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TIMER blocks and drip campaigns

Timing is crucial for great conversational design, and bot developers often face the issue of regular repetitive actions. It could feed the user with educational content, sending drip campaigns, reminders or checking external data sources. Also, it is often desirable to delay conversation for a specific period of time. For example, giving the user some time to finish his or her order before checking order status and sending discount coupon for incomplete orders.

We have whole group of TIMER blocks in Activechat Bot Architect to help you achieve this, so let’s check them now.

Timer

This block can be used to trigger certain flows periodically – be it seconds, hours, days or months.

Connect blocks that you’d like to run regularly to hourglass button, set initial delay, repetition interval and your sequence will be triggered at set intervals. You can also limit maximum number of repetitions. 

Note that TIMER block is different from other blocks in Activechat Bot Architect since it has “entry” button – STOP. It is used to stop the timer by external events or user actions. Example above shows the timer being stopped by user command triggering an event UNSUBSCRIBE. The timer in the example above is started by another CATCH block, listening to SUBSCRIBE event (this can be button or NLP intent).

Please also note that after the timer is initialized it immediately calls next block (the one that is connected next to it in the flow). When you planning your flow try to avoid issues with multiple blocks messaging the user simultaneously.

WAIT FOR

This block is great if you need to delay specific action in the bot. Common examples are:

  • checking order status after placing the order to see if the bot should send discount coupon to the user
  • setting reminders in personal assistant bots
  • checking if specific page on the site was visited during some period of time and sending reminders to visit it

In the example above the bot is sending “Checkout now” button to the user and then waits for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the bot is checking $order_status variable to see if the order was paid. If it was not paid yet, the bot is sending a discount coupon to the user

WAIT UNTIL

This block is great for drip campaigns and educational content. Just set desired time (and optionally day of the week) and your flow will be delayed until that time. If you have users in multiple timezones, you can set delay time in their respective timezones – or tie it to GMT.