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Automated Messages

OneSignal features - Automated Message Campaigns

Automated Messages are for automatically sending push notifications to users within Segments. They are commonly used for drip campaigns like re-engaging inactive users or congratulating players on reaching a certain level.


Webinar Video Guide

Checkout our Automated Messages Webinar for a deep dive into setting up Automated Messages and drip campaigns!


Automated messages are not yet available in our email beta. Read more

How automated messages work

On the Free plan, automated messages go out roughly every 4-6 hours. This may take longer depending on how many automated messages are in the queue.
Paid Plan Users get automated messages sent within a few minutes.


Excluded Users

All users who have not been active for over 3 months will be excluded from all automated notifications

Also, if a user is in the included segment and excluded segment, then leaves the excluded segment but is still in the included segment, they will get the notification.

By default, users will never receive an automated notification twice, even if they leave a segment and come back to it. If you want to change this default, you can select one of the "Deliver once unless..." options.

You can track the notification's performance from Templates.

Automated messages are sent out in batches of 10,000 notifications. This means if you are sending automated notifications to 36,000 users, you would see four distinct notifications in Sent Messages - three with 10,000 users, and the fourth with 6,000 users.

If you want to schedule recurring notifications for an exact time, please see our Zapier integration docs.

Creating an automated message campaign

Messages > Automated

Before creating an automated message, be sure to go to Templates and Segments to create the template and segment(s) you wish to use in your automated message.

  1. Name your Automated Message Campaign
    This lets you identify the automated message among others.
    Examples: '3 Days Inactive', 'level 3 completed'

  2. Select the template you would like to use
    You will need to have created a template for automated messages.
    We suggest dedicating one template per Automated Message to see delivery statistics in Templates. Also, name the template something recognizable for the automated message.

  3. Add segment(s) to target
    You will likely want to create specific segments for automated messages. Pro tip: name the segment, automated message and template the same thing to easily associate all 3.

  4. Choose your delivery options

  • Send immediately: sends the notification as soon as the user joins the segment.
    • On the free plan, this may take several hours.
    • Paid Plan users get automated messages sent within a few minutes.
  • Intelligent Delivery: sends the notification at the same time of day as the user's last session.
    • This is the recommended delivery option, because it is personalized to the user's activity.
  • Optimize by user time zone: sends the notification at the specified timezone.
  1. Deliver only once to a user, unless
    Automated messages will only be sent to a device 1 time. Even if the user leaves a segment and returns to it. If you want to resend the notification to the user if they are still in the segment or re-join a segment, you can select one of the following options:
  • The user returns to the app - The user will get the notification again some time after they re-open the app or website.
  • X Hours have elapsed - The user will get the notification again after X hours have passed.

These options are not combined, if you select both, then the automated message will send again each time the user returns to the app and ever x amount of hours. Not x amount of hours after the user returns to the app.

Example Automated Message Campaigns

Please see our Abandoned Cart guide for more details and examples on how to set that up.

In all examples, make sure to setup a template with emojis and/or bright and catchy images and icons to help entice the user to click and come back.

Re-engagement Campaigns

Some OneSignal customers use automated messages to re-engage users that have lapsed in their usage of the app or site. Typically this is done by creating one or more automated messages that target users that have been inactive for a length of time. Below is an example of three automated messages that could be used together:

Automated Message

Segment Used

Inactive 10 days

Last Session is greater than 240 hours ago
Last Session is less than 264 hours ago

Inactive 15 days

Last Session is greater than 360 hours ago
Last Session is less than 384 hours ago

Inactive 28 days

Last Session is greater than 672 hours ago

For "Inactive 10 days" and "Inactive 15 days" automated messages, use the "Intelligent Delivery" option and select the options to "Deliver only once to a user, unless The user returns to the app"
This will make sure to repeat the flow if the user becomes inactive for 10 days or 15 days again in the future.

For "Inactive 28 days" automated message, you can check the Hours have elapsed box and add 168. This will send the same notification every week that the user remains in the "Inactive 28 days" segment:

Welcome Campaign

OneSignal does provide Web Push Welcome Notifications but these are limited in that they don't work for mobile apps and you cannot add different languages or customize the push notification beyond title and message.

If you want to send a welcome notification along with a stream of notifications to get users introduced to your app or site, you can follow this guide to get started:

Welcome Campaign Planning

Think about the main points you want your users to know about your app or site. For example, if you are an ecommerce site, think about what type of product categories you want to introduce to your users or neat things you can do on that may not be obvious.

Once you decide how many welcome notifications you want to send in a row, you can decide how you want to space them. We suggest sending 3 total welcome notifications spaced out on days 1, 2 and 4 (skipping day 3).

Setup your segments as follows:

Automated Message

Segment Used

Welcome 1 Day 1

First Session is less than 24 hours

Welcome 2 Day 3

First Session is less than 96 hours
First Session is greater than 72 hours

Welcome 3 Day 5

First Session is less than 144 hours
First Session is greater than 120 hours

On all 3 campaigns, your "Delivery" and "Deliver only once to a user, unless" options should be blank or not selected since you don't want to re-send these notifications.

Example Welcome Campaign Ideas

  1. Discount Codes. Even 5% will be a great way to hook users into coming back and keeping an eye out for your notifications.
  2. Educational pieces on common or helpful features customers may not be aware of.
  3. Blog posts or documentation links.

Updated 3 days ago

Automated Messages

OneSignal features - Automated Message Campaigns

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