“Automations” is what we call our marketing & sales automation feature. With the automation builder, you can easily create fully automated workflows tailored to the goals of your unique business. Automations can save you time, help you stay organized, and make more money, by improving your marketing and sales processes. After an automation is set up, it can run with no input from you, so creating automations is an extremely high-leverage activity.
An “automation” is a chain of events that runs when triggered by starting conditions you define. An automation is created by combining triggers, actions, and logic. Using our automation builder, you can mix and match these elements in unique ways to create automation workflows that accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
You can use automations to:
Create intelligence-driven automated email follow-up
Rather than creating a basic drip sequence (a timed sequence of emails) that treats all your contacts exactly the same, you can create sophisticated follow-up that treats contacts differently depending on who they are what they have done. For instance, your automation could check to see which link a contact clicked in your welcome email. Depending on which link they clicked, it could send entirely different messages.
React to contact behavior in real-time
Automations can begin when your contact performs an action such as visiting a page of your website, opening an email, or submitting a form. You can create automations that perform actions in “reaction” to this behavior. For instance, if someone visits your pricing page repeatedly (but have not yet made a purchase) you could send them an invitation to schedule a time to speak by phone to get their questions answered.
Gather data to create profiles of your contacts
You can use automations to track your contacts as they interact with your app, website, and marketing assets. Their behavior gives you insight into their needs, interests, and concerns. For instance, if a contact clicks a particular link in an email you send, you can assume that is what interests them most. You can tag them as having that interest and then begin follow-up with content, products, and offers that target that interest.
To enter the automation workflow builder, first click on the automations tab to navigate to the Automations Overview screen. Then click “New automation” button in the upper right-hand corner.
The automation modal:
We've created a variety of automation workflow templates you can use as a starting point. You can build on top of these workflows and customize them to what makes sense for your business.
Click an automation's name or description to select it and then click "Create:"
If you just want to create a new automation, select "Start from Scratch" and then click Create to display a blank canvas.
Automation triggers are the conditions that, when met, begin automations. You are able to define those conditions by adding triggers to your automation. You are able to have multiple triggers so your automation can begin more than one way.
You can add triggers two ways:
After selecting a trigger, you’ll be presented with options related to that particular trigger. Most triggers have the “Runs” setting in common.
The “Runs” setting has two options:
Segment contacts entering the automation
This is a useful option that allows you to target specific contacts by filtering them. You create a segment so that only the contacts who match your segment will enter the automation.
For example, if you only wanted an automation to run for contacts who haven’t yet made a purchase, you could create a segment that looks for the “prospect” tag or looks for the absence of the “customer” tag.
You can add actions to your automation two ways. They both offer the same options so which one you use is a matter of preference:
1. The modal window
The modal window is accessed by clicking the “+” symbol anywhere it appears in your automation. The action you choose will appear at the node you clicked. After selecting an action by clicking it you will be presented with the action options modal window.
2. The sidebar
The sidebar is the dark grey column to the far right of the workflow builder. You can minimize or expand it by clicking the double arrows in the top left of the sidebar. To place an action at a specific spot of your automation, you click and drag it to the node you want it to appear on. When you release the click, you will be presented with the action options modal window.
Removing triggers and actions
To delete triggers and actions you hover over it and click the “X” that appears in the upper right-hand corner.
If you remove an “If/else” condition that has actions below it under the “yes” and “no” paths you will be prompted to choose what to do with those actions:
Saving your automation
As you work, the automation builder will automatically save your work. You can rollback to a previous version of your automation by clicking the "turn back time" icon:
Viewing your workflow
If you are creating a large automation, it might not be possible to view the entire workflow within your browser window. In that case, you have two options:
Activating your automation
It is a good idea to keep your automation inactive until it is complete. Once it is active, contacts can start entering into it by triggering the starting conditions.
There are two ways to change the status of an automation from active to inactive (and vice versa):
1. From the Automations overview page
The Automations overview page is the page you see after clicking the “Automations” tab in the top menu. You will see a list of the automations you’ve created and the left column will give you some filtering options including “Active,” “Inactive,” and any automation labels you’ve created.
You will see a dot to the left of each automation on the Automations overview page. The green dot means it is active. The red dot means it is inactive.
By clicking the down arrow next to a specific automation, you’ll be presented with the option to make it either “active” or “inactive” depending on its current status.
2. From the Automation Builder
You will see a toggle in the upper right-hand corner. Clicking the left side of the toggle will make your automation “Active” and clicking the right side will make it “Inactive.” You can tell its status because one side will be faded. The site that is clear (not faded) is its current status.
Naming your automation
Usually it’s a good idea to be descriptive of what the automation does rather than being terse or vague because managing your automations can become confusing when you have quite a few. You can edit your automation's name by opening it and clicking it's name in the upper left-hand corner.
Labeling your automations
To keep your automations organized and make it easier to find automations, you may want to group them together. How you choose to organize them is up to you. For instance, you could have labels for: pre-sales marketing, post-sale marketing, and pipeline automation.
You can add automations to your labels from the Automations overview by dragging its title or thumbnail to the label you want to apply.
Clicking the label in the left sidebar will display the automations with that label.
More resources for creating automations
Feel free to play around with the automation builder. You can’t mess anything up and there isn’t anything you can’t delete or undo. Just be sure you keep your automation inactive so contacts don’t enter it until you are ready!
As with so many other things in life, practice makes perfect. The more experience you get with creating automations, the more aspects of your business you’ll be able to automate and the more sophisticated you can make your marketing and sales processes. Becoming “good” at making automations is largely just becoming familiar with what each trigger and each action does, and its options, so that you can combine them in novel and creative ways.