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Using the 'Start Flow' Action in Zapier

Do you have an application, like Google Sheets or MailChimp, that contains contact information you'd like to use in TextIt? By setting up a zap with your trigger application, you can start a flow to then reference and update external variables to be saved in your TextIt account. See more information on integrating Zapier here

Setting Up Your Zap

In the example below, we're pushing data from a Google Sheet over to TextIt via Zapier. 

Create a Google Sheets Spreadsheet

In this example zap, we want to push the variables Name & Address over to TextIt, so we've created those column headers in our spreadsheet. We also want to send the flow over SMS, so we will use the contact's phone number URN, which must include the country code:

Later on, when referencing and updating the external variables in our flow, we will use the variable @trigger.params.variable_name. (I.e.,, @trigger.params.address)

Create a Flow

To be able to start a flow, you'll need to first create that flow! In our example, we want to reference the contact's name and address. We do so using the variable @trigger.params.variable_name :

To save these variables to our contact's information, we need to use the Update the Contact action. Here's how that looks for our Name variable:

Setting Up a Trigger

You must choose a Trigger in Zapier, which will push the data from your chosen external app over to TextIt. We'll search for Google Sheets, and then select our trigger, New or Updated Spreadsheet Row:

You'll then need to connect a Google account to your Zapier account:

Next, we'll choose the spreadsheet, worksheet, and optional trigger column. The worksheet is generally 'Sheet 1" for Google Sheets. In our sample zap, we've left the trigger column as the default any_column.

After choosing the sheet we want to use, we'll pull in sample data for Zapier to use in setting up our zap.

The test will include data for all the fields (header columns) in your spreadsheet.

Setting Up an Action

After configuring the Trigger in Zapier, you'll be directed to choose an Action. We'll select TextIt from our options and then choose Start Flow:

You'll then be directed to integrate your TextIt account to Zapier:

The following step will ask us to set up the flow template for TextIt. It will use the sample data we pulled in earlier with our Trigger set up.

First, choose the flow you want to start. Next, add any extra fields to include in your flow start. In our example, we're adding the extra fields Name and Address. We should see those as options in the "Insert Data" dropdown menu since we've already pulled in the sample data with our previous test.

Here's what our flow template looks like once we've added the extra fields and phone number:

The final part of the template is optional. You can choose to start particular members of a group present in your workspace or certain contacts or UUIDs. You will likely leave these blank for your zap.

Last, you can choose to restart contacts who've already interacted with the flow before. This would be a good idea if you want the contact to be able to respond more than once. In our case, we're going to check up with the contacts every year to ensure their address is up to date, so we will choose true.

The final step to make our zap live is to send a test over to TextIt:

That's it! You'll be prompted to turn on your zap to make it live.

You should now see that your test was successful in your workspace as well. Check out your flow's results and review your contact's message history. In our example, we can see that the external variables we've referenced in the flow now use the contact's name and address that were pushed from the spreadsheet: 

Questions? Send us a message via the support widget in the bottom right corner.

Updated on: 05/06/2023

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