Proactive push messages

Hey everyone, I have a general conceptual question. I started playing around with rasa and was digging in the docs. I wonder if the following is somehow doable/how a approach would look like.

I’d like to inform a user (the user is registered via my django application with his phone number) via updates (like you order got shipped). I’d like to send him proactively messages about that order and the user can get infos about that order via the bot. And this should happen via whatsapp.

So here are my questions:

  • is it possible to send a trigger_intent to a user via its phone number?
  • does he already needs a conversation so that I can send him some informations? Or can I initially send him a message without that he already started a conversation with my bot?
  • is there a way to use the users phone number as a unique identifier? Like is the number of twilio something passed into the messages and can I use that number a reference to update conversations. of a user and my rasa bot?

Thanks in adavance!

You can use the twilio channel for sms and Rasa external events to send a message asynchronously but the user would already have had to made a connection via twilio to do this and you would need to save their sender id so I’m not sure if that will work for you (as you’ve already surmised).

I would look into using the same twilio phone number for the Rasa twilio channel but initiate the SMS directly with the twilio API.

The twilio channel will use the phone number as the sender_id so that shouldn’t be a problem.


Hey Greg, thanks a lot for your reply. I know this is a bit off topic and not related 100% to rasa… but I dug around and am still not sure if I got the concept. I have on my service users registered with their phone number. And they can opt in if the wanna receive messages via sms/whatsapp. So I guess technical (as far as I understand you correct) it would be possible that my rasa bot is sending them proactive messages like “your shipment has been processed”.

Thanks in advance



I’ve used the twilio Rasa integration for SMS but it’s been a while. I’ve never used the twilio/WhatsApp so take this with a grain of salt.

With the regular SMS integration, you get a phone number from Twilio and you connect that to Rasa via the Rasa Twilio channel.

For your use case, when you want to initiate an SMS message, I would use the Twilio SMS API to send the message using the Twilio number you’re also using for the Rasa channel. If the user has questions, they would respond to that twilio number and it would go to your Rasa bot.