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Creating an Automation

ActiveCampaign aims to make things easier for you as a business person. This is why we always focus on ease of use and automation. Both of these are the main reasons we added Automations to the platform. An Automation is basically a set of instructions that you give the platform to perform automated actions like sending a email, subscribing to a list, notifying an email address, etc. This is a truly powerful feature that would save you time and money. To put icing on the cake, we actually made it so easy to understand and use. This guide will show you how to create an Automation on your account.

How to Create an Automation

1.  Click the ‘Automations’ link in the navigation bar.

Overview Page 'Automations' selected

 

2.  This will take you to your Automations page where you’ll see all the automations you have created. To add a new automation, click on the ‘New Automation’ button in the upper right.

 

Automation section, New Automation button highlighted

3.  You will get a pop-up/modal that asks you to name the automation. Provide a name, this will be visible by you only, and click ‘Create’

Title dialog box, with 'Create' highlighted

4.  You will next get a pop-up/modal that provides you with a number of start actions to begin your automation:

- Subscribes (Adds anyone that gets added to the List using any method)

- Unsubscribed (Processes immediately after they are unsubscribed by any method. This automation will not send emails to an unsubscribed contact but it can still process other actions.)

- Submits a form (Adds anyone that uses a form to subscribe to a list)

- Opens/reads an email (Adds anyone who opens a message you specify that is sent outside this automation.)

- Clicks a link in email (Adds anyone who clicks a link in another message you specify.)

- Web page is visited (Utilizes our ‘Site Tracking‘ feature to add a contact after visiting a specified tracked page.)

- Event is recorded (Utilizes our ‘Event Tracking‘ feature to add a contact after an Event occurs.)

- Shares an email (Adds anyone who uses ‘Social Sharing‘ options in the email to share it to Twitter or Facebook.)

- Forwards an email (Adds anyone who uses the ‘Forward to a Friend’ link in a message.)

- Replies to an email (Adds anyone who replies to a message you specify. This message must have ‘Reply Tracking’ enabled in order for this start action to work.)

- Tag is added (Adds anyone who has a tag you specify added to their contact profile.)

- Tag is removed (Adds anyone who has a tag you specify removed from their contact profile.)

The following options are only available on ‘Plus’ and ‘Enterprise’ accounts:

- Score changes (Adds anyone who’s ‘Lead Score’ goes above or below a value you specify.)

- Enters a pipeline (Adds anyone who has a deal created in a Deals CRM pipeline you specify.)

- Deal stage changes (Adds anyone who’s deal moves from one stage you specify to another.)

- Deal status changes (Adds anyone who’s deal status changes to ‘Won’ or ‘Lost.’)

Choose a start action and continue.

Choose an a start for your automation

5.  You will be presented with action options. These may vary depending on the start action you choose but here you can choose does this ‘Runs once’ or ‘Runs Multiple times.’ This is referring to starting on a per-contact basis. If you choose ‘Once’ it will only occur the first time each contact triggers the action. If you choose ‘Multiple times’ it will trigger every time they do that action.

Example: If you choose ‘Submits a form’ as your start setting it to ‘Runs Once’ will only trigger the automation once no matter how many times the same contact submits the form. If you choose ‘Runs Multiple times’ the contact would enter the automation every time the form is submitted with their contact information.

You can also segment your start to limit the trigger to only contacts who meet specified criteria. You can learn more about how segments work here.

Set these options how you wish and click ‘Add Start’

Action Options, Add start highlighted

6.  Click the plus button to add the first item to the automation.

 

7.  After clicking the “+” button, you will get a pop-up/modal with all the automation features available to you. These are divided into different sections. For this guide, we will be choosing the “Wait” option under the ‘Conditions & workflow’ section. (A complete explanation of each option can be found at the end of this guide).

 

8.  You have two options for the wait option.

- Wait for a certain time interval (hours, days, etc.)

- Wait until a condition to be met (Open, Update field value, etc.)

We will choose Wait for an Hour after subscription for our example.

9. You can add more Actions and Conditions to your automation until you have your desired automation set. We will add a couple more to our example to give you an idea of how some of the options work.

9.a. Let’s click the plus button again and choose “Send email.”  Since this is our first email in the series, we will get a pop-up/modal asking us to name the email. This name should be unique and is for your purposes only. Your contacts will not see this name. Name the email and click “OK.”  (Note: if you have other emails in the series already, you will see them on the drop down.)

9.b You can now choose the template for your email.  Choose the template and type in a subject.

9.c The next page will let you design the message. Once you’re done, click the “Next” button to advance to the Summary Page.

9.d The summary page will now let you enable or disable different message options like Link Tracking and Reply Tracking as well as send yourself a test. Once you have these completed click ‘Finish’ at the top right. (Note: If you do not click ‘Finish’ this message will remain a draft and WILL NOT be sent to contacts who enter your series.)

9.e You will now see the campaign as node on your series. We’ll go ahead and add a couple more options on our series.

9.f Click the + button below the email step and we’ll add another ‘wait’ step to allow our contact time to interact with our message. This time we’ll set it to ‘Wait for 1 day’

9.g Next click the + button below the wait step we just added and choose ‘If/Else’ from the ‘Conditions & workflow’ section.

9.h You’ll now get a pop-up/modal where you can set any number of conditions before the next action takes place. We’ll be choosing the condition”Has opened the Welcome Campaign.”

9.i You’ll now get a pop-up/modal where you can set any number of conditions before the next action takes place. We’ll be choosing the condition “Has opened” and we’ll select the message we created earlier. This basically means that if the condition is met the contact will go to one branch, if not, they’ll go to the other. From here you can add more steps to each respective path and continue the automation. This can include subscribing the contact to additional lists, sending the contact additional messages or performing actions in the Deals CRM (‘Plus’ and ‘Enterprise’ accounts only).

Automation Options Legend

As you may see there are endless possibilities for you when creating your automation.  You can even automated your entire marketing process using this feature. In effect, you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and money.

Below, you’ll see a screenshot of all the options you have to choose from, these are divided into their respective sections.

Sending options:

  • Send email – Allows you to create a new email message or select an existing one to send to contacts in the automation.
  • Send SMS (‘Plus’ and ‘Enterprise’ accounts only) – Allows you to create and send an SMS message. This feature is only available in certain regions and requires SMS credits to send. You can find details about SMS pricing and availability here.
  • Notify someone – Sends a notification to someone on your team.

Conditions & Workflow:

  • Wait – will pause the series either based on a time interval (1 hour, 1 week, etc.) or based on a condition (wait until field is marked yes, until email has been opened, etc.)
  • If / Else – branches the series based on certain conditions. If the the condition is met, it will go to one branch, if not, it will go to the other.  Conditions can be based on fields, actions, location, etc.
  • Go to – redirects the contact’s path to another step elsewhere in the automation.
  • Start an automation – passes this contact to another automation in the system you specify. (Note: They will skip any start actions and join the automation at the first step even if they do not meet the start criteria of this other automation.)
  • End this automation – ends the current automation the contact is in
  • End other automation – removes this contact from another automation they are in
  • Webhook – posts data to a specific URL you set

Contacts:

  • Subscribe – subscribes the contact to a list
  • Unsubscribe – unsubscribes contact from a  list
  • Update contact – update any contact detail (Ex. Name, Custom Field, etc.)
  • Add tag – adds a tag to the contact
  • Remove tag – removes a previously added tag from the contact
  • Add note – adds a note on a contacts profile
  • Adjust score – add or removes points from a previously set up Contact Score

CRM:

  • Add deal – creates a deal item in the CRM assigned to this contact.
  • Update title – changes the title of a deal assigned to this contact.
  • Update status – change the deal status to ‘won’ ‘lost’ or ‘open.’
  • Update owner – change the ActiveCampaign user which the deal is assigned to.
  • Update value – change the monetary value assigned to the deal.
  • Update stage – move the deal item from one stage to another.
  • Add task – schedule a task to be manually executed by someone on your team related to this deal
  • Add note –  adds a note to a deal
  • Complete task – marks a previously scheduled task as completed
  • Adjust score – add or removes points from a previously set up Deal Score

More questions?

For more information about any feature of ActiveCampaign, please contact our support team. We’ll be happy to assist you.