Flows 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.
Custom flows are a feature available to Pro and Enterprise users, and allow you to customize the triggers and message content for each step of the flow.
Note: as of the March 4th updates to Facebook's messaging policies, the option to request access to subscription messaging for your Facebook Page is no longer available. Users who already had access will still be able to send subscription messages.
Setting up a custom flow
Custom flows can be found by navigating to the left-nav bar in your Octane AI dashboard:
To make a new custom flow, you'll start by entering the name of the flow.
Custom flows are comprised of three main components that you'll be able to strongly customize:
- Trigger: the conditions that will cause the flow to send to a user.
- Filters: filters that let you target the audience of the flow.
- Message: the message that will send to users that fall under the filters, and meet the trigger conditions.
Using these components, you'll be able to create one-time messages as well as ongoing, automated flows.
Note: flows are subject to Facebook's messaging policies, which means a user can only receive a flow for 24 hours after their last interaction with your bot.
1. Editing your flow's trigger.
The first component you'll edit is the trigger for the flow. With the trigger, you can customize the flow so that it's an ongoing and automated, so you can set it to send as a one-time message.
- User is added to the list: this makes the flow trigger when a user joins a list. This includes your "all subscribers" list.
- A specific date and time: this means the flow will send once on a specified date or time.
Here's an example of a custom flow that's set to send just once to all eligible subscribers:
2. Adding filters to your custom flow
Filters offer targeting options that you can use to further specify who will receive the message.
Customers can be targeted by purchase data, user data or even what method they opted in with. This is helpful for both one-time and repeating automated flows, allowing you to target your campaigns with higher accuracy.
In the example below, only users that opted in within the last month, but have made no purchases, will be targeted:
These filters would be useful to send new subscribers that haven't purchased a special discount code for example.
Read more about message targeting options here.
3. Creating your campaign message
The campaign message is the actual message that any eligible users will receive when your flow is triggered. They can be news-related, or contain promotional content. You can even include more than one message in a flow with multiple triggers and filters.
Campaign messages can use any message customization option we offer as well:
You can just text, media content, features like one-time notifications or the product carousel, and even link to another website. You'll be able to add reply buttons as well, creating an entire convo inside of a flow.
4. Adding a follow-up message (optional)
Once you've finished editing your campaign message, you'll have a few options:
- Preview: try out the flow directly in Messenger.
- Save: save your campaign message and move onto the next step of the flow.
- Add Follow up message: create a multi-layer flow with multiple triggers, filters and messages.
There are three ways that the follow-up message can be triggered.
User receives previous stage of flow
This means the next part of the flow will trigger automatically as long as a user has received the previous part of the flow.
User clicks a button or reply in the previous stage
This means the follow-up will trigger as long as the user interacted with a button or reply added in the campaign message of the previous step.
User does not click a button or reply in the previous stage
This will trigger the follow-up if the recipient did not interact with the previous part of the flow.
This is where custom flows gets really powerful. When combining custom flows with a feature like custom lists, you can build flows into your own custom features.
5. Setting a time delay (optional)
A time delay can be set for custom flows as well. This optional feature gives more control to how your flows and the follow-up steps trigger.
Important note: Facebook's 24-hour Messenger policy applies to all messages sent in a flow. This means any follow-ups should be sent within 24 hours of the previous message, otherwise the target user may not be eligible to receive a message anymore.
Can I send a promotional broadcast with custom flows?
Broadcasts are a legacy feature that were available prior to Facebook's policy updates on March 4th, 2020.
Like promotional broadcasts, custom flows can send promotional content to users within 24 hours after their last interaction with your bot. This means they can be used very similarly to promotional broadcasts.
Messages can be sent outside of that 24-hour period using one-time notifications and sponsored messages.
We recommend trying custom flows and sponsored messages together. Here's an example of how they can work with each other:
- A sponsored message is sent to all subscribers.
- All recipients will then fall into the 24-hour messaging window.
- A custom flow(s) can trigger for those users, taking engagement beyond the initial sponsored message.