In-App Messaging: Quick Start Guide

The purpose of this guide is to help you get started with the new In-App Messaging feature in Urban Airship’s Composer. For more details on how In-App Messaging works, see In-App Messaging.

In-App Messaging requires Urban Airship 6.0 or later SDK.

There are a number of ways to send an In-App Message, whether in conjunction with a push notification or on its own. In-app messages can use zero, one, or two interactive Notification Buttons. This guide offers examples for some ways to get started with In-App Messaging right away.

Extend Your Reach

The easiest way to get started with In-App Messaging is to enable the feature when sending a message through Urban Airship’s Composer. This extends the reach of your message to include opted-out users who open the app independently, i.e., in the absence of an alert.

With the In-App Message slider toggled to On, Urban Airship will show an in-app message containing the same text as the associated push to every eligible user on their next app open.

A user is eligible if they have background refresh turned on, have not tapped on the associated push, and the message has not expired. Additionally, it is important to note that Urban Airship will only show the most recent in-app message.

In-App Only

In addition to sending in-app messages along with your regular push notification campaigns, In-App Messaging can support new communication opportunities. The ability to send messages as “In-App Only” is controlled by the toggle at the top of the Composer. An in-app only message can provide users with information that might be less time-sensitive than what might warrant a push notification. It can also serve as a reminder of something that is most useful when opening the app anyway.

Here are a few examples that you can start using right away:


The following In-App Messages alert users to available app updates with optional interactive buttons.


A very similar In-App Message experience with optional interactive buttons for Android users, this time with a reminder about the user’s store credit along with options to view details or shop now.

App Updates

You can send all of your users an in-app message highlighting the newest features of your app. If you just added a new page or have some new content, make sure to include a deep link so that they can find it quickly.

Ongoing Promotions

If you have a promotion that users can take advantage of at any time — such as a discount for inviting a friend, or for taking a survey — an in-app message serves as a convenient reminder. If there is a social component, consider using the Share Interactive Notification option that Urban Airship provides out-of-the-box in our SDK.

Profile Enhancement

Promote the benefits of a completed profile, and provide a link to the relevant page in your app. Encourage your users to take a second to personalize their experience, and increase engagement and retention.