How to Write Compelling Flows That Drive Results

With Strive flows, you can build multi-step automated messaging sequences on a user-friendly interface. Also known as “chatbots”, movements leverage this AI-powered SMS feature to organize, list build, and fundraise.

SMS is a powerful way to connect with supporters, more so than email or snail mail. But if your flows aren't engaging, you might not get the response traffic you’re expecting. So before you hit send, check out these 8 tips for better flows:

1.) Signpost your flow steps

If you are asking questions, let your supporters know how many questions you plan to ask. “We have a few quick questions” will signal to your supporter the messages to come, and give them an idea of the commitment level needed.

In your messages, it is helpful to include a countdown for members on how many questions they’ll have to answer before they are finished. Copy like “thanks for answering, we just have 2 more questions for you” will increase the likelihood your member will stick around to finish your flow.

We recommend to not exceed 5 questions in your flow. The more questions you have, the more likely you’ll see a drop-off in response.

Check out the example below of a welcome flow using signposting:

In this example, the organizer included the phrases “3 quick questions” and “one last question” to signpost the duration of the flow for members.

2.) Use your data as dynamic fields 

Personalize your messages using dynamic fields. Dynamic fields will pull member data from your Members list into your messages, even custom fields. Dynamic fields help your flows sound more human and less like talking to a bot.

As a rule of thumb, your messages are more likely to get a response if they are addressed directly to your member. If you're collecting first names, collect this data early in the flow so you can use it in subsequent messages.

Check out a welcome flow below using dynamic fields in the Strive flow builder:

3.) Ask for zip code

Whether it’s a welcome flow, or volunteer sign up flow, ask for your member’s zip code at some point in your message program. Zip codes are valuable data for filtering and targeting flows by member location or radius around a location. And don't forget, you can use this data as a dynamic field or to accurately schedule rolling timezone sends!

When asking for zip codes, tell your subscribers why the information is valuable to your organization. A message like "We'd like to alert you about local actions you can take. What's your zip code?" will make it clear why you are collecting this data and help your member feel comfortable moving through your flow.

Check out this zip code collect info message:

Tip: Enable Check and Collect for your collect info bot actions. Strive will only ask members for this info if they do not have it already saved in the Members list.

4.) Track links

When adding links to your messages, like a link to your social media page or a petition form, use the Strive link shortener and link tracker. Strive will create a custom shortened URL. Use reports to track your click rate and track which members click your link.

We recommend always using trackable links when sending a web URL. It makes it easy to follow up with members that don't click your link or target members that do.

5.) Add synonyms to your responses to capture

If you are building multiple-choice questions, always include synonyms for your response options. Synonyms help capture the data you are looking for and reduce instances where members could get stuck in your flows.

Your synonyms should account for typos and common misspellings, as well as acronyms, abbreviations, and full phrase terms.

This organization used a variety of synonyms in the flow builder to capture more responses, from typos to abbreviations.

6.) Tag members into groups

When building your flows, use the automatic tagging feature to group people based on their response or if they complete a step in your flow. Tagging people within your flows is a helpful way of segmenting and targeting members for future broadcasts.

Whether it’s a Yes/No question or Multiple Choice question, tagging people in your flow is a great way to drill down into segments of your members list.

7.) Create validation messages to capture more traffic

Occasionally members may submit responses that don't align with the data you are looking to capture. For example, if you are trying to collect a zip code, someone may mistake your question for an area code or county name. To account for this, set up validation messages in your flows. Validation messages prompt your member to respond with the right information.

In the event your member submits an invalid response to your validation message, their conversation is automatically routed to the inbox, so a member of your team can provide one-on-one assistance.

Check out the example below of a helpful validation message:

This validation message helped the member understand why their original response was invalid. A validation message clarifies your ask so the member can complete your flow.

8.) Always finish with a CTA

A CTA keeps your audience engaged, makes your messages more actionable, and bookends your flow. A clear, concise directive such as “give us a follow on Instagram to stay up to date on our latest work” provides a next, and final step in your message interaction. Always finish your flows with a CTA so that you continue to engage your most active members.

Give one of these CTA’s a try when you build your next flow:

  • Sign a petition
  • Donate to the cause
  • Invite or share with a friend
  • Follow on social media

Ready to start using these tips in your flows? Check out our flow building resources to get started.

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