In-App Automation Workflow Tutorial

In-App Messages appear inside of your app. While standard in-app messages appear as banners, automated in-app messages have various style and layout options. They are stored on the user's device then displayed according to the triggers you define. Learn more in In-App Messages and the Workflow Overview.

What You'll Do

In this tutorial, you will:

  1. Select a message style and layout.
  2. Enter a message name.
  3. Define who will receive your message.
  4. Configure the content of your message.
  5. Assign actions to the buttons.
  6. Choose what will trigger your message to display on a device.
  7. Preview and activate the message.

Features and options are explained along the way.


Please review your project's Background Push setting status before sending messages via In-App Automation. Background push is used to pre-load in-app messages on a user's device, which increases 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.


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

After completing each step's configuration, click the right arrow in the progress header to move to the next step. Click a dot in the central navigation to go back and edit. Hover over a dot to see its step name appear as a tooltip. You may return to any previous step by clicking its dot.


  1. Click to select a message style.

    For Custom HTML, since the message's content and behavior is defined in your provided HTML, the remaining settings and options available in this workflow are reduced to only those applicable to the Custom HTML message style.


  1. Click to select the message layout. Layout options vary by message style. Layout is not included if you chose Custom HTML in the Style step.


  1. Enter a descriptive Message Name and configure Optional Message Features. This name will appear in Messages Overview.


  1. Click to select your desired Audience.
    • All Users sends the message to your entire audience.

    • Test Users are predefined recipient groups. After choosing Test Users, select from the Test Groups dropdown menu that appears. See: Audience: Test Groups.

    • Target Specific Users lets you create a recipient group based on available conditions. See: Target Specific Users: In-App Automation.


  1. Configure the Content of your message. A preview will display as you type. Available fields and options vary per message style.

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

    Click Upload File and select your HTML file. See below for Custom Keys information.

    • Text: Enter the text that will display in your message. The Header appears above the message. The Message is the main textual message.

      Fullscreen messages include a Footer field. The Footer:

      • Inherits the styling of the body text.
      • Functions as a button. You will be prompted to associate an action in the next step.
      • Is designed to link off 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.
    • Media: Enter a URL for the media to be displayed with the message. Image and video are supported. Ensure the URL will be accessible by your mobile audience. HTTPS is required.

      If your account has CDN enabled, you have the option to Upload media rather than entering a URL. Contact Support if you are interested in enabling CDN media hosting.

      Select the radio button for Upload, click Upload Media, and select the media file.

      Supported Media

      • Images: JPEG, PNG. 2 MB maximum.
      • Video: MPEG, MPEG2, MP4, YouTube. 2 MB Maximum.
    • Buttons: Enter labels for interactive buttons. You will be prompted to associate an action in the next step.

      Click Add Button for additional buttons. Click the X at the end of a button's row to remove it. Banner and modal style messages support up to two buttons, fullscreen style messages support up to five buttons.

      If more than one button is added, you may choose a button layout: Separate, Joined, or Stacked.

    • Custom Keys: Set Custom Keys, also known as key/value pairs, which allow you to pass extra data through your push notification payload for use by custom code in your app. Common uses of custom keys include passing additional campaign identifiers for analytics, passing user profile information to the device, controlling the look and feel of the app, providing image links, etc.

      Enable via toggle, then enter the key and value. Click Add Another for additional keys.



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. See #3 below. You must set other actions within your custom HTML file.

  1. Assign an Action to each button. Fullscreen messages include a footer, which functions as a button. The footer will appear here as a configurable button.

    Select from the dropdown menu, then configure its settings. Available actions vary per message style. The actions available for the footer button are Deep Link and Web Page.
  2. Optionally set a tag when the button is pressed.

  3. Optionally set a tag when the message is displayed. Toggle to enable, then use the same search method as set a tag.

    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.


  1. Specify a Display Trigger. Select from the dropdown menu, then configure its settings and options. You must configure at least one trigger.
    To remove a selected trigger, click the X at the end of its row. Click Add another to add an additional trigger.

  2. Optionally specify that the message will be displayed only if certain conditions are met.


  1. Review the device preview and message summary, then click Finish in the progress header.

    The preview and message summary display only the content and selections configured in this workflow; Custom HTML message content must be reviewed independently of the Urban Airship dashboard. We recommend sending yourself a test message.

    If you would like to make changes, click the EDIT link in the right side of the section header, make your changes, then either click the right arrow in the progress header 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.