to registered users from the API or dashboard. You can also create templates for your email notifications.

Email notifications can be sent to your mobile, web, and email audiences from a single API. You can combine information gained from all three channels under a single named user. Send triggered, one-to-one notification emails, e.g., account creation, shipping notification, nurture, etc. Features include:

Use Cases

  • Multi-channel Transactional Messaging

    • Urgent transactional message directed to multiple channels, e.g., send notification via both push and email
  • Notification style email

    • Promotional blast messaging: great for Retail, Sports/Entertainment, and Travel verticals
    • Breaking news alerts for the Media industry
    • Promotional mobile wallet delivery, such as coupons and loyalty cards
  • Priority Channel

    • Allow users to set their preferred delivery channel as email for certain types of messaging, so as not to alert them on multiple channels, e.g., app and web, for the same content

Industry examples:

  • Retail: Send an email for app re-acquisition if a user churns, onboarding, coupon and loyalty pass delivery, and more.
  • Media: Send highly-segmented news updates.
  • Travel and Hospitality: Send boarding passes, day of travel updates, and reservation reminders.

Email Notifications and Sending Methods

When creating an email, you can add an HTML version of your message, but you must also create a plain text version. Users who cannot receive HTML emails will receive the plain text version.

You can create your HTML message using our WYSIWYG editor, which makes it easy to create full HTML messages that are compatible with your users' email clients. You can also provide your own HTML (up to 250k in size) if you’ve already formatted your HTML outside of airship.

Emails are considered commercial by default and require an unsubscribe link. You can manually flag messages as transactional and send them without the unsubscribe link, in accordance with CAN-SPAM regulations. See Commercial vs. Transactional below for more information.

You can include email notifications in your multi-channel messages. You can also send email notifications using AutomationA set of conditions that your audience must meet before they receive a message. , JourneysA series of messages that is initiated by a single automation trigger. Airship sends messages in the series based on your timing settings, and you can also set conditions that determine the continuation of the series. , and A/B TestsUsed to send variants of a message to cross-sections of your audience. Each variant in the test returns data to help you determine the most effective ways to engage your audience. A/B tests support up to 26 variants and a control group per test. .


Airship’s drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor helps you assemble HTML emails and message center messages without having to write HTML.

The editor produces HTML that is compatible with any email client that accepts HTML emails, making sure that your audience sees the best version of your message. As new versions of Outlook and other clients are released, we make sure both your templates will work with them too.

When working with the WYSIWYG editor, you can choose one of Airship’s default templates to get started, or you can create your own design using a Blank Template. Default templates are fully editable.


You can create email templates, making it easy to reuse message content and personalize your email notifications using HandlebarsAirship’s message personalization syntax using double curly braces, more commonly known as {{handlebars}}. Use handlebars to insert variables and conditional logic in messages and templates. . When you create a message or template, you can add merge fields and other logic determining the content that each member of your audience will see.

Inbox Previews


Inbox previews must be enabled for your account. Contact your Airship account manager if they do not appear for your projects.

Before sending your message, you can preview what it will look like in various email clients. After adding the HTML body, click Inbox preview and select from the listed browser, desktop, and mobile clients. 90+ different client and device combinations are supported.

You can generate inbox previews for email in the Message, Automation, Journey, or A/B Test composers, and when creating a content template.

  • Each individual browser, desktop, or mobile selection counts as 1 preview. If you edit a message and then regenerate previews, the new previews are counted separately from the original previews.
  • Each Airship project includes a limited number of free previews per month. Additional previews are billed at the end of the month.
  • Your preview count for the current month is displayed at the bottom of the inbox preview modal. The number of previews to generate appears after you select clients.

Configuration and Requirements

  1. Contact Airship Support or Sales to provision your project for email notifications.

  2. Add your customers' email addresses to your project so you can send to them. Follow the steps in: Email: User Registration. You can also register new users and send them a message at the same time:

Set Message Limits for Email

You can set limits on the number of messages you can send your audience on a particular channel within a time frame, to prevent over-messaging.

If a member of your audience reaches the message limit on a channel within the time period, Airship suppresses any messages they would otherwise receive on that channel for the remainder of the time period.

Go to Settings » Configuration » Message Limits to set message limits for each of your messaging channels.


Message limits for email apply to Commercial EmailA promotional email sent to an audience of users who have opted to receive promotional marketing messages from you. only.

Blind Copy (BCC)

Contact your Airship account manager if you want to enable BCC capabilities and send blind copies (BCC) of your emails. Because emails can contain personal information about your audience, you must register the addresses that you want to use for blind copies with Airship.

It’s important to keep email volume in mind when using BCC. When you send a message with BCC enabled, your BCC addresses will receive emails for every member of your audience.

Commercial vs. Transactional

An email can contain three different types of information:

  • Commercial content: Advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose.

  • Transactional (or relationship) content: Facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction, or updates a customer about an ongoing transaction.

Commercial Content

If the message contains only commercial content, its primary purpose is commercial, and it must comply with the requirements of CAN-SPAM. If it contains only transactional or relationship content, its primary purpose is transactional or relationship. In that case, it may not contain false or misleading routing information, but is otherwise exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.

Transactional Content

The primary purpose of an email is transactional or relationship if it consists only of content that:

  1. Facilitates or confirms a commercial transaction that the recipient already has agreed to;
  2. Gives warranty, recall, safety, or security information about a product or service;
  3. Gives information about a change in terms or features or account balance information regarding a membership, subscription, account, loan, or other ongoing commercial relationship;
  4. Provides information about an employment relationship or employee benefits; or
  5. Delivers goods or services as part of a transaction that the recipient already has agreed to.

Mixed Content

It’s common for email sent by businesses to mix commercial content and transactional or relationship content. When an email contains both kinds of content, the primary purpose of the message is the deciding factor. Here’s how to make that determination:

If a recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line would likely conclude that the message contains an advertisement or promotion for a commercial product or service, or if the message’s transactional or relationship content does not appear mainly at the beginning of the message, the primary purpose of the message is commercial.

So, when a message contains both kinds of content – commercial and transactional or relationship – if the subject line would lead the recipient to think it’s a commercial message, it’s a commercial message for CAN-SPAM purposes. Similarly, if the bulk of the transactional or relationship part of the message doesn’t appear at the beginning, it’s a commercial message under the CAN-SPAM Act.

For more information, see the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business.

Opt-in and Opt-out Requirements for email

Commercial Emails

  • Require date of consent to subscribe (register) an email address to the commercial email list.

  • Require an unsubscribe link in the email content.

  • Customers who unsubscribe from commercial emails will still be registered to receive transactional emails (unless they unsubscribe from a transactional email as well).

Transactional Emails

  • Date of consent to register an email address to receive transactional emails is optional. If no consent date is included and the user has opted out of transactional type emails from your brand, then they will not be able to receive any in the future. If they need to be re-registered to receive these emails, then their date of consent is required and must be later than their opt out date.

  • Unsubscribe links are not required for transactional email messages, and in most cases we do not recommend including one.

Business-critical Emails

  • There are some cases where a brand would like to include an unsubscribe link on a type of transactional email but will still need to send business-critical emails, such as order confirmations or password reset emails. In these cases, the opt-out can be overridden and sent regardless of unsubscribe status (for commercial or transactional).

  • Business-critical emails should never include an unsubscribe link.

Bounce Handling

  • Airship automatically opts-out addresses that hard-bounce from a brand’s list. Hard bounces are represented in events with bounce_class values of 10, 30, or 90. These users will no longer receive emails from the brand, including business-critical emails.

  • While other bounce_class values do not opt users out of emails, repeatedly sending messages to bounced email addresses will hurt a brand’s IP reputation and should be avoided.

  • If a brand has an email address that previously hard-bounced, but the inbox’s issue has been resolved, the brand can submit a Support request to “unbounce” the address.

Spam Complaints

  • Some end users will not want to receive any emails from your brand at all, and will show this by hitting the Spam button in their inbox. When this occurs, Airship will remove the email address from your list, mark the email channel as a spam complaint, and never deliver to it again.

Change of Address

  • If a customer has changed their email address in a brand’s system, you can update the Airship record using the change of address API. This will update the email address while maintaining the channel id, named user, and any tag information added for that channel.

Compliance Event API

  • Maintaining clean mailing lists is important - not only for Airship, but for your brand as well. You can use the free Compliance Event API to stream send, unsubscribe, bounce, and spam complaint events. These events should be processed and properly handled on your end on a regular basis.

Email Events and Reporting

Airship captures events from last-mile delivery services, so you can track both email statuses and engagement. These events are in message reports and appear as custom events in the real-time data stream.

Status events, like bounce and delay, help you determine whether or not your messages are received by your audience.

By default, Airship also captures open and click events, so you can track engagement metrics for your email campaigns. Airship represents these events as engagement in message reports.

  • open: Reports when a user opens your message. This event is recorded by a tracking pixel in the email.
  • click: Reports when a user clicks a link in your message.

When crafting your message, you can disable open and click tracking to preserve your audience’s privacy and exclude irrelevant messages from your metrics. You may want to disable open and click tracking for things like transactional messages or messages where you don’t have a clear call to action.