Automations overview

If you are new to automation, this is where to begin. You’ll learn the basics of automations including definitions of related terms and ideas. I’ve also included some automation examples and use cases to illustrate the types of things you can do with automations. The article ends with some resources that might be useful as you start creating automations.

What are “automations?”

“Automations” is what we call our marketing & sales automation feature. With the automation builder, you can easily create fully automated workflows tailored to the goals of your unique business. Automations can save you time, help you stay organized, and make more money, by improving your marketing and sales processes. After an automation is set up, it can run with no input from you, so creating automations is an extremely high-leverage activity.

An “automation” is a chain of events that runs when triggered by starting conditions you define. An automation is created by combining triggers, actions, and logic. Using our automation builder, you can mix and match these elements in unique ways to create automation workflows that accomplish a wide variety of tasks.

Use cases and example automations

You can use automations to:

Improve your marketing processes:

  • Create intelligence-driven automated email follow-up

    Rather than creating a basic drip sequence (a timed sequence of emails) that treats all your contacts exactly the same, you can create sophisticated follow-up that treats contacts differently depending on who they are what they have done. For instance, your automation could check to see which link a contact clicked in your welcome email. Depending on which link they clicked, it could send entirely different messages.

  • React to contact behavior in real-time

    Automations can begin when your contact performs an action such as visiting a page of your website, opening an email, or submitting a form. You can create automations that perform actions in “reaction” to this behavior. For instance, if someone visits your pricing page repeatedly (but have not yet made a purchase) you could send them an invitation to schedule a time to speak by phone to get their questions answered.

  • Gather data to create profiles of your contacts

    You can use automations to track your contacts as they interact with your app, website, and marketing assets. Their behavior gives you insight into their needs, interests, and concerns. For instance, if a contact clicks a particular link in an email you send, you can assume that is what interests them most. You can tag them as having that interest and then begin follow-up with content, products, and offers that target that interest.

Improve your sales processes:

  • Qualify and automatically distribute leads

    Evaluate your leads using multi-dimensional lead scoring. Qualify them using characteristics of your target market and engagement by increasing their score as they interact with your website and emails. When a lead or contact reaches a score you define, a deal can be created and the lead can be assigned to a sales person.

  • Deals can be managed and updated automatically

    To cut down the amount of time salespeople spend updating deals with notes, tagging contacts, and creating tasks, you can create automations that add these updates for you and move deals through your pipeline stages so deal records are kept up-to-date without requiring time and attention.

  • Use contact data to improve sales insight

    Automations can apply tags and notes to contacts so that by the time they reach your sales team, you’ve generated insight into their interests and what they are hoping to get out of your product.

Resources to help you start creating automations

Automations are created with our automation workflow builder. You can access the automation workflow builder by clicking the “Automations” tab in the top menu of your ActiveCampaign account. 

We’ve also created a step-by-step walkthrough of creating a follow-up sequence. This might be a good way to become familiar with how the automation builder works (if you tend to “learn by doing.”)

If you unsure of how automation triggers work or what a specific action does, we have documents explaining each of the triggers and automated actions.

For a guide to best practices with building automations, click here

If you prefer video, we also have screencast tutorials on automations covering very similar information.

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