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Selecting Your Message Type

What is a Message?

A message is the combination of a particular message content (what is in the message), message type (push notification, SMS, Interactive Display Message, etc.) and the message signals (whichever you select).

There are three types of messages:

  • Dynamic Push - A dynamic notification delivered using signals to guarantee optimal timing.
  • In-App - Dynamic notification that can contain media.

Creating the Message

1 - Message Type

Dynamic Push

Dynamic Push is similar to sending a standard push notification but instead it utilizes the OpenBack delivery signals. A Dynamic Push can be a simple message notification or it can also contain a URL/deeplink. Find more information on URLs and deeplinking here.

If you plan on using Dynamic Push, click here to skip to Step 2.


An In-App message brings a user to the app with an OpenBack overlay which displays the notification content. Use In-App messages to deliver rich content and media to users through push notifications. These messages can contain:

App Install

Using In-App messages, you can prompt a user to install another app that they may not have installed. You can combine this message with the Other Apps Signal to ensure that users who have the app installed do not get the message.

When selecting the app you would like to advertise, add the package URL to the notification. To show how this works, we'll use the OpenBack Companion App as an example.

First get the package URL for the app you are sending in the notification. Get this from the app's playstore page and take the id value from the URL, as shown below.

Package URL

You can now add the app package URL and the app name to the message details.

App Install


You can send users an image via In-App messages. This image must be hosted either on your own servers or by a third party service, as a URL is required for the image to be downloaded. In-App images are downloaded and cached before the message is due for delivery, enabling users with no data/internet connection to receive the message as intended.

You can also switch between message display and in-app display to see how your notification would look to user.


The In-App Image message must use .jpg/.jpeg/.png formats.

Image IDM


You can set an In-App message to contain a video. The video is precached which allows for delivery regardless of data connection once it is downloaded.

For deciding on the best way to send a video in a notification, have a look at our guide here.

  • Must link directly to a file hosted on a server.
  • Must be in either .avi or .mp4 format with H264 encoding recommended.
  • It is highly recommended to use https links.

Video Message

Custom HTML

Custom HTML In-App messages are the most customisable messages available in OpenBack. These messages use HTML/CSS/Javascript to send users much higher quality notifications.

HTML Message

In-App Message Payload

The In-App Message Payload is a powerful feature that can send any form of text payload to your app. Send any form of string as the payload, for example JSON/CSV/simple text, and this is interpreted as intended by the developer.

App Inbox


The App Inbox is available to Pro plan customers only.

The App Inbox is a great feature to keep all the messages in one place, allowing users to read messages even after they dismissed a notification. Your application is in charge of managing and displaying the messages.

To use the App Inbox feature simply select it from the dropdown when creating an In-App message.

App Inbox

Custom Inbox Message

The Custom Inbox Message sends a message with a title and content directly to the app inbox.

App Inbox Message

2 - Message Details

After picking the message type, enter the name of the new message and select the app that the message is going to.

After you select the app, the audience and predicted audience values are shown in the top right. The audience value is the total userbase of an app whereas the predicted audience uses predictive analytics to assess the population that will receive the message. This value fluctuates based on different factors in the message (message type, selected signals etc).


Optional - You can also add:

  • Message start/end dates. These settings determine when a message should roll out and when it should finish. For example, a month long message starting on the first day of the month and ending on the last day of the month.
  • A target goal. Associate a goal with the message. Goals
  • Attribution tag. A tag associated with your marketing campaign, for example ?utm_source=openback&utm_medium=smartpush&utm_campaign=
  • Another app to assign this message to. You can have a pair of apps to assign this message to.

Create Message Step 1

3 - Settings and Content

Enter your notification title and content. You can add emojis to give your notification and extra flair.

Optional - You can also add/change:

  • Message type
  • Notification type, either standard message or you can add a URL
  • Notification language. Up to ten languages can be added which will send the appropriate notification to users based on their device language. If no other language is found, the default is used.
  • Emojis
  • User Parameters
  • URL Deeplinks
  • Languages
  • Rich Notifications

Recurring Delivery Settings

Recurring delivery settings allow you to determine how many times a user can receive or interact with the same message. If you plan on using marketing automation, recurring delivery settings are great for setting up when a message should be sent again.

The options for a recurring message are:

  • Max Delivery - The max number of times a message can be delivered.
  • Min Time Between Delivering - The minimum time between delivering a repeating message.
  • Max Clicks - Maximum number of times a message can be clicked.
  • Min Time Between Clicks - Minimum time between displaying previously clicked messages.

For example, to set up a message that delivers daily over the course of two weeks:

  • Set Max Delivery to 14 times.
  • Set Min Time Between Delivering to 23 hours.
  • Set Max Clicks to 14 times, if you want the user to also click the message each day.
  • Set Min Time Between Clicks to 23 hours.

Combine this with the Time Signal to deliver your message at the same time daily over the course of two weeks but of course other signals will work too.

Character Limits

The average character limit for a notification's title or content is:

  • Android - 40 characters.
  • iOS - 86 characters.

Create Message Step 2

Auto Remove Notification

You can set a message to automatically remove a notification if it is not interacted with. The options for automatic removal are:

  • Time After Notification Delivered - Set the notification to be removed x minutes after delivery.
  • Device Time - Set the notification to be removed by a certain time, using the user's device time.
  • UTC Time - Set the notification to be removed by a certain time, using UTC time.

You can set a Dynamic Push message to contain a URL/Deeplink. A URL can be used to link to a web page in the user's preferred web browser or a deeplink is used to bring a user to a certain section of an app. Deeplinks can be predefined for an app in the App Settings page.

Add Deeplinks

To set up a list of URLs to use, add them in the App Settings screen. To add a deeplink to a message, follow the procedure in the image below.

How to Deeplink

To set up custom URL deeplinks for your apps, you can find guides on how to do so here for Android and iOS.


OpenBack can send messages based on the language used on a device. While the OpenBack SDK will pick up the selected language, you must provide the appropriate content in the message creation. OpenBack currently supports up to 10 different languages including a Default Language. The default language is the language that the message will be delivered in if the user's device is in a language not supported by your message.

If a message is created with English as the default language and French as an extra language:

  • All French users will receive the content.
  • All other users will receive the English content as it is the default.
Adding a Language

Languages can be added to a message in Step 2 of the message creation. The option is found under the section tabs.

Add a Language

Once you have chosen the languages that you are adding, you must then enter the appropriate content for each language.

Add Content

Rich Notifications

A notification image can be added to your message.


The image link must be in jpg/jpeg/png format.

Add a Notification Image

4 - Delivery Signals

What is a Signal?

A signal is something that happens on your user's device (phone/tablet) or app that is monitored, or checked, on an ongoing basis. Multiple signals can be used together, to enable you to easily create wonderful and engaging experiences for your users.

There are many many different signal groups within OpenBack, each with multiple settings and options within each one. When the signal, or group of signals, happen locally on the device, the message is sent to the user - and best, it all happens in real-time, locally on the device.

OpenBack is constantly adding signals, and if you have a great idea for one, please tell us and we will try and include it -

Select which signals you plan on using to deliver the notification. The more signals you add, the more conditions that need to be met for a message to deliver.

Delivery signals allow users to send messages that segment by local app values, meaning a backend integration isn't required.

Create Message Step 3

Adding Emojis and Attributes


Adding an emoji is a simple way to give your notifications a more personal feel. Select your notification title or content, click the emoji icon and choose which emoji suits the message you're trying to send.



To use Attributes, the values must be set within your app. For initialising these values, consult the Android and iOS API guides.

Using Attributes can add a much more personal and unique feel to your notification. In the example below, the notification title is set to:

Hey {{user.firstName | you}}!

This will set your notification title depending on whether or not you have a first name for this user. If a first name is found, the notification appears as:

Hey user!

Whereas if no first name is found, the notification uses the default value supplied and appears as:

Hey you!

Same for the notification content which is set to:

We've great deals in {{ | your area}}!