Custom Flows allow you to create a targeted series of messages that are sent when triggered by a specific date, time, event, or customers' activity.
These are automated sets of messages that go out based on a specific time or to a specific list of customers. They enable you to stay in touch with groups of people based on their actions, like, for example, when a customer follows your bot.
When creating a flow, keep in mind that a customer can move through a flow once. For example, if you're creating a welcome flow for all subscribers to move through they won't be eligible for other flows. It's best to target custom flows to capture the attention of the right people at the right time.
Depending on the content you wish to send to your customers, there are two types of Flows you can send:
1. Subscription Flows - intended for news updates that are non-promotional.
2. Promotional Flows - intended for promotional updates and updates that don't meet Facebook's subscription guidelines.
When should I use Subscription Flows?
Subscription Flows send to all of your subscribers and are more regulated by Facebook. They have to be non-promotional in nature and cannot be focused on collecting information from your audience.
Facebook states that these news updates should "inform people about recent or important events, or provide information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate, weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profit organizations, religion, celebrities, and entertainment."
Important note: On July 31, 2019 Facebook is going to switch from app-level permission for subscription broadcasts and subscription flows to page specific permission. See more information on how to request permission by clicking here.
When should I use Promotional Flows?
Anytime you cannot use a Subscription Flow, you can use a Promotional Flow. The guidelines around promotional Flows are around who you can send them to.
They can be sent to customers who have engaged with the bot in the last 24 hours and to customers beyond the 24 hour mark only one message can be sent. With the limit to one message, you aren't able to add text AND an image because that would be more than one message. However, you can add a carousel or quick replies to send more content after the customer engages. We manage this automatically and by default send it to only eligible subscribers.
If you select the wrong custom flow type, you can always switch it by following these instructions.
How do I start a custom flow?
In the Left nav click on Flows and then click on the Custom flows link
Click New Custom Flow, and select the type of Flow you'd like to create
Now, let's set up your flow:
Trigger - here you can choose what action will trigger the flow.
- If you select: "User is added to the list," the flow message will be sent after the user is added to the selected list.
- You can also trigger a flow campaign on a specific date or time. This campaign will then go out only once to those targeted followers.
Filter - here you can target customers by location, gender, number of orders and more.
Filters you set for the first message in the flow will also apply to the follow-up messages. For example, if I make a custom flow that filters to only send to people who's time of newest order is at most 1 day ago, I know the first message won't go to people who have purchased in the past 24 hours.
If I set-up a follow-up I also know it won't be sent to people who purchased in the last 24 hours so it is a way to set-up a flow around customers purhcasing where it will stop sending if they purchased from the first message in my flow.
Find out more about filtering here.
Time delay: set when flow should be triggered (you can use decimals too!)
By selecting a delay, you set up when the flow will be triggered, after the user is added to the list.
You can also check "Send to existing members," and then all users that are currently on the selected list will get your flow as well as the new ones.
Campaign message: Now that you set up the audience and triggers, it's time to write up an amazing message that will be sent out. Just like when writing updates or convos you can add sections, tangents and connect to all other convos and features.
If you wish to preview your flow before sending to your customers simply click on the "Preview" button and your flow preview will open in Messenger:
Follow-up message - optional
If you wish to create a multi-layer flow, click on the "Add follow-up message" button and choose one of 3 triggers:
*User receives previous stage of flow - Everyone who got the previous flow
*User clicks a button in the previous stage - Those who clicked any button in the previous flow (i.e. quick-reply or button)
*User does not click a button in the previous stage - Those who did not click any button in the previous flow
By choosing a delay, you will set up how much time after the previous message this new message should be sent to your followers. A typical delay is one day, but you should set it up based on your campaign.