Create a workflow
Workflows are the best choice to automate your marketing process, making sure your contacts always receive the best content just in the right time. This article will take you through the steps and available options when creating a workflow.
Create a workflow
- To create a new workflow, go to Automation > Workflows section of your account.
- Here you will be able to see all the workflows you create, ordered by category. Click on Add new workflow.
- Enter a name for your workflow and select a category. Then you can choose from one of the template flows assembled by Flexmail, or you can add a Custom workflow.
If you choose one of the templates you will get a preassembled workflow and you will just have to click on the different blocks to complete them with your own information. You can also always click on Preview for additional information and an example of the template. If you choose to create a custom workflow you will need to compose the whole workflow with the actions and triggers you will find below in this article.
Whether you choose a template or a custom workflow, you will always have to decide what would trigger your workflow first. To further refine your target groups, you can combine different parameters by clicking on the plus icon. You can find more information on workflow triggers here.
Each one of the triggers you can choose from in the start block will offer you the option to include all contacts who have already complied with the trigger you set up even before you have started creating the workflow. Tick off the checkbox if you would like to do so.
Add workflow actions and the desired triggers
After you have decided what would trigger the workflow, you need to compose the different steps. You can add as many steps as you want by using the plus icon. When you click on the plus icon you will see all the available action blocks. The action blocks will help you define what you want to happen after a contact triggers the workflow. You will be able to choose between different Send, Flow or Contacts actions. You can find a thorough explanation of each workflow action here.
With the Send actions you can send an email or an SMS campaign, or send an internal notification to your staff.
If you select one of the three Send actions, you will have to fill in the required sending information, select/type in a message and specify the sending time. For an internal notification you can also use the HTML editor for your message and add placeholders in it to give your sales staff some more information about new contacts, for example. When you select a message, you can tick off the Update this campaign now with the latest version of my message checkbox to automatically update your message in case you've made changes to the message since the last time you've edited this block in your workflow. Remember to come check this box every time you make changes to the email in this block.
With the Flow actions you can set up a wait period, a condition with the IF/ELSE block, combine workflows and end a workflow.
We recommend that you always add the End this workflow block to stop the workflow after you have assembled it.
The Wait block and the IF/ELSE block are a little different from all the other actions. In contrast to all the rest, if you select a Wait or an IF/ELSE block, you will be required to set up a trigger for them. You can combine triggers using the AND/OR parameters. With the AND parameter contacts will have to correspond to all the triggers you have set up in order to activate the Wait or IF/ELSE block. With the OR parameter contacts will have to correspond to one of the triggers you have set up.
With the WAIT block, you can wait for a certain event to happen in order to continue the flow.
Always put wait blocks before or after Send actions (depending on the triggers you have set up) to give your contacts enough time to open your campaign and comply with your workflow triggers.
With the IF/ELSE block, your workflow will be divided into two sides. Contacts who correspond to the trigger will be sent to the Yes side and contacts who don't will be sent to the No side of the workflow. You can then continue the flow separately for both sides.
Let's see an example for better clarity:
You have sent a survey to your contacts and you want to send a reminder to contacts who haven't filled it out yet.
First, you will need to add a Wait block in order to give your contacts some time to fill out the survey. If you don't set up a waiting period, the survey will be sent even to contacts who have filled it out. This would happen because Flexmail will check if the survey was filled out immediately after sending it. In the Wait block you will add two parameters: the first one will be Contacts who fill out the survey and the second will be a Date in which you will give your contacts 3 days to fill out the survey. We will select the OR option between the two parameters.
After you have set up the waiting period, you will need to use the IF/ELSE action. After the waiting period is over, Flexmail will check and divide the contacts into a Yes and a No side, depending on whether they have filled out the survey or not. Now, you can set up the reminder for the contacts who haven't filled out your survey yet.
The example's sequence would look like this:
With the Contact actions you can make adjustments to your contact database and its segmentation. For example, you can move contacts to an interest label if they clicked on certain links in your campaign or you can move contacts to the blacklist if they don't open your campaign.
Your account contains only one list, which comprises all the contacts you have in your Flexmail database. Therefore, when selecting the Add to a list or Remove from list action you will only have one list to choose from - your database.
Save and activate a workflow
After you have assembled your workflow, you will need to finish it with an End a workflow block and then proceed with the saving options.
At the bottom of the page, you will find 3 saving options:
- Save - Save the progress of the workflow while working on it.
- Save and Close - Save and close the page. Your workflow can be found in Automation > Workflows, so you can start it at any time you want.
- Save and Start - Save the workflow and activate it immediately.
We recommend not to stop workflows and make changes once a workflow has been activated as this could lead to unwanted results.
Workflows allow you to create an automated scenario fit just for your marketing needs, so we encourage you to explore and try out the numerous possibilities they offer.