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1. Product Strategy: Building a messaging app through Twilio using Parabola instead of Zapier/Integromat - I learned how to do that through Max's step by step guide here: https://maxkatz.org/2020/06/12/building-a-no-code-application-that-sends-an-email-and-a-text-message-when-a-new-user-registers/
I thought this was helpful to see how he thought through designing the architecture of this no-code app. What's different about this is that he is able to send both text messages and email at the end of the flow.
Tools used to build this application:
Airtable for database
Parabola for building the application flow
Also Parabola built-in component to send email
Twilio to send text message
The entire flow works like this: Use Airtable form to get basic information like email and phone number, then when a new row is created in the Airtable database (automatically happens) it triggers an action in Parabola. In parabola he does a bunch of steps to manipulate the data and add any type of meta data to the message. It then ends with parabola taking a step to send a text message and email.
I've used Zapier in the past as my text editor for customizing the message. But I would be really interested in checking out using Parabola because the flexibility is much greater with what you can do to the dataset.
2. No-code tool feature: Parabola - What is it? "Parabola is a no-code platform. Parabola is a drag-and-drop workflow builder. You build a flow with multiple steps (nodes) and connections between steps. This is how the application flow looks: (see image in Max's tutorial"
Max likes using Parabola because of the flexibility to do something with each step. It's very visual so its easy to conceptually understand what is happening to the data at each step. For example in the flow that he shares each step does something very specific like compare data, filter a row, text merge then send by text or email.
Max does a great job of explaining each step and what it does. This is a great way to learn about how you can use Parabola. For instance what I learned was how it handles the date comparison step. Which compares the date that the airtable submission was to the current date, and uses that as a trigger to use that data in that row to send information. This is a great safeguard at not sending too much information.
3. No-code tool feature: Parabola - Max gives details about two different ways to run parabola flows.
1. Run it when a new record is added to Airtable
2. Run it periodically based on a set scheduled run
One thing that this flow does not cover and where no-code does not do yet, is if a user responds to the message what would happen? I don't believe this flow enables two way automated messaging. That would be more of a chatbot technology. For more of a chatbot experience the closest that comes to that is Landbot.io but it does not offer text chatting. It is more web based and through Whatsapp.
My recommendation is it depends on what is your goals for the user. If one way communication like notifications is what works for you, I would recommend putting in links to your messages so that the user can easily get back to the experience. This might be the best execution of that. If you are looking for more of a chat experience, then using Landbot.io would be my recommendation.
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