4 min read
Strategy Session: How to Send to Preferred Methods of Communication
A huge benefit of using SimplyCast 360 is that you can use the system to send through multiple methods of communication. What's more, you can send the same message to multiple contacts through different methods of communication, based on what they prefer.
If you want to communicate with clients through their indicated preferred method of communication, you can do so by building the flow outlined above. The following elements are needed to recreate this flow:
- Signup Form
- Email Campaign
- SMS Campaign
- Voice Campaign
The elements you're using here are to create a basic preferred method campaign. It's important to note that this campaign does not need to start from a signup form –right now the form is being used simply to show how to initially gather your contacts' communication preferences. After you have those, you can recreate this campaign with whatever starting point you like.
However, for this purpose, we will start to create this flow by dragging in a Signup Form element. Before you go any further, you need to open the Form Editor and create your signup form. Typically, this can wait until the end, if you like, but this campaign depends on a new field created in the form.
Once in the Form Editor, you can create and add any questions you like. However, if you want to use this campaign, you need to ask what their preferred method of communication is. Here's how to set up that question:
1. Go to the Choice Elements tab and drag in either a Dropdown or Radio Buttons element (whichever you prefer)2. Change the label of the element to a question to the effect of "What is your preferred method of contact?"3. Go down to Options and list the communication options available for users to choose from (email, SMS, voice)4. Go to the List Field option and, from the dropdown menu, choose Create New Field5. Name the field where you are mapping the preferred contact information to something related to the question, like "preferred_communication" or something similar [NOTE: do not call this field "Preferred Method" or the flow will not work]6. Click Create Column to complete the new column
You now have a custom column in the CRM that will help you send communications to your contacts through their preferred method. You can now complete your form as usual. Be sure to include fields to gather all the contact information for the options you included in the preferred communication question.
Complete the rest of your form with the other questions you require and go through the rest of the setup process until you are back in the 360 workspace. To demonstrate how the preferred communication option can work, let's say that we want to thank each user for signing up through their preferred method of communication as indicated on the signup form.
First, drag in a Delay and connect the signup form to it. Click on the Delay element, choose the Set Delay button in the black sidebar, and set the delay for however long you want the system to wait. This step is optional if you would prefer to send the thank you message immediately.
After that, drag in a Decision element. As you can see in the image above, the Decision element is attached to an email campaign, an SMS campaign, and a voice campaign – the same options as were presented for the preferred method of communication question inside the signup form.
When you drag your connections from the Decision element to each of the communication types, the connection will say "Triggered if other branches don't." In order to send our thank you message to each of the preferred methods, we need to change these connections.
1. Click on the three-barred icon in the top right-hand corner of the connection and select Decision Settings
2. Click Start Building Your Decision on the pop-up window
3. For Pick a Data Source, select Contact from the dropdown menu
4. This will prompt another field to appear. Select Text from this dropdown
5. In the Pick a Field dropdown menu that appears, select the column you mapped your preferred method question responses to
6. Set the fourth field after Pick a Field to Equals
7. Now, depending on what connection you are doing, enter the name of the communication method here. So, if you were configuring the settings for the connection between the Decision element and the email campaign, you would set this field to "Email"
8. Click Submit when you have completed the settings for that connection
9. Repeat this process for all the campaigns that are attached to the Decision element
Once all the decision settings have been set, the connections will say "When conditions met" instead of the original "Triggered if other branches don't." This means that a contact will only go through that path if they have chosen that option as their preferred method of communication.
In the case that you don't have the preferred contact information for some of your contacts, you can leave one of your decision branches as "Triggered if other branches don't." By doing this, anyone who either selects this channel as their preferred method or does not have a preferred method will receive the message through that channel.
To finish the campaign, create the content for your email, voice, and SMS campaigns as you usually would.
If you would like to recreate the preferred method of communication campaign for a campaign that is not based off of a signup form, you are use everything from the Preferred Communication Decision element onward as long as you already have the preferred communication information for each contact you're sending to.
Are there any other flows you'd like to learn about? Let us know in the comments below! If you're not a SimplyCast user but want to give the preferred method of communication flow a shot, sign up for a free 14-day trial!