Push notification content

Send push notifications to your App channel.

About push notifications

Though we mainly experience push notifications as banner alerts, push notifications may contain many other kinds of data such as images, sounds, badge updates, buttons, and more.

  • Alert users when they are not in the app
  • Pass extra data to users for marketing/segmentation use
  • Keep users engaged with your app

Use cases:

  • Breaking news
  • Score updates
  • Transaction confirmation
  • Social interactions
  • New content available

You can combine a push notification with an In-App MessageA message that appears inside of your app. You can send in-app messages to your entire app audience, not just users who have opted-in to push notifications. and/or Message CenterA place in your app where you can display persistent rich messages, including HTML, video, etc. Similar to email, Message Center represents both the medium (the in-app inbox) and the message type (the messages you send to the inbox). message.

Silent push notifications

A silent push notification is a message that wakes a mobile app for processing without appearing on the device or producing sound or vibration. Silent push notifications are useful for performing background tasks such as sending custom keys, updating the app’s badge icon, fetching remote content, and enabling new features.

For more information see the platform-specific documentation:

You can send silent push notifications using the Message, Automation, and Sequence composers. You cannot combine a silent push notification with any other message type.


When targeting Android devices, Airship sends messages to both opted-in and opted-out devices. Regular notifications are sent to opted-in devices and silent push notifications are sent to opted-out devices. Both silent and alerting sends appear in the message report.

Appearance and behavior

Push notifications are in banner format and can appear on any screen on a device. They are displayed upon receipt and are not 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. .

Every push notification requires text, and you can also add optional features:

  • Buttons — You can add one or two buttons. Learn more below.

  • Title — A heading that appears above the notification text in:

    • iOS Notification Center
    • Apple Watch Looks
    • Android and Amazon Notification Area/Drawer
  • Media — See: Media guidelines.

  • Summary — Supplemental text displayed with the notification. Position varies per platform.


You can add buttons to push notifications and in-app messages to direct users to take specific actions. One or two buttons are supported, e.g., a single Watch Now button, or a Yes/No pair, and you associate each button with an ActionA configurable behavior that occurs when a user interacts with your message, e.g., opening a web page. . You can also add or remove TagsMetadata that you can associate with channels or named users for audience segmentation. Generally, they are descriptive terms indicating user preferences or other categorizations, e.g., wine_enthusiast or weather_alerts_los_angeles. Tags are case-sensitive. or opt a user in to or out of a Subscription ListAn audience list of users who are opted in to messaging about a specific topic. Users can manage their opt-in status per list using a preference center. when they tap a button.

Airship records button clicks to help you track how your audience engages with your messages. Airship records them as Custom EventsEvents that indicate that a user performed a predefined action, such as adding an item to a shopping cart, viewing a screen, or clicking an Unsubscribe button. Custom events can trigger automation, sequences, scenes, and surveys. You can code them into your app or website, or send them to Airship from an external source using the custom event API. Custom events contain properties that you can use to personalize messages. with the name button--<BUTTON_ID>, where BUTTON_ID is either the button’s label or ID (when using the API). These events are included in Message Reports, Event Tracking, and Real-Time Data StreamingA service that delivers engagement events in real time via the Data Streaming API or an Airship partner integration. .

Airship provides 30+ predefined buttons, which have preset labels and actions. Some buttons support changing their associated actions.

You can also create custom buttons, which must be configured in your project before you can add them to a message. Custom buttons can be associated with Airship actions, or they can be associated with custom actions.

See Interactive Notifications for more information about buttons. See Custom Notification Buttons to add buttons to your project.

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.

Silent push notifications do not have visual content. In the Content step, click Silent Push Notification, then click Delivery in the header and complete the remaining steps in the composer.

The remainder of this section applies to regular push notifications.

In the Content step, click Push Notification then Add content:

Now you can configure the body of the message:

  1. Enter the message text. If you are using HandlebarsHandlebars is Airship’s templating language for personalization. Handlebars expressions use double curly braces wrapped around a content template, ranging from a simple variable, e.g., {{first_name}} to complex evaluations of personalization data. , you can enable Preview Data to test how they will appear. See: Previewing personalized content.

  2. Select an ActionA configurable behavior that occurs when a user interacts with your message, e.g., opening a web page. :

    • Home
    • Message Center
    • Landing Page
    • Deep Link
    • Adaptive Link
    • Web Page
    • Share
  3. (Optional) Set and/or remove tags when the user interacts with your message.

    1. Click Set a tag.
    2. Select Add or Remove, then search for tags that exist in the system, or create a new tag.
    3. (Optional) Click Set another tag and repeat the previous step.

    Setting one or more tags when a user interacts with a message can help you track user interactions for follow-on retargeting campaigns. For example, if you set a tag responded-campaign1, you can target users bearing the responded-campaign1 tag with another message at a later date, knowing that they are active users. Alternatively, you can re-engage users with this tag using an automated message if they are inactive for a period of time.

  4. Configure optional features:

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