The mobile app channel provides a way for you to communicate with your contacts using mobile app messages. Engage your contacts with relevant and timely calls to action even when your app is not actively in use.
Note that mobile app channel content is not SMS. The contact will need to have your app installed and optionally, mobile push notifications enabled on their device in order to receive and view push notifications.
Create a New Notification
Once the mobile app channel is enabled in your account, you can begin sending batch and automated mobile app messages.
Start by creating a batch or automated message and choose your mobile app channel from the channels dropdown menu.
- Message name - Give your message a name. This is an internal message title and not visible to your contacts.
- Message key - Unique identifier used to reference this push message in API calls. The key will auto-populate but the value can be edited. Not available for batch push notifications.
- Tag this message - Tags are useful for grouping messages together (similar to folders). This field accepts new and existing tag names.
Note: Tags are case sensitive. For example, promo and Promo are considered two unique tags.
Notification Settings at a Glance
From the message settings page, begin by clicking Edit to expand the mobile app message settings interface.
Notification Schedule and Audience
The steps for scheduling and choosing your audience are similar for batch and automated notifications. However, there are several noteworthy differences, mainly due to automated messages supporting three sending methods, with additional settings for each method.
When you create a batch notification, the options to edit the schedule and choose your audience will be on the message settings page. Batch mobile app messages can be sent immediately, scheduled for a future date and throttled.
Automated mobile app messages support three sending methods: API, Event Triggered, and Recurring. Links to settings for each sending method are located in the left navigation bar of the automated message settings page.
Select "Send to" Devices
In addition to using audience rules to filter contacts into audience segments, push notifications can further be targeted to contacts by device type - iOS devices only or Android devices only.
- While push notifications generally behave similarly across different devices, there may be subtle differences in delivery, display and interaction mechanics across operating systems. With the option to target contacts by device type, you can create push notifications to suit these platform variations.
- You have the flexibility to vary notification content for analysis and comparison of message performance between different platforms.
Edit Push Notification Content
To construct your push notification, you can provide the notification title, subtitle and body text. At the very minimum, the notification must contain either title or body text.
The notification editor supports plain text and Smarty template language for dynamic personalization. Learn more about using Smarty in message content.
- Title - Notification titles appear as bold text, above or below the notification content, and can be used to add emphasis. Titles may not be supported by earlier versions of iOS and Android. If not provided, or not supported by the receiving device, the name of your app will still be displayed.
- Subtitle (optional) - Use notification subtitles to describe the purpose of your notification. Android devices display the subtitle at the top of the notification while iOS devices display it just below the notification title. Similar to the notification title, support may be limited to later versions of iOS and Android.
- Body - The main content of your notification.
Insert an Image
Enrich your push notifications by adding images. You can browse existing images saved in your image library or enter an external publicly accessible image URL.
- Push notification images may not be supported on all devices so ensure that your notification can be understood even if the image does not render.
- Consider using images that have a file size of 5MB or less. If the image takes too long to render, it may exceed the image load timeout limit, and not render at all.
Mobile devices can range in size and resolution so it's best to chose a proper aspect ratio for images to fit correctly on the screen. Images will be resized proportionately depending on the device.
Recommended aspect ratio
To ensure your image is not cut off in the notification, you should use an aspect ration of 2:1 (height should be 2x the width). For example, an image width of 1024px should have a height of 512px.
Supported image formats
- iOS: JPEG, GIF, PNG
- Android: JPEG, PNG
Notification Tap Behavior
Defining Action on tap allows you to control the outcome of a tapped notification by directing your contacts to a destination of your choice.
- Open the app home screen - Links to the default app homepage.
- Open app deep link - Provide a direct link to specific content inside the app.
Use deep links when promoting specific products and services. Deep links are a convenient way for your contacts to access this content with one tap, without having to navigate in-app menus and use the search functionality to get there.
You can provide a fallback URL in the event your deep link is prevented from opening specific content within the app. This is a failsafe measure designed to more gracefully handle unforeseen interruptions in content delivery associated with the deep link.
Preview and Test
Use the Preview as and Send Test tools to visualize your push notification before sending the campaign to your contacts. We recommend using these features extensively to help you compose attractive push notifications that are compatible with a wide range of devices.
Preview from the UI
You can preview your push notification without leaving the settings page. Select a contact profile from the Preview as menu and click Preview. This is a great way to quickly check that your personalization rules are curating content as you envisioned based on any number of data points such as contact's gender, purchase or browse history, brand preferences, location, and more.
Toggle the preview between different devices to get an instant rendering of your notification.
Your notification looks great in preview but how would it display on a real device? To find out, send a live test to your device, or to more than one contact, preferably profiles you created for testing purposes only.
The send test modal allows you to search for test contact profiles in one of two ways.
Enter contacts: Type or paste one or more contact identifiers separated by commas. Convenient for sending test messages to frequently used test profiles.
Search and select contacts: Search for contacts by contact identifier, partial or whole. Useful for retrieving a list of contacts that match your search criteria such as those that use a specific domain for their email address (@yourdomain.com). Select one or more contacts as they come up in your search and they will be added as notification test recipients.
Automated notifications support content versioning, used for auditing content changes over time, comparing previous versions and rolling back to a specific version of a message.