We want to help you get started with Flow Builder. There are four important elements to a Flow: Triggers, Templates, Numbers, and Steps.
Every flow requires you to choose an event that initiates it; this is known as ‘Trigger’. Flow Builder gives you three options:
- Phone Calls: Incoming phone call.
- Incoming SMS: Incoming text message.
- Webhook API Calls: Incoming API calls through Webhook.
When creating a new flow, you can choose between:
- ‘Create a Custom Flow’: You will start with a blank state. Flow Builder will explicitly ask you to ‘Choose the incoming trigger for your flow’—Phone Call, SMS, Webhook.
- ‘Templates’: You can use one of our pre-built templates as a starting point. Flow Builder will display four tabs—‘All’ ‘Voice’ ‘SMS’ ‘Webhook’—click on each one depending on the type of flow you wish to work with.
To publish all flows, you need a Number that allows you to communicate and be reachable to your customers; these can either be:
- Shared (displayed in Flow Builder as ‘MessageBird number’, please note that a Shared Number is for SMS only.)
- Dedicated (displayed in Flow Builder as ‘Your phone numbers’.)
Shared and Dedicated numbers have different capabilities—SMS enabled, Voice enabled, or both—which are needed for communications flows.
Depending on the type of flow you are working with Flow Builder needs you to select either a Shared number or a Dedicated number. Don’t forget that you can attach multiple Numbers from different countries to a single flow.
Flow Builder contains different Voice, SMS, and Webhook templates that provide you with pre-built flows that you can customize and expand:
- Forward Call: Forward incoming calls to a phone number.
- Forward SMS to Email: Send an email when your flow receives a new SMS.
- Call HTTP endpoint with SMS: Trigger a GET (used to request data from a specified resource) or POST (used to send data to a server to create/update a resource) request for your own server when your flow receives an incoming SMS.
- Automatic SMS subscriptions: Build a subscription SMS marketing campaign and allow customers to opt in or out of your list by sending you a keyword.
- Easy phone menu (IVR): Custom IVR (Interactive Voice Response) phone menu to distribute inbound calls across your company.
- Webhook to SMS: Generate a Webhook endpoint that you can call to trigger an outbound SMS.
- Feedback Bot: Customize your flow based on your user's responses.
These are easy-to-use drag and drop tools that help you to build and customize your communications flow. A glossary of all the available steps can be found here.
Congrats! Now you know the four important elements of Flow Builder. You may want to learn more about Flow Builder or move on to related subjects: