Scale your outreach with flows
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Scale your outreach with flows


Article summary

Note

Working with Gong Engage requires an Engage seat.

Who's this for? Reps

Where to go? Sidebar > Engage > Flows

With flows, you can engage with people at scale using a predetermined series of actions. Use company flows or create your own, adding variables so that you reach out to people in context. Flows help you manage and time your interactions through emails, calls, LinkedIn, and custom tasks.

This article covers how reps can duplicate and use company flows, create and use personal flows, and add and remove people from flows. If you're an admin, you can learn about setting up automation rules for company flows.

You can also learn about how Engage helps you comply with spam regulations and set up for successful email delivery.

Types of flows

  • Your flows: These are the flows that you’ve created. If you duplicate any company flows and save them with changes, they’ll be here too. Whether or not you can create and manage personal flows is defined by the settings your admin has configured in your permission profile.

  • Company flows: These flows are available to everyone in your org. They can only be edited by people who are authorized to do so through their permission profile, but anyone can duplicate them and save them as their own flows. Company flows are available to everyone in your org, so any changes made to them by admins can affect everyone.

    There is no limit to the number of company and personal flows you can have within Gong Engage.

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To get a snapshot of flow performance, go to Engage and open Flows. From here, select a folder. On the right, you can see how many people were added to each flow over all time, and how many are currently active and/or paused.

Duplicate a company flow

When you duplicate a company flow and save it as your own personal flow, the rules that were set up for automatically adding people to that company flow don't carry over to the duplicated version.

To duplicate a company flow and save it as your own:

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  1. Go to Engage > Flows

  2. Scroll to your Company flows folder

  3. Hover over the flow you want to duplicate. Click Button____1_.png and select Duplicate

  4. Choose the folder where you want the duplicated flow to live

  5. Open the duplicated flow to edit it.

Move a flow between folders

To change the folder where a flow is stored:

  1. Go to Engage > Flows

  2. Hover over the flow you want to move. Click Button____1_.png and select Move

  3. Choose the folder where you want the duplicated flow to live

To move a personal flow into a company folder or a company flow into a personal folder, use the Duplicate option instead.

Create a new flow from scratch

To create a new flow from scratch:

  1. Go to Engage > Flows

  2. At the top right, click +NEW FLOW

  3. Starting from the top, click the pencil to give the flow a name

  4. Start adding steps. These are the types of steps you can add to a flow:

    1. Manual email: To save time when writing emails, click Use a template to add a template to your flow step. You can also add variables to your email to make it more personalized. Learn more about using email templates and variables. Email signatures appear in flow emails just as they would for any other emails sent through Engage.

      You can also save time by generating your email draft with AI. Click Generate an email and select the type of email you want to use for that step. Gong will give you an AI-generated email draft that's personalized based on previous emails each time someone reaches that step in the flow.

      These are the types of AI-generated emails you can add to a flow. Stay tuned for more:

      • Nudge: This email gently reminds someone to get back to you. Each time someone reaches this step in the flow, Gong generates a personalized message using AI

      • Follow-up: Each time someone reaches this step in the flow, Gong generates a personalized message based on your previous emails

      With manual emails, Engage will remind you that it’s time to send an email, and then you’ll edit it as needed and send it when you’re ready.

      For email steps that are not the first email in the flow, you can choose whether to send the email as a new thread or as a reply to the previous email step.

      When creating an email step, you can set up the "To", "CC", and "BCC" fields in advance. This way, when a rep gets a to-do prompting them to finalize and send the email, those fields are pre-filled for them. To do this, select the dropdown next to Recipients. You can select the variable "My manager" to have the rep's manager automatically added.

      Delay from flow start/delay from previous step: Manual email steps are only due on business days. For a manual email that's the first step in a flow, selecting "4 business days" as the delay from flow start means the step is due 4 business days after the person is added to the flow. For a manual email that's not the first step in a flow, selecting "4 business days" as the delay from previous step means the step is due 4 business days after the previous step.

    2. Auto email: With auto email steps, Engage sends the email automatically. Auto emails won’t appear on your list of to-dos unless there are values missing for variables, the contact has no email address, the email thread was lost, or your email account was disconnected, in which case the step will become a regular email step that appears on your list of to-dos for you to send manually. Email signatures appear in flow emails just as they would for any other emails sent through Engage.

      Delay from flow start/ delay from previous step

      For an auto email that's the first step in a flow, you can choose "Send as soon as possible" or select a delay in business days. If it's not the first step in a flow, you can select a delay in business days.

      • Send as soon as possible: Available for first auto email steps only. By default, the auto email will be sent out as soon as possible from the moment someone is added to the flow on business days only. If someone is added to the flow on a weekend, the email will be sent at 9:00 AM recipient's local time on the next business day. If someone is added to the flow on a business day before 9:00 AM, the email will be sent that day at 9:00 AM. If someone is added to the flow on a business day at any time after 9:00 AM and before midnight, the email will be sent immediately. If added after midnight, it will be sent the next business day at 9:00 AM.

        If you want the email to be sent as soon as possible on any day including weekends, check off "Send on any day including weekends". When checked, we will try to send the email right away, no matter what day or time it is.

        The email can still be delayed due to the sending process itself which can take a few minutes, throttling to ensure your emails don't get marked as spam, and sending limits defined by your company admin. Auto emails snoozed by a sending limit will be sent at 8:00 AM user local time.

      • Set the delay in business days: Available for auto emails at any step in the flow. The auto email will be sent out at the exact specified time and according to the delay in business days you select. If the recipient's local time is not available, we'll send the email based on the sender's local time.

        For example, for first steps, selecting "3 business days" as the delay from flow start means the step is due 3 business days after the person is added to the flow. If it's not the first step, "3 business days" means the step is due 3 business days after the previous step.

      Gong automatically spaces out your flow emails where necessary, so some emails are sent out a few minutes later.

      For manual or automatic email steps that are not the first email in the flow, you can choose whether to send the email as a new thread or as a reply to the previous email step.

      The sender of an auto email is whoever added the contact or lead to the flow. If a flow has a rule set up that adds people to the flow automatically, the sender/to-do assignee will be defined by the rule.

      If a contact or lead has multiple email addresses, Gong sends the flow step to the email listed first.

      Like with regular email steps, you can set up the "To", "CC", and "BCC" fields in advance for auto emails. To do this, select the dropdown next to Recipients. You can select the variable "My manager" to have the rep's manager automatically added.

    1. Call: The Gong dialer enables reps to call people directly from Gong. These calls can be recorded, giving you the same analytics and insights as all recorded calls in Gong. To use the dialer, you must first enable it for your team, and set business numbers that are available either to you individual reps (assigned numbers) or to your entire team.

      You can use templates for call scripts to make things easy when it comes time to dial someone. 

    2. LinkedIn connect and LinkedIn message: To use LinkedIn flow steps, you must integrate LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Gong, and you must have a LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced or Advanced Plus license. 

    3. Task: Tasks can be used as helpful reminders for completing any actions that aren’t necessarily email, call, or LinkedIn-related. You might create a task for sending someone a gift, preparing for an upcoming meeting, researching about a company, or any other action you want reps to complete outside of Gong.

    As you add steps, you can set the delay between steps in business days.

      2023-08-23_15-11-26.png

  5. Grab and drag the steps on the left to rearrange them.

    move_flow_steps.png

  6. Once you've added steps and ordered them the way you want, click Save.

Add attachments to a flow step

You can add attachments to flow steps by clicking on the paperclip icon. If you decide to use a template that has attachments, those attachments will automatically be added to your email draft, and can be removed.

When adding an attachment to a step in a flow that hasn't been saved yet, you'll be prompted to save the flow first in order to add the attachment.

If you add an attachment to the flow step and then add a template that has attachments, any attachments you previously added will be removed or replaced with the template's attachments.

Email draft body size can be up to 3 MB. Draft body size does not include attachments, but it does include in-line images and GIFs. Total size of an email, including attachments, can be up to 20 MB. 

Add people to a flow

Contacts and leads from your CRM are automatically synced into Gong so you can add them to flows. You do not need to be a contact or lead owner to add them to a flow.

Add people manually

From Accounts and People, you can add someone to a flow by clicking +Add next to their name.

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In People, add multiple people at once by selecting the checkbox to the left of their names, and then from the Actions menu, choose Add to flow.

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You can also add people to a flow from person view. Click on their name anywhere in Engage to open person view, then click +Add to flow if they're not already in one.

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You can add recommended contacts to a flow the same way as long as you have their email address, so you may need to reveal an email address from a data provider or add one via the CRM updater first.

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Add people automatically

For company flows, technical and business admins can set up rules for adding people to a flow automatically based on selected triggers and CRM fields. Rules for adding people automatically can only be created for company flows, not personal flows.

Identify people who finished a flow and add them to a new one

You can find the list of people previously in a specific flow and add them to a new one from Engage > People.

  1. Click + Add filter and choose a field that will help you identify the flow the contacts and leads were previously in, like Engage flow name or Engage flow ID

  2. Search for or select the flow the contacts and leads were previously in

  3. Click + Add filter again and select Engage flow status. Maybe you want to see only the people removed from the flow because they replied, in which case, you’d select the Removed Response status

  4. Now that you have the right list of people, use the checkboxes on the left to select the ones you want to add to a new flow

  5. At the top right, select Add to flow from the Actions menu, and choose the new flow you’d like to add them to.

Add people to the middle of a flow

Let’s say you want to add someone to a flow, but you don’t want them to receive step 1 and step 2. Add them to the flow as you normally would, and then skip the relevant steps. You can skip steps from anywhere in Engage where your to-do list is shown.

Remove people from a flow

If you remove someone from a flow and then add them back in, they will start from the beginning of the flow.

Remove individual people manually

From the Accounts and People, look for the green In flow label next to any contact or lead's name. Click the green label to manage that person's flow.

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From To-dos, you can also click Button____1_.png and then click Remove person from flow.

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To remove multiple people at once, go to People and select the checkbox to the left of their names, and then from the Actions menu, choose Remove from flow.

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Removing people automatically

All company and personal flows have built-in rules for automatically managing people in the flow according to certain actions. These built-in rules are listed below.

Pause people in a flow

If a flow is paused and then resumed, it will resume from the step in the flow where the person was at the time of the pause. After 30 days, anyone who is still paused in a flow will be automatically removed from the flow.

Pause individual people manually

There are a few different ways you can pause a flow for an individual person:

  • From person view: From anywhere in Engage, click on a contact or lead's name to open person view in a right panel. You can also open person view while working on a to-do by going to the Contact section.

      pause_flow_from_person_view.png

    From here, open the more Button____1_.png menu and click Pause flow for this person.

  • From the green In flow label: From anywhere in Engage that gives you a list of contacts and leads, such as the Accounts and People, people active in flows are marked with a green In flow label. Click on the label to pause the flow, remove them from the flow, or select a different flow. From here, you can also see who added the person to the flow and when.

      pause_flow_from_label.png

Pause all account contacts in their flow

If there are multiple contacts in an account that are currently active in flows, you can pause them all in their flows in one go. You can do this directly from a response to-do, when someone responds to an email that was sent from a flow.

Response_AI_to-do.png

In To-dos, you'll see the response to-do showing you who responded to an email sent from a flow. At the far right of the to-do, click the more Button____1_.png menu, and then click Pause flow for all account contacts.

After 30 days, anyone who is still paused in a flow will be automatically removed.

Pause people automatically

All flows come with a set of built-in rules that help you manage contacts and leads without missing potential opportunities for engagement. These rules automatically pause someone in their flow when:

  • They respond to a flow email

  • An email bounces due to a bad address

  • A meeting is booked

Resume someone's flow

Let's say someone was paused in their flow, either manually or automatically, but you want to resume it for them so they'll continue receiving communications from the flow.

This can be done in 2 ways:

Response_AI_to-do.png

At the far right of the to-do, click the more Button____1_.png menu, and then click Resume flow for this person.

  • From the Response to-do: If someone responds to an email sent from a flow, you'll get a Response to-do in To-dos letting you know the flow has been paused for this person. Other contacts and leads who are also active in this flow are not affected.

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  • From the yellow Paused label: From anywhere in Engage that gives you a list of contacts and leads, such as the Accounts and People, people whose flows are paused are marked with a yellow Paused label. Click on the label to resume the flow, remove them from the flow, or select a different flow. From here, you can also see who paused the person's flow and when.

After 30 days, anyone who is still paused in a flow will be automatically removed from the flow.

See the list of contacts and leads previously in a flow

While working on a flow, go to the People tab to see the list of people currently or previously in the flow. You can search for specific contacts or leads in the list. By default, the list is sorted by the contacts and leads that were most recently added to the flow. 

Edit a flow

You can edit a flow any time, even when there are contacts and leads in an active flow.

Open the flow you want to work on by going to Engage from the main menu on the left-hand side, then Flows, then select the flow you want to work on. You can drag and drop flow steps on the left side to rearrange them or add and remove steps.

If you make major edits such as rearranging or removing steps, those changes will only affect future contacts and leads added to the flow. Contacts currently in active flows will remain in the old flow and won't be affected by the changes.

If you make minor edits, such as editing the content of an email step or adding a step, you will be asked whether the change should affect the current and future contacts and leads, or future contacts and leads only.

Changes to steps won't apply to contacts and leads in active where the related to-do has already been generated. For example, let's say you have a contact called Sara who is currently in step 3 of a flow, meaning you currently have an open to-do for step 3. If you edit the flow and change the due date for step 3, Sara's flow will not be affected. However, if Sara was in step 2 when you edited the flow and changed the due date for step 3, the changes will apply to Sara's flow.

Adding an unsubscribe link

For personal flows, you have the option to add an unsubscribe link to all email steps in the flow. When toggled on, each email in the flow has a note at the bottom:

”If you'd like to stop receiving these emails, let me know."

Any time someone clicks on the link, they're removed from the flow and labeled as "do not contact".

To add an unsubscribe link, open the flow you want to edit, go to the Rules tab and toggle the unsubscribe rule on.

Built-in rules for all flows

All company and personal flows have the following built-in rules for automatically managing people according to certain actions. These rules are based on best practices and ensure that you're reaching out to people at the right time without spamming them.

  • When someone replies via email, pause their flow

    • Does not include auto-replies or internal email responses. For example, let's say you send an email to a lead and cc your manager. If your manager replies to this email, the flow won't be paused. If the lead replies to this email, the flow will be paused.

  • When an email bounces due to a bad address (not due to temporary failure), pause the person’s flow

    • Generates a to-do for updating the email address and resuming flow

    • Automatically marks the email address as invalid

  • When a meeting is booked, pause the person’s flow

    • Generates a to-do that notifies the assigned rep about the meeting and pauses the flow

  • When someone is marked as “opt out” or “do not contact”, remove them from the flow

  • When an auto email fails to send, convert it into a manual email

    • Auto emails can fail to send if they're missing variables, missing a recipient email address, we can't find the email thread, or the email account was disconnected

  • When a recipient replies with an Out of Office message, snooze the step

    • Step will be snoozed until the recipient’s return date

    • If you get an Out of Office response from someone in a flow but Gong can't detect a date of return, that person's flow will not be snoozed. The flow will continue as planned.

Change someone's flow

If someone is already in a flow but you want to put them into a different one instead, you'll need to remove them from the flow they're currently in first.

You can do this from Accounts or People. Click on the green In flow label next to any contact or lead's name. Remove them from their current flow, and then select the new flow you want to add them to.

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Email sending limits

Sending a large number of emails all at once may raise red flags for Internet service providers. To help your company maintain a healthy sender reputation and avoid getting marked as spam, your admin can set up flow email limits for the following categories:

  • Number of flow emails from the same sender per day/per week

  • Number of flow emails sent from the same domain (company) per day

  • Number of flow emails sent from your company to the same recipient per day

  • Number of flow emails sent from your company to recipients within the same domain (company) per day

Email limits refresh in a rolling 24-hour window, except for Emails from the same sender, which resets at midnight (12 AM) each day according to the user’s time zone. This is helpful when team members are located in different time zones. Auto emails snoozed by a sending limit will be sent at 8:00 AM user local time.

What happens if you reach an email limit?

While all types of emails count towards reaching the limit, once it is reached, only flow emails will be limited. This means you can continue sending manual emails once the limit is reached.

Flow emails: Edit the email or schedule it to be sent another day

Auto send flow emails: These will be automatically snoozed and sent on the next available business day at 8:00 AM user local time.

Non-flow emails: Even if you reach a limit, you can still send a manual email to someone

In addition to setting email limits, Gong offers more strategies you can use for ensuring your emails are delivered successfully.

Flows FAQs

What happens if an email address is marked as invalid?

If the contact or lead has an email address that's marked as invalid before the email gets sent, we convert that auto email to a manual email that appears on the rep's To-dos page. The rep can then replace the email address and resend the email. 

If an email bounces due to a bad address (not due to temporary failure), we:

  • Automatically mark the email address as invalid

  • Automatically pause the person's flow

  • Generate a to-do for the rep to replace the email address and send again

  • Automatically save that new email address for the contact or lead to prevent the next email from bouncing

If your auto emails are still being sent to email addresses that are marked as invalid in Gong, contact support

Will LinkedIn connection requests and messages be reflected in the activity timeline in Gong?

While you can send connection requests and messages via Gong, responses won't be reflected back to Gong.

Why is my auto email appearing as a manual email in my to-do list?

Auto emails will only appear in your to-do list if they fail to send, in which case they become manual emails. Auto emails can fail to send if:

  • There are missing variables

  • The thread is missing

  • The recipient email address is missing

  • Your email account was disconnected

To find out why your auto email didn't send and send it manually, go to the To-dos page and hover over the to-do to.

Sales_engage_todos_auto email fail

How do flows handle Out of Office replies?

One of the rules Gong provides automatically delays the next flow step when someone replies with an OOO email. The step will be delayed until the recipient's return date.

If you get an Out of Office response from someone in a flow but Gong can't detect a date of return, that person's flow will not be snoozed. The flow will continue as planned.

How long does it take for a contact to be available in Gong once it's added to my CRM?

In general, it should take approximately 2-5 minutes for a contact to be available in Gong once it's added to your CRM.

How long does it take for a contact or lead to be added to a flow once they meet the flow's automation criteria?

It takes a few minutes between meeting automation criteria and getting added to the flow.

Is there a limit to how many emails can be sent out of Engage?

To ensure that your emails won't get marked as spam, your admin can set limits on how many emails you can send out of Engage. Both flow and non-flow emails count towards this limit. However, once you've hit the limit, you will only be prevented from sending flow emails. You can continue sending non-flow emails.

Once you've hit your email limit, the rest of the emails scheduled to send that day will be pushed to the next business day, and the next step in the flow will be snoozed by 1 business day as well.

Your admin can set limits on:

  • How many emails a rep can send per day/per week

  • How many emails your company can send per day

  • How many emails your company can send to the same recipient per day

  • How many emails your company can send to recipients within the same account per day

To find out what your company's limits are, talk to your admin.

Are there size limits on emails sent from Engage?

Email draft body size can be up to 3 MB. Draft body size does not include attachments, but it does include in-line images and GIFs. 

Total size of an email, including attachments, can be up to 20 MB. 

How do we determine the sender for automatic emails in a flow?

The sender/to-do assignee is the person who adds the contact/lead to the flow. If flow rules are set up, the to-do assignee and sender can be specified by a rule.

Will flow activity get exported to my CRM?

Yes, you can export flow activity to your CRM, including dialer calls, emails, LinkedIn connection requests and messages, and custom flow tasks. If any activity is part of a step in a flow, Gong exports flow fields in addition to each activity’s standard fields. These fields need to be set up by an admin in your CRM, not in Gong.

Does Engage give me metrics on flow performance?

Yes, you can get metrics on how your flows perform in Analytics.

Can I bulk pause, add, and remove people from flows?

Currently you can bulk add or bulk remove, but not bulk pause.

What happens when someone is converted from a lead to a contact while in an active flow?

If a lead is in an active flow when they become a contact, they will stay in the same flow and step. Any notes that were associated with the lead will remain associated with the contact. Unlike notes, one-off to-dos that were associated with the lead will no longer be associated with the contact.


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