Automation Composer Tutorial

Use the Automation composer to automatically send messages to users when predefined conditions are met.

See the Message Reference for allowed message types and combinations. See also: Message and Composer Types and Composer Overview.


You can configure the default appearance of your In-App Messages in Settings » Configuration » In-App Message Design. This includes button text and message color, screen position, and more.


  1. Open your messaging project, then click Create and select Automation.
  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 the Test toggle.
    4. Click outside the box to close it.
  3. Enter a descriptive *Automation Name* if you did not enter a name in the previous step.
  4. Select an Event Trigger and configure options. The Options section appears after you select a trigger.


    The only triggers allowed for SMS, Email, and Open Channels are First Seen, Tag Change, and Custom Event.

  5. Optionally modify which Channels are included in your audience. Available channels are based on trigger selection. You must select at least one.

    Features and options are reduced to those common to all selected channels.

  6. Click Content in the header to move on.


  1. Choose which message type to send. This selection screen only appears if you selected mobile app and/or SMS channels. If combined, App and SMS choices will appear on separate tabs.If mobile app platforms were included channels, you will have the option to combine message types after you make your initial selection. Click Continue to confirm your choice.


    When Web Browser, an Open Channel, and/or Windows is the only enabled channel, the only available message type is Push Notification.

    When Web Browser or an Open Channel and an app channel other than Windows are enabled, you have the option to combine the Push Notification with an In-App Message.

  2. Enter the text that will display in your message. A preview will display as you type.

    When you combine SMS, Email, or Open Channels with additional channels, the content is configured on separate tabs.


    If you chose 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 the radio button for Write Alternative and enter your text.

  3. Select a Message Action from the dropdown menu.

    The Message Actions listed in the dropdown menu differ depending on which message type you chose and if you chose to combine message types. See: Message Reference: Actions.

  4. Optionally Set a tag.


    Named user event automation does not support tag operations. Do not set tags in an automation pipeline with custom event triggers attributed to named users. A named user event automation pipeline that attempts to use the Set a Tag feature will not run.

  5. Set Optional Features.

  6. Click Delivery in the header to move on.


  1. Configure the delivery Timing. Optionally set a delay, and select from the dropdown menu. Delivery will be after the trigger occurs and delay has elapsed. If you enable a delay, "after delay" is appended to each choice listed in the dropdown menu.
    • Delay specifies a waiting period after the trigger occurs and before the message is sent. Toggle to enable, then enter a value for your dropdown choice of Minutes, Hours, or Days. The maximum delay period is 90 days.

      Delay is required for First Seen triggers, with a minimum delay of one hour to ensure delivery.

    • Send immediately: Your message will send as soon as the rule is evaluated, though after a delay, if specified.

    • Schedule: Choose an exact time of day to send the message. The system chooses the first appropriate scheduled time after the triggering event and after a configured delay period has elapsed. All messages are delivered in the device’s local time zone.

      Check the box per day of the week, or All days. Click and drag the circle on the timeline to select delivery time. Hours are in 15-minute divisions. If you would like to deliver the message at multiple hours of a day on multiple days of the week, click Add Another and continue with your specifications.

    • Send during available window: Configure message delivery windows by specifying valid hours of the day and days of the week. If no delay is configured and the triggering event falls within an available window, the message will be delivered immediately. If a delay is configured, the system evaluates for an available window the moment the delay period has elapsed.

      Check the box per day of the week, or All days. Click and drag the circle on the timeline to constrain the delivery window. Hours are in 15 minute divisions. If you would like to define multiple windows for delivery, e.g., to support separate hours during weekdays vs. weekends, click Add Another and continue with your specifications.

      If the triggering event (plus delay, if specified) falls outside of an available window, by default it will deliver the message during the next available window. You may choose to discard the message by selecting the radio button for Do not send.


      It may take a few minutes for Airship to process which time zone a device is in upon first registration, and we default to not sending to devices whose time zone is unknown. Including a delay with a Schedule/"Send during available window" automation may help with this and is highly recommended for messages that are intended to be sent shortly after first app open.

  2. Set Optional Features.

  3. Click Review in the header to move on.


  1. Review the device preview and message summary. Click the arrows to page through the various previews. The channel and display type dynamically update in the dropdown menu above. You can also select a preview directly from the dropdown menu.
    If you would like to make changes, click the associated step in the header, make your changes, then return to Review.

  2. Choose whether to create this Automated message as Active or Paused. Select Paused if you’d like to create the message but aren’t quite ready to activate it.

    Toggle to choose the desired Active/Paused state. After starting the rule, you can edit automation status at any time.

  3. Click Start Automation.