How to Create a Flow for an Viber Chatbot

The flow builder is the main tool to set up your bot to welcome new subscribers, assist users, sell products, and notify a manager about users’ questions in the chatbot. Also, a chatbot can gather information and send it to your system for future use.

Below, you can find all the possible triggers and elements to get started adding them to your bot’s flow.

Choosing a Trigger for Your Flow

By default, there are flows for "Welcome message," "Standard reply," and "Unsubscribe from bot." You can create your own new triggers to get more functionality.

Choose your bot. Navigate to the “Bot Structure" tab and choose a trigger.

Welcome Message Flows

The flow starts after a user subscribes to your chatbot — i.e. after the user sends your business page a direct message.

This flow introduces your bot to users. Here, you can write a little about your bot and its features – how the bot can be useful, what information the bot can provide, how often the bot will send messages, and the content of those messages.

Standard Reply

The flow will launch in response to any user question that is outside your bot’s scenario, or by sending an image to a bot. You can add a message with information that a manager will contact them during business hours and reply to the user.

You can set up a cool-down interval for launching a flow between 1 minute and 24 hours — so your bot won’t launch a second time within the specified interval.

Unsubscription from Bot

This is a flow with one message element that will launch after a user unsubscribes using the /stop or /unsubscribe command.

Trigger Flow

You can add keywords — triggers, that your bot will react to and launch your flow.

Click Create a new trigger. Write your command using one or several words. For example, you can use the words “Order," “Tickets," “Price," or “Delivery."

If the user enters part of a keyword linked to your command, your bot will suggest prompts such as a button with the name of your trigger. When the user clicks the button, the flow will launch.

You can also restrict the callback for a specific period of time.

Learn more: How to Manage Chatbot Flow Triggers.

If the user enters part of a keyword linked to your command, your bot will suggest prompts such as a button with the name of your trigger. When the user clicks the button, the flow will launch.

To disable this feature, go to your chatbot settings and select the "Disable bot suggestions when entered messages do not match a keyword" option.

Building Your Flow

It’s important to think about the architecture and logic structure of your bot carefully. A well-designed bot will let users easily get a reply to their questions or place an order successfully by providing the necessary information.

Formulate the bot’s tasks, divide its functions into sections, think of how you will connect the elements, and start creating your bot’s flow using our drag-and-drop builder.

Start

You can choose the first element that launches your flow: "Message," "Filter," "Randomizer," "Action," and "API Request."

For example, using the "Filter" and "API Request" elements, you can check the subscriber's data and personalize your communication by starting your flow only for those users who have or do not have the requested data or branch your flow and send different messages. Using the "Randomizer" element, you can diversify your chatbot's auto-replies or create an A/B test.

To make an element a start element, connect the desired element to the “Start.”

To see which trigger starts your flow, click on the "Start."

The "Message" Element

Using the "Message" element, you can create a message of any type and add various blocks to it: text, video, gallery, buttons, user data request, and so on.

You can send unlimited messages within 24 hours and 10,000 outside the time limit.

You can add the "Message" element to any part of your flow. For example, in the last element of your flow, you can thank your users, confirm their order, and send personalized information using variables, asking if the information is correct.

Text

Within the “Message" element, select the text up to 2000 characters without spaces. If the message contains buttons, the message is limited to 80 characters. Also, you can add emoji and variables to personalize your messages.

To add a variable click {} in the right corner of the text block and choose the variable you want to add from the drop-down menu. If you have a value for this variable in the user’s contact information, they will receive a message with the value filled in.

You can add the following types of variables.

Custom variables for contacts You can transfer variables when a user subscribes to your chatbot. Set and update variables manually in the "Audience" section. Set and update variables automatically in a flow using the "Action — set variable," "User input," and "API request" elements.
System variables You can insert the text of the last message from your subscriber using the last_message variable. You can also add a subscriber ID using contact_id.
Global variables You can create your own variables in your bot settings and use messages with predefined values that will be shared with all of your subscribers. By default, $bot_name, $bot_id, and $current_date are available.

Button

To connect the "Message" element with other elements in your flow, add a button or user input element to the message element. This is one of the most important elements for communicating with your users — buttons engage users and let them choose a direction for your bot to take them to the next part of your flow.

You can add up to three buttons in a row in one "Message" element.

To add a button, click + Add button. Select the type of button: "Continue flow," "Link," or "Payment." For a button of the “Link” type, you can also attach a link to a third-party resource. Your link can contain up to 512 characters.

Name your button in the first field. You can add up to 20 characters and emoji to the button’s text.

The text on the button should be easily understandable — it’s important for users to understand what will happen when they click on the button and know what specifically they need to choose. Make sure that the next element in your flow corresponds to what the button says it will do to maintain the logic of your bot.

For a button with the "Link" type, you can also attach a link to a third-party resource.

To allow the user to continue the conversation by clicking on the link button, you need to activate the "Link Tracking" option in the chatbot settings under the "General" tab.

We recommend adding “Back" and “Back to main menu" buttons after all the information you add, so users can change their choice and choose another path through your flow. This prevents the logic of your bot from being trapped or broken with one message.

Image

Diversify your messages by using visual content that relates to your text.

To add an image click on the Add button, choose the “Image" element, then upload your image. You can add images in JPG and PNG formats up to 5MB in size.

To upload an image from a link, select "Upload image by URL" in the drop-down menu and specify the link to the image in the field.

You can also specify a dynamic path to the image. For example, using the "API request" element or an a360 event, launching the flow via API, you can send a product picture and use this variable in the following message, displaying order data to the client.

To do this, select a variable or specify a JSON path in the field and pass the path to the image in the variable's value. Thus, each client will receive an image according to their order.

File

You can add files in any format excluding executable files, with a size of up to 5 MB. Attach your brochures, tickets, commercial proposals, or other additional media.

Click Choose File to upload a file from your computer or device, or drag and drop a file into the upload field.

To upload a file via a link, choose “Upload file via URL” from the drop-down menu and specify the file’s link in the field.

You can also specify a dynamic path to the file. For example, if you use the API Request element, or launch a flow from an A360 event or via the API request, you can send a file and use this variable in the next message when displaying order data to the customer.

To do this, select a variable or specify the JSON path in the field and pass the file path in the variable value. Thus, each customer will receive a file linked to their order.

Media: "Audio" and "Video"

Available with the Pro plan and above, as well as during the 7-day free trial

You can also add audio and video messages to your flow scenario. Maximum upload file size — 20 MB.

Thus, you can attach video lectures and voice consultations directly in the bot without sending the user to third-party resources.

Card

The carousel format allows you to showcase up to 10 cards. In one card, you can add an image, title – with up to 80 characters, and a description – with up to 80 characters and 3 buttons with a link to another flow or an external source.

To add more cards, click + on the right.

The service allows you to add up to 10 cards in one element. To switch between the cards, click the arrow buttons. To delete a card, click the cross button.

User Input

You can gather information from users and save it to a variable for future use. Users can enter any value, and you only need to set up the type of validation for this value, e.g., string (for text values), number, date, phone number, email address, URL, regular expression, or image or document.

Activate "Wait for the subscriber's response." Choose the validation type, add a warning message for users who enter the wrong value, and choose the variable you want to store information to.

The received email address, phone number, and other user data are saved in the automatically generated mailing list from our Email service.

Enter the time to wait for a response.

You can also create quick response buttons so the user does not enter their own values but selects from existing ones. When a user selects a quick reply button in the data entry function, the button's value is written to a variable in the bot's audience. You can add up to ten quick reply buttons.

Quick Replies

You can also add another type of buttons — "Quick Replies," (preset replies for chatbot users) which do not save user data (unlike data saved with the "User input" function). However, you can use it to expand the number of buttons and link each button to the next branch of your scenario.

If you have activated the "Wait for the subscriber to reply" feature, the quick reply buttons outside the user input feature will be inactive. This means you only need to use the Quick Reply buttons once (either as quick replies when entering data or as keyboard menu buttons).

Moving Elements

By default, each element you add is placed at the end of the message element you are working on. Hover over the element that you want to move up or down and click on the corresponding button.

Continuing the Flow

You can connect the next element after the "Message" element using the button or the "Input" function. You can also continue your flow without waiting for the user's response. We recommend using it with the "Pause" element to check if the subscriber interacted with the flow and send a message after a particular time.

When planning a flow scenario, keep in mind that you cannot both continue your flow using the "Continue" connector and use quick replies.

Connecting Elements

Drag a line from the blue drop of one element to another element to connect them.

Click on the line twice, and you will see a button to remove a connection.

The disconnected elements will be highlighted in yellow; remember that you need to link them to another element.

Elements with empty fields will be highlighted in red, reminding you that you need to fill in fields. For example — if you added a button but did not enter text for it or used a link element but did not enter a URL. You cannot save your flow until you fill in these fields.

You can link an unlimited number of elements to elements that wait for user response and link up to 100 elements to the "Continue" button.

A "Flow" Element

You can simplify your bot’s structure and move your subscriber to another flow.

To do this, add an element, then choose the "Flow" element, and select the flow you want to link from the drop-down list.

The "Flow" element will be the last element in this branch of your existing flow. You cannot link it to another element to continue the original flow.

An "Action" Element

The Action element is visible only to you. Select the element in the panel on the left and drag it after the block you're tracking.

Then select what action you want to create:

Open the chat Open a chat with a subscriber in the "Conversations" section
Unsubscribe from the bot Unsubscribe a user from bulk and automated messages
Add or Remove tags Assign a tag to a subscriber, remove a tag assigned to a user
Add variable Set the variable value to be assigned to the subscriber or updated. You can also create a new variable
Send webhook Send a POST request with user data to your URL
Create deal Create a deal in your CRM when a specific action is performed, for example, clicking the "Buy" button
Notify me Send a message on behalf of your chatbot to the system chatbot or Telegram group

A "Filter" Element

Segment customers based on their personal data and previous messages received. Select the element in the left sidebar, and drag it after the element that will start your script branching.

Then select the condition itself. Combine conditions by adding the operators “any” or “all,”, or add independent additional conditions.

Read also: How to Use the "Filter" Element in the Chatbot Flow Builder.

After adding conditions, add the additional flow elements to each of the Filter element options if the condition is met (green dot) or not met (red dot).

An "API Request" Element

Available with the Pro plan and above, as well as during the 7-day free trial

Send requests to a third party server to create objects or retrieve data. Get data and use it in your chatbot messages.

You can save the received data to a variable or add it to a message as JSONPath.

Drag the "API Request" element to the workspace, connect it to the element, after which you want to retrieve data. Select the type of request and enter the URL to send the request to.

After testing the request and receiving a successful response, configure the mapping settings. If you need to save the value from the response to a variable, select the key from the received request and the variable to save to. If you want to use the received value once without saving it to a variable, copy {{$ ['somekey'] ['nestedkey']}} and use it in the next message element.

Read more: How to Send and Receive Data from External Sources

A "Pause" Element

You can set up a pause between flow elements between 1 minute to 24 hours. Use this to warm up your clients to avoid sending them too many messages at once.

This is the period during which no automatic messages are sent to the subscriber. The pause can be set in minutes, hours, or days.

You can choose to pause in between using the "Time period" option or until a specific time using the "Till Time" or "Till date” option.

Select the "Time period" option and set a pause between sending flow elements from 1 minute to 24 hours. Use it in a flow, for example, to warm up a client. After the specified time, the next message will be sent.

If you select a pause of more than 1 day between elements, you can set the time at which the message will be sent. The system considers the next day any time after 00:00 according to the time zone set in the settings of your personal account.

Also, you can select "Till time" and set a delay until a particular time. For example, you can use this option to indicate business hours or promotion hours.

Choose "Till date” to select a specific date. This comes in handy if there are holidays coming up that you want to adapt the chain elements to.

Also, using the "Pause" element, you can set the condition for executing the next element of the flow: always or when the subscriber is inactive.

A "Random choice" Element

Send elements from your chatbot script at random for A/B testing, creating quizzes, and more. You can customize the size of the recipient group for each option, send random information, and test different chatbot scenarios.

Drag the item "Random choice" element to the working area, connect it to the element you start branching the script from.

Learn more: How to Use the "Randomizer" Element.

Save and Launch Your Flow

When you finished creating your flow and have looked over all of the elements, save your flow before exiting. Click Save and send it to yourself to test the flow and check if everything is working correctly.

You can also save an updated version of the flow while leaving the current version unchanged. To do this, click Save as a new flow. The new flow will be saved in the "Flows" section.

Your flow must have at least one "Message" or "Action" element.

After that, you can exit your flow by clicking Save and exit.

Analyze Your Results

SendPulse allows you to track general statistics on a chatbot in the "Statistics" tab.

You can see the number of messages sent and read, redirects from the flow, both in total and separately for each message in the "Bot structure" tab.

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