Optional Features

You can enable optional features during the Content and Delivery steps when creating or editing a Message, Automation, A/B Test, or Journey. Each feature’s purpose and settings are detailed here.

Feature availability is dependent on the message types and platforms you selected for your message. See the Message Reference for API equivalents.

Background Processing

The background processing option wakes the app and give it some running time to perform work, such as downloading content for future display. Data included in the push notification is available for background processing, e.g., to send URLs and then download that content. iOS only.

Badge

Update the recipient device’s app badge. A badge is the numeric display on an app icon that typically indicates the number of unread messages. The badge count can be used as an engagement strategy, notifying users about new content and driving them to open your app. iOS only.

By default messages automatically increment the badge number, but you can specify an exact number, e.g., +3, +12, -3.

Select Increment by 1 or Specify. Specify requires a value in the text field.

Buttons (App)

You can add buttons to App notifications to prompt users to take specific actions. App notifications support one or two buttons, e.g., a single Watch Now button, or a Yes/No pair, and each button is associated with a Message ActionA configurable behavior that occurs when a user interacts with your message, e.g., opening a web page. . You can also add or remove a tag when the user taps a button.

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 message actions, or they can be associated with custom actions. See: Custom Notification Buttons.

See Interactive Notifications for more information about buttons.

  1. Click Select buttons, then search for and select the buttons you want to add.
    • Search for predefined buttons by type. See reference: Built-In Interactive Notification Types.
    • Search for custom buttons by name as configured in Settings » Configuration » Mobile App Notification Buttons.
  2. (Optional and if available) Change the action associated with each button.
  3. (Optional) Set and/or remove tags when the user taps a button. Tags can help you track whether your users engage with, or dismiss, your notifications.
    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.
     Tip

    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.

Buttons (Web)

You can add buttons to Web notifications to direct users to take specific actions. Web notifications support one or two buttons, e.g., a single Opt in button, or a Yes/No pair. You set a Message ActionA configurable behavior that occurs when a user interacts with your message, e.g., opening a web page. determining what happens when users click each button. You can also add or remove a tag when the user clicks a button.

Airship has several predefined buttons with preset labels. You can also create your own custom buttons. You can create reusable custom buttons in your project’s Configuration page, or you can create custom buttons on the fly when you create a message, but they will not be saved in your project.

See Custom Web Notification Buttons for information about adding custom buttons to your project.

  1. When creating your message, enable Buttons.
  2. Click Select or add buttons.
  3. Select your buttons, or click Create Buttons to make your own custom buttons for this message.
    1. Click Add buttons.
    2. Enter a label for the Primary button (normally affirmative) and an optional Secondary button (appears to the right of the primary button). Button labels are used as event identifiers in Performance AnalyticsA customizable marketing intelligence tool that provides access to reports and graphs based on engagement data. and the event name in Real-Time Data StreamingA service that delivers engagement events in real time via the Data Streaming API or an Airship partner integration. in the format button--<label>.
    3. Click Add buttons.
  4. Set an action for each button.
    Home Home opens your app’s home screen. For web push notifications it opens your Default Action URL. You can override the default URL by selecting the Web Page action and entering a different URL.
    Dismiss Message Dismiss Message closes the notification.
    Web Page Web Page opens a web page or any valid-device level URL such as App Store or app protocol links. The web page opens in the device’s default browser. Enter a URL.
    Adaptive Link

    Adaptive Link opens a mobile wallet pass. Select an Adaptive LinkA mobile wallet pass link that supports templates for both Google Pay and Apple Wallet. When a user taps the link, Airship determines the user’s platform and generates the right pass for the user. from the list.

    • Adaptive links must be configured before they will appear in the actions list. See: Adaptive Links Tutorial.
    • Only adaptive links created in the dashboard will appear in the actions list.
  5. (Optional) Set and/or remove tags when the user taps a button. Tags can help you track whether your users engage with, or dismiss, your notifications.
    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.
     Tip

    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.

Campaign Categories

Campaign categories are labels that group messages of a similar type or messaging strategy for aggregate reporting. Campaigns help you track the efficacy of both your individual messages and a messaging campaign as a whole.

Enter a campaign category name, then click Add. Click the X next to any category to remove it. Category names have a 64-character maximum. Enter up to ten.

 Tip

Campaign categories are listed in the Message Detail section of Message Reports.

Collapse Key

A collapse key is an optional delivery feature that acts as a grouping and replacement mechanism for messages with the same value. The Collapse Key comes into play when a device is offline (e.g. airplane mode) or in doze mode; if multiple messages are available with the same collapse key value when a device comes back online, it will display only the most recent message and discard previous that have the same value. Android & Amazon only.

Enter the key in the text field.

Critical

Send the notification as a critical alert. Critical alerts are push notifications that play sounds and ignore the device’s Do Not Disturb mode and mute switch settings. This delivery feature is available for iOS 12 and later only and requires a special entitlement from Apple.

Use the slider to select the alert volume level. Volume can be specified at 10% increments.

 Note

  • Critical alerts require a special entitlement issued by Apple, If you do not have this entitlement, you will not see this option in the dashboard.

  • These notifications should contain information that require a user to take immediate action.

  • Critical Alerts must be allowed by a user on their device.

Custom Keys

Custom keys are additional key-value pairs in your push notification payload for use by custom code in your app. You can use custom keys to pass additional campaign identifiers for analytics, pass user information to the device, control the look and feel of the app, provide image links, etc.

By default, a custom key is sent to push notifications on all platforms, but you can choose platform-specific keys as well if your message is going out to more than one platform, e.g., one imageURL for iOS and another imageURL for Android.

If sending a Message Center message using a template, this option is duplicated in Message Center options. Use the Message Center Custom Keys option to set key-value pairs that apply specifically to your message center message.

Select a platform, then enter the key and value. Click Add Another for additional keys.

Delay While Idle

The delay while idle option delays delivery of your message until Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) detects that the device is active. This can increase the likelihood of the user engaging with the notification. Android only.

Delivery Priority

The delivery priority option sends your notification using Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) high priority. When not enabled, messages default to normal priority. Android only.
 Note

From Google’s About FCM Messages: Delivery options: Setting the priority of a message:

High priority. FCM attempts to deliver high priority messages immediately, allowing the FCM service to wake a sleeping device when necessary and to run some limited processing (including very limited network access). High priority messages generally should result in user interaction with your app. If FCM detects a pattern in which they don’t, your messages may be de-prioritized.

Expiration

The delivery expiration option discards your message if it hasn’t been delivered to a device within a specific period of time.

Select one of:

  • Duration: Enter the number of minutes, hours, or days past your defined send time to expire the delivery.

  • Date & Time: Enter the date and time when delivery attempts should cease.

Push Notifications
If a device is online, the notification will be delivered immediately. If a device is offline, the push service for each platform, e.g., APNs for iOS and FCM for Android, preserves the notification and attempts to deliver it as soon as it comes online, up until the expiration date.

For Web Notifications, if no expiration is set and a device is offline, the delivery service, e.g., Google or Mozilla, preserves the notification and attempts to deliver it as soon as it comes online, for a maximum of 28 days.

There is no way to remove a delivered push notification.

In-App Messages
Since In-App Messages are delivered via push notifications, they will not be delivered past the expiration date if the user has been offline. In addition, Airship will not display an in-app message past the expiration date.
Message Center
If you selected the Visual Editor when creating your Message Center message, Message Center expiration is coupled with push notifications and in-app messages.

Expiration (Message Center)

When you create a Message Center message using the Interactive Editor (or use a template built using the Interactive Editor), you can expire your Message Center message at a different date and time from your push and/or in-app messages. This may be helpful if your Message Center message represents a coupon, sale, or specific event and needs to expire on a specific date.

If you created your Message Center message using the Visual Editor, these options are not available to you.

Select one of:

  • Duration: Enter the number of minutes, hours, or days past your defined send time to expire the delivery.

  • Date & Time: Enter the date and time when delivery attempts should cease.

Expiration (SMS)

The delivery expiration option discards your message if it hasn’t been delivered to a device within a specific period of time. 72 hours is the default. SMS Only.

Enter the number of hours, between 1 and 72.

Group

A delivery group uses an identifier to group related notifications from your app into a single stack. Notifications bearing the same group identifier are stacked together. iOS 12 and later only.

Enter an identifier in the text field.

 Note

Remember to use the same identifier for subsequent messages you wish to group.

Icon

Add an icon for web push notifications, overriding the default icon specified in your Web Notifications configuration. Web only. Safari is not supported.

Enter the HTTPS URL of an image, or upload an image, to be displayed as your icon. URLs must be accessible by your audience. You can only upload an image if your Airship account includes CDN support.

Images must be:

  • Static
  • JPEG, JPG, or PNG format
  • Smaller than 2 MB (for uploads only)

Media

Add media to your notification. You can reference media by URL, or upload media to Airship if your Airship plan includes CDN support.

When you Upload media, you can either upload a new image or select from media that you have already uploaded to Airship.

Android and/or Amazon

Enter the HTTPS URL of an image, or upload an image, to accompany your push notification. URLs must accessible by your audience. See the API reference for "style".

Images must be:

  • JPEG, GIF, or PNG format
  • Smaller than 2 MB
iOS

Enter the HTTPS URL for the media, or upload the media, to accompany your push notification. URLs must accessible by your audience. Image, animated gif, audio, and video are supported. See the API reference for "media_attachment".

Media must be:

  • Image formats: JPEG, GIF, PNG
  • Audio formats: AIFF, WAV, MP3, M4A
  • Video formats: AVI, MPEG, MPEG2, MP4
  • Smaller than 2 MB (for uploads only)

Options:

  • Hide iOS 10 thumbnail: By default, a thumbnail of the media is displayed in the message alert.

  • Media Specific Content: By default, iOS 10+ devices will receive the Same push notification as pre-iOS 10 devices. If you would like to send a different message to iOS 10+ devices, select Write Alternative, and enter alternative message text in the iOS 10 Push Notification field.

  • Alternate Title and Summary fields will appear only if the Title and Summary options preceding Media have been enabled and filled out.

iOS with Android and/or Amazon

When you enable both the iOS platform and one or more of Android and Amazon, and you do not enter a static image in the initial URL field, a Static Image field is added to the media settings.

Provide an image as described in Android and/or Amazon only above.

Web

Enter the HTTPS URL of an image, or upload an image, to accompany your web push notification to audience members using Chrome and Opera browsers on Windows and Android platforms. URLs must be accessible by your audience.

Images must be:

  • JPEG, JPG, or PNG
  • Smaller than 2 MB (for uploads only)

 Tip

You can personalize media URLs 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 personalize media for your App channel, you have to specify the media type for your personalized media.

You should use the default handler ($def) when personalizing media URLs to make sure that your media URL resolves appropriately if variables in the URL are empty or don’t exist.

Example personalized Media URL
https://example.com/{{$def user_profile_image "default.png"}}

Mutable Content

The mutable content option allows a notification’s content to be changed or downloaded before delivery. This feature is automatically enabled if media is defined in the message’s Optional Features » Media settings. iOS 10 and later only.

Notification Category

Send your message with a specific notification category instead of the default. A notification category is a grouping mechanism for messages in Android versions 8.0 and later, synonymous with Android notification channels. Users can set behaviors for each notification category within your Android app, determining the types of messages they are most interested in.

Select a notification category.

 Note

You must add your app’s notification categories to your Airship project before you can select them for your messages. See: Manage Android Notification Categories.

Override Limits

When sending a message, you can override project-level message limits in the Delivery step. Enabling this setting ensures that your audience will receive a message even if they’ve reached the message limit.

You may want to override message limits for important messages — like breaking news, account alerts, or location proximity-based messages.

Require Interaction

 Important

Support for Require Interaction varies by browser and OS.

Enable the Require interaction setting to require your audience to interact with your web notification to dismiss it from the browser window. Web only.

Users may interact with a web notification in these ways:

  • Click the notification, which opens the message-defined URL, or the default Action URL.
  • Dismiss the notification.
  • Click the Settings icon or button on the notification.

Sound

Play a custom sound when your audience receives a message. The sound file that you specify must be bundled with your app by your app developer. iOS only.

Enter default to use your audience’s default system notification sound, or the name of the sound file that you want to play, e.g. or “beep.caf”.

See iOS Notification Options for more information.

Start and End Dates

Start and end dates define the times during which your automation or journey can deliver messages to your audience.

  1. Enable the Start Date and/or End Date options.
  2. Click the date field and either use the date picker, or enter a date in YYYY-MM-DD format.
  3. Select the time and time zone.

Summary

Add a summary line, supplemental text displayed with the primary notification message. Enter your summary in the text field.

  • iOS 10 and later: The summary appears below the push notification title. See: iOS 10 documentation.

  • Android and Amazon: The summary appears below the main notification text in most cases. This is the only visible text other than the title when Android Picture is visible in expanded mode, as the main notification text is suppressed. See: Android documentation.

Title

Enter a title to create a heading that appears above the notification text in:

  • iOS Notification Center
  • Apple Watch Looks
  • Android and Amazon Notification Area/Drawer

For web browsers, the title set here will override the default title.

Enter the title in the text field.