Broadcast SMS: Getting Started Guide

  • Updated

Table of Contents:

  1. Broadcast Overview
  2. Setting Up Broadcast
  3. Importing Broadcast Lists
  4. Opt-Ins
  5. Managing Broadcast & Opt-In Lists
  6. Creating Broadcast Messages
  7. Managing Broadcast Replies
  8. Analyzing Results

Article Description: In this article we will walk through how to create and manage Broadcast actions.

This article will review:

  • Broadcast Settings
  • Creating and Managing Broadcast and Opt-in Lists 
  • Setting up a Broadcast Action
  • Broadcast SMS
  • Opt-Ins


Broadcast messaging allows campaigns to send mass text messages to a list of contacts who have opted in, and/or to Impactive Users (lists or teams). Contacts can text a reply to any broadcast message and have a text message conversation with a designated Impactive user.

Broadcast messages work similarly to Impactive peer-to-peer messages. Impactive Campaigns can assign a user list to handle responses in their inboxes with follow-up scripts. They can also add a report to submit tags or custom fields for every conversation.

With Opt-Ins, contacts can opt into receiving Broadcast messages from your campaign by texting a specific keyword to the campaign’s long code number or through a web optin form. When a contact opts in, they will receive an automated follow-up text message which they can respond to and begin to exchange messages with a designated Impactive user.



Setting Up Broadcast

If you are interested in using broadcast texting, please contact to enable the feature. We also require Twilio registration before broadcast use. You can read more about the process below.

Twilio (our SMS messaging provider) has recently informed us that the same 10DLC regulations that they are applying to Peer-to-Peer Texting will also be applied to Broadcast Texting. This means that Twilio and the mobile phone carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) are requiring all organizations to use officially-registered phone numbers when sending broadcast messages.

To begin the registration process, please click here and submit the form.

Until your organization is registered for Broadcast Texting, Impactive cannot guarantee high deliverability on your broadcast sends. The good news: registration with Twilio should immediately result in better deliverability and faster speeds when sending out broadcast messages. We will update you when Twilio has processed your registration but cannot currently provide an estimate given that our provider is seeing higher volume of registrations.

Impactive is committed to helping our clients meet their program goals, and minimizing the impact that this regulatory change could have on your organizing outcomes. 

Broadcast communication is limited to individuals who have explicitly consented to receive communications from your campaign, prior to enabling your broadcast messaging we will need confirmation that the list you will be messaging for broadcast texting fits this definition.

Once enabled, you will see the Broadcast tab on your sidebar where you will be able to create and manage Broadcast messages and create and manage opt-ins and opt-in forms.



As soon as Broadcast is enabled for your campaign, you must designate at least one user as a default broadcast responder or else broadcast messaging will not be available. Enabling the Broadcast Responder Add-on permission adds the user to the list of default responders if a list is not selected when creating a Broadcast action/message. The Broadcast Sender Add-On gives users an ability to send broadcast messages. 

To configure, visit the Users tab, click on the user, and toggle on the Broadcast Responder Add-On permission.



Update Broadcast Settings

To view and update your campaign’s Broadcast Settings navigate to Campaign > Settings > Broadcast. 



Here you will find:

  • Broadcast Number - an automatically assigned 10 digit phone number or (long code). This number will be the phone number associated with Broadcast messaging from your campaign; contacts will receive messages from this number and can text KEYWORDS to join various opt-ins.
    • Pro-Tip: If you have a 5 digit shortcode you can transfer it to your Impactive account or work with our team to apply for a shortcode.
  • Broadcast Opt-In Phrase - This is the phrase that subscribers use to opt into your broadcast messages
  • Welcome Message - This is the message the subscribers will first receive when they opt in using your SMS code. Your welcome message must include: your program name, message frequency, stop language, and context that msg and data rates may apply.
    • Note: This message will be sent by a Staff, Admin, or Owner level user with the Welcome Message Sender Add-On toggled on under their user permissions. We highly recommend choosing a trusted member of your team for this role.
  • Broadcast Hours - Broadcast hours represents the window of time your staff is allowed to receive replies for broadcasts. Control these with "Start time" and "End time".
    • Important: You want to make sure these hours are set to ensure your team does not receive responses during their off hours, in the middle of the night, etc. 
  • Automated Response Message During After Hours - This is the message Impactive will send automatically to broadcast recipients if they send you a message outside of campaign broadcast hours.

Importing Broadcast Lists

If you already have a list of contacts who have opted in to receive broadcast messages from your campaign from a different program, you can import the list and start sending broadcast messages to them in Impactive.

  1. Click on 'Import List' in the Lists > Contacts tab
  2. Choose the 'Broadcast List' type
  3. Upload or drag and drop your CSV file

Make sure your CSV maps a first_name, last_name, and phone number at a minimum like the headers below. You can download our sample CSV file if you want to see an example of the format needed.


4. Add a name for your broadcast list

5. When uploading a broadcast contact list, admins confirm that each contact on the list has consented to receive broadcast messages from their organization. Fill the checkbox at the bottom to confirm that you have explicit consent from your contacts to send texts. In certain instances, Impactive may require you to provide proof of an opt-in.

6. Click "Start Import" and your opted-in subscribers will be imported into Impactive.

When your list is finished uploading it will appear on the Lists page with a 'broadcast megaphone' icon to show that the list is enabled for sending broadcast messages.




Impactive’s Opt-In features allows campaigns to acquire opt-ins through a webform, or a custom text keyword so that campaigns can send broadcast messages to their supporters, as well as drive them to other calls to action such as newsletter subscriptions, event RSVPs, or volunteer signups.

If you are interested in opt-in forms, please contact to learn more.

If opt-ins are enabled on your Impactive plan, you can find the feature on the Impactive sidebar by clicking Broadcast > “Opt-ins”. We recommend checking out our support article, Opt-Ins to learn more about creating and managing them.


Manage Your Opt-In or Broadcast Lists

Opt-in and broadcast lists can be viewed and managed in the Contacts tab. Filter by Folders or by List Type. Click on a specific list to view the contacts or filter/list management options. You can filter your opt-in or broadcast list to discover if contacts fit particular criteria.

List Management

After filtering your contacts, manage your list using the list management buttons:

  • "New contact list" creates a new list from your filtered contacts.
    • Note: this option is only available if you have filtered the contact list.
  • "Remove from selected list" removes contacts from your current list.
  • "Add to contact list" adds contacts to an existing list. This allows you to build and combine contacts from an existing opt-in list.

Suggested Use Cases

  • Use the "Needs attention" filter to discover contacts who have not been followed up with. Nudge the assigned users to follow up with them using a push notification.
  • Use the "Does not have tags" or "Does not have custom fields" filter to discover contacts who do not meet a tag or custom field criteria. Use "Add to contact list" to create a new list of these contacts and then target them with a new broadcast message.

Creating a Broadcast Message

To create a broadcast message, navigate to the Broadcast section of the Admin Dashboard, then click on “+ New Broadcast”

You will have the option of sending to a User List or sending to Broadcast List. Use send to a user list if your broadcast message is solely targeted to volunteers. On the other hand, if you received a list of signups from an Impactive opt-in, use “send to a broadcast list” to target to opted-in contacts.



  • Enter a name for the Broadcast action.
    • We recommend using a descriptive name that would allow an admin to easily identify it.
  •  Select your list type. You will have the option of sending to a User List or sending to Broadcast List.
    • Note: Use “Send to a user list” if your broadcast message is solely targeted to volunteers. On the other hand, if you received a list of signups from an Impactive opt-in, use “Send to a broadcast list” to target opted-in contacts.
  • Select list to target.
  • Choose Broadcast Responder List - this is a list of users who will receive responses and who can send followup messages for this Broadcast Message. If no list is selected, replies will be received by users with the Broadcast Responder Add-on permission enabled.
  • Create an initial message, and add any dynamic variables you wish to include.
    • Images and videos (MMS) can now be sent on broadcast messages. To add an image or video to an initial script select Upload Media accepted file formats include: PNG, JNG, JPEG, GIF. Max file size is 0.6 MB. 
  • Add Response Scripts (optional). Create follow-up scripts that are available to Users when they are following up on responses to the broadcast message. These scripts will be specific to this broadcast message and will appear in the inbox message view for the assigned user.
  • Add Report Settings (optional). Select the tags and custom fields you want users to fill out within their reports. 
  • Send Options include “Send Now”, “Schedule for Later” or Save Changes.
    • Send Now: Click on 'send now' to send the message immediately. Once a broadcast message is sent, it cannot be undone.
    • Schedule for Later: click on 'schedule to schedule for later to schedule a specific time for the broadcast message to be sent. Once a broadcast message is scheduled the content can still be edited and the scheduled date can also be edited.
      • Note: Once a broadcast message is scheduled the content can still be edited and the scheduled date can also be edited.
    • Save Changes: If you are not ready to send or schedule, just click 'save changes' to create a draft of the message that you can revisit later to edit or send.


Managing Responses 

If a Broadcast Responder List when creating the Broadcast, this list of users will receive responses and will have the ability to send followup messages for the Broadcast Message. 

 If no list is selected, replies will be received by users with the Broadcast Responder Add-on permission enabled.


Analyzing Results

After your message is sent, you can analyze the results of the message by clicking the “View Results” button at the top of your action page. 



Here’s a handy description of what each column in the data table means:

  • Messages Sent: Number of messages sent.
  • Responses: Number of replies to your broadcast, and the reply rate.
  • Reports: Number of reports completed.
  • Opt Outs: Number of recipients that have opted out from the campaign. Note: This will include previously opted out recipients if they were included in the initial target list.
  • Undelivered: Number of messages that encountered an error while sending.
  • Opt Ins: If you included an Opt In form link, this reflects the number of people who opted in through the form.
  • Follow Ups: Number of volunteer follow-up messages to your broadcast.
  • Needs Attention: Number of replies pending a follow-up message.
  • Link clicks: Number of link clicks to URLs in the message body.



Have more questions on the broadcast feature? Check out our FAQs!


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