Message Workflow Tutorial

Use the Message Workflow to 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.

If you are sending Web, SMS, or Email notifications, please see:

What You'll Do

In this tutorial, you will:

  1. Define who will receive your message.
  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 send the message.

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 Message workflow.


  1. Optionally modify which Channels are included in your audience.All mobile app channels configured for your project will be listed and enabled by default, but you can toggle to limit your audience to specific channels. You must select at least one.

    1. Open Channels are listed by their configured Display Names. See: Configure Open Channels.

    2. Features and options are reduced to those common to all selected channels.

  2. Select the radio button for your desired recipient group.

    • All Users sends the message to your entire audience.

    • Target Specific Users lets you create a recipient group based on segmentation data. See: Target Specific Users.

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

    • Upload Users lets you upload a list of users just before sending the message. See: SMS Notification Tutorial: Upload Users.
  3. 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.Click Continue to confirm your choices.

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

    When Web Browsers or an Open Channel 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.

    When you combine SMS, Email, or Open Channels with additional channels, the content is configured on separate tabs.


    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.

  5. Set Optional Features.

  6. Click Delivery in the header to move on.


  1. Click to select Send Now, Schedule, or Optimize.
    • Schedule: Enter a date in YYYY-MM-DD format and make your selections from the dropdown menus.Optionally check the box for Delivery By Time Zone. For example, a push notification scheduled for 9 a.m. will arrive for people on the east coast at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, in the midwest an hour later at 9 a.m. Central Time, then on the west coast two hours after that, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

      A message delivered by time zone include a Delivery by Time Zone section in its message report. See: Message Reports: Delivery by Time Zone.


      The API equivalent of Delivery By Time Zone is Push to Local Time.

    • Optimize: Enter a date in YYYY-MM-DD format. iOS, Android. and Amazon only.We recommend scheduling at least three days in advance due to the combination of time zones and optimal times. If your audience is more localized, e.g., only in the United States or in a certain European region, less lead time is necessary.

      Send Time Optimization is one of our Predictive features. Please contact your Urban Airship Account Manager to purchase.

  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. The Open Channel preview is a data table containing the selections and content that will be sent for the Open Channel message.
    If you would like to make changes, click the associated step in the progress header, make your changes, then return to Review.

  2. Send your message! Click Send or Schedule at the bottom of the window.