The Basic Steps of Creating the Perfect Flow
Flows are something that will fully transform the way you use SMSBump.
The main purpose of flows is to create a sequence of automated actions based upon different triggers, covering the entire sales funnel. It will optimize the process of setting up automated text messages and will make your marketing campaigns much more tailored and effective.
Before we delve into the different options we have developed for flow structures, let’s take a quick look at the basics behind creating a flow.
You can access Flows from your SMSBump dashboard. Keep in mind that the feature is available for users on Growth plan, or higher.
Here you can see 3 main fields. Under My Flows, you will see the flows which you've created. If you have activated any predefined flow, it will appear here as well.
The next section Drafts will store all flows, which you haven't finished yet. Once you Save a draft it will move up to My Flows section.
In order to create a new flow, simply click on the Create Flow button in the top right corner. The Watch Video button will lead you to a video tutorial on how to set up your first flow.
Because we know that setting up a whole flow for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, we've also created a pre-set Flow Library, where you can use our ready-made templates. All new users will see several predefined Flows upon entering the Flows section.
Activate a predefined flow
Once you are in the predefined flows menu, you will see a list of pre-made flows created by us or our partnering agencies. They are divided into different groups:
- Abandoned Cart
- Browse Abandonment
- Customer Winback
- Post Purchase
- New Subscriber
- Customer care
- Conversation Flows
- Holiday Flows
You can filter through them by selecting the relevant categories. For instance if you want to segment out all of your Post Purchase and Customer Care flows, just check the two boxes and you will only see the flows, relevant to those two categories.
To enable one of the predefined flows, all you need to do is click on Create flow. Then it will open in the Flow Editor where you can review the pathway of the flow you’ve selected and all the actions, do some quick tweaks to fine-tune it and hit Save.
Note that if you already have an automation with the same triggers (e.g. if you are creating an abandoned cart flow and have abandoned cart automation enabled) you will see the following:
In order to proceed with creating the flow, you will have to disable the active automation by clicking on Stop Automation and Save.
Once your flow is enabled, you will see a dropdown menu, which you can use to de/activate your flow.
Now that we’ve gone through the available flows, let’s see how to create flows from scratch, ones that will best fit your brand and customer base.
Building a Flow from A to Z
To start building your custom flow, click on Create Flow and give your first flow an exciting name, preferably related to the event the flow will be built for (abandoned cart, customer winback, product upsell etc.). Don’t forget to hit Save.
Next, work your way around all the available triggers you can choose from to build your flow around. These fall in 6 different categories:
Order-related: triggers such as order placement, order shipping, delivery etc.
Shipping: order fulfillment and shipping confirmation
SMSBump: new subscriber confirmation
Customer-related: new registration, customer winback etc.
Product-related: new product created, updated or deleted
Integrations-related: triggers based on integrations with our partners. You should activate the integration before using the trigger.
When you’ve decided how you want to start off your flow, simply click on the respective trigger and it will show in place of the Choose Trigger field.
Now it is time to set up the Default Trigger Options. This is how you choose how often this flow should be triggered. There are 3 subcategories:
1. Max flow entries per customer. This is where you get to decide how many times this particular flow should be activated for any of your customers. If you, for example, set this number to be 2, the flow won't be executed more than 2 times for any given customer. If you set it to 0, the check will skip to the next category.
2. Not been a part of the flow in the past days. This category is designed to check per flow and customer ID and if the flow has been triggered in the past X days for this customer, it won't be triggered again.
3. Not been a part of another flow with the same flow trigger in the past days. Choosing this option will check per flow trigger and customer ID and if a flow with the same trigger was executed in the past X days, it won't be triggered again with.
The 3 Default Trigger Options work with an AND option. If any of the trigger options is TRUE, the flow won't be triggered for this customer. The main goal here is to avoid spamming your customers with the same messages over and over again.
Once you set up the desired values you will see a short description below, explaining how and when this flow will be executed:
To continue building your flow you need to choose one of these 3 options:
Add a condition
This is a Yes/No scenario where the users are divided on a selected filter. For instance, if you specify a certain total cart value (e.g. more than 200), then the users will be split into 2 groups - those who have products worth 200 or more in their abandoned cart and ones with a cart value under 200. Note that the currency of this amount is based on the currency you have in your store.
If you want your flow to target an even narrower group of people (for instance only your high-value customers), you can add a second condition simply by clicking +And. Let us specify this second condition to be number of orders greater than or equal to 2. Setting it up this way will ensure that your flow only targets customers whose total cart value is 200 or more but have also made 2 or more purchases at your store. If you have customers who have made 5 purchases but their total cart value is less than 200, they will be excluded from this flow.
Besides this, you will also see the +OR option, which allows you to broaden the scope of your flow. Let's say that you set up your first "IF" condition to be total cart value greater than or equal to 200, and you want to configure an OR condition to be number of orders greater than or equal to 2: in this case the flow will include customers who meet either one of these conditions, not necessarily both at the same time. So even if you have a customer who has only made 1 order but has spent 200 or more at your store, they will be targeted by this flow.
Selecting the action will allow you to configure what should happen if you have customers who’ve abandoned their carts and meet (or do not meet) any other conditions you’ve specified. These actions could be:
Send an SMS: a simple 160-character text message
Send an SMS/MMS with responses: send a message with certain keywords which trigger automated personalized responses.
Send an MMS: a multimedia message that can contain a GIF from GIPHY, a high-res picture from Pexels, or one uploaded by you. For abandoned carts you can also enable the image grid that will show your recipients all the products they’ve left behind.
Add to list: This action will add the customers in a separate list. You can select among the ones you already have or create a new one.
Send Slack notification: this is a notification that you, as a store owner, will receive, reminding you in case your inventory is running low, you have a new subscriber etc.
You can either Delete or Clone the MMS and SMS you set up as an action, as well as your Delay that we will show you how to set up in just a few steps. Cloning will allow you to easily replicate and edit an action, and will make the entire process of creating a Flow much lighter and quicker.
How do you know which SMS or MMS to replicate? But of course you want to copy the strongest of them all! And what can help you determine that? Our ! Its 8 useful suggestions will pave your way to creating an effective text message that will convert!
You know what else makes a text message better? Personalization. With the help of our you can include your store's name, your customer's name and many more automatically-fetched details that will give your text a personal touch.
What would grab your customer's attention quickly? Emojis. Who doesn't love emojis. We know they are the equivalent of human emotions in texting so we've paid extra attention to making them easy to access and simply attractive.
Add a delay
This will let you delay the actions following this step. The delay can be anywhere between 5 minutes and 7 days/ Choose the most suitable time depending on the following step. For instance, if you’ve selected abandoned cart as a trigger, you can set a notification to be sent 10 minutes after the cart has been abandoned.
These are the basic steps you have to configure when building any flow. Of course, you can omit some of them, or add even more steps, especially in case a condition you specify is not met. For instance, you can send out different messages to your customers based on the value of their abandoned carts.
If the total value of the abandoned cart does exceed 200: send an MMS reminder with a small discount as this is a high-value order and is worth investing a bit more effort into recovering it.
If the total value of the abandoned cart does not exceed 200: try to recover the cart with a simple SMS notification, maybe a discount, but definitely still have a catchy copy and call-to-action.
Either way, the process of creating a flow from here now on is the same and includes the same options: adding a condition, action or delay.
A/B Testing in Flows
You might have already noticed the A/B Testing option in the top left corner of your Flow editor. If you enable it, you'll be able to perform A/B testing of your flow with several different text messages.
This way you can test various messages on a small group of subscribers and see which message will perform better. The top performing message will be sent out to the rest of your subscribers.
Here is how to set up A/B testing in flows in 3 easy steps:
1. Enable A/B testing from the top left corner of your Flow editor.
2. Set up A/B testing rules. First, choose the number of test messages: 2, 3 or 4. Then select a split factor. It means to choose how the performance of the test messages will be measured: by amount of orders, revenue, or number of clicks. And last, but not least - set up a threshold. The first test message to reach this threshold will be the winner of the A/B test.
3. Draft the content of all test messages.
And that was it - your A/B testing is now ready to be launched.
Stay tuned for upcoming tutorials on how to best use SMSBump's flows and get the most of them: grow your subscribers, boost sales, keep your customers happy and skyrocket your ROI!