Getting Started with Messages



Engage is Urban Airship’s flagship product and fully-featured mobile engagement platform. Design and implement winning mobile strategies with Automated Messages, Personalization, A/B Tests, Message Center, and more.

Web Notify

Web Notify is Urban Airship's Web push notification solution. Engage new website visitors and boost connections with returning visitors with personalized, real-time messaging. Similar to the client-server setup for iOS and Android mobile apps, Web Notify is supported by a JavaScript SDK in the client (browser) application and both the dashboard and the Urban Airship Push API. Read more about Web Push Notifications.

Start Using Engage


Try Engage now, using our 1st Flight app. No development required!

  1. Set up your Urban Airship account.
  2. Add your project in the dashboard. This step includes our Quickstart Guide for SDK integration and provisioning your app or website for push notifications.
  3. Add your mobile device's channel ID to a Test Group.
  4. Send your first test notification.

If you are using Web Notify only:

  1. Integrate Urban Airship with your website by completing this guide.
  2. Send a Web Push Notification.

While anyone should be able to follow these instructions and send a push notification, this is a technical process and should be completed by a developer with access to the proper mobile development tools and credentials for developer programs.

Register and Log In

If you already have a account, log in now and skip to Add Your Project. If you don't already have an account, you will first need to choose a pricing plan. You may get started with the free Starter plan, or sign up for a more feature-rich paid plan.

  1. Choose a pricing plan.

    • Click the Getting Started button for either Starter or Basic, and continue the steps below.
    • If you prefer Essential or Comprehensive, click the Schedule Demo button, and an Urban Airship Account Manager will be in touch with you shortly.
  2. For Starter or Basic packages, enter your information and click the Complete registration button.

  3. Check your inbox for an account activation email, and click the activation link.

  4. Enter a password to complete your account setup.

  5. Click either the Mobile App or Web Notify option.

Add Your Project

When you create a project in the dashboard, you are creating an application record for your iOS or Android app. For Web Notify, your project is your website. Your Urban Airship app record is what we use to generate the required keys you'll need to talk to different push notification services and keep track of your audience, messaging campaigns, analytics, and so forth.

If you just registered and clicked the Mobile App option, you are ready to add your first project.

If you already had an account, click the New Project button in the upper right corner of the dashboard, then continue with the steps below.

Add Your First Project

Anyone can set up an Urban Airship project at this stage, but the next several steps (uploading the push certificate, installing the SDK) will need to be completed by a developer.

  1. Enter your project’s name, add an icon, and set its environment type.
    • Project Name: Enter a descriptive name for your project. You have the option to change it later.

    • Icon: Optionally upload your icon. This does not have to be the same icon you submit to app marketplaces, but that is the typical practice.

    • Live/Test: Specify whether this project is live or for testing. If this is your first time configuring a project for Urban Airship, you should likely choose Test. This setting cannot be changed later.

    • Industry: Select an industry type and sub-industry. This is used for reporting.

  2. Click Create Project. The next screen will display the Quickstart Guide.

Project Name
Some of our customers have only one project, and some have hundreds. If you work in a large organization, keep in mind that other people in your company may need to search for this project, so give it as descriptive a name as possible and adopt a naming convention. Examples: Anytown News iOS - Development, McDowell's Chicago Android - Production.

Ultimately, you will want to have both a test build and a live, production build for public release. For more information about live vs. test apps in Urban Airship, see:

Set Up Your First Project

You're now ready to create your first project by following our Quickstart Guide. You'll download the SDK, install it in your app or website, upload your certificate, and send a test push for the channels of your choice.

  1. Click Channel Guide+ to expose the selector menu, check the box for each channel you want to add, then click outside the selector menu. The page will update to the first guide.
  2. Click a channel button to see its guide, and follow the step-by-step instructions.

Add Your Channel ID to a Test Group

When sending your test notification, you will choose Test Users as your audience, then select from the Test Groups dropdown menu.

Users are added to a Test Group by entering their channel IDs. You have two options:

Option 1: Speak with one of your developers about getting your device added to a Test Group.

Option 2: Follow the steps in Audience: How to Find Your Device Identifier: Mobile Devices then, add your device to a Test Group.


Option 2 includes the instructions for using Charles Proxy to expose your Channel ID. Even if you're comfortable with using Charles Proxy, you may want to speak with your developer before you attempt to retrieve your Channel ID yourself. Your app may have been designed with a hidden feature that allows you to quickly retrieve your ID, saving you the difficulty of working with Charles Proxy.

Once your Channel ID has been added to a Test Group, you are ready to proceed to the next section.

Send Your First Notification

This section will walk you through sending your first push notification via our Message workflow. The notification will be a simple, text-based notification sent to a Test Group.


For the purposes of this guide, your Test Group should include mobile devices only. In the following steps, caveats are noted for web browsers in the case that you choose to send to an audience other than Test Users.

  1. Open your project from the dashboard, then click the Create button, and select the Message workflow.
    Your steps are tracked in the progress header. Completed steps display a green checkmark icon, showing you are ready to proceed. A red (!) icon appears if you need to fix anything. Click a step name to move ahead or to go back and edit.
    Your message's selected conditions are displayed in a Summary on the right side of the window. The Help tab displays information relevant to the current step. Hover over a section to expose a (?) icon. Click the icon, and the Help tab will update with that topic.

  2. Select the radio button for Test Users, choose from the Test Groups dropdown menu, then click Content in the progress header.

    When composing a message, you have the option to modify which Channels are included in your audience. Since you have already restricted the message audience to test users only, there is no need to make a change to the selected channels.

  3. Click the pane for Push Notification, then click the Continue button that appears.

    If you have included the Web Browser or Windows channels, Push Notification will be the only message type displayed.

  4. Enter your message in the text field and you will see it in the device preview. Then click Delivery in the progress header.
  5. Click to select Send Now, then click Review & Send in the progress header.
  6. 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.
  7. Click the Send Message button at the bottom of the window.

If all has been configured correctly, you just sent your first push notification! Because the message was sent to Test Users, you should see the push notification appear on the mobile device(s) defined in your Test Group. If this is not the case, review adding your Channel ID to a Test Group and reattempt the tutorial.

Industry Types

Below are the possible choices for a project's Industry setting, along with brief explanations. Industry is set when creating a new project, and it can be edited in Settings » Edit Project.

Projects that provide a B2B or B2E utility, meant to be used by B2B customers or employees of businesses. Includes app interfaces or versions of B2B SaaS platforms.
Charities, Foundations, and Non-Profit
Projects that provide an interface between the end user and a non-profit entity, charity, foundation, and/or projects whose purpose is to generate revenue for a cause.
Projects that provide training and learning opportunities for consumers, as well as those for schools or learning institutions.
Projects that provide entertainment in the form of video streaming, music, movies, TV, radio, and artist representation.
Finance, banking, investment, insurance management.
Food & Drink
Projects managed by restaurants and beverage companies, as well as recipe/cooking content.
Projects that allow you to place bets/gamble.
Projects that include free and paid gaming.
Local, state, or national government services and tools.
Projects that include national & breaking news, local news, newsstand, books, magazines, as well as radio.
Medical, Health & Fitness
Fitness tracking, health management, pharmacy, health reference.
Grocery, discount/deals, specialty retail (i.e., greeting cards or toys), fashion, big box/warehouse.
Networking, messaging, dating, communication.
Sports & Recreation
Sports teams, sports news, recreation.
Travel & Transportation
Airline, automotive, hotel, bookings, rail, vacation rental, public transportation.
Utility & Productivity
Navigation, reference, weather, other tools for productivity.