To create a flow, click on the Flows tab, and then on the Create Flow button.
Before you create a flow, you may want to review the pre-built flows available in your account by clicking on the Browse Ideas button. For popular flows such as abandoned carts and welcome series, using a pre-built 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.
Flow Name and Trigger
On the create flow page, give your flow a name and choose the type of flow trigger.
The trigger is the catalyst which causes profiles to be queued for the emails in that flow. There are three types of triggers:
- Subscribes to a list
Trigger when someone subscribes or is added to a list.
- Added to a segment
Trigger when someone is added to a segment. This is not frequently used. Instead, it is usually preferable to trigger a flow based on a metric so you can use the triggering event to customize the email's content.
- Takes an action
Trigger based on metric events. All metrics can be used as a trigger except the Received Email metric.
If you choose Subscribed to a list or Added to a segment trigger types, select the trigger list or segment. If you choose Takes an action, select the trigger metric.
A flow only requires a trigger, however often you may want to tailor your flow to a specific audience. You can do this with flow filters. Flow filters allow you restrict who enters a flow and when they're removed based on a person's behavior, profile, and lists they're subscribed to. If your flow is action based, you can also restrict who enters a flow based on fields or properties of the event that triggers a flow. For example, you can target an abandoned cart flow to customers whose total cart value is over $100.
If you specified a metric as the trigger, decide if you want all events in that metric to trigger this flow or only some of them. You can specific which events will trigger the flow based on any property of that metric. This set of conditions is referred to as the trigger filters.
If you specified a list or segment as the trigger, this option isn't visible because the flow isn't triggered by a specific metric event. You can still target your flow based a person's activity.
For all flows, you can specify flow filters, which target a flow based on all of the same criteria you can use in segmentation. Flow filters are useful in two ways:
- Filtering or target your flow to a specific audience
For example, setting up one post purchase flows that sends to first-time buyers and another that sends to repeat buyers. In that situation, the trigger metric for each flow is Placed Order, but flow filters allow you to restrict who ends up in each sequence based on whether each customer has placed an order exactly once or more than once.
- Setting conditions which cause someone to drop out of the flow
This is useful for keeping people in a flow until they take an action. For example, a newsletter welcome series flow can only send emails until someone makes a purchase which a flow filter, "Has Placed Order zero times since starting this flow."
Filters which target or restrict the entire flow to a specific audience are the same as with segmentation. You can choose from the following types of criteria:
- What someone has done (or not done)
Check the number of times someone has taken an action in 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.
The 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.
Once you've decided on which, if any, trigger and flow filters to use, save your flow and you can add flow emails to it.