Broadcast

Use broadcasts to message everyone that uses your chatbot.

If you want to send a message to all your active users then you want to use Broadcasts. The broadcast service enables you to send messages (or actually trigger any set of actions) when a trigger webhook or email is received, or a new RSS feed item is published.

There are a number of broadcast options to choose from:

  • Instant Broadcast - Create a flow and send instantly to all applicable chatbot users.
  • Receive a Webhook - Generate a unique URL to either access manually or integrate with your existing systems, to then message all applicable chatbot users.
  • Receive and Email - Generate a unique email address that when used will message all applicable chatbot users.
  • New RSS Feed Item - If your business or organization has an RSS or Atom feed (for example a blog, news or updates feed), you can notify your bot users about new content as soon as items are published.

The Broadcasts dashboard shows a list of all broadcasts that have been sent, filtered by time and flows. It shows which flow has been triggered, how many users were messaged, how many were filtered out (if applicable), and how many flows where triggered. You can also view more information on each by hitting 'Details' and viewing the interactions.

Introduction

A broadcast flow will consist of a trigger that will receive something to broadcast, and then one or more actions that will trigger for each bot user.

For example, you may choose to send details of new blog updates to your bot users. You'd do this by connecting the Broadcast > New RSS Feed Item trigger with a Bot > Send a Card action. Every time you publish a new blog entry, it would be pushed out as a card to all your users.

You can select the bots you want to broadcast to, and also filter by attributes and many other trigger outputs.

Note that this service replaces and consolidates the deprecated push and feeds services.

Instant Broadcast

The instant broadcast trigger allows you to start a broadcast immediately/on demand. You'll see an extra button at the top of the flow editor to 'Send Broadcast'.

Receive a Webhook

The webhook trigger is configured identically to the Webhook & HTTP > Receive a Webhook trigger.

It will listen out for a webhook sent to a unique URL, and attempt to parse any structured data it receives such as in the query string or in a JSON or form encoded body.

To understand how this trigger works, you should read the documentation for the Webhook & HTTP service, under the section Receiving Webhooks.

Any structured data sent in the webhook will be available to filter the trigger on as well as for use in any of the actions in your flow.

Receive an Email

This trigger is set up exactly the same as the Email > Receive an Email trigger. It works best when you need to receive emails from another service and broadcast the information to your bot users.

It triggers when an email is sent to a unique email address. As well as the standard email fields (to, from, subject, body, etc.) it can help you to extract structured information from emails (to 'parse' them).

As the setup of the trigger is identical to the Email service, you should refer to the docs there to understand how this trigger works.

The standard email fields (subject, body, etc.) as well as any parsed structured data will be available to filter the trigger on as well as for use in any of the actions in your flow.

New RSS Feed Item

This trigger allows you to watch any RSS or Atom feed and trigger a broadcast every time a new item is found.

If your business or organization has an RSS or Atom feed (for example a blog, news or updates feed), you can notify your bot users about new content as soon as items are published.

To set this up, you'll need to provide a publicly available RSS feed URL. We support any feed in RSS, Atom or RDF format. The feed will be normalized and a standard set of outputs will be populated regardless of the feed. The content available, and in which field, is highly dependant on the feed, so you'll need to examine the outputs carefully.

Note that this trigger is checked periodically and the polling interval depends on your plan.

Setting up your Broadcast

You can create a new Broadcast from either the Broadcasts dashboard, or be creating a new flow in the flows section. Simply choose the appropriate broadcast trigger to get started.

Next stage is to choose which bots you want to listen to your broadcast flow. If you have multiple independent bots set up it's generally good practice to choose the relevant bots, else if you just have the one, go with 'all bots should listen'. This is good practice for all flows, not just broadcasts.

If you want to filter your broadcast, add a filter to the trigger in the next step. For example, if you collect data based on 'age' and only want to send a message to everyone between 18 and 25, you can add that attribute into the filter. If you want to send your broadcast to everyone, you can skip the filter step.

Once you have set up your broadcast you should find yourself in the familiar flow editor. You build your broadcast in exactly the same way as you would a normal flow. Use as many actions and services as you like in your flow. You can also test it using the Test Console.

Once you've finished building your broadcast flow, simply activate it as you would a regular flow.

Sending the broadcast will depend on which broadcast you originally selected. If it's an Instant Broadcast you can send it by hitting the green button at the top of the screen.

Your Broadcast will be saved with your other flows.

TIP: To help manage your broadcast flows it may be worth giving them a unique title and place them in their own folder.

Targeting & Filtering

You won't always want a broadcast to go to every user of every bot you have connected. So there are 2 ways to 'segment' your broadcasts:

  • By selecting individual bots (or groups of bots) to broadcast to. You can do this on the Broadcast Targeting step:

  • By using filters to target users based on attributes, or the familiar set of outputs you see on other bot triggers (such as bot platform), or of course the outputs of the webhook, email or RSS trigger itself.

Only flows that actually run will count towards your interactions limit. A flow will trigger for each bot user that matches the targeting and filtering for the trigger.

For example, if you have 2 bots and they each have 150 users, a broadcast to all bots without any filtering will cause 300 triggers, once for each of the 300 total users.

Choosing Actions

The most useful actions are of course Bot > Send a Message or Bot > Send a Card because they're perfect for delivering updates, news and notifications.

You can of course use as many actions as you like within each flow, so it's possible to combine messages and cards.

It's also sometimes useful to set attributes within your broadcast flows (perhaps to flag that the user has received some type of content), or use the wait service to send a series of messages with delays between each message.

FAQ's

How can I see how many users my broadcast will reach?

You can't yet, although we are working on giving you more visibility on this in the future.

How is broadcasting billed?

Each flow that is triggered (that is not filtered) counts as an interaction. A flow will be triggered for each matching bot user, per broadcast.

For example, if you have 2 bots and they each have 150 users, a broadcast to all bots without any filtering will cause 300 triggers, once for each of the 300 total users.

If for example, you have a bot with 100 users, and 25 of those users have the attribute 'product' set to 'flowers', if you send a broadcast with a filter on 'product' is the value 'flowers', 25 flows will be successfully triggered costing 25 interactions.

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