Creating a custom Marketing Automation workflow

We have already reviewed the basics of Marketing Automation together. Now, we will focus on the ultimate goal: setting up workflows. A Marketing Automation workflow is communication experience that you design for your contacts to move through.

1. General workflow building

All workflows contain the following elements:

  • Entry point: this is a condition to filter your contacts and allow them to begin the workflow. You can specify several different entry points, e.g. when a form is submitted or a specific page is visited.
  • Action, e.g. when an email or SMS is sent. The "actions" are not necessarily an "exit point" from the workflow; they can take place throughout the workflow and at the end.

The workflow can also contain "conditions" that are effectively filters, e.g. add a filter to only target contacts of a certain age or gender.

2. Creating your first workflow

Now it's time to try creating your first workflow! You have 2 options:

  • Start with a pre-made workflow, such as welcome workflow, or one that targets users based on a website page visit, email activity, etc. Learn more about pre-made workflows.
  • Create a custom workflow: start from scratch and create your own workflow.

2.1. Workflow settings

First, let's go to the "Workflows" tab and click on "Create a new workflow".

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The workflow name and description that you enter here are for information purposes and will not be displayed to your contacts.

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You will notice that we did not check the option "Allow contacts to enter this workflow multiple times". (If we had checked this option, we would have allowed the same contact to repeat this workflow several times.) In the example created here, a person who subscribed several times using the same sign-up form will only receive the welcome email once.

2.2. Specifying an entry point

Now we will select the workflow entry point:

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There are several different types of entry points:

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  • "A contact visits a page": you can filter contacts based on them visiting a particular page or group of pages
  • "A contact clicks on a link": you can filter contacts based on them clicking on a link or group of links`

Let's continue with our example and select submitting a form as our entry point. The drop-down list contains all the forms that we created using our SendinBlue account.

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As you can see, we can add multiple start points.

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2.3. Adding actions or a workflow

Next, you can add the actions or steps you would like your contacts to experience within the workflow. You can also add the exit criteria or add intermediate steps by clicking on the "+" button.

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There are 3 types of actions:

  • Send an email or SMS: If you choose to send an email, you need to have previously created the template using your SendinBlue account. If you choose to send an SMS, you create the message while building a workflow.
  • Add/remove a contact: from a SendinBlue list, e.g. add the people who asked to download a white paper to a specific list.
  • Call a webhook: This allows you to retrieve data from your database in real time.

Or, you can add another 2-dimensional step known as a "workflow":

  • Time dimension: This requires the contact in the workflow to wait for a specific period of time or until a custom event occurs before moving to the next step of the workflow.
  • Conditional dimension: The step is based on whether a certain condition is true or false. Conditions can relate to a contact's attribute or a custom event.

Once you have created your workflow, you can activate it by editing the workflow and selecting "On".

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2.4. Workflow tracking

If you go back to the Workflows tab, you can see the metrics for your workflow(s).

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The figure in box #1 shows the number of active contacts in the workflow.
Box #2 shows the number of contacts who have completed the workflow.
Box #3 contains the number of contacts who have entered the workflow after it was activated. (Box 1 + Box 2 = Box 3) You have now completed your first workflow! Welcome to the world of efficiency!