The Automation Builder is Now “Drag-and-Drop”

Our automation workflow builder is one of the best solutions out there. It’s an intuitive way to map a contact’s path through your marketing & sales processes.

Today, we are releasing a major update to our automation builder that makes it even better…

It’s now completely “drag-and-drop:”

You can move single actions, and portions of the automation, to make restructuring automations faster:

You can also choose to copy single actions, or portions of the automation, to make building repetitive automations faster:


When you copy an action, all its settings are copied as well, so this is a real time saver.

One of my favorite things about the automation builder, what made me fall in love with it the first time I used it, is that it gets out of your way while you work. It works exactly as you’d expect, so it almost disappears while you focus all your attention on what you are trying to create, rather than on figuring out how to get the tool to do what you want.

This update takes that intuitive ease of use to the next level. You’d expect to be able to move and copy actions to different places, and now you can.

Using drag-and-drop functionality…

Before you modify an existing automation, create a back up copy using an automation sharing link (which will save it as it exists at the moment you create the link).

To move or copy a portion of your automation, click and drag the action to a green node anywhere on your workflow. You’ll notice as you hover over a node it changes and expands to indicate you’ve selected it as the drop point. Releasing the click will “drop” the action at that node:

Immediately, a modal window will appear asking whether you’d like to:

After you make your selection, pay attention to any warnings that appear — we’ll make you aware of any potential issues and give you guidance on how to fix problems.

Special situations…

Moving “If/Else” actions

There are some situations with moving “If/Else” actions. For instance, you cannot move an “If/Else” statement with actions in both its branches if it is being placed above existing actions. In that situation, you’ll need to either:

  • Remove actions from either its “yes” or “no” branch. If one of its branches is empty, the existing actions will move to that branch.
  • Delete the actions below the node you are trying to move it to so you can move both its “Yes” and “No” branch.

In situations where conflicts are created, you’ll be given a warning highlighted with a red background.

You also can’t move a group of actions into the middle of the group itself and you can’t move an “If/Else” action into one of its child branches.

Moving “Go to” and “End automation” actions

Any action that exists below the “Go to” or “End automation” will be removed because both of these actions indicate the end of a branch.

The builder will give you helpful guidance as you move actions, you’ll be clearly warned before moving a “Go to” or “End automation” action, so pay attention to these messages.

We are working on an automation revision system that will work very similar to our campaign revisions. That will be released soon, and will make it very easy to roll back to an earlier version.

Moving “Wait” actions with contacts in them

When you try to move a “Wait” action with contact currently in that wait, you will be presented with three options on how to handle those contacts:

  1. Move to the new position of the “Wait” action. Basically, they move with the “Wait” action.
  2. Exit the “Wait” action at its current position and move forward with the rest of the automation. So, even if they are one day into a three day wait, they will exit the wait condition and proceed through the automations actions as if the wait had ended.
  3. End the automation for these contacts. They exit the automation completely rather than moving to the new position or proceeding through the automation.


Other updates…

In case you missed them, we also announced two new features this week:

This feature will be part of the same update. We are releasing it to all users slowly, over the next few weeks. To have your account updated immediately, contact support, and request the Form Builder update.

Aggressive, user-focused development

This is another feature that was requested by our users. It’s another example of our intense focus on creating the best marketing & sales platform possible for our users.

This update is one of many on the development roadmap for 2016. It’s going to be an exciting year for all of us. As ActiveCampaign gets better and better, you’ll be empowered to create the intelligence-driven marketing & sales processes that will grow your business faster than ever.

If you have any questions about how this update works, please ask in the comments section.

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  • Once again, awesome stuff!!! I’m really looking forward to using the tools in the new update. The automation revision system sounds like it will be a great way to view changes, and revert back to a setup before/after a launch or some other need for a short term manual adjustment. I didn’t know you could make backup copies of an automation through the sharing link. That’s a great feature as well. I really appreciate the user-focused dev. Thank you!

  • You guys of had us with three or four amazing upgrades lately, I’m quite impressed and will continue to rock out with active campaign!

    • Even more to come soon!

  • loving it!! I was thinking on this, but you made it happen before I wrote you!

  • Anthony RealtyMotor

    Awesome update! Glad you guys are really continuously dedicated to improving the product for us users.

  • Hooray! The drag-and-drop will make automations so much more powerful. The new options for moving contacts in a “wait” stage will also add a lot of flexibility.

    • Brian Gladu

      Thanks, Rachel. We are very pleased with how it turned out. It’s definitely faster and, like you said, opens up some new possibilities when editing active automations.

  • Awesome!

  • miciver

    Great update…Thanks

  • Yesssss!!!

  • Andre Gibran

    This is awesome and It´s a feature I was really lookink forward to see here! Thank you, guys! AC rocks!

  • Thank you guys! Great update.

  • Nice progress!

  • Brian Gladu

    Will, thanks for the kind words and choosing us. We’ll continue working hard to give you the best platform for growing your business.

  • This is a huge time saver, well done AC team!

  • This is really a “deal maker” update. Will be saving hours on building client automatons. Thanks!

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  • Thank you, this is awesome!

  • Nicholas Dogulin

    I have been waiting for this update for AGES and I am so glad its finally here. Moved over from Infusionsoft which had this feature and this was one annoyance I had with AC not having it. Glad its in :) love your work guys!

  • John Edward Huddart

    Hey guys I have tried clicking and dragging my actions and no luck. No modal box pops up. Any suggestions?

    • Brian Gladu

      Hi John, it sounds like you don’t have the update yet. Send an email to Let them know your account URL and that you’d like the latest form builder update. They’ll get you taken care of.

  • Very nice. I appreciate how responsive AC is to customer feedback. It’s not only helpful to me as a user but it’s inspirational.

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