Create a Flow

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Overview

Only Owners, Admins, and Managers are able to create new flows. For more information on user roles, click here.

To create a new flow, click the Flows tab. Then, click the Create Flow button.

Here, you will have the ability to choose from a number of pre-built flows offered in our Flow Library, or create a flow from scratch. Click Create from Scratch to create a brand new flowWhen you create a flow from scratch, you will then be prompted to name the flow and tag it with any appropriate tags.

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You can navigate back to the Flow Library at any time by clicking the Browse Ideas button. For popular flows such as the Abandoned Cart Reminder or Welcome Series, using a prebuilt template will save you the effort of scaffolding the flow trigger, filters, and emails -- you just need to customize and preview each email before you start sending.

Setup Your Flow Trigger

After you give your flow a name and click Create Flow, you will be taken into the Visual Flow Builder.

The first step will be to choose your flow trigger. A flow's trigger is what sets the automated series in motion. There are four types of flows:

  • Metric (Event or Action) Triggered
    People will qualify to enter a metric-triggered flow when they take a specific action (for example, placing an order). To see all possible metrics that can trigger a flow, check out your account's Metrics tab.
  • List Triggered
    People will qualify to enter a list-triggered flow when they are added to a specific list.
  • Segment Triggered
    People will qualify to enter a segment-triggered flow when they are added to a specific dynamic segment. Please note that if your segment contains activity around what someone has/hasn't done, you can likely more easily accomplish your goal using a metric-triggered flow instead.
  • Date Property Triggered
    People will qualify to enter a date property-triggered if they have a specific date-based profile property set (for example, a birthday).

For each trigger type, the next step will be to narrow down your trigger -- choosing which specific list, segment, metric, or date property will set your flow in motion.

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Add Trigger Filters

When a flow is triggered by someone taking an action, such as Checkout Started, this action often has a lot of details that can be used to further restrict who is qualified to enter the flow.

Perhaps you want to have an abandoned cart flow only for those that leave behind a cart valued over $100. This means not all Checkout Started events should qualify for this flow -- only Checkout Started events where the cart value is over $100 should qualify. This is where a trigger filter comes in. A trigger filter allows you to filter a flow series based on properties about the triggering action itself. Those who don't qualify for a flow based on both the trigger AND any trigger filters will not enter the flow.

Keep in mind you may not want to restrict flow entry completely but, alternatively, create parallel paths in your flow for different qualified groups. You can use a trigger split within a flow series, instead of a trigger filter at the outset of a series, to do this.

Below is an example of what a trigger filter would look like to restrict a flow for only those who start a checkout where the cart value is greater than $100.

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Add Flow Filters

While a flow only requires a trigger to set it in motion, you may want to tailor your flow to a specific audience. You can do this with flow filters.

Flow filters allow you to restrict who enters a flow, and who is qualified to remain in a flow, based on things such as past behavior, profiles properties, and list memberships.

With flow filters, you can restrict a flow based on all of the same criteria you can use in segmentation. You can choose from the following:

  • What someone has done (or not done)
    Check the number of times someone has taken an action in a specific timeframe.
  • Properties about someone
    Check the current value of any property of field on a person's profile.
  • If someone is in or not in a list
    Check if a person is currently a member of a list.
  • Has not been in this flow
    Limit how often someone can be in a flow.
  • Random sample
    Allows testing a flow idea by only sending it to a fraction of your audience.

Flow filters also restrict who is qualified to enter a flow, but flow filters are applied before every email sends as well. Those who no longer meet the flow filters at send time will be skipped. In this way, flow filters define the conditions which will cause someone to drop out of the flow.

This is useful for keeping people in a flow until they take a specific goal action. For example, an abandoned cart flow will be triggered by the Checkout Started event and shoppers will remain in the flow until they continue on to make the purchase; this is achieved using the flow filter: "Has Placed Order zero times since starting this flow."

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Keep in mind that flow filters are evaluated when a person is first added to a flow and re-evaluated before every email is sent. If someone initially passes all of the flow filters, emails for each step are queued. Before each email is sent, however, if the re-evaluated flow filters aren't met, the email is not sent and the recipient is marked as having failed the flow filters. 

For metric criteria, there is an additional timeframe option available in flows labeled since starting this flow. This is very useful for creating flows where someone drops out of the flow if they take an action.

Build Out Your Flow Series

After you choose your flow trigger and are done with the trigger setup step, click Done. While you can't change a flow's trigger after the initial setup, you can edit and update trigger and flow filters at any time.

As soon as you complete your trigger setup, you will see the lefthand sidebar change to reveal all the components you can add to your flow series. These components serve as "building blocks" for a flow. 

Learn more about all key Visual Builder components.

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