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What is an Automated Workflow/message?
What is an Automated Workflow/message?

What is the workflow, what types of messages can you schedule, and how you can edit them!

Rachel OBrien avatar
Written by Rachel OBrien
Updated over a week ago

Automated Workflows are a fantastic feature of Text In Church, and they can work wonders in helping you stay connected with your community!

What is an Automated Workflow?

An Automated Workflow is a scheduled series of messages that get sent out automatically to the linked Group.

The best part? You can connect the same Workflow to as many Groups as you need!

There are three types of messages you can set up within a Workflow: Email, Text Messages, and Reminder Messages.

  1. Text Messages: These are perfect for sending short, quick messages to your group members. They're great for informing or reminding them about upcoming services or events.

  2. Email: Need to share more detailed information? Email Messages have got you covered. You can send lengthier and more in-depth messages with this option.

  3. Reminder Messages: Now, these are handy for you and your staff. You can set them up to remind anyone you like about tasks related to a group. These reminders can be sent as either text or email messages. For instance, you can use them to prompt phone calls, send personalized letters, schedule meetings, and much more.

There are also a couple of actions you can add to your Workflow to:

  1. Add to Group: This feature has the Workflow automatically add a member to another Group in your account.

  2. Remove from Group: If needed, the Workflow can automatically remove a member from a Group.

How to Create an Automated Workflow:

It's super easy! Navigate to the Connect tab, then the Workflows section.

Here click the orange Add New button and a menu will pop up asking if you'd like to create your Workflow from scratch or from a template.

After creating your Workflow you can add or edit any steps!

To see your Workflow steps, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign in to your Text In Church account.

  2. Head over to the Connect tab and then the Workflows section.

  3. Click on your Workflow's name or click the three dots on the right of the Workflow and select Edit.

You'll generally want to make most of your edits before activating the Workflow, but you can always adjust the timing and content of your messages!

How Workflow Scheduling Works:

Workflows are equipped with a unique scheduling system that can be tailored to your needs, whether it's triggered by someone joining a Group, a specific calendar date, or a date in someone's profile (like a birthday or wedding anniversary).

When selecting the Upon Joining a group Trigger, you can select the "Re-trigger after workflow completes and a person is added to one of the groups again" button to allow someone to re-experience an Automated Workflow they already have gone through.

When you create a step within an Automated Workflow, you'll notice three important elements under the Schedule option:

  1. Wait Days: This is the period you specify in days, hours, or minutes, indicating how long you want to wait after the trigger before this step is sent.

  2. Day to Send the Message: Here, you can choose a specific day of the week when you want your message to be delivered.

  3. Time to Send the Message: This box lets you select the exact time for your message to be sent.

If you'd like a message to go out at a specific time right after someone joins, you can choose the option of "0 Days."

For example, if you set the step as "Wait 0 Days, Send on Any Day, Send at 1:00 pm" with a "Group Join" trigger, it will send at 1:00 pm on the first day that 1:00 pm occurs after they join the specified group.

If they text a Keyword or are added manually before 1:00 p.m., the message will be sent at 1:00 p.m. on that same day.

If they join after 1:00 p.m., it will go out at 1:00 p.m. the next day.

Here's another trick: let's say you want to send a message on the second Monday after someone joins, not the first Monday, but a week later.

To achieve this, instruct the system to wait for 1 or 2 days (enough to pass the first Monday) and then, on the next Monday following the waiting period, your message will be sent at the designated time and day.

How To Edit Your Workflow Step:

To make changes, enter the Workflow and click on the message you'd like to tweak.

You can adjust the schedule or content from the menu on the right. Once you're done, hit the blue Save Step button at the bottom.

How to Active, Deactivate, and Pause a Workflow Step:

In the world of Automated Workflows, an "active" message is like a green light—it's all set and ready to be sent out.

On the flip side, an "inactive" message is like a red light—no one in your Group will receive it until you switch it to active mode.

This feature lets you create drafts of your messages before they go live, ensuring that everything is just right.

Here's the easy part: messages with a green dot are active and good to go, while messages with a red dot are inactive and won't be sent out.

To activate a step, simply click the red dot next to it. Watch it turn from red to green—now it's active!

To deactivate a step, click the green dot, and it'll switch back to red.

You can also click on the message name to view and edit the details, and there's a handy toggle button in the top corner to activate or deactivate an individual message.

It's super easy to deactivate or resume Workflow steps with just one click.

If you no longer need the Workflow to send messages, but want to keep the Workflow for future use this is a great option for you!

Go to the Workflow click on the name or the three dots on the right-hand side and hit Edit.

Inside the Workflow, hit the "Deactivate" button, and a pop-up box will confirm your action.

Click "Yes, Deactivate" to confirm. Now, nobody in the Group will get Workflow steps while it's deactivated!

When you're ready to get things moving again, find the blue "Activate" button in the top right corner within your Workflow.

Click it, and a pop-up will appear for you to confirm your action.

Click "Yes, Activate" to confirm. Your messages will start sending again based on their scheduled times, with no messages sent from the deactivated period.

How to Pause a Workflow

  1. Access Workflow Settings: Navigate to the specific workflow you wish to manage. Once there, click the three dots next to this Workflow and click edit.

  2. Pause Workflow: Look for the "Pause" option within the Workflow in the top right. Selecting this option temporarily suspends the entire automated process, placing it in a paused state.

  3. Specify Resumption Date: When prompted, specify the exact date on which you want the workflow to resume. This level of control ensures precision in timing the workflow's reactivation.

    After pausing, all scheduled steps within the Workflow will be flagged as "Skipped" in the Workflow report.

    This provides a transparent view of the temporarily halted steps. Until the specified date arrives, these steps will be marked as "Pending."

Pausing the Workflow doesn't stop its execution entirely. The workflow is still active but temporarily halts the processing of steps, such as sending messages.

This allows you to skip repeating actions for a defined period without interrupting the overall Workflow.

How to Delete A Workflow Step:

It's super easy! You can do this with the trashcan icon in the righthand menu once you've clicked on the step you'd like to delete:

Here's a bonus tip: Text In Church offers sets of Workflow templates that can save you time and provide a structured outline for specific scenarios.

To use them, click Import from Template in the top right corner and choose the template set you want to add to your group. 🤩

How to Tell What Workflow Step Someone is On:

In the world of Automated Workflows, our Automated Workflow Report is your trusty sidekick. It's here to give you a report on how your workflow is performing!

You can see the total number of steps processed for the entire Workflow and the status for each individual step.

This valuable insight helps you keep track of who's where in your Workflow, who's received specific steps, and why some may have missed a step.

Plus, the report allows you to skip steps or send specific steps immediately to certain individuals if needed!

To dive into this treasure trove of information, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign into the website version of Text In Church.

  2. Click "Connect," and then head over to "Workflows."

  3. Click on the name of the Automated Workflow you're interested in.

Look for the "View Workflow Report" icon in the top right corner and click it.

Now that you're in, let's break down what you'll find:

  • At the top, you'll see the total number of steps processed for your workflow.

  • The blue "Waiting" column shows how many people are still awaiting this step in the workflow. "Waiting" indicates that this step is scheduled to send in the future.

  • The green "Processed" column tells you how many folks have already gone through this step. "Processed" includes steps that have been Completed, Canceled, or Missed.

  • If both the "Waiting" and "Processed" columns are grayed out, it means that this specific step is deactivated and won't be processed.

How to Read Your Workflow's Report:

  • Click on the blue "Waiting" column to see who's patiently waiting for this step. You'll also find out when they're scheduled to receive it.

  • Click on the green "Processed" column to see who's already been through this step. You'll get a timestamp for when each individual's step was processed.

  • "Completed" means the step was sent as scheduled.

  • "Skipped" means the step was manually canceled for that individual, so they won't receive it.

  • "Missed" indicates the step won't be sent because the recipient missed the scheduled date. This often applies to Calendar Date Trigger Workflows, where late joiners won't get missed steps but will receive future ones. Missed steps can not be retriggered.

How to Skip or Cancel A Step:

  • Sign in to the website version of Text In Church.

  • Click "Connect," then go to "Workflows."

  • Find the name of the Automated Workflow you're working with.

  • Click the "View Workflow Report" icon in the top right corner.

  • Click the blue "Waiting" column next to the specific step you want to skip.

  • You'll see a list of People records. Find the individual's name, then click "Cancel."

This will stop that individual from receiving the message, but other in the Workflow will still get it. if you want to prevent anyone from receiving that specific step, consider pausing or deleting it.

Here is how you can skip or cancel a specific Automated Workflow step for a specific individual:

How to Send an Automated Workflow Step Immediately for an Individual:

Sometimes, you want someone to receive a specific Automated Workflow step right away instead of waiting for the scheduled date and time.

Say, for instance, you've manually entered paper connection cards, and you want to ensure a guest gets the introductory email today instead of next Monday.

Here's how to make that happen!

  • Sign in to the website version of Text In Church.

  • Click "Connect," and then head to "Workflows."

  • Find the name of the Automated Workflow you're working with.

  • Click the "View Workflow Report" icon in the top right corner.

  • Click the blue "Waiting" column next to the specific step you want to send immediately.

  • In the list of People records, locate the individual's name, and click "Send."

The person will receive the message right away instead of waiting for the scheduled date

If you have any questions, please reach out to! We're always happy to help! 😄

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