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How to Automate a Product Launch Process

Recording of Office Hours hosted by Chris Davis on August 3, 2018. In this session, we learned how to build an automation that allows people to sign up for a product launch waitlist, and sends an email to the waitlist once the launch is live.

Transcript:

Chris Davis: 00:00 Fall back on. All right, so let’s start with you Sam. Let me hit Sam here. Let me ask your questions independently, so I can answer them accurately. One thing that I really liked to see something similar to what Sam is doing here is that you don’t have to try to figure all of this stuff out. If you’re working with a client, you don’t have to try to figure all of this stuff out by yourself. This is why something like Office Hours is truly here for because I know you all know, and I know from personal experience, building marketing systems can be very lonely because you’re often the person on that team and for that company, the only person that knows what’s going on.

As cool as that is, that can be scary sometimes too because sometimes you’re just like, I want to run this by somebody there, yeah right? Thank you for reaching out Sam and allowing me to help you with this. let’s get into it. Sam’s given us an automation, thank you for that. It says he’s got a product that he wants to launch and right now it’s in beta, so there’s going to be a sign up to join the wait list. All right. Then on the launch day, they want to send an email to everybody who’s been on the wait list. Okay. That’s what this automation is foreign, correct me if I’m wrong. Did I say he? I’m sorry Sam. I try to be a, what is it, agnostic when I speak, so that must’ve just came out because I have a cousin named Sam, so my apologies. If I said he, I meant she.

All right. I probably said it right when I started reading, anyways okay. What she has is a prelaunch funnel with a wait list that on the launch day needs to send an email out to everybody who’s joined the wait list to know that hey the product is available. Correct me if I’m wrong Sam. All right, so that’s the first piece so let’s take a look at the actual automation. All right. Looking at this automation, when the contact subscribes to the list, I don’t know … How are they subscribed? Oh, you’re using a form. One thing I would recommend Sam is instead of using subscribes to a list, I would use submits a form and have it be the form that’s on the launch day landing page.

The reason being is because there’s only one way to fill out a form, but there’s multiple ways somebody can be subscribed to a list. Oftentimes they subscribes to a list, start trigger can be really dangerous if your documentation isn’t up to date, which most people they’re not, or if there’s multiple ways people are going to be added to a list. You don’t want everybody who’s added to the list to join this prelaunch, whereas a form that you be very targeted to. Okay, they had to be on this page and fill out this form to get it. That’s one recommendation. Just create a form, swap it out. I mean you probably already have a form honestly and just make sure that the form subscribes them to this list, and then you use the start trigger submits a form.

Trust me, your life will be a lot easier for it and then you send out the email. This is essentially you’ve been confirmed you’re on the waitlist. Sam says, but the form has to be an AC form, right? It depends on if you’re using third party software. If you’re using a landing page software, like maybe thrive themes or something like that, they have the ability to submit a form. Okay, okay. If you’re doing a hard-coded form, look, I would take this. Go to whatever form it is, click on integrate. I would use this. If you’re hardcoding it, just take our full embed HTML and since you’re already writing the code for it, just update the CSS or whatnot to make it match what you wanted to do.

Then that way once they fill out this, you could use the form trigger and you’ll get the site tracking active as well. Okay. Back to the automation, they join the wait list, get the confirmation, and then we wait until launch date, which launch state looks like it’s the 26th of the month, the 26th of August and then at that point they send the hey, we’re ready to launch, right? Let’s continue on. Sam says I created a goal if the user created an account. That’s the whole purpose is for them to create an account. The automation ends and they will not receive the email. Did I put my goal in the right place? Let me just answer this for you since I can answer this. Right now, yes you did. Does the automation make sense? This is my first ever automation, so I’m not sure if I’ve missed out on anything or if anything can be improved. Sam, listen, if this is your first automation, great job because you’re displaying and understanding of goals immediately. That’s very impressive, so I can tell now that this is probably not your first Rodeo in building out a funnel. Congrats on that one. What could you do better? This looks good, but the one thing that I would highly recommend changing, you can keep this same criteria here. Okay. Keep the same criteria, but I would use a goal instead. Okay. A goal with all of these criteria will do the following.

Okay. If I create a goal, let me just show you real quick well because you’ve created it, you’ve created this goal. If you double-click on that goal and then you have all the criteria, I would have one criteria that says wait until current years 2018, which that will be satisfied. Current month is August, that will be satisfied and essentially day of the month is the 26th and current time is 6 a.m. Honestly since we’re already in August, you could probably simplify this and just have two, wait until the day is the 26th and the time is 6 a.m. You can have those two conditions and then just make sure you turn to automation off after launch or whatnot, but what that will do … You know what, let me not over complicate it.

Here’s what I was going to say Sam. I was going to say what that will do is allow people to come in and no matter what time they came in, on the 26th at 6 a.m., they would go through and then if they came in afterwards they wouldn’t get … If this is a goal, they would never get the you’ve joined the wait list, but essentially you’re going to take the waitlist page down. This is all fine because nobody will be able to subscribe to this list after launch. Honestly, I think this is fine. If anything, I would say take off the year and take off the month just because we’re already in the year and the month. Unless this was going to be like evergreen and always running, I could see that, but it’s too less conditions that you can put in there.

It just minimizes the potential that perhaps it was set up incorrectly, right? Maybe use or instead of and or whatever. The more conditions, the more area for error is introduced. This is good, this looks good. Like I said, I would just use waiting until the 26th at 6 a.m. since we know what’s going to happen this month and after the launch, we could just turn off the landing page for the wait list. All right, so that’s the first question. The second one is … These questions are about tagging. This is a good one tagging. We’re going to paste on … Oh, look at that, it’s so small. Let me do this. All right. Okay, so different texts. Yeah, Sam says for the rest of the automation doesn’t make sense. Absolutely, let me load the whole thing because I see it didn’t scroll. Let me be fair here and load your entire automation. Bear with me one second. I definitely want to make sure it’s worth your time staying up this late Sam, wow. All right. While that’s important, let’s talk about some of these questions that you have. Okay. Well, no we’re here so let’s go. Let me do that. That’s fine. Has opened reminder. We’ll just say that for now. That two more steps. Has opened [inaudible 00:09:52]. We can fix it later. I know you’ve probably got these really specific. Done. All right. Here we are. Look at this beauty. Let’s go, zoom out, and let’s follow it. All right. At this point, they’ve created an account so they can’t go beyond this point without creating an account.

I will say in the vein of being modular, I like to keep my automations singular to function, so creating an account would be the end point where I would potentially start another automation. I just want putting that out there, but I haven’t gone through this automation. This is may all be very much okay in this sense. At this point, nobody can go beyond … Well, let me see how you have it configured in the automation. Okay. All right, so you definitely don’t want to do this. You’ll definitely not want to end this automation and you have it to where it’s anywhere. Okay. All right, let’s dig in.

Let me talk about why you don’t want to end this automation because everybody who’s come in on the wait list on launch day, they’re going to get this email and when they hit this goal, the automation will be over for them, so there’ll be no way for them to proceed past this goal. Okay? Essentially, as I understand it now, what you will want to do is wait, so they get here and they’ll be cute here at the goal until they create an account. That can be two days, three days, four weeks, a month, whatever, it doesn’t matter. They will not proceed until they reached this goal. However, the automation will not be over for them. Okay? Sam I’m going to read to you.

I’m going to read your automation to you how I interpret it and let me know if this is accurate. On launch day, they get an email that says hey we’re launched, and it’s not like this now, but later you wait until they create an account and you’ll do that by selecting this until wait until conditions are met. We also need to revisit this anywhere. I believe this should be below the context position, but let me see how you have a setup. All right. Now once they’ve created their account, only the people who have created their account are going to wait for two days and what we’re going to say is has the contact open an email up here and if so, we’re going to see, have they clicked … Let’s see the most running current account though. Okay, so yeah.

This goal honestly, here’s what you need to do. You need to select it to wait until conditions are met and then say below contacts position and this goal needs to be at the very bottom. Okay? Make it at the most lowest position. Remove this single action and this is just fine. This will work just fine and then I don’t meet this. I can delete this in the automation. Okay. The goal of this is to create an account and in order to create an account, I want you to join the waitlist. Let me zoom some. This email is for everybody to join the waitlist. Once the wait list is over and we’ve officially launched, Sam’s going to take down the wait list page, they’re going to proceed to get the launch date email. Okay?

They get the email, hey we’re live, set up your account today for list of benefits and features, right? You’re going to wait for two days. At any moment though, if they purchase or set up an account, I should say, if they set up an account, they won’t get any of this, they’ll jump all the way to the bottom, which is exactly what you want them to do. Okay? Then two days later you wait and see, have they opened the previous email. If not, send them a reminder and then after that say hey, did you open the reminder. If yes, and if they open the first one, did you click on it, which essentially Sam, you’re asking did you see the product, like did you see the opportunity.

I sent you an email, did you opened it. Okay, I see you’re interested in it, but you haven’t clicked, right? If they haven’t clicked after receiving an email or two, then you send them a final reminder and then why have this setup as wait until conditions are met because after they get sent this last email, they’re just going to be waiting here until they create an account. Once they create an account, they’ll be moved out of this automation because there’s no other steps below it. They’ll just be done with automation, so here. I think this looks good. If they’ve opened, if not. Yeah, this should be fine especially for your first automation for the prelaunch.

Like I said, move the goal. Let me do this too and what I can do, I would say current time. Current time is … Oh, no, no, no. I want to say current day, I’m sorry. Current day of the month is the 26th, and then the current time is 6 a.m. I’m going to remove these and say okay, but her perfect. Now we’ve simplified the goal and if it’s the 26th and it’s 6 a.m., then they will proceed and get the we’re live announcement. Okay. Sam as what’s the no time limit, the no time limit is a race condition. If I say up to 14 days, what that’s going to do now is look for, and the reason why I say a race condition is because it’s whoever is true first. If it’s the 26th at 6 a.m., then they’ll proceed or if it’s been 14 days, they’ll proceed.

This allows you to not let people be stuck forever, right? If there’s a maximum window, maximum of amount of time that you want somebody to take making a decision, you can force that here and say hey look, I want it to be the 26th at 6 a.m. However, if it’s been a couple of days, I want them to proceed anyway, right? That’s what the time limit is, so you don’t need this for now. All right, so we’ve simplified our wait state to two actions, we’re waiting to 6 a.m. on the 26th. They get the email, they wait for a couple of days. The good thing about waiting for a couple of days after this launch email is you got to give them time to engage with it, you have to.

Depending on your audience Sam, you may want to give them more time or less time, it really depends. If they’re professionals by day, two days may not be enough. You may need to give them five days, which means they have the entire work week to check and see if they have this email. It’s truly up to you and your assessment of the audience. I think two days is the safer. If they haven’t opened it, then you’re going to send them a reminder. If they haven’t opened that one, then essentially you’re saying you don’t want what I have, so let me just stop talking to you. However, if they shown yes in any capacity, you know that there’s some interest there. I mean why would they open or click, right? If there is some interest, that’s what I’m gaining from this.

Yes, if there is interest, send them a final email that says hey, are you sure. Oh well, actually this is if they don’t click, right? Yeah, if they haven’t clicked … If they have clicked … Yeah, so okay. Yeah, if they get this email and they click, that essentially means they go down this yes branch and go down this years branch, it’s over. Yup. What I would do is delete this. You don’t want it to end. You want them to go and wait and see if they create an account. Now with my understanding here, just because they opened and clicked this email, do I really not want to send them any follow-up communication? I would argue perhaps if they click that email, this person who clicks this email is a lot more engaged and closer to buying than people two days later going down this branch.

If this person has clicked, we could treat it like shopping cart abandonment honestly. If they’ve clicked and it’s been a certain amount of time that has passed and they haven’t created an account, I want to reach out to them, almost definitely want to reach out to them. You could do that two days later if they haven’t opened, yes. If they’ve opened and then if they’ve clicked right here, right here under this yes, you could send out like a final reminder to those who saw the offer because you want to market to both, right? The people who clicked, you actually want to focus on them more than the people who did not.

I think a lot of this is focused on the person who hasn’t done any action and you’re trying to get them to do action instead of focusing on the person who’s taking action, getting them to complete what they started. Think if you shift that way, and you could do so just by adding an email right here on after the yes and the yes branch and the email, let me see. I’ll just call it a hot lead email because they’ve seen the offer, right? That’s an addition I will make. Yeah, let me see. Yeah. If they’ve clicked and haven’t created an account, then you’re going to send them this last on a couple of days like hey a couple of days ago you checked out, blah, blah, blah, I just wanted to let the account is still ready, you can click here to get it set up today, right?

At that point they get this and they’re waiting here, at the point that they create the account, they go into automations over. Let me give this automation shared back with you Sam. I’m just going to call the Sam. Maybe you had up there. Sam beta launch in … I’d say beta launch. All right, so let me go and grab this URL for you. All right. All right, so import that automation and you should be good to go. You have to update that email that I put in there, but yeah, you should be good to go. You’re very welcome Sam, you’re very welcome and let me get to your next question so you can have your good mornings rest. All right. From now until beta launch date, those who joined the waitlist will be on the closed beta wait list.

As far as tagging, I would tag them. I would recommend keeping them because you have a beta list, right? Well, let me see. Yeah, yeah nevermind. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. They’re already on this list by filling out the form. All right. From beta launch date to official date, those who join the wait list will be on the open beta. Oh, okay, all right, I got it. You know what, there’s two ways I would recommend doing this either tags and custom fields and here’s why. It all depends on how you want to look at the data. From now until beta launch, they’re on the closed beta waitlist, okay.

Once the beta launches and up to the official date, they’re on the open beta wait list, and then starting with the official launch date, users can create an account straight, hence no need to join any wait lists as opposed to during beta stages, they are not able to do so. Yup, and then users can join the wait list, create an account or not and use our product. My question should we list them under closed beta wait lists, add the tag, create an account and launch campaign or list under paying clients and tag with close beta and open beta, et cetera. Okay. Depending on if those tags are important to you, they’ve got a closed beta or open beta, I should say depending on how valuable that data is. You could use tags or you could use custom fields, right?

The reason why I’m mentioning custom fields is because sometimes tags are … I don’t want to say overused, but they’re used over custom fields a lot of times where custom fields can do just as much if not better. If I do a radio button and say customer account status, and then I could say joined closed beta, joined open beta, and then I could say … Stages they are not able to create. Yeah, yeah, I could do it this way. I’m actually envisioning the deals CRM too which would be easier to visualize the step, so let’s do both. This is one way and then I could say create an account, right?

Those are all of my customers statuses and if I go in here and at this point, once they’ve created an account right here, they create an account, what I could do is I can add the tag or I can update the contact field here and update their accounts, set status to create an account. Now I have a custom field that is identifying who created an account, who’s on the beta, and who’s on the open launch. Okay. If you want to see who on the beta closed or open created an account, then I would use tags, right? I would use a tag here because the reason being is because now they can have both of those tags. They fill out this one. I can’t remember if this is the prelaunch, the open or closed beta, but essentially you could tag them here, right? Right.

I could tag them here and then when they come in on the closed beta, they’ll have that tag. Then I can see who’s created an account. Now the goal is going to tell me there’s some data too, but the reason why I want to know who use the tags that way is because now I can go into my segment builder and create some segments to look at, right? Remember, once you set these segments up, people will fall into them as they meet the criteria going forward. What do we say? Tags, we’re on tags. Someone has a tag, open beta, right? If they have this tag and they have that customer tag, that one customer and created an account essentially. You save that segment out and now you know these are everybody from my open beta who created an account. You can have another one for closed beta and created an account. There’s so many ways to do this actually because you can also use the form submission. The form that they submitted is going to tell you if they were a part of the open or closed beta, and then you could just take that information and say list, depending on what list they filled out since you have it connected to your list. If they have the list and we could say their custom field is creating an account, so you can create your segment that way too. They’ve joined the waitlist and they created an account. Yeah. Longterm Sam, what is going to do is really rely on how you’re planning on using tags going forward.

My recommendation for right now is go ahead and use tags. Okay. Go ahead and use tags for your beta status in your account created status because that’s the safest way. I would not have a list for every beta status. For tags are the safest to be good for now and later. Okay. That’s exactly what I would do. Yep and just so you know, for the long term, the reason why it’s because you’re going to be integrating third-party software. You know what I’m saying? You’re going to have all kinds of other things going on that it may require a different set up for this to be the best longterm, but tags are the most flexible, so you pretty much can’t go wrong. You can’t go wrong using tags. Yup and Sam don’t hesitate to attend other Office Hours and ask more questions, so we can continue to work on this. You’re by no means limited to just this Office Hours and asking this question once. Okay, you have the open floor. Tuesdays are probably better for you if right now it’s 2 a.m., than if we were to rewind about five hours, it would be 2 a.m. It will be nighttime for you, so it’ll be close to 9 at night for our Tuesday Office Hours, so that may be a little easier for you to make, and feel free to come to that one. Yup, okay. Yup Sam said 9 to 10. Yeah, feel free to come to that, ask questions like hey, I set it up this way, does it look right? Or hey, I set it up, trying it, people are coming through, it looks good. Use it as a resource Sam, use Office Hours as a resource for you.

That is what I’m here for and best believe that people are learning from your … These questions, people are thinking like oh okay, I’ll do it like that, I won’t have three or four waitlist, I’ll just use one list and use tags to see what status of waitlist they are, so I can contrast and compare who created an account and who didn’t. Yes, yes. Thank you so much Sam. It was great meeting you again. My apologies for calling you he. I normally am better. I normally say the name or they, but I did. I gender dropped today and I acknowledged that, so my apologies. Thank you for this question and I hope it was … Do you All see why I say there is no basic or beginner question, because Sam just started with ActiveCampaign.

This is our first automation and look at all of the considerations that go into account, right? Look at everything that we had to make sure we cover it. Like okay, if it is, if they are getting a reminder, let’s move the goal to the bottom. Yeah, I want to thank you Sam for sending that in and staying up so late. I feel bad though that you’re woke right now, so feel free to drop off and go to sleep. Like I said, it has been recorded and it will be up on the site probably on Monday, depending on how fast the team goes, but I just don’t want you to stay. Oh man, trust me, I appreciate it, but 2 a.m., 3 a.m., that can be rough. All right. With that being said, does anybody else have any questions? The floor is open.

Sam if you have another question you can feel free to ask, but if any of you have a question, the floor is wide open for those questions. Of course, I won’t hold you hostage at any point in time, but I want to make sure that you all know that I’m available. Yes. Yeah, thank you Sam and, and have a good night. Yeah, we’ve got another 15 to 18 minutes here. I mean if you have any questions, let me know. Maybe the new deep data integration or the abandoned cart with Shopify sending behaviors or trends, best practices of … While I’m saying it, please make sure you’re using this because If you hover over any automation and click that, you can view the automation in automation map mode. This is your top layer, top-level view of your automations. This is what happened.

This is a new feature for us as of June and you can click on anyone, any automation and see how it’s connected. This level of visualization is so well needed and I’m so glad we did it. Especially once you build that automation, forget about it because you’re growing your business and have to come back to it a few months later. You’re like wait a minute, where’s everything going? Definitely make sure that you’re aware of that feature. All right. If there’s no more questions, I want to thank you all who have attended live Office Hours. I won’t call you all by name, but I’m so glad to have you on. I hope this was helpful. For those of you watching the replay, thank you for watching the replay.

Remember, Office Hours, we’re online every Tuesday at 9 a.m. central standard time and every Friday at 1 p.m. central time, so jump on as many as you can. If you can’t make it, if time does not permit, email me education@activecampaign.com. Email me your questions like Sam has done. I will answer them. The recording will be on the website and you can use that to help guide you and help you move forward. All right. With that being said everybody, have a great weekend, thank you again so much for attending Office Hours and automate responsibly everyone.