Automation Workflow Tutorial

Automated Messages are messages that are automatically sent to users when certain conditions are met.

Send a push notification, in-app message, a Message Center message, or any combination of the three. Learn more in Message and Workflow Types and the Workflow Overview.

What You'll Do

In this tutorial, you will:

  1. Define who will receive your message and why.
  2. Choose which message type to send and enter its content.
  3. Direct the users' next step after they tap or swipe the message.
  4. Decide how and when you want the message delivered.
  5. Preview and start the automation rule.

Features and options are explained along the way.


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.


Open your project from the dashboard, then click Create and select the Automation workflow.


  1. Enter a descriptive Automation Name.

  2. Select an Event Trigger from the dropdown menu.


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

  3. Set Event Trigger Options. The Options section appears after you select a trigger.

  4. 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.

  5. Click Content in the header to move on.


  1. Choose which message type to send, or choose Silent Push Notification to send a push without notification text.After you make your selection you have the option to combine message types, then click Continue to confirm your choice(s).


    When Web Browsers and/or Windows is the only enabled channel, the only available message type is Push Notification.

    When Web Browsers 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.

    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 in the box that appears below.

  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 Open 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 Urban 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 Delivery 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 progress 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 may edit it at any time via the dropdown menu in the Status column in Messages » Messages Overview » Automation.

  3. Start your Automation rule! Click Start Automation at the bottom of the window.