A common use of mobile messaging is to provide a keyword that subscribers and supporters can use to RSVP to an event, or a specific group within an existing mobile list (for example, volunteers, or members with a specific employer).

Let’s say we want to have supporters text AUGUST to RSVP to our August 1 march so that we can:

  • Add new subscribers to the mobile list
  • Get a headcount for the march
  • Send people rapid response messages while they’re on the ground
  • Keep track of supporters who’ve taken action over time

To do this we’ll be setting up a mobile flow. As with most mobile flows, the first step is to create metadata as an identifier for subscribers who take action.

The best way to set up metadata for events is to create a new field called “Event” with values that represent individual events. Every time you have a new event, you can simply add a new value. First, check to see if there is already an existing “Event” field by going to Lists > Metadata and sorting by “Group.” If an event field exists, simply edit, adding a new value. Otherwise, create a new predefined text field, name it accordingly, and add your first value (the name of the event).

*Do not check the overwrite existing metadata box

Now that we’ve created the metadata, let’s build a mobile flow.

One way to think of this mobile flow is as the logical follow-up to a request for RSVP. For the user, this process will begin with either a text message that asks people to reply with AUGUST, or an ad or social media post that asks the same.

The mobile flow will assign the metadata to anyone who texts the AUGUST keyword. Remember, your primary purpose is to tag as many people with the metadata as you can.  That means you need to promote the keyword to supporters whether or not they are on the mobile list already. If we set up the mobile flow properly, we’ll be able to do that.

Go to Mobile Flows > Create New Mobile Flow.

By default, it will be set up as a subscription flow with a tag metadata component. That’s exactly the way we want it.

After naming the flow and assigning the desired keyword, select your main list from the drop-down at the top. There are two fields in the subscription component: “Welcome Message” and “Already Subscribed.” First, edit the welcome message so it’s specific to the event. This will be the message new subscribers receive and should include the required legal language.

You also need to be able to send a message to existing subscribers asking them to text the AUGUST keyword to RSVP. When they reply, we don’t want to send them an unnecessary welcome message since they already received one whenever they joined. This is where the already subscribed field comes in. Use this field to include a message that will be the logical follow-up to the event invitation, minus the redundant legal language.

Now, edit the tag metadata component to include the Event field and value you created earlier.

Save.

Now, you’ve established the sequence for what happens after people text AUGUST.

The next step is to get your supporters to text it! You can start by texting the existing mobile list. To do this, simply schedule a broadcast letting people know about the march, and how they can RSVP.

REVMSG: We’re marching to oppose Trump’s proposed cuts at 10 AM this Saturday at 123 Main St. REPLY with AUGUST if you can make it.

After you’ve promoted it, you can send a targeted text by applying the Event metadata as a filter. This will narrow the list to just the people who texted AUGUST, i.e. everyone who RSVP’d to the march.

You can also export a list of RSVPs. To do this, go to Reporting > List Details then select your main list, and apply the same filter.