Email Notification Tutorial

Send an email notification HTML or plain-text email to registered users.

When writing an email, you can create an HTML version of your message, but you must also create a plain text version. Users who cannot receive HTML emails will receive the plain text version.

Resources:

 Tip

You can save this message as a Composer Favorite — a reusable message with preset settings and content. You can use Composer Favorites instead of recreating commonly used messages. See: Use Composer Favorites.

  1. Click Create and select Message.

  2. (Optional) Add a message name and/or flag the message as a test.
    1. Click   in the header.
    2. Enter the name.
    3. Enable Test.
    4. Click outside the box to close it.

    See also: Name a Message and Flag a Message as a Test.

  3. Define your message Audience.

    1. Select the Email channel. When Email is the only enabled channel, the composer is reduced to only fields and settings relevant to email notifications.

    2. Select the group of users you want to send your message to.
      • All Users: Sends the message to your entire audience.
      • Target Specific Users: Create a recipient group based on segmentation data. See: Target Specific Users.
      • Test Users: Predefined recipient groups. After choosing Test Users, select from the Test Groups dropdown menu that appears. See: Test Groups.
      • Upload Users: Upload a list of users just before sending the message. Select this option if you want to include merge fields in your message. See: Upload Users.
    3. Click Content in the header to move on.

  4. Add your message Content.

    1. Click Add content.

    2. (Optional) Edit Sender Information to change name and addresses, change the message to transactional, disable tracking events, or add BCC addresses.
      1. Click Edit   for Sender Information, and make your changes.

        • 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.

        • Transactional: By default, messages are for commercial use and require unsubscribe links.

          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 this message. Contact Airship to enable and register BCC addresses.

      2. Click Done.

    3. Add the Subject.

      1. Click Add  .
      2. Enter a subject.
      3. If your subject includes 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. , click {+} Preview with sample values to test your message with JSON sample data.
      4. Click Done.
    4. Add the HTML body. You can either provide your own HTML or design using our WYSIWYG editor.

      Paste or upload HTML
      1. Click Add  .
      2. Click Paste HTML or Upload HTML file, and add your HTML.
      3. If your message includes 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. , click {+} Preview with sample values to test your message with JSON sample data.
      4. Click Done.
      WYSIWYG editor
      1. Click Add  .
      2. Select a default layout, or select Blank Template to design your own layout.
      3. Create your message body. See the WYSIWYG Editor Reference for details. The WYSIWYG editor supports merge fields using attributes, custom event properties, etc.
      4. Click Done.
       Note

      Email image recommendations:

      • 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.

    5. Add the Plain text body, a non-HTML version of your message for recipients who do not accept HTML emails.

      1. Click Add  .
      2. Enter the message text.
      3. If your text includes 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. , click {+} Preview with sample values to test your message with JSON sample data.
      4. Click Done.

    6. (Optional) Preview your email in different clients.
       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.
      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.
    7. Click Delivery in the header to move on.

  5. Set Delivery options for your message.

    1. Select a delivery type.

      Send now Send the message immediately after review.
      Schedule

      Choose an exact time of day to send the message.

      1. Enter a date in YYYY-MM-DD format and select the time and time zone.

      2. (Optional) Select Delivery By Time Zone to deliver messages at the specified time in your audience’s time zone(s). For example, a push notification scheduled for 9 a.m. will arrive for people on the east coast at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, in the midwest an hour later at 9 a.m. Central Time, then on the west coast two hours after that, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

         Note

        A message delivered by time zone includes a Delivery by Time Zone section in its message report. See: View Message Detail.

         Tip

        The API equivalent of Delivery By Time Zone is Push to Local Time.

      Recurring

      Send the message periodically at specified intervals. You may want to send recurring messages for things like payment reminders. You can pause, resume, and cancel recurring messages in Messages Overview.

       Note

      Segmentation data is evaluated at send time. For example, if your recurring message targets an audience list whose members change over time, each recurring message is sent to the current version of the list when the message is sent.

       Note

      Recurring messages that include multi-language localized content cannot be edited.

      1. Specify the delivery interval by number of hours/days/weeks/months/years. If you selected weeks, also specify which days of the week to send the messsage.

      2. Set the initial date. This is the first day Airship will send your message.

      3. Set the initial time. This is the time of day Airship will send each message.

      4. (Optional) Specify when to stop sending the message.

        1. Enable End date.
        2. Enter a date.
        3. Select the time and time zone.
      5. (Optional) Specify dates or days of the week when the message should not be sent. If you selected the hours interval for delivery, you can also specify which hours of the day should be excluded.

        If the scheduled send falls during an excluded period, Airship waits to send the message until the next available valid send time. For example, if you scheduled delivery weekly on Thursdays but added Thanksgiving Day as an exclusion, the next send would be the Thursday after Thanksgiving.

        1. Enable Do not send.
        2. Click Add date exclusion, enter a date, and repeat for additional dates.
        3. Click Add day exclusion and select days.
        4. Click Add time exclusion and set start and end times.

    2. Set Optional Features.

    3. If your message includes External Data FeedsA connection to an external API. When you send a message, Airship uses a response from that API to personalize messages. , you must configure each feed listed in External data feed options.

      Failure behavior Determine how your message is handled if the feed fails. Select Abort sending the message or Send message without this data.
      Default value for [var]

      This displays the default value for each message-level variable used in your data feed’s request URL. You set the default value when you Add a data feed in your project’s settings.

      You can change the value to override the default for this message only.

    4. Click Review in the header to move on.

  6. Review your message.

    1. If you want to make changes, click the associated step in the header, make your changes, then return to Review.

    2. (Optional) Send a test message and verify its appearance and behavior on each channel the message is configured for.

      The message is sent to your selected recipients immediately, and it appears as a test in Messages Overview.

      1. Click Send Test.
      2. Enter at least one named user or Test GroupA reusable audience group that can be used as a recipient for test messages. Messages you send to a test group appear as tests in Messages Overview. and select from the results.
      3. Click Send.
    3. If you chose Upload Users in the Audience step, click Upload & Send and select your file. Uploaded merge field names will be verified against the merge fields set in the Content step.

    4. Click Send Message or Schedule Message.

Send a Templated Email Notification

You must use the Upload Users option to send a notification using a template. You should have the user list that you want to upload ready before you begin this tutorial.

If your template includes merge fields, your user list can also include the data that you want to pass into your message when you upload users. For more information, see Dynamic Content and Merge Fields.

  1. Click Create and select Message.

  2. (Optional) Add a message name and/or flag the message as a test.
    1. Click   in the header.
    2. Enter the name.
    3. Enable Test.
    4. Click outside the box to close it.

    See also: Name a Message and Flag a Message as a Test.

  3. Define your message Audience.

    1. Select the Email channel only.

    2. Select Upload Users. You will upload your user list just before sending the message.

    3. Click Content in the header to move on.

  4. Add your message Content.

    1. Click Select template.

    2. Select the template you want to use and click Continue with Selected Template.

    3. (Optional) Click Edit content to make changes to the message content. You can then edit the Subject, HTML body, and Plain text body.

    4. (Optional) Edit Sender Information to change name and addresses, change the message to transactional, disable tracking events, or add BCC addresses.
      1. Click Edit   for Sender Information, and make your changes.

        • 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.

        • Transactional: By default, messages are for commercial use and require unsubscribe links.

          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 this message. Contact Airship to enable and register BCC addresses.

      2. Click Done.

       Note

      Email templates for commercial messages must include an unsubscribe link. If you did not include an unsubscribe link in your template, you must enable Transactional in Sender Information.

      If using a legacy template, you can add or remove unsubscribe links after selecting the template:

      1. Click Edit   for HTML body, select Paste HTML, edit the HTML to add or remove an unsubscribe link, then click Done.
      2. Click Edit   for Plain text body, add or remove an unsubscribe link, then click Done.

    5. (Optional) Preview your email in different clients.
       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.
      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.
    6. Click Delivery in the header to move on.

  5. Set Delivery options for your message.

    1. Select a delivery type.

      Send now Send the message immediately after review.
      Schedule

      Choose an exact time of day to send the message.

      1. Enter a date in YYYY-MM-DD format and select the time and time zone.

      2. (Optional) Select Delivery By Time Zone to deliver messages at the specified time in your audience’s time zone(s). For example, a push notification scheduled for 9 a.m. will arrive for people on the east coast at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, in the midwest an hour later at 9 a.m. Central Time, then on the west coast two hours after that, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

         Note

        A message delivered by time zone includes a Delivery by Time Zone section in its message report. See: View Message Detail.

         Tip

        The API equivalent of Delivery By Time Zone is Push to Local Time.

      Recurring

      Send the message periodically at specified intervals. You may want to send recurring messages for things like payment reminders. You can pause, resume, and cancel recurring messages in Messages Overview.

       Note

      Segmentation data is evaluated at send time. For example, if your recurring message targets an audience list whose members change over time, each recurring message is sent to the current version of the list when the message is sent.

       Note

      Recurring messages that include multi-language localized content cannot be edited.

      1. Specify the delivery interval by number of hours/days/weeks/months/years. If you selected weeks, also specify which days of the week to send the messsage.

      2. Set the initial date. This is the first day Airship will send your message.

      3. Set the initial time. This is the time of day Airship will send each message.

      4. (Optional) Specify when to stop sending the message.

        1. Enable End date.
        2. Enter a date.
        3. Select the time and time zone.
      5. (Optional) Specify dates or days of the week when the message should not be sent. If you selected the hours interval for delivery, you can also specify which hours of the day should be excluded.

        If the scheduled send falls during an excluded period, Airship waits to send the message until the next available valid send time. For example, if you scheduled delivery weekly on Thursdays but added Thanksgiving Day as an exclusion, the next send would be the Thursday after Thanksgiving.

        1. Enable Do not send.
        2. Click Add date exclusion, enter a date, and repeat for additional dates.
        3. Click Add day exclusion and select days.
        4. Click Add time exclusion and set start and end times.

    2. Set Optional Features.

    3. If your message includes External Data FeedsA connection to an external API. When you send a message, Airship uses a response from that API to personalize messages. , you must configure each feed listed in External data feed options.

      Failure behavior Determine how your message is handled if the feed fails. Select Abort sending the message or Send message without this data.
      Default value for [var]

      This displays the default value for each message-level variable used in your data feed’s request URL. You set the default value when you Add a data feed in your project’s settings.

      You can change the value to override the default for this message only.

    4. Click Review in the header to move on.

  6. Review your message.

    1. Review the device preview and message summary. If you want to make changes, click the associated step in the header, make your changes, then return to Review.

    2. (Optional) Send a test message and verify its appearance and behavior on each channel the message is configured for.

      The message is sent to your selected recipients immediately, and it appears as a test in Messages Overview.

      1. Click Send Test.
      2. Enter at least one named user or Test GroupA reusable audience group that can be used as a recipient for test messages. Messages you send to a test group appear as tests in Messages Overview. and select from the results.
      3. Click Send.
    3. Click Upload & Send and select the CSV file containing your list of users and merge fields. Uploaded merge field names will be verified against the merge fields set in the Content step.

    4. Click Send Message or Schedule Message.

Unsubscribe Links for Email

When sending a commercial email, your message must include a link to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

  • 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"]]

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

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.

Upload Users

In the Audience step when sending a message, you can use the Upload Users feature to send your message to a CSV list of recipients. When uploading a list of SMS, email, or open channels, Airship both registers new users found in your list and sends your message.

 Tip

You can take advantage of this feature using our Create-and-send API to register and send messages to new email, SMS, or open channel users.

See Upload Users CSV Format for information about formatting your CSV. The first column of your CSV must contain the channel ID or address (email, MSISDN, etc.) for a new user. For SMS, the second column should be the Sender IDThe alphanumeric code that your SMS messages come from — like a phone number or name. Your audience subscribes to each individual sender ID they want to receive messages from. . Your CSV can contain additional columns with information that you use to personalize a message 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. — e.g., {{name}}.

To use the Upload Users feature:

  1. In the Audience step, select the channel you want to send your message to and then click Upload Users. You cannot use the Upload Users feature if you select more than one channel.

  2. In the Review step, click Upload and Send.

  3. Click Choose File and select the file that contains your list of users.

  4. Click Send Message.