Last modified October 23, 2020 by Shelly Wolfe

Creating in-app messages

The in-app message workflow enables you to create, customize, preview and test in-app messages.

There are five main steps to create an in-app message:

  1. Select your campaign channel and message template.
  2. Add your message content.
  3. Define the target audience for your message and set the message trigger rules.
  4. Select custom goals to report the engagement or conversion of users following exposure to the message.
  5. QA test your in-app message (optional) and, finally, schedule or launch your message.
We’re in the process of migrating in-app message campaigns to our redesigned consolidated campaign workflow. If your app uses the new workflow for in-app messages and you’d like to learn how to add your campaign content, see In-app messages.

To enable in-app message creation in Swrve, you and your development team must first complete the required prerequisites. For more information, see Intro to in-app messages. If you’d like to read some hints and tips before creating your in-app messages, see In-app messaging best practices.

Select campaign channel and message template

To access the campaign workflow and select your message template:

Step 1: In the Campaigns center, select Create campaign.

Step 2: On the Choose your marketing channel screen, select In-app message as your campaign channel, then select Continue.

Step 3: On the Overview screen, enter a Name and Description for the message.

Step 4: To deliver in-app messages to a specific platform, for example if the deeplink format is different across your different platforms, select a Platform from the options of Apple, Google, Amazon, Roku, Tizen, and WebOS. The default is All platforms.

Step 5: To deliver in-app messages to a specific device type, for example if the image assets are different between TV and mobile, select a Device type from the options of Mobile and TV. The default is All device types.

These Platform and Device Type constraints are currently in Early Access. To have this feature enabled for your app, contact your CSM at This feature requires a minimum SDK version to work. Please consult the relevant Release Notes for each SDK.

Step 6: Select the message template orientation. The options are LandscapePortrait, or Both.

Step 7: Select a message template. The default templates are:

  • No Buttons: enables you to configure a single background image and its associated action (for example, dismiss, deeplink).
  • One Button: enables you to configure a background image, a single on-screen button, and the associated actions for both.
  • Two Buttons: enables you to configure a background image, two on-screen buttons, and the associated actions for each.

If you are constraining the campaign to deliver to a specific platform and/or device type, then remember to select the appropriate template for the desired platform (for example, TV vs. mobile).

Step 8: Select Next: Add Content to proceed.

By default, Swrve supplies the three templates above, which use safe zones to ensure a single piece of artwork can be used for messages on all devices, irrespective of the size or aspect ratio of the device (for example, both tablets and phones). Swrve automatically resizes each image for all devices.

If you are interested in displaying different artwork on tablets versus phones (for example, iPad versus iPhone), then please contact your account manager who will update your profile with additional templates for targeting specific devices.

In both instances, you must design your images according to the guidelines described in In-app messaging best practices.

Add content

The sections that display on the Add Content screen depend on the template you selected on the Overview screen.

Step 1: Select the background and button images for your message (for information about image guidelines, including sample images you can download for reference, see In-app messaging best practices):

  • Drag the image you want to use into the palette or select select a file to upload the image.
  • Optionally, move the position of the uploaded button or background image by either manually moving the image in the device preview or by selecting Edit Position and entering the number of pixels by which you want to move the image. For example, if you enter 5 into the X field and 10 into the Y field, the image moves 5 pixels to the right and 10 pixels down. Select Accept to confirm the position change.

Step 2: Select a button action from the Action list. No action is selected by default, however Swrve recommends that you always select an action, even if that action is Dismiss. The available actions are:

  • Install – enables the user to install another app from your app portfolio as part of a cross-promotional message. Select the promoted app from the drop-down list and, if required, select Test app store to test that the link to each store works. To create cross-promotional messages, you must first have configured app store links. For more information, see Intro to in-app messages.
  • Dismiss – enables the user to dismiss the message.
  • Deep Link – directs the user to a particular custom location; for example, you might configure a button to direct the app user straight to your app store. Coordinate with your development team to determine the exact deeplink URL to enter in the custom action field to the right of the Action list.

A preview of the message content is displayed in the section below. You can select the orientation and device that you want to preview and you can also use the Show safe zone check box to specify whether or not you want the preview to highlight the image safe zone (the portion of the image that is always displayed after automatic resizing, regardless of the platform device). For more information about safe zones, see In-app messaging best practices.

To A/B test the contents of your message for best conversions (for example, background image, button text), select A/B test. For more information, see A/B testing in-app messages.
To create localized versions of the in-app message, select Localize. For more information, see Localizing in-app messages. Note that it is only possible to A/B test or localize the in-app message—you cannot do both.

Step 3: Select Next: Set Targeting to proceed.

Set targeting and display triggers

By default, the message is targeted at all users. On the Set Target screen, you can add additional constraints to your target audience and specify when the message is displayed.

To set the target audience and message trigger rules:

Step 1: Under the Define Target Audience section of the screen, select the audience option you want to use for the campaign:

  • All Users – send the campaign to all users.
  • Custom Audience – build a custom audience using any combination of user profile and user behavior filters. For more information on building a custom audience, see Targeting campaign audiences.
  • External Audience – use an audience from an external source (for example, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Facebook) or a linked push notification campaign. For more information, see Linking campaigns.

Step 2: In the Set Display Triggers section, select the app events that trigger your message:

  • Include this message in the Message Center: select this check box if your app has an inbox-type feature and you want the message to be triggered from the message center.
    Note: This feature is currently only available as part of our Early Access program and requires use of the Swrve Message Centre API (see the Swrve Message Center API guide for more information). If you would like to use it, please contact your CSM at
  • When the user launches the app: select this check box if you want the in-app message to be displayed when targeted users start a new app session.
  • When the user triggers the event(s): select this check box if you want the in-app message to be displayed when targeted users trigger specific events. Swrve provides an auto-complete feature; enter the event name in the search box and then select the event from the displayed list. For examples of triggers to use in in-app messages, see In-app messaging best practices.
    • Optional: After you select an event, you can add further conditions to the trigger if the event includes payload values. To include payload conditions, hover your mouse over the event and select Add condition. In the Enter payload parameter box, enter the payload key as configured in your app, and then enter the payload value. You can include additional conditions as needed, edit existing conditions, or remove a condition. Multiple trigger conditions are based on an AND operator; it is not possible to include an OR operator at this time.

Step 3 (Optional): To define message-level message display rules, select Message display rules, select the check boxes of the rules that you want to apply, and then complete the selected rule statements, as required. You can define the following:

  • The number of seconds of app usage that must elapse before a message can be displayed.
  • The maximum number of times that the message is displayed to a user in all app sessions.
  • The number of seconds after message dismissal that must elapse before a new message is displayed.
  • Priority of the campaign over others with the same triggers. A lower number means higher priority over other campaigns.

You can also configure message display rules at app level on the Messaging Display Rules screen. If you have configured both app-level and message-level rules, the most restrictive of the two is applied. For more information about configuring message display rules at app level, see Intro to in-app messages.

Select campaign goals

The attribution period for in-app campaigns is 24 hours (that is, campaign goals are attributed back to the user if they achieve the goal within 24 hours from the time they first see the message). Swrve automatically tracks certain goals, such as engagement rate and subsequent time the user spends in the app. The Select Campaign Goals section enables you to select additional reporting goals.

To select custom reporting goals:

Step 1: While still on the Set Target screen of the workflow, in the Select Campaign Goals section, select the Primary Goal for your campaign. This is the initial event or purchase you want users to make after being exposed to the message.

  • Event: use to track engagement with a specific feature you are promoting in your message. Select an event from the event name list.
  • In-App Purchase (using real currency): use to track in-app purchases of promotional items featured in your message. Select of any item or of a specific item, and if required, select the specific item from the item name list.
  • Purchase (using virtual currency): use to track virtual currency purchases of promotional items featured in your message. Select of any item or of a specific item, and if required, select the specific item from the item list.

Step 2: If required, select the Secondary Goal for your campaign. This might be an event or purchase you want users to make further downstream. For example, the primary goal of the message might be to have users purchase virtual currency for your app and then the secondary goal would be to track users spending the virtual currency.

Step 3: Select Save as Draft: Preview & Test to save your draft message and proceed to the Preview & Test screen of the workflow.

The message status is automatically set to Draft and the message is saved on the In-App Messages screen if you decide to exit the workflow and complete it later on.

Test and launch

To QA test and launch the in-app message:

Step 1: On the Preview & Test screen, if required, QA test your in-app message before launching it. For more information, see QA testing in-app messages.

Step 2: If you are happy with the preview of your in-app message, perform one of the following actions:

  • To launch the message immediately, select Launch as soon as possible.
  • To define the message activation period:
    • In the Schedule launch section, specify the Start date/time of the message activation period.
    • If required, specify the End date/time of the message activation period. If you do not specify an end date/time, the in-app message activation period is open-ended (ongoing) by default.
    • Select Launch on <scheduled date>.

If you launch the message (without scheduling), its status is set to Active. If you schedule the message to be deliverable from a particular date/time, its status is set to Pending until this time is reached.

The in-app message now displays on the Campaigns screen.

To create a copy of the message, on the individual campaign summary card, select Duplicate campaign from the Actions  menu. You can edit and launch the copy according to your needs.

Next steps