Flow Builder fundamentals

An introduction to Flow Builder

Written By Iqmal (Administrator)

Updated at July 5th, 2024

This article will provide an overview of Flow Builder, a feature on SleekFlow that enables you to build automation workflows. We will outline the different components of Flow Builder and how to best use it to achieve your desired business needs. 

What is a flow?

A flow is the visual representation of an automation workflow on Flow Builder. It consists of a series of connected nodes, each representing a specific trigger, condition, or action in the workflow.

Flow components

A flow consists of nodes that work together to form an automation workflow. There are 5 different types of nodes, namely trigger nodes, condition nodes, action nodes, time delay nodes, and end/jump to nodes. 

Trigger node

Trigger nodes are the starting point of a flow, and they represent different events which, when they occur, would lead to the enrollment of a contact (or contacts) into the automation workflow. 

Condition node

Condition nodes are used to branch a flow based on specific criteria. These criteria, or conditions, determine which path contacts will take when progressing through the flow.

Action node

Action nodes represent specific tasks that the system will carry out on an enrolled contact. For example, you can set up actions to manage a conversation with a contact, update their properties, or send a message to them.

Time delay node

Time delay nodes are used to insert a pause within the flow before executing the next node.

Flow end and jump to node

Flow end nodes mark the end of the flow, and is where contacts complete and exit the flow. You can configure this node to direct enrolled contacts to other nodes within the flow by clicking on the "Jump to" tab at the top of the node. 

Flow enrollments

A flow enrollment occurs when a contact meets the flow’s trigger criteria and is therefore added to the flow. The enrolled contact will then proceed down the automated journey defined by the flow.

What can I achieve using Flow Builder?

You can use Flow Builder to create custom workflows through a visual interface that automates the customer journey and provides personalized interactions. Flow Builder provides unparalleled flexibility in mixing-and-matching different triggers, conditions & actions to serve a plethora of different business needs. For example, Flow Builder allows you to build auto-reply chatbots, route conversations for customer support, create marketing drip campaigns, and integrate with external platforms.

What is the typical response time for actions performed in flows?

Flow Builder is designed to deliver fast and reliable automation, ensuring timely responses to your customers and actions for your business operations.

You can expect a response time of about 1-2 minutes. Please note that actual response times may vary depending on factors such as:

  • Peak usage periods - Flows may encounter slight delays in response time when our servers are experiencing periods of high traffic and usage. These delays are temporary as we have mechanisms in place to handle peak periods.
  • Integration with external systems - Actions that involve integrations with external systems, such as webhooks or HTTP requests, can be influenced by the performance and responsiveness of those external systems.
  • Data volumes - Flows that process large amounts of data, such as updating contact information or sending bulk messages, may experience slightly longer response times due to the increased processing requirements.
  • Network conditions - The response times for Flow Builder actions can be affected by the network conditions between the user's location and SleekFlow's infrastructure, as well as any potential factors related to the user's internet service provider or regional internet performance. Additionally, response times may be impacted when SleekFlow's server provider experiences service degradation or outages, which are outside of our control.

How do I navigate and move around the flow editor canvas?

You can use the following methods to navigate around the flow canvas in the editor page:

  • Moving around the flow canvas - You can either scroll on your mouse/trackpad to move around the flow canvas, or hold down the “Spacebar” key as you left-click to drag and navigate around the flow canvas
  • Zooming in and out of the flow canvas - You can pinch on your trackpad to zoom in and out of the flow canvas, or hold down the “Command” (Mac) / “Control” (Windows) key as you scroll up and down on your mouse/trackpad

Can I create a new flow in SleekFlow 2.0 while having automation rules in SleekFlow 1.0? 

Yes, it is possible to create flows in Flow Builder in SleekFlow 2.0 while having automation rules set up in Automation in SleekFlow 1.0. Both can be run at the same time.

However, it is highly recommended to avoid having the same conditions in Automation and Flow Builder to prevent triggering a rule and flow at the same time.