To create a Workflow where an update is sent every 30 minutes until an Alert is closed, begin on the Workflows page and select the Add Workflow button.  
In the resulting form, enter a Name for the Workflow.
In the Type drop down choose MessageThread.  
Leave the Template as Standard Alert.  
Press the Save Changes button.

We now have fields for Start Conditions and Actions.  
Add a Start Condition, for this example we will use Match All Conditions.  
In the dropdown for Name, select MessageThreadStatusType:

Select “is not” for the operator and “Closed” for the Value, press the green checkmark.

Add an additional Start Condition under Match All Conditions.  This will require both conditions to be satisfied before the Action is invoked.  
Choose “TimeFromBeginning(Minutes)”.
Leave “is” as the operator.
Enter 30 for the Value.  This will set the initial interval of 30 minutes from start.

Return to the top of the page, check the Scheduled box.  Enter 30 in the “Recurrence Interval (Minutes)” field to the right.

This will cause the Action to repeat every 30 minutes until the Stop Condition is satisfied.  Selecting Scheduled will add fields for Stop Conditions.  To set the Stop Condition, return to the middle of the page and select Add Stop Condition.  

In the dropdown for Name, select MessageThreadStatusType,
Leave the operator as “is”.
Choose “Closed” for the Value.
Press the green checkmark:

This will cause the Action to stop once the Alert is closed.  To set the Action, move to the bottom of the page and press Add Action, then select SendMessage, this will produce a dialog box:

Select a Escalation Rule to govern the routing of the update message (you may have to create a new Escalation Rule separately), then choose the recipient with either the pre-defined selections or enter the user or group manually.  For instance, “Send To Original Recipients” will deliver to each User who was initially notified of the alert.  Users or Groups not in the original thread (such as a Managers group) may be designated in the fields below.  You may make multiple selections and entries.

In the Message Text box, you can craft the body of the message using static text and/or keywords from the list.  Save the changes to the Action, and this will update the Workflow.  Finally, ensure the new Workflow is Enabled (select the button in the top right corner of the page).  

To add the Workflow to the Escalation Rule, select Escalation Rules from the menu, choose your Escalation Rule and select the Workflows tab:

Note that the Escalation Rule for the Action must be independent of the Escalation Rule this Workflow is applied to (e.g. This Workflow cannot be applied to the “Email msg on alert update” rule, as that rule was chosen to govern the delivery of the update within the Workflow).

Press the Add Workflow button.  In the resulting dialog, select your Workflow (it must be enabled to be present here) and press the arrow button to move it to the Selected Workflows list:

Press Update and the new Workflow is added to the Escalation Rule and saved.

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