Feature Update: Add Timeouts, Pauses to Flows

We're happy to announce that we've added an option to set timers on 'Wait for Response' RuleSets. You can use this new feature to send reminder messages to flow participants after a period of inactivity, or create a 'pause' in a flow to stagger messages. If the contact hasn't responded in the amount of time you've chosen, they'll be routed through a 'No response' category. You can connect this category to a 'Send Message' action that encourages them to continue, or leave it unconnected to prompt an exit. 

For example, in the flow pictured above, when a contact hasn't responded in 6 hours they receive a followup message asking if they'd like to continue. If they don't respond to the followup message in 3 hours, they're exited from the flow. 

To add a timer, simply check 'Continue when there is no response' at the bottom of a 'Wait for Response' RuleSet, then select a time period. 

Staggering Messages 

In our first example, the introductory message is actually longer that 160 characters–the limit for all SMS. If an SMS contains more that 160 characters, it will be split into multiple messages by carriers and may arrive out of order. Using the timeout feature, you can also pause flows, ensuring that multi-message broadcasts are sent in order. For this use case, we recommend adding a 1-minute pause between 'Send Message' actions: 


Note flows will expire inactive contacts after a set period of time. You'll need to make sure that time period is longer than those of your 'Wait for Response' RuleSets, otherwise a contact will be expired from the flow before a RuleSet timer reaches 0. Select 'Edit' from the gear icon menu in the flow editor to change a flow's expiration settings: 

Also note that RuleSet timeouts are now the preferred method for prodding contacts to respond, as messages sent via campaigns now exit contacts from flows. 

Question? Comments? Let us know. We love hearing from you!