Email content

Send messages to your email channel.

About email

You can send email to your registered users. Email 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.

Appearance and behavior

Email appears in the recipient’s inbox and is displayed upon opening the message. Email is PersistentMessage content that remains available even if the alerts for the message are dismissed. For example, Message Center, email, and SMS content can be viewed in the app’s Message Center, email inbox, or the device’s native SMS client until the message is deleted by its recipient. Non-persistent message types become unavailable when users dismiss them. A message’s linked content, e.g., a web link, deep link, an Apple News story, remains available as determined by the source host. , remaining viewable until deleted by the user.

Components of an email:

  • Subject — Preheader text is optional.
  • Message body — HTML is optional, plain text is required. Users who cannot receive HTML emails will receive the plain text version. An unsubscribe link is required within the message body for commercial email. Learn more below.

For the HTML body, you can either provide your own HTML, or design using Airship’s WYSIWYG Editor. The WYSIWYG 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 HTML will work with them too. You can choose one of Airship’s default layouts to get started, or you can design your own. You can also save layouts you design and reuse them for other messages.

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.

Preheader text

Preheader text is a short line of text that displays after or below an email subject line in an inbox. You can also have the text appear in the message body. Preheader text is an easy way to expand on your subject line and improve email open rates. Not all email clients support preheader text. These examples show preheader text following the subject “Undock is Launching”:


While some clients will display more than 100 characters, we recommended 40-100 characters, to make sure your message is fully displayed in most email clients and browser windows. However, if most of your recipients are opening their messages on mobile devices, consider keeping your character count on the lower end, since many devices display an average of 35-50 characters.

  • The WYSIWYG editor supports preheader text in the inbox, or in both the inbox and the body of the message. See: Preheader Text For Email.

  • If providing your own HTML, you can add preheader text that appears in the inbox only. Add this snippet of code to the top of your HTML body, and edit “Preheader text goes here.” with the message you’d like to use:

       <td style="display:none !important;
          visibility:hidden;
          mso-hide:all;
          font-size:1px;
          color:#ffffff;
          line-height:1px;
          max-height:0px;
          max-width:0px;
          opacity:0;
          overflow:hidden;">
       Preheader text goes here.
       </td>
       

Sender information

You can edit your sender information in the Content step when composing an email.

  • From Name, From Email, and Reply to Email — Edit the fields to change the sender name, email address, and reply to address. Select from available domains for the email addresses. For Reply to Email, leave field blank if replies should go to the address already entered in From Email.

  • Transactional — If the message is triggered by a user’s action such as a password reset request, opt-in, shopping receipt, etc., you can designate it as transactional, and optionally include an unsubscribe link. See: Commercial vs. Transactional Email.

    The Content step is considered incomplete until an unsubscribe link is provided in the message body or the message is designated as transactional in Sender Information.

  • Bypass Opt-in Status — If you designate a message as transactional you will see the option to Bypass Opt-in Status. Enable this if you want to send the message to audience members even if they have opted out of transactional messages. Use this setting for business critical emails only.

  • Open and Click Tracking — Enable/disable tracking when the email is opened and/or links are clicked.

  • BCC Addresses — If you have registered email addresses with Airship for BCC capabilities, select the addresses that you want to blind copy on the message.

Unsubscribe links

By default, email is for commercial use and requires an unsubscribe link in both the HTML and plain text message bodies. See Commercial vs. Transactional Email for more information.

In the HTML body of your email, include a link with a data-ua-unsubscribe="1" attribute in the format:

<a data-ua-unsubscribe="1" title="unsubscribe" href="https://www.unsubscribe.com">Link Title</a>

In the Plain text body of your email, include a link in the format: [[ua-unsubscribe href="your url here"]]

When sending to a Subscription ListAn audience list of opted-in email addresses. When sending a message using a Subscription list, you must include an unsubscribe link for opting out of all messages, and you can also include an unsubscribe link for that list only. , in addition to the required unsubscribe link (for opting out of all messaging), you can also include an unsubscribe link for that list only. Insert list- into the link; all other formatting as described above is the same:

  • For HTML, use data-ua-list-unsubscribe instead of data-ua-unsubscribe.
  • For plain text, use ua-list-unsubscribe instead of ua-unsubscribe.

If your unsubscribe link includes an href, Airship unsubscribes the user before redirecting to your page.

If you omit your own unsubscribe link, Airship automatically inserts a default unsubscribe link that displays message: “You have been successfully unsubscribed.”


Airship reflects unsubscribe events in the Real-Time Data Stream. When users unsubscribe, Airship also assigns them commercial_opted_out or transactional_opted_out values based on the type of email they unsubscribed from.

You can manually flag messages as transactional and send them without an unsubscribe link, in accordance with CAN-SPAM regulations. See: Sender Information.

Preference centers

A preference center is an Airship-hosted web page where your users can manage their opt in statuses for the subscription lists in your project. See: Preference centers.

Size limit and image recommendations

Message size may not exceed 250k, and we highly recommend keeping your emails under 100k. For images, we recommend:

  • Formats: JPEG,JPG, PNG, GIF. Additional formats are supported (e.g., TIFF, BMP), but they do not always display in email.
  • 72 DPI.
  • 1MB is the recommended maximum size, but you should keep image size as small as possible. Use compression to decrease the size and balance quality.
  • Consider using an image that is twice the size of the space you’d like to fill so that it looks good on all screens. You can adjust the dimensions in the editor or with tags if using HTML. The width of the image will depend on the space you are trying to fill, but for reference, it is commonly recommended to have your email width at 600px.

Inbox preview

 Note

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.

Creating content

You configure the appearance of the message in the Content step of a composer; in the Delivery step you can configure content-related features that do not affect the appearance of the message.

In the Content step, click Add content. Now you can configure the body of the message:

  1. (Optional) Edit Sender Information.

  2. Add the Subject.

  3. (Optional) Add the HTML body.

    • For HTML, click Paste HTML or Upload HTML file, and add your HTML.
    • For the WYSIWYG editor, select a default or saved layout, or select Blank Layout to design your own; you can edit any layout after selecting. Then design your message. See the WYSIWYG Editor for details.

  4. Add the Plain text body.

  5. (Optional) Preview your email in different clients.

    1. Click Inbox preview.
    2. Select from the lists of browser, desktop, and mobile clients, then click Generate previews.
    3. Click a thumbnail to see the full version. Click   to close and choose another preview.
    4. (Optional) To add/remove clients, click Reselect and generate previews and start over.
    5. When you are finished with inbox previews, click   to close the modal.

Now you are ready to complete the remaining steps in the composer.