In-App Automation Composer Tutorial

Learn how to create messages with In-App Automation.

In-App Messages appear regardless of a user’s opt-in/out status for notifications. While standard in-app messages appear as banners, In-App Automation messages have various style and layout options. They are stored on the user’s device then displayed according to the triggers you define.

See the In-App Message Reference for detail about the options and settings in this tutorial.


Review your project’s Background Push setting status before sending In-App Automation messages. Background push pre-loads in-app messages on a user’s device, increasing the speed and reliability of message delivery. It is disabled by default.


You can configure the default appearance of your messages in Settings » Configuration » In-App Automation. Settings include background and heading colors, text colors, size and alignment, etc.


To localize your message, follow the steps in the In-App Automation Localization Tutorial.

  1. Click Create and select In-App Automation.

  2. Select a message style, then click   to continue.


    When uploading a custom HTML message, the settings available in this composer are reduced to only those applicable to the Custom HTML message style.

  3. Select the message layout, then click   to continue. Layout options vary by message style. Layout is not included if you chose Custom HTML in the Style step.

  4. Configure the message settings, then click   to continue.

  5. Select your audience, then click   to continue.

    • All Users: Sends the message to your entire audience.
    • Test Users: Predefined recipient groups. After choosing Test Users, select from the Test Groups dropdown menu that appears. See: Test Groups.
    • Target Specific Users: Create a recipient group based on available conditions. See: Target Specific Users: In-App Automation.

  6. Configure the content of your message, then click   to continue. A preview will display as you type. Available fields and options vary per message style.

    • Footer: Fullscreen messages include a Footer field, which is designed to link to your Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, or additional information to help the user make a more informed decision about the actions they could take in this message. The footer inherits the styling of the body text and functions as a button. Enter text for the footer.

    • Media: Enter an HTTPS URL that will be accessible by your mobile audience. If your Airship plan includes CDN support you can also upload media or select from prevously uploaded media. Contact Support if you are interested in enabling CDN media hosting.
      1. Select Upload and click Insert Media.

        1. Click Choose file and select a file to upload, or select from previous uploads.
          • The default sort order is most recent upload first.
          • You can search by file name or keyword.
          • A file preview appears after upload or selection. Click   to preview audio and video files.
        2. (Optional) Add or edit keywords for the file to help organize your uploads.
          • Enter a term in the search field below the preview and select from results, or click Add keyword: [term].
          • Click   to remove a keyword.
        3. Click Insert selected media.

      2. Buttons: Enter button label text and click Add button. Banner and modal messages support up to two buttons. Fullscreen messages support up to five buttons. If more than one button is added, choose a button layout: separate, joined, or stacked.

      3. Custom KeysAdditional 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. : Enter a key and value. Click Add Another for additional keys.


        If you selected Custom HTML in the Style step, the only two sections will be Custom HTML and Custom Keys. Upload your file now.

    • Assign an action for each button, then then click   to continue. Select from the dropdown menu, then configure its settings.


      If you selected Custom HTML in the Style step, the only option in the Actions step is to Set a tag when the message is displayed. You must set other actions within your custom HTML file.

      • Button Actions
      • (Optional) Set a tag when the button is pressed.
      • (Optional) Set a tag when the message is displayed.

        Use this in conjunction with tag-based targeting to prevent a message from being seen or to chain the display of messages. E.g., set a tag “message1” on display of one message, and only display a second message to users who have the “message1” tag.

    • (Optional) Override the default design settings. Enable Background, Text, or Buttons, and make your changes.

      • Changes apply to the current message only and do not affect the project’s default design settings.
      • The available options are the same as those available when setting design defaults for your project in Settings » Configuration » In-App Automation.
    • Configure the trigger events that will cause the message to appear to users, then click   to continue. You can also set conditional options that cause the message to display when triggers occur and the condition is true. See: Configure Triggers: In-App Automation for information about each trigger and condition.

    • Review your message and click Finish. If want to make changes, click EDIT, make your changes, then either click   or click the central navigation dot to return to the Review step. If you exit before this final step, the message is still a draft and not yet active.