SMS Notifications

SMS notifications are text-based messages sent to an MSISDN (phone number) over the SMMP protocol to devices that have opted in for a specific sender ID (long or short code).

Key Terms

A workflow is a method of creating messages via the dashboard.
The dashboard is the Urban Airship web interface located at



  • Immediacy Send time-sensitive notifications.

  • Reach: Contact customers who don’t have your app, or re-engage customers who are inactive on other channels or at-risk.

  • Personalization: Send transactional messages triggered by a backend system, e.g., order confirmation and shipment tracking updates.

  • Mobile wallet integration: Deliver personalized passes, tickets, coupons, and more.

  • Integrated platform: Centralize all your engagement channels; manage personalization, scheduling, and deployment for all message types; and measure SMS alongside all your other channels, all in the Urban Airship platform.

  • No app required. If you do have an app, however, SMS notifications are an additional channel that you can use to engage your audience. You can decide which channel (app, SMS, etc.) is more important for different types of messaging, adjust your messaging for different channels, set priority per channel, and much more. See Orchestration for details on priority channel and other cross-channel engagement strategies.

Use Cases

Sports Events

  • Before the event: Last-minute ticket offers, seat upgrades, parking coupons.
  • During the event: Coupons, promotions of venue facilities, promotion of sponsor experiences to increase partner activations.
  • Mobile wallet pass delivery: Coupons, tickets.


  • Campaigns: Location-aware promotions, promotions to drive in-store traffic, lifecycle marketing.
  • Transactional: Offer confirmations, order status updates.
  • Mobile wallet pass delivery: Loyalty card updates, coupons.


  • Day-of-travel: Flight reminders, promotions, loyalty benefits.
  • Mobile wallet pass delivery: Boarding passes, loyalty card updates, coupons.


  • Campaigns: Re-engage inactive or at-risk readers.
  • News: Preferred new categories.

Opt-In/Out Handling

Inbound requests to opt in or out of SMS notifications are handled by Urban Airship. Our opt-in and opt-out database:

  • Segregated from campaign content.
  • Encrypted for EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.
  • Tracks both opt-in and opt-out dates as well as deactivated numbers, and maintains this information as required by Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), GDPR, and other regulations.
  • Supports data subject rights under the GDPR.


Opt in/out counts are included in the Devices report and individual message reports. Message reports also include send counts and custom events for delivery events and errors. These counts are included in Connect and Insight.

Behavior and Appearance

SMS notifications are text-based messages. They are viewed in the recipient device's native SMS client.

Send an SMS Notification


SMS cannot be combined with other channels when using the dashboard workflow.


You may also use SMS notifications with push templates. See: SMS: Personalization Templates.


Send SMS notifications to SMS channels alone, or combine them with other message types and channels, e.g., iOS and Web, using our Push API.

Configuration and Requirements

Configuration requires setup of your Sender ID. Contact Urban Airship Support or your Account Manager to provision your project for SMS notifications and complete the configuration.