Sending Your First Broadcast

Broadcasts on Dexter are a way to send messages and re-engage your users without waiting for them to send an incoming message first.

Before You Broadcast

Before you can broadcast a message to your users, the following requirements must be met:

In addition to the above, make sure that you have read and understood any special rules that govern the sending of proactive messages on any platform you are broadcasting to. In particular, we strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with Facebook's rules around broadcasts and Twilio's rules around unsubscribing to messages.

Designing a Broadcast

After you navigate to the Broadcast tab and click New Broadcast, you'll be presented with three items to fill out: a space to write the message you want to broadcast, your broadcast's audience, and the timing of your broadcast.

Three items


Write the message of your broadcast just like you would any ordinary response. Imagine that at the time of broadcast, all of your users said "hey send me a broadcast!" and you are writing the response to that trigger:

+ hey send me a broadcast
- Ok! You actually didn't say that, but I am writing a broadcast message as if you did.

But don't write the trigger in your broadcast message box. Simply write the response (leave out the -):

Ok! You actually didn't say that, but I am writing a broadcast message as if you did.

All of the usual features and functions of responses (e.g., shortcodes, <send>, more) are available to you within a broadcast as well.

Facebook only: be extra diligent about Facebook's rules when using <send>s in your broadcasts. Even though you are sending one broadcast, these are actually delivered as separate messages. If these messages are sent outside Facebook's Standard Messaging 24-Hour Window, you may be in violation of their single-message policy.

This does not apply if you have Subscription Message permissions.

We often recommend redirecting a user to a topic at the end of a broadcast—this is especially useful for newsletter or other kinds of daily update bots. For instance, if you wanted to build a Quartz-like newsletter bot, you may have multiple broadcasts (one per day) that look something like:

You won't believe what happened in the political world today. ^buttons("Tell me more", "Next story") {topic=broadcast-20161231}


Happy New Year! See how cities around the world rang in 2017. ^buttons("See images", "Next story") {topic=broadcast-20170101}

If your broadcast doesn't redirect users to a new topic, they will return to the previous topic they were in.


You can choose to send messages to all of the users who have ever messaged with your bot (Everyone) or a specific segment of your users (Segment). Learn more about broadcast segmentation.


You can either schedule a broadcast to be sent right now, at a point in the future, or on a recurring basis. Learn more about broadcast timing.

Sending a Broadcast

Once you're done designing your broadcast—you probably guessed it—simply click the button and messages will be delivered to your users.

If they have turned off messaging off-platform (e.g., blocked your bot's phone number), Dexter will attempt to send the broadcast but the user will not receive it.

Unscheduling Broadcasts

You can unschedule a broadcast until the broadcast is queued to send. You cannot unschedule broadcasts that have already been sent.