Automation actions explained

In this article we’ll cover each automation action. I’ll explain how it works and give you some examples of how you can use it. This will help you understand what you can automate.

Actions are divided into four categories:

Sending options

This category of actions sends a message:

“Send email”

This action will send an email to the contact who goes through this step of the automation. You are able to design the email. You are able to time the email by placing a wait condition before it.

“Send a site message”

Available on Professional and Enterprise accounts only.

This automation action is another way for you to communicate with your subscribers and is available as a sending action in your automations. With this action, you can display messages to an opted-in contact when they visit a specific page on your site or any page of your site. You may want to use this to display information about a new offering or a coupon code for a product to get your contact to complete a purchase.

In order to use this feature, you must have site tracking installed and enabled on your site.

“Send SMS”

This action will send a text message to the contact who goes through this step of the automation.

“Notify someone”

This action sends a notification email. It could notify someone within your company.

Conditions and Workflow

This category of actions gives you logic and allows you to manage other automations:

“Wait”

The wait condition pauses the automation for the contact at this step. You are able to specify how long they wait before proceeding through the automation.

There are two types of wait conditions:

  • Wait for a period of time that you specify.

  • Wait until certain conditions are met or a period of time that you specify expires. With this condition you are able to have the automation pause until they perform a behavior or you collect certain information about the contact. For example, you could send an email and then have a condition that says, “Wait until they open the email and then proceed with the rest of the automation.”

“If/Else”

An “If/Else” condition creates a fork in your automation. It creates two paths. The “yes” path is for contacts that match the conditions you define and then “No” path is for contacts who do not match the conditions. This action is useful for treating contacts differently depending on a variety of factors. You are able to create conditions based on any condition that you can create a segment with: actions, tags, custom fields, Site & Event Tracking data, and other contact data.

“Split”

The “Split” action allows you to create split test automations.

There are two types of split actions:

  • Even split - a traditional A/B split test that determines a winning path
  • Conditional split - this split will send all contacts down one path until specific conditions are met and then a different path after. This is not a traditional split test and no winning path is determined

“Go to”

The “Go to” action allows you to move contacts to another step of the automation. You can use it to bring contacts back to a branch or create loops.

“Goal”

The "Goal" action allows contacts to jump from their current location in your automation directly to that goal step if they meet the goal conditions. You can use this to begin other automations, send targeted messages to contacts, adjust contact and deal scores, and even add a contact to a specific step in your automation upon entry. 

“Start an automation”

The “Start an automation” action will start an automation you specify when the contact reaches that step.

“End this automation”

The “End this automation” action is an indication that the automation ends at this point. Even without the “End this automation” action, your automation would still end when your contact reaches the last step of the automation. This action is more a “note” that there are no more steps and the branch is finished.

“End other automation”

The “End other automation” action will stop the contact running through another automation.

“Webhook”

The “Webhook” action can send a webhook to another app allowing you to automate actions with apps outside of ActiveCampaign. For instance, you could send a webhook to have a support account created with your helpdesk software when a new order comes in.

Contacts

This category of actions gives you a variety of actions related to managing contacts:

“Subscribe”

The “Subscribe” action adds a contact to a list.

“Unsubscribe”

The “Unsubscribe” action removes the contact from a list. For instance, when a new customer makes an order, you could remove them from your “prospect” list and, using the “Subscribe” action, add them to your “customer” list.

“Update contact”

The “Update contact” action allows you to add data to the contact record. You could use this action to add data to a custom field. For instance, you could update a “Status” field with “Promoter” if they share a campaign on social media.

“Add tag”

The “Add tag” action will apply a tag to a contact when they reach this step.

“Remove tag”

The “Remove tag” action will remove a tag from a contact when they reach this step.

“Add note”

The “Add note” action will attach a note to the contact record. This is useful for adding information through the marketing process so that when a lead is passed onto sales, they read notes to know what the contact has done, what they’ve viewed, and what they are interested in so they can go into a call aware of what the contact already knows and with insight that will help them close the sale.

“Adjust score”

The “Adjust score” action allows you to move a contact or deal score up or down when they reach that step of an automation. If the proceeding actions indicated sales-ready behavior, you could add points to their score. You could give out negative points if the contact unsubscribes or fails to engage (open or click) your campaigns.

CRM

This category of action gives you a variety of actions related to managing deals:

“Add deal”

The “Add deal” action will create a deal record for an opportunity. This action allows you to automatically create deals for contacts as they reach sales-readiness. You may want to use this action with a “Score changes” trigger so that when a contact score reaches a threshold score, a deal record is automatically created and placed in your pipeline.

“Update title”

The “Update title” action will edit a deal’s title.

“Update status”

The “Update status” action can be used to change a deal’s status to “open,” “won,” or “lost.” You could use this action to mark a deal as “won” when the associated contact makes a purchase.

“Update owner”

The “Update owner” action will change who a deal is assigned to. You could use this action to change ownership as the deal reaches a point where there is a hand-off. For instance, as deals are qualified and near closing, the deal could be handed off to a more experienced sales rep.

“Update value”

The “Update value” action changes a deals estimated value.

“Update stage”

The “Update stage” action moves a deal to another stage of your pipeline. This action is a crucial part of automating your sales process so you may use it often. When a contact performs certain behavior, such as replies to an email or visits a link you sent them to, you could move them further down the pipeline.

“Add task”

The “Add task” action creates new to do items. This action is very useful for staying organized and making sure no lead falls through the cracks. You can automatically add tasks as the pipeline stage changes so that all associated work has task reminders created.

“Add note”

The “Add note” action adds a note to the deal record. (The “Add note” action under the “Contacts” category adds notes to the contact record.)

“Complete task”

The “Complete task” action closes a task by marking it as completed. You can use this action to automate your workday and stay organized by having tasks closed as you or the contact perform certain behaviors.

“Adjust score”

The “Adjust score” action moves a deal score up or down.

More resources for to help you create Automations

Now that you are familiar with automation actions, you may want to learn about how the automation workflow builder works or go through a walkthrough of creating an automation so that you can see how combining triggers and actions allows you to create fully automated sequences of events.

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