Frequently asked questions about Advanced Automations Follow

Q. What is the difference between Automation and Advanced Automation?

A. Automations allow for a single, specific message to be immediately triggered to a contact as they submit a system web form. Advanced Automations take this one step further and allows you to create a series of steps which determine which message is to be triggered and when it is to be triggered, based on the contact's details from not only web form submission, but previous message and database interactions also.

Automations are a standard feature within the system. If you have the Advanced Automations Module activated within your account, you can use this to achieve the functionality that regular Automation has to offer, plus a whole lot more.

 

Q. I'm new to the system, do I need the Advanced Automations Module?

A. No. On it's own, the system provides a great solution for creating, sending and tracking your email & SMS communications. The Advanced Automations module will always be accessible within your account should you require it’s functionality in the future. If and when the time comes, you can simply contact our Custome Success Team and discuss your requirements and if the Advanced Automations Module is the solution for you, they can add the tab within your account and possibly a trial of the feature so you can get started with this module.

Many new clients begin their experience by sending introductory communications to build and update their lists and, when they’re ready to take the next step, sending automated and targeted communications to specific segments of their database could take their online marketing communications to the next level.

 

Q. How do I know if I need the Advanced Automations Module?

A. The Advanced Automations module is an ideal solution for companies looking to build relationships with their customers through the provision of highly relevant and targeted communications in a timely and cost effective manner.

If you're looking to have the right message sent to the right person at the right time, then the Advanced Automations module is ideal for you.

 

Q. My Advanced Automation step has been executed, but after changing the time-frame to another date, it is now not working.

A. Once a step has been executed, changing the time-frame to a moment in the future will not result in the same step being executed at the new time. The exception is if the trigger occurs again after the new time-frame has been set, in which case the step will execute as per the newly saved criteria.

 

Q. How do I know which trigger to use for my step?

A. The best way to determine which trigger is most appropriate for your step is to ask yourself this question, "What needs to happen in order for my desired action to take place?"

Scenario What needs to happen? Trigger
If a contact subscribes to my List, I want to send them a welcome email. The contact needs to subscribe to my List. Subscribe
If a contact clicks a product link in an email I sent them, I want to send them a product specific email in two days time. The contact needs to click a link in the email Link Click
I want to send a contact an email on their birthday as per the birthday date field in my List. The date in the birthday fields needs to be referenced in a timeline. Time-based

 

Q. I'd like to set up some workflow steps using the Advanced Automation module, but I don't know where to start.

A. Before setting up the steps for your automated workflow, we recommend you first think about all the different actions that will make up your workflow and map these out on a piece of paper or using a chart on your computer. Our article called "Planning Automated Campaigns - The Marketer's Guide" provides some useful tips for how to structure this process. For each step, we recommend you start with identifying the source, trigger, action and time-frame before actually setting it up in the system.

 

Q. Can I set up a workflow step that impacts a different List?

A. An "action" or event for an automated workflow can only work for the list where the contact that has triggered the step resides. As such, you cannot set up a step that adds or updates a contact record that resides in a separate list to the one which is used on the source tab of your step.

 

Q. My automated workflow does not appear to be working correctly. What should I do?

A. Identify the particular step within your workflow that does not appear to be working. If you have steps that rely on other steps being triggered, then trace back the problem to the original step.

  1. After finding the step in question, look at each section of the step individually to see if it has all been set up correctly. 
  2. If no errors are evident in how the step has been set up, then it may be an error with your process or logic. In this case it is important to refer back to your planning stage and review your workflow Map (if you have one) to see if there is a flaw in your planning, or a trigger you forgot to add.
  3. If no obvious errors present themselves after taking the above steps then you may need additional support which can be found in the 'Help' centre, where you can contact our support team.

General: The first thing to check if your automated workflow has stopped working is whether you are on a trial version of the Advanced Automation module. If you are on a trial, the maximum number of emails you can send during the trial is 250. You can upgrade your Advanced Automation module by going to the 'Automation' menu and clicking the upgrade link.

NOTE: If you seek support for your workflow, it helps to have a workflow map or plan to provide with your question for the support team to better understand what you are trying to achieve.

 

Q. What is the best way for me to test my automated workflow?

A. Testing practices may vary based on the type of triggers that exist in your workflow, but here is one commonly used method for testing.

  1. Create a copy of your workflow and name it "Testing".
  2. In the newly created copy, change your time-frames to something suitable for your test. For example, instead of sending an email two days after the trigger, maybe change it to five minutes.
  3. Check your trigger can only be triggered by you. For example, if you're using a 'Subscribe' trigger, add an 'Advanced Option' to match the email address with your own email address. So only people that subscribe to your List with your email address can trigger the step. Alternatively, you can change the source to a test list.
  4. Proceed to do the actions that have been set up in your automation as a trigger. For example, subscribe to your list. 
  5. Check to see that the actions you have set up actually occur as per your time-frames. For example, check to see if you received the email you set up to be sent.
  6. If everything works correctly, then you can delete or deactivate your test workflow and be confident that your actual Advanced Automation has been successfully tested.
  7. If everything does not work as planned, then go back to your original workflow and identify which step did not work correctly. Amend it as required and then repeat steps 1-6 of this process.
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