Ultimate guide to broadcasts

Broadcasts are a way to send an email in bulk to multiple users from within Award Force. While you may need to reach out to your program's users for a variety of reasons, the process remains largely the same as you'll see below. In this guide you will find instructions on how to send broadcasts, a list of common uses, and frequently asked questions about the feature. 

Send a broadcast

To send a broadcast, follow these steps:

  1. In the Manage workspace, navigate to the appropriate view, such as Entries
  2. If desired, apply a filter by clicking Advanced in the search bar; see: How to search and filter
  3. When viewing your desired list, click Broadcast
  4. Compose your message, including an optional sender name and reply-to email
    Tip: you can customise your broadcast through the use of both Markdown formatting and merge fields to improve your users' experience! 
    Merge field example
  5. Choose your desired Send time
    • Send immediately: will send the message as soon as you've completed the steps below
    • Schedule: will display fields to choose a desired date and time to send
  6. Click Review + send to preview the message
    Note: to save your broadcast for another time, click Save as draft. Drafts can be located and sent in the Manage workspace via Settings > Communications > Broadcasts later on. Scheduled broadcasts will read Review + schedule.
  7. Select Confirm + send when you're ready

Advanced broadcast settings

When composing a broadcast to your users, there are a few more options available that you may be curious about. 

Feature Details
Send a copy to myself

The checkbox allows you to receive a copy of your broadcast to the email address associated with your Award Force account.
Send a copy to myself checkbox

Send one email per user


Send one email per entry

If you opt to send a broadcast to all users from a list where they may appear twice, this setting allows you to choose whether this user will receive the message once or each time they appear within the list. 

Send only one email per user radio button

Example: you've clicked Broadcast in the Manage workspace on the Entries page. With Send one email per user selected, a user with five entries would receive your broadcast once. Should Send one email per entry be selected, the user would receive five copies of the broadcast, one for every entry. 

Legal basis for sending email

In this drop-down there are two options: Freely given consent by user and Legitimate interest of the data controller. These options control whether a user who has unsubscribed from notifications and broadcasts will receive the message. For more details, see our dedicated guide: Legal basis for sending emails.
Legal basis for sending email drop-down


Common uses

Use case #1: contacting entrants with entries in progress

Reason Instructions
You may wish to remind users with entries in progress to submit their entries before the end of your award.
  1. In the Manage workspace, navigate to Entries
  2. In the search box, click Advanced
  3. Set the Status filter to In progress
  4. Search
  5. When the results appear, click Broadcast
  6. Compose your message
  7. Click Review + send when complete


Use case #2: communicate with your judges

Reason Instructions
After adding judges to your program or when beginning a new judging round, you may need to contact your judges. 
  1. In the Manage workspace, navigate to Users
  2. In the search box, click Advanced
  3. Set the Role filter to Judge
  4. Search
  5. When the users list appears, click Broadcast
  6. Compose your message
  7. Click Review + send when complete


Use case #3: send a newsletter to your program's users

Reason Instructions
For programs who wish to periodically inform their users with organisation updates, sending a "newsletter" is useful.
  1. In the Manage workspace, navigate to Users
  2. If desired, click Advanced and apply filters
  3. When viewing your list of users, click Broadcast
  4. Compose your message
  5. Click Review + send when complete



Why aren't my users receiving broadcasts and notifications from my program?

Award Force uses a third party mail provider to send your program's broadcasts and notifications. While the system has been refined to improve the chances of delivery, it's impossible to guarantee that an email will arrive. Individual inboxes may have advanced filters applied that could reject even crucial messages.

If some users have reported not receiving email notifications or broadcasts, there are a few things you can check:

  • Ask the user to look for the message in their junk or spam folders or any social/promotional tabs that they've configured in their inbox. Broadcasts and notifications from the Award Force platform can occasionally be routed to these areas.
  • Ask your user to mark the addresses from which notifications and broadcasts are sent, no-reply@app.awardforce.com and sender@app.awardforce.com, as allowed or safe listed.
  • Look at the user's profile to see whether they have unsubscribed from broadcasts and notifications. To do so, go to Users and click on the user's name, then open the Preferences tab. 
    Profile subscription checkbox list
Why aren't my broadcast emails sent to all selected users?

In the event that you notice a discrepancy between the number of users to whom you've selected to broadcast and the number that appears when composing the message, there is a simple explanation. The users who do not appear have unsubscribed from broadcasts and therefore will not receive them. To view if a user has unsubscribed, go to Users and click on the user's name, then open the Preferences tab. 
Profile subscription checkbox list

Tip: if you need to check if several users have unsubscribed, you can do so easily in the Manage workspace by navigating to Users > clicking the cog icon shown below > selecting the Broadcast emails and Notification emails checkboxes > hitting Save.

Cog icon to control list view in Users

Can I customise emails?

Absolutely! Through the use of both merge fields and Markdown formatting, you can create a dynamic, engaging broadcast emails. 

Where can I see my program's broadcast history?

You can view all sent and draft broadcasts from your program in the Manage workspace Settings > Communications > Broadcasts.

Are my program's broadcasts branded?

For those on the Pro plan and above, you have the ability to apply your organisation's theming to all broadcast and notification emails. To learn how, see our guide: Theme configuration guide.

Can I track email delivery?

The broadcast feature of Award Force is designed to allow simple, one-way communication to a selected group of users. If you need to track email delivery or other statistics, you should use a dedicated platform such as MailChimp.

Can I schedule a broadcast to send later?
You can! Simply select the Schedule radio button under the 'Send time' heading and then choose your desired date and time using the convenient calendar.
Schedule send date and time
Important: scheduled broadcasts will be sent to users matching any applied filters at the time of sending, not at the time of scheduling.
Why does my broadcast still say 'Sending'?
Broadcasts are sent from the platform all at once if no merge fields are employed or one at a time if they are. Broadcasts that include several merge fields will take longer to send. If numerous merge fields are used to send a broadcast to a large number of users, a timeout may occur. Please contact the client success team if you have any questions.
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