Media Guidelines for More Engaging Notifications

Meghan Suslak Group Product Manager

Images and videos have been shown to increase customer engagement on just about every marketing channel out there. Past Airship data indicates that rich notifications with images have a 56% higher direct open rate. In fact, simply including the word “video” in an email subject line can measurably increase open rates. But with so many different devices, varied download speeds, and various types of messages,  it’s essential to rightsize your media when crafting your messages.

Here are a few handy guidelines for adding media to your messages with Airship, so you can be confident your audience will receive your messages quickly and as intended. 

The Basics

First things first, you should keep all of your images, videos and GIFs under 1MB. In fact, for most JPGs and PNG images you’ll want to go with even smaller file sizes of less than 200K.

While users can receive larger files (and Airship accepts larger uploads), those big files can take longer to download, increasing the chances your message renders without the media.

If you host your own media, make sure your media URLs use HTTPS and are accessible by your audience. You’ll also need to add those URLs to the allowlist in the Airship SDK. Our iOS and Android documentation provides more information on these important steps. 

And of course, always test for multiple device types so you can be extra certain that those beautiful, media rich messages have the desired effect. 

Push Notifications

Adding media to your push notifications is a great way to grab customers’ attention. Rightsizing those media will help ensure your image doesn’t get chopped or cropped. 

For Android/Amazon devices, using a 2:1 aspect ratio will prevent cropping and make certain that your image displays properly. 

For iOS, we recommend an aspect ratio of 1:1 or 1:2. If you use a 2:1 ratio on iOS, or 1:2 on Android, the image will zoom. 

Web Notifications

For web notifications, you can add either JPG or PNG images. We recommend keeping them under 200K. 

The ideal aspect ratio for web notifications is 2:1. But keep in mind that if you use a 1:2 aspect ratio, the image will zoom and crop accordingly.

Check out this blog post for more on how to create great web push notifications.

In-App Automation

When you’re taking advantage of our automation capabilities to deliver personalized messages to your app users, use images that are less than 200K and videos smaller than 1MB in size.


Similar to other channels, it’s best to keep email images as small as possible, no larger than 200K, whether that’s a static JPG or PNG, or a static or animated GIF. 

It’s a good idea to use compression to decrease the size and balance quality. You should also consider making your images twice the size of the space you’d like to fill, so they look great on all screens.

With Airship, you can adjust the dimensions in the WYSIWYG editor or with <img> tags if using HTML. The width of the image will depend on the space you are trying to fill. For reference, the standard practice is to plan for 600px email width.


For SMS messages, you can use somewhat larger file sizes, but we still recommend limiting them to under 650K for optimal performance.

Message Center & Landing Pages

For Message Center messages, try to keep your file sizes under 200KB. However, it’s also important to consider that your total hosted content can’t exceed 1.5MB, including both your HTML and images. So, be sure to factor in other included images to ensure you don’t exceed the limit. 

Responsive design 

When using images for responsive HTML content such as landing pages, it’s essential to design for and test that content on multiple devices to confirm that your content looks perfect on a variety of screen sizes and orientations.

Double check that your images are wide enough to look good on a wide desktop screen, while also knowing how your content will appear on smaller screens, in landscape mode or while scrolling.

For images with text, your font should be large enough to read even when the images are resized down to smaller screen sizes.

For more information about how to rightsize your media, visit our media guidelines documentation. And remember, the best way to make sure your media looks amazing on all of your customers’ devices is to test on a real device. 

To learn more about how to use media to rev up your customer engagement, get in touch!