Composer Overview

A composer is a method of creating messages via the dashboard. This document explains how to use composers, their navigation and elements, and how to find your message drafts.

Learn each composer by following the tutorials:


Open your messaging project, then click Create and select a composer. If you have Composer Favorites Reusable messages with preset settings and content. You can use Composer Favorites instead of recreating commonly used messages. you can select a favorite instead.

The steps vary slightly per composer, but in general you will:

  1. Choose who to send the message to.
  2. Enter the message content.
  3. Configure its appearance.
  4. Decide when the message will be delivered.
  5. Review the appearance and content of your message.
  6. Send the message.

For A/B Tests you will create message variants. Automation is started rather than sent. For In-App Automation you will choose a display trigger rather than delivery. Apple News messages are sent immediately.


The Apple News composer is a single screen, with no navigational elements. The remaining information on this page does not apply to Apple News.

The same elements persist across every screen as you create a new message.

  1. Return to your Airship dashboard.
  2. The icon, name, and environment type for your current project.
  3. Name a message or flag a message as a test.
  4. Progress through the composer steps.
  5. Create a Composer Favorite.
  6. Exit the composer or perform other actions.

Composer Steps

Each composer step is shown in the header.

In the Message, Automation, and A/B Test composers, completed steps are green and display , showing you are ready to proceed. A red appears if you need to fix anything. Click a step name to move ahead or to go back and edit.

In the In-App Automation composer, click to continue to the next step — it will be greyed out and inactive until the step's minimum requirements are fulfilled. In the final step, click Finish.

Each step is indicated as a color-coded dot:

  • Green outline: Current
  • Grey outline: Unviewed
  • Red outline: Incomplete
  • Grey solid: Completed

Hover over a dot to see its step name appear as tooltip. Return to any previous step by clicking its dot.

Composer Favorites

In the Message composer, indicates you can save the message as a Composer Favorite Reusable messages with preset settings and content. You can use Composer Favorites instead of recreating commonly used messages. . indicates you are creating a message from a Composer Favorite or editing a saved Composer Favorite. See: Use Composer Favorites.

Exit Menu

If you need to leave the composer, click Exit. Your message will be saved as a draft, and you will be directed to Messages Overview.

Click for more options:

  • Delete: Delete a message, automation, in-app automation, A/B test, or Composer Favorite.
  • Revert: Revert changes to an edited message, automation, A/B test, or Composer Favorite.
  • Save changes: Save changes to an edited Composer Favorite.
  • Make a copy...: Make a copy of a Composer Favorite.

Summary and Help

Immediately under the header is a tab. Click to expose Summary and Help.

Your selected conditions are displayed in the Summary. The Help tab displays information relevant to the current step. Click in the composer and the Help tab will open to that topic.

Device Preview

As you draft your message, the device preview updates with your changes.

Click the arrows to page through the various device previews. The channel and display type dynamically update in the dropdown menu above. You can also select a preview directly from the dropdown menu.

Open Channel

The Open Channel preview is a data table containing the message's selections and content. This preview format appears by default when an Open Channel is the only selected plaltform. It can also be selected from the preview dropdown menu when an Open Channel has been combined with other channels.

Content Elements

These elements appear in the Content step of the Message, Automation, and A/B Test composers.

Truncation Indicator

Below the content text box is a color-coded indicator that warns when your message may be truncated on some devices.

  • Green: Full length of message will appear in most cases
  • Orange: Message may be shortened on some devices
  • Red: Message will be shortened on all devices

Best practice is to make your message as brief as possible, though some customers find success when a message truncates, teasing their audience to learn more.

In-App Message Text

If you choose to combine a push notification and in-app message, an In-App Message Text section appears below the message truncation indicator. By default, the in-app message's alert text is the same as the push notification text. If you'd prefer to use a different message, select Write Alternative and enter your text.


When you combine SMS, Email, or Open Channels with additional platforms, the content is configured on separate tabs. Web push notifications are configured as the push notification on the App tab.

Set a Tag

Click Set a tag to remove an existing tag, or set and remove tags.

Search for tags that exist in the system, or create a new tag.


Tags let you dynamically track user interactions for follow-on retargeting campaigns by setting one or more tags when the user interacts with this push. For example, if you set a tag "responded-campaign1" then you can target them with another message at a later date, knowing they are active users. Alternatively, you can re-engage them with an automated message if they are inactive for a period of time.


Your drafts are saved automatically. Go back to a saved message or A/B test in Messages Overview.

  1. Open your messaging project. If you are already in your project, go to Messages » Messages Overview.
  2. Click the Drafts view. Drafts lists messages that have not been sent, scheduled, or otherwise completed.

The last step in creating an In-App Automation is clicking Finish. If you exit before this final step, the message is still a draft.