Preview and test groups

Create audience groups that can be used for previewing personalized content and receiving test messages.

A preview group is an audience group used for previewing personalized content in the dashboard. Wherever a personalization preview is available, you can select a preview group, and its group members’ attributes will appear for any Handlebars references to attributes. You can enable any preview group as a test group so you can send test messages to its group members. These messages appear as tests in Messages Overview.

By keeping a saved list of approved test users in Airship, you can be sure that your test messages only reach an approved, in-house list of users. You might limit your test group to company employees such as Product staff, Development team, etc.

Requirements, validation, and registration

When adding users to a group, you must enter an ID: Channel IDAn Airship-specific unique identifier used to address a channel instance, e.g., a smartphone, web browser, email address., email address, or MSISDNThe mobile phone number of an individual in your Airship audience. Each MSISDN represents an individual mobile device.. The ID is used for rendering attributes in personalization previews and where test messages will be sent. The ID is validated upon entry, and you will see errors if these requirements are not met:

  • Your project must be already be configured for the Channel (Engagement)A communication medium supported by the Airship service. Supported channels include app, web, email, SMS, and Open Channels. Within some channels there may be specific platforms with individual characteristics. Example platforms include Chrome for the web channel and Android for the mobile app channel. for an entered ID.
  • Channel IDs must exist for the project.
  • MSISDNs must be for SMS channels that exist for the project.

You can add any email address, and an email channel will be registered for the project.

Creating a new group

You can create up to 20 groups. You cannot change the group name and Test Group setting after creating the group, but you can delete the group and create a new one. Also, you cannot change a user ID later, but you can add and remove users from the group.


Make sure to use IDs that are valid for the group’s intended purpose. For example, if you will be sending push notifications to the group, enter a Channel ID for an iOS or Android Channel.

  1. Select the Audience menu, then Preview and Test Groups.
  2. Select Create group.
  3. Enter a name for the group.
  4. (Optional) Enable Test group.
  5. Select Save and continue.
  6. For each group member, select Add user, then enter a name and Channel ID, email address or MSISDN. If a MSISDN is associated with more than one Sender IDAn originating phone number or string identifier used to indicate who an SMS message comes from. Members of your audience subscribe (opt in) to each sender ID they want to receive messages from., select the one that should be used as the sender of test messages.
  7. Select Done.

After adding a user, you will return to the list of all users in the group. The ID column displays the Channel ID for each user. You cannot view the original email address or MSISDN entered when adding the user.

Select Preview and Test Groups in the page breadcrumbs to return to the list of all your groups. Select the delete icon (() to remove a group.

Adding, editing, and removing group members

  1. Select the Audience menu, then Preview and Test Groups.
  2. Select the pencil icon () for a group.
  3. Complete the steps for an action:
    Add a userSelect Add user and complete steps as described in Creating a new group.
    Edit a user's nameSelect the pencil icon () for a user, change the name, and select Done.
    Delete a userSelect the delete icon () for a user.

Using preview groups

See Previewing personalized content.

Sending to test groups

Messages you send to a test group appear in the Tests view in Messages OverviewA view of all your project’s messages, with options for editing their settings, content, status, and more.. You can send to a test group from these locations:

The Audience step in the Message, A/B Test, In-App Automation, Scene, and Survey composersSelect Test Users and select a test group. You must complete the remaining composer steps and send the message before it is sent to the group.
The Review step in the Message, Automation, and Sequence composersSelect Send Test, select at least one test group, then select Send. The message sends immediately.
The Manage screen in a SequenceSee Test a message in a Sequence. The message sends immediately.
The Test Run option in a SequenceSee Test a sequence. The message sends immediately.