Articles on: Flows

Using 'Wait for Response' in a Flow

A wait for response split action analyses the response given by your contact and provides you with tools to prepare for your next move. You can set a response rule to evaluate the contact's input and, optionally, continue forward in your flow even when no response is given. Read on to learn more.

Setting a Response Rule

To evaluate a contact's response, you can set a response rule in your wait for response node. You might be asking an open-ended question where no rule is set, like for a name or free text response, or you might need to collect something more specific like an email address, a number, or an exact phrase. Response rules allow you to ensure that a contact's input is valid.

In the example below, we ask our contact to tell us their birthdate.

First, we send a message asking for the date, then create our wait for response node:

Here's how the wait for response node is set up:

We've set the response rule to 'Has a date' because we want to collect only valid dates. If the contact replies with something other than a date, they'll be routed through the 'Other' category in the node and asked to resend their response.
We've categorized the response. This can really be anything you'd like! We've chosen 'Has Date' so that the category is easily readable in our flow and results analytics.
We've given the result a name. If we don't give the result a name, it will by default be named Result 1, Result 2, Result 3, etc. in our flow. While this won't affect how the flow works, it can get confusing! Plus, naming the result allows us to reference it later on using variables. We recommend always naming results! Naming the results here means you are saving that result to the flow. But perhaps it is information you want saved to the contact's page. Use the Update contact action and you can reference it anywhere in the workspace. Results can only store up to 640 characters.
We've chosen to continue forward when to response is given in X amount of time. In our example, we've chosen 5 minutes. This is totally optional. More on this below!

Continuing When There is No Response

Perhaps the contact got distracted and hasn't sent us a response to our question, but we still need a response. What now? We can add a timeout to either send a reminder message and loop the contact back to the wait for response node, move the contact forward to another node in the flow, or let them know they can continue with the flow at a later time.

In this example, if our contact doesn't respond within 5 minutes, they will receive a message reminding them of the keyword trigger to restart the flow.

Avoiding Endless Loops

Using the 'continue when there is no response' feature can potentially leave your contacts in an endless loop, or keep sending messages to a contact who is not interested.
You can use the expression @node.visit_count to limit the number of times contacts will pass through that node. Use a 'Split by Expression' action and set it up as follows:

Saving a Contact's Response

Using a 'Wait for Response' node in a flow will collect your contact's responses and will save the result inside of your flow, but what if you want to save the response as a field to be stored in your contact's information page in your account? You will do this by using the Update the Contact action in your flow after each 'Wait for Response' that you wish to save as a field.

Using this action will save the response as a contact field that can be referenced later on. For example, you can collect and then update the contact's name so you can address them personally in the future!

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

Updated on: 18/10/2023

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