On the one hand, triggers are an essential component of any mobile-based communication system using an SMS, voice or social media channel. They allow you to design interactions by creating keywords that launch workflows, starting messages or workflows in the future or on a schedule, and starting a workflow after receiving a message not handled elsewhere. On the other hand, groups are essential to the organization of your service. They allow you to segment your contacts into clusters based on their attributes or responses. This week, we took a step towards linking these core features by giving you the ability to assign catch-all triggers to groups. Catch-all triggers allow you to start a workflow after receiving an uncaught message (a message not handled by a workflow or any of your other triggers present within your account) that can in turn direct your contacts to the intended workflow using the Start another flow action.
Implications - Starting a Workflow
In order for your contacts to interact with a workflow, it must be started. A workflow can be started in one of two ways:
Inbound Engagements: Your contacts start themselves in a workflow by sending you a keyword or catch-all trigger.
The ability to assign catch-all triggers to groups applies to inbound engagements. Click here to learn more about the ways in which workflows can be started.
Implications - Uncaught Messages
Your messages tab, much like an email client, contains all inbound and outbound interactions that take place through your TextIt account. When your contacts respond to a question in a workflow, their responses are displayed in the Flows folder. By contrast, any messages your contacts send that aren’t handled by a workflow or trigger are displayed in the Inbox folder.
Assigning catch-all triggers to groups will allow you to track messages received from specific populations that aren’t handled by a workflow or trigger and respond with a workflow appropriate for that group of people. In other words, this feature allows you to ensure no message goes unanswered without constantly monitoring your account.
An Added Level of Organization
This feature is particularly useful for accounts that conduct and manage multiple projects across a variety of populations. Say you're sending unique workflows that collect or disseminate information in multiple areas, you can optimize the organization of your projects by directing contacts to a workflow that in turn directs contacts to the appropriate informational workflow.
To assign a catch-all trigger to a group, you'll first need to identify the group and workflow you'd like to apply the trigger to. For the purposes of this example, we'll use the directory workflow pictured below:
This workflow will allow us to funnel members of our selected group, Oakland Constituents, to the workflows that most pertain to them. In this case, it's our Community Housing and Development Survey.
With a group and workflow in mind, all that's left to do is navigate to the triggers tab and create the trigger:
All active triggers will be displayed on the contacts tab with the name of the group to which it's assigned present in the same pane:
Note that only one catch-all trigger may be assigned to a single group at any given time. Archiving a trigger renders it inactive until activated from the Archived folder.