New Feature: Goals

You can now define goals for your automations. As goals are achieved, contacts will jump to other locations in your automation.

The goals you create can be used to begin other automations, send more targeted messages to your contacts, adjust contact and lead scores, and more.

For instance, you might have a series of emails motivating a contact to request a free consultation. You could create a goal that is “Appointment booked through Acuity Scheduling.”

When that goal is met, the contact can skip the rest of the marketing emails and jump deeper into the automation; beginning a new sequence of messages that helps the contact prepare for their consultation.

You might also create a goal for “Contact makes a purchase.” When that goal is achieved, your automation could immediately mark any open deals as won and begin a sequence of new customer onboarding emails:


Creating Goals…

You can find the Goal action under the “Conditions and Workflow” section of the automation actions menu.

When you add a goal action to an automation, you’ll be presented with a modal window that helps you set up the goal. You can give the goal a name and you’ll be prompted to specify the conditions that define the goal:

You could use any condition in our segment builder to create a goal including:

  • Specific values in custom fields,
  • Visits to your site or the viewing of specific web pages,
  • Events you’ve defined such as a log in or product purchase,
  • Tags (or the absence of tags),
  • Any other contact data you’ve collected such as location.

By using “And” conditions, you can create multi-dimensional goals such as “If a contact has visited my pricing page AND they’ve submitted a form requesting our whitepaper AND their contact score is greater than 75.”

Using “Or” conditions, you can create goals triggered when one of many criteria are met. For instance, “When their deal score is over 60 OR their deal moves to the ‘Contract signed’ stage of the pipeline.”

Next, you’ll define whether the contact should jump to the goal from anywhere in the automation or only if the goal is below the contact’s position in the automation. “Below contact’s position” is a way to make the goal conditional. If they’ve already passed the goal in the workflow, they won’t trigger the goal (even if they match the conditions you’ve defined).

With this new action you’ll be able to consolidate and simplify your automations. Automations that previously would have to be split into parts can now be combined into a single automation. Automations that were only possible with multiple “If/Else” checks are easier to create.

The “Goal” Trigger

We’ve added the 18th way to begin an automation: the Goal trigger.

Now automations can begin when a goal is “achieved” or “skipped.” This trigger is useful for situations where the achievement of a goal begins a complicated, multi-step process. For instance, the achievement of a goal “Makes first purchase” might begin a series of automations with specific purposes.


Using Goals in the Segment Builder

There are now additional options for creating segments.

Four new conditions have been added to the segment builder under the “Actions” category:

  • Goal achieved – The contact met the conditions of the goal — either while in the automation or before entering the automation.
  • Goal not achieved – The contact exited the automation before meeting the conditions of the goal or they are still in the automation and have not yet met the conditions of the goal.
  • Goal skipped – The contact reached the goal but either skipped it or ended the automation (which depends on how you set up the goal).
  • Waiting on Goal – The contact is at the goal action, waiting until its conditions are met.

Goal conditions make it easy to:

  • Send to people who did (or did not) complete a particular goal,
  • Create a fork in an automation on the basis of whether a contact has completed a goal (so you can treat them differently),
  • Do an advanced search for contacts that did or did not complete a goal,
  • Use achieving (or not achieving) goals to distribute points in a lead or contact score.

The possibilities opened up by the addition of goals are endless. It’s a change that naturally shifts our mindset to where it should be: working toward specific, measurable results at each stage of our marketing and sales processes.

Now we are able to define the purpose of our marketing and sales processes and use the completion of those goals to measure our effectiveness, automatically pivot, and create modular workflows that automatically progress to working toward the next goal as the previous one is achieved.

Are you as excited about Goals as we are? Let me know how you’ll be using Goals in the comments section.

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  • You guys are on fire! Kudos

    • Brian Gladu

      Thanks, LaTesha. We’ve got an amazing team here working very hard behind the scenes.

  • Edward Haskins

    Holy crap! I’m going to have to change my whole thought process in creating automations now…in a good way of course.

    • LOL…me too! Time to update the course (again). In a good way ;)

      • Owen McGab Enaohwo

        What happens now if I was using tags as the goals previously?

        • You can still use tags as goals.

          Eventually you’ll be doing both. Configuring a goal to be achieved when a tag is added (or removed).

          If you’re speaking about my Single-Double blueprint specifically I will be updating it and sending out a new version that includes goals soon.

  • Gregory Kalinin

    This is great because, as you said, it encourages the thinking to be: what should my goals be and how can I measure progress towards and achieve them. Just as it should be :) Thank you!

    • Brian Gladu

      Exactly, Gregory. As marketers we are working toward specific, measurable goals. Now we are able to know, per automation, whether we’ve met those goals.

  • Wow, awesome. I need a whiteboard and a week to digest. When you say ‘events you define’, how do you define them?

    • Brian Gladu

      Hi Barry! They are defined using the segment builder. So, you can use any data in the contact record. I can see tags and custom fields being the most common way to define a goal (“customer” tag applied) but creating a multi-faceted goal such as “Has visited pricing page + has clicked a link in email” might also be useful for certain automations.

      • Love the fact you can access goal data in the segment builder. This feature is sooooooooooo powerful!

  • Rob Wilson, The BizSysMan

    My head is currently swimming with possibilities. Off to have a play with it.

  • Rob Wilson, The BizSysMan

    Does the achievement of a goal show anywhere in the contact record? Cant see anything. Also seem unable to get a segment create in the list page to show contacts with a goal. It saves a new segment doesn’t show any contacts. Then I am unable to edit and save the segment a second time. Just me? Otherwise it looks great.

    • Brian Gladu

      Right now, Goals do not show up on the contact record but that is something we may add in the future as we continue to build on Goals. You can expect them to play an important part in the future of the platform. We’ll continue to add to the functionality discussed here.

      I am looking into the segment issue. I’ll reach out to you by email to discuss it.

      • Rob Wilson, The BizSysMan

        Thanks Brian. I’ve reported the other issue and created a ticket

        • Brian Gladu

          Fantastic, Rob. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

          • Rev

            Nice work Brian! I do something similar on my automations. I use notes to mark customers who’ve accomplished a goal and tags to check a contact’s status. Instead of creating a segment, I add customers who’ve completed a goal to a customer list… hope that gives everyone new ideas. :)

          • Brian Gladu

            That’s a creative system. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dmitri

    Like always, great additions! :)

  • Nicholas Dogulin

    You guys just keep smashing it.

  • WOW, this is really AWESOME! Thanks, this will make implementing complex automation so much easier. Love where we are heading.

  • Been playing around with these and am loving what I’m seeing so far. Great job!

    One thing I would recommend adding is the conversion rate of the goal on the Automation canvas (maybe next to the goal title). That way we can have a quick snapshot of how our Automations are performing to a specific goal.

    • Second this. Great suggestion, Chris.

    • That would be wonderful

    • Nick Bijl

      That’d be awesome

    • JP

      GREAT suggestion… I agree!

    • ryaneven

      Great Idea Chris!

  • Just to be clear: can this be used to skip part of the automation as well? So if they’re inside an automation (and somewhere at the end of the automation is a goal) we can have them skip all the way to the goal right away, without having them to go through the logic until that point?

    • Brian Gladu

      Yes, that’s exactly what the Goal action does, Wilco.

    • I have tested this and can confirm it works exactly as you just asked Wilco.

  • What happens if someone has moved past a goal step and then that goal is achieved later in the automation? I have a sales automation, the goal of each email step is to convert them to a client. Do I have to put a goal step after each email?

    • Brian Gladu

      There is a setting to control how goals behave in these situations. If you don’t want them to trigger the Goal step if they’ve passed it, you can set it to complete the goal only if the goal action is below the contact’s position in the automation. If you want the Goal to be triggered regardless of location, you can set it to “anywhere.”

      So, no, you don’t have to set up Goal actions for each step. For most automations, one goal action should suffice.

      • And that goal step can be at the very end? Like…it will trigger even before people reach the actual spot in the automation?

        • Brian Gladu

          Yes, the Goal action could be the last step in the automation and if a contact met its conditions at the beginning of the automation, they would skip all the steps in a between and jump to the goal action itself.

          These are good questions, Kevin… let me know if you have any others.

        • Good question. That was unclear to me also.

        • Brian Gladu

          Yes, the goal will trigger before people reach it. When its conditions are met, contacts will jump to the goal and skip all steps in between. Good question. Let me know if you have any others.

  • ClientClarity

    Awesome!! Thank you for creating this :)

  • Sofia

    Thanks guys, you rock! It made my week :D

  • Nick Bijl

    This is really nifty! Tags are great, but this just takes it to the next level. Gonna love using this :)

  • Paolo Dal Lago

    Hi Brian, that’s sound very interesting. I have a question: one of my goal is that user has the possibility to choose a date (ex. May 23). I need this function to create automatic email sequence that begin 15 days before that day (I need to remember the user that is car insurance is running out. Is it possibile? thank you very much.

    • Brian Gladu

      You certainly could have a goal that is picking a date (via a custom field). We are working on a way to begin automations based on those custom field dates. So, to be clear, it’s not possible yet to trigger an automation 15 days before the date they pick but you could have a goal that is completed when a custom field is populated.

      • Paolo Dal Lago

        thanks Brian!! (y)

  • I’m not going to lie, this is EXCITING, and my clients are going to be keeping me very busy setting this up for them. Keep the updates coming – we need the ability to merge contacts / emails, that is really something needed! Lots of upvotes on developer side! – J Hunter

  • Jod Moreira

    Thats a nice new funcion. Good job.

  • JP

    LOVE IT!!! QUESTION: Do you know of any major changes coming in the CRM section to make it a lot more functional for managing sales relationships on a day to day basis… calls, etc… meaning the UI is pretty clunky, getting around doesn’t feel anywhere near like SalesForce, or other sales/crm system. Much thanks!

    • Brian Gladu

      Yes! Our development team has completely re-written the CRM. We started over from scratch. The CRM will retain its best qualities (simple, fast, easy) but will fix some of the major feedback requests we’ve received, will have a refined UI, won’t feel clunky, and, in general, will be a huge upgrade.

      The new version is actually going into beta testing very soon. Come check out some preview screenshots in the community:

  • Tim

    Is the goal feature able to integrate with 3rd party applications like gumroad to know whether or not a goal was completed?

    • Brian Gladu

      That’s a really interesting idea, Tim. At the moment that’s not possible. The integrations would need to be modified to make use of Goals.

      • Tim

        Right now I use Zapier to add customers to a customer list and start a new automation. It would be nice if activecampaign would play nicely with apps like gumroad!

        • Brian Gladu

          I can see how that would be useful. I just checked our feedback forum and there aren’t any open feedback items requesting a deeper integration with Gumroad. We really pay attention to that forum so it’d definitely be worth your time to add it as a suggestion so that other Gumroad users can vote it up:

  • Sean Vosler

    my reaction after playing with them for a bit..

  • Sean Vosler

    my reaction…

  • Sure appreciate the hard work making these happen. Ease of use = productivity!

  • Wow… this looks like a great addition.

  • Jared Osborne

    Wow, awesome guys, this is fantastic, I’ve had some very complex automations in the works that have just become a lot simpler.
    Am so glad I jumped on board AC a year or so ago, it was good then and it’s just getting better and better so quickly! Thank you!

  • Hi thnx for the update. How does the ‘Goals’ modules recognize when the purchase is made? Is it through a payment gateway integrated with Active Campaign?

    • Brian Gladu

      Yes, the conditions of a purchase goal would be satisfied through a payment gateway integrated with ActiveCampaign. So, for instance, you might have custom fields that are populated or tags that are applied or notes that are added to a contact record as purchases are made. The goal would be those fields being populated, tags applied, etc.

  • Awesome! Was just needing this the other day in an automation. Perfect timing!

  • When I have a goal halfway on my automation (where it can skip to), is there a way to make sure some automations at the top will always fire (so they can’t be skipped)?

    • Brian Gladu

      Hi Wilco, you can do this by adding a tag right underneath the action you want them to complete. Then make having that tag part of the Goal condition. Let me know if this doesn’t make sense and I can build an example automation for you.

      Also, I’m going to add having “Goals that don’t cause jumps” as a feedback item because you aren’t the only one to request this behavior.

  • Impressive. Can’t wait to get in and play with this! Cheers! -AC

  • Josh Moore

    Brilliant!!!! Stoked to have this addition. It will make my automations a whole lot cleaner.

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  • Federica Morganaeffect

    With this option is possible to move the contact in other list?

    • Brian Gladu

      Hi Federia! Yes, you could place “Subscribe” and “Unsubscribe” actions under the Goal action so that when a contact matches the conditions of the goal they are added or removed from lists. Let me know if you have any questions about how this would work.

      • Federica Morganaeffect

        Thank you Brian!

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  • Ewelina Muc

    This seems to be powerful but without indeep tutorial it is extremly hard to use it properly.

    • Brian Gladu

      Hi Ewelina! Yes, it can be an intimidating feature. Have you seen the Goals Success Hour webinar? It goes into more depth.

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  • Brian Gladu

    You’re absolutely right that was imprecisely worded, David. I’ve corrected it. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Now, in some automations I have: “Enter automation” + “Wait until has ended automation”. Do you advise replacing the Wait until with a Goal or not?

    Also: “The “Goal” action allows contacts to jump from their current location in your automation directly to that goal step if they meet the goal conditions. ” . If the contacts enter another automation, their are still in the automation they entered from? So the goal works like explained above?

    • Brian Gladu

      Hi Bogdan, Unless you want the contact to jump forward (skip other steps) or you’re interested in tracking completions for conversion rate information, there’s no reason to replace those Waits with a Goal condition.

      • I’d also love an answer to my last question.

        • Brian Gladu

          If a contact enters an automation from a “Start other automation” action, they will still be in the automation they entered from until they leave the last action in the path they are on.

          I’m not sure what you mean by “So the goal works like explained above?” Please give me a little more guidance on what you’re asking. I think you’re asking if the action immediately after a “Goal” is “Start other automation,” will they exit the current automation or stay in it. They would stay in it and the other automation would begin so they’d be in two automations assuming they haven’t already exited the first automation because it ended.