What’s a Workflow?: How to Use Text Messaging to Prompt Action

Kevin D. Hendricks
What’s a Workflow?: How to Use Text Messaging to Prompt Action

In today’s busy world, it’s crucial to get people to act. It’s too easy for people to scroll right on by. They forget your message and don’t come back. So when you do finally engage, it’s crucial for nonprofits to prompt them to act: donate, volunteer, sign up—whatever you need.

Rally’s workflow functionality can be an ideal way to get supporters to act.

We’ll explore the ins and outs of workflows and how you can use them to engage supporters and prompt action.

What’s a Workflow?

A workflow is a message or series of messages activated by a trigger event that prompts some sort of action. It’s an auto-responder. So a supporter reaches out, the automatic system sends the appropriate responses, there might be some back and forth gathering details, and in the end an action is accomplished. 

Examples: The most common workflow is a simple donation process. But it could also be a survey, volunteer sign up, or more.

Components: There are a few simple pieces that make up a workflow:

  • Trigger: There’s always a trigger event that starts a workflow. This is an action a person takes, whether it’s texting a number, using a QR code, filling out a form, or more.
  • Prompt: A workflow can include prompts that ask people for more details. These aren’t required and some simple workflows don’t use them at all. But they are an extra option that creates tons of possibilities.
  • Final response: This is the last action that ends a workflow. Often it’s delivering what people asked for, whether it’s information or a simple confirmation that they’re now signed up. It’s often a simple thank you to let supporters know you received their info.

Why: If your nonprofit has a process for engaging people, you can create a workflow. Whether it’s donations, volunteers, sign ups, or more, a workflow can automate it. These automations can save time and boost engagement.

6 Common Workflows

Here are just six examples of common workflows many nonprofits set up to automate basic tasks and engage supporters:

  1. Donate: The most common workflow we see is the simple text-to-donate. A supporter texts a keyword to 24365 and gets a simple donation pitch and link to donate online. Example: Text DONATE to 24365.
  2. Sign up: Another common example is signing up for future updates. If you want to share text alerts, you could use a text to keyword or QR code to trigger the sign up. Example: Text SIGNUP to 24365.
  3. Questions: A workflow can be a simple and easy way to answer questions. If potential supporters are always asking the same questions, an information workflow can offer the answers. Example: Text RALLY to 24365.
  4. Survey: You can do a text survey or poll to gauge reaction or collect information. It could be additional contact details for future outreach or you could be asking for opinions. Example: Text PROMPTS to 24365.
  5. Info: You can easily share information with a workflow. It could be a ‘how to’ resource, parking map for an upcoming event, or more. Example: Text 9STATS to 24365. 
  6. Volunteer: You can confirm and engage volunteers with a workflow. It could be a simple RSVP or you could ask for additional details like T-shirt size, day they can work, or more. Example: Text VOLUNTEER to 24365.

The options are endless. You can create a workflow for just about anything. All it takes is a trigger event, prompts for more info if necessary, and a final response.

Workflow Tips

Here are a few tips to help you create effective workflows:

  • Always test: You always need to test your workflow to make sure it’s working properly. 
  • Keep it simple: Reducing friction is key to effective engagement. So don’t complicate your workflow. Only ask for the information you need.
  • Segment: You can segment your audience and use workflows to follow up. For example, you could use workflows to send an automatic follow up to anyone who has inquired about donations but has not made a donation yet.
  • Integrate: You can bring integrations into workflows to connect your systems. You could sync with your customer relationship management (CRM) system or use an integration to trigger a workflow.
  • Nested: You can also embed one workflow into another to create nested workflows. This might be helpful if someone who donates wants to volunteer. There are a lot of possibilities, but don’t overcomplicate it.
  • Say thank you: The final response is a good opportunity to say thank you. This closes the loop on a workflow and lets people know they’ve accomplished something and the interaction is over. It’s also good manners.

Get Started With Workflows

Workflows are a helpful way to connect with supporters and inspire action. We can help you build whatever workflow you need, so don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. Get started now to see Rally in action and learn how workflows can work for you.

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