About the Goal automation action



The Goal automation action is used to measure the effectiveness of your marketing. When used correctly, it can provide a snapshot of how a specific part of your marketing is performing. 

In addition, the Goal action is a way to move a contact to another location within an automation as soon as they meet the specific conditions to do so. These conditions are configured in the Goal action.

Once a contact meets the Goal's conditions, they immediately jump from their current location to the Goal action, skipping all steps in between. They will then proceed to the following action in your automation. Once a contact meets the required conditions in a goal, they are considered to have "achieved" that Goal.

Contacts can only encounter a goal once per entry into the automation. If you want contacts to encounter a goal action more than once in an automation, they need to exit the automation, then re-enter it. 

Take note

If adding the Goal action to an "Active" automation, make sure to set the automation to "Inactive" first. Once you're done editing the automation, set it back to "Active" so contacts can continue to enter your automation and proceed through your workflow. 

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How contacts encounter Goals

A contact can encounter a Goal action in two ways:

  • Organically
    Contacts can encounter a Goal action if it is the next step in their automation path.
  • Jumping
    Contacts can jump directly to a Goal action from their current position in an automation if they meet the conditions set in the Goal.

To encounter a Goal, the automation must be set to "Active" and a contact must be in the automation containing that Goal. 

Anatomy of a Goal

The Goal action contains five elements. You'll need to provide information or direction for each component to configure it correctly:


The five elements are:

  1. The Goal name ("Name")
    This is the internal name for your Goal. Contacts will not see this name.
  2. The Goal condition ("Jump to this action when the following conditions are met")
    You create a condition that contacts must meet to achieve the Goal. This condition is made with the segment builder; you can use almost any data in your account to create it.
  3. Location ("And when the goal is")
    This determines if contacts are eligible to achieve a goal based on their current position in an automation. There are two locations to choose from:
    • Below the contact's position
      A contact can achieve a Goal and move directly to it if the Goal is below their position in an automation. When if/else statements exist in the automation, contacts can achieve the goal depending on the placement of the goal:
      • If a Goal is below an If/Else and the contact matches the criteria when they are positioned above the If/Else, a Goal on either side of the If/Else action can be achieved. If a contact goes down one of the If/Else branches, they are only able to match the criteria of a Goal that is below them in the current branch. If a Go To action is used to connect automation paths, a Goal may not be considered below the contact.
      • If the goal is located above the contact in an automation, they are no longer eligible to achieve it and will not move to it.
    • Anywhere
      A contact can achieve the Goal and move to it from any position in the automation. This setting can be used if your automation contains an "If/Else" fork, allowing the contact to jump from one path in your automation to the Goal. Note that if a contact (1) encountered a goal and (2) did not meet its conditions, they will not jump up to the Goal if they meet the conditions later. A contact can only encounter your Goal action once per entry.
  4. Action ("If the contact does not meet goal conditions")
    You can decide the following action contacts will take when they organically arrive at the Goal action but do not meet the conditions to move forward. The three actions you can choose from are: 
    • Continue anyway
      Contacts will proceed to the following action in the automation.
    • Wait until conditions are met
      Contacts will queue in this Goal action until they meet its conditions to proceed to the following action. There is no time limit to how long connections will wait.
    • End this automation
      Contacts will end the automation as soon as they reach this step.
  5. Conversions triggered ("Trigger this conversion when this goal is achieved")
    Available on Marketing Professional and Marketing Enterprise plans.
    For contacts who meet Goal conditions (achieve the Goal), you can trigger a conversion, no conversion, or create a new conversion. Conversions are part of our Attribution feature. 

How to add a Goal action to an automation

  1. Click Automations on the left menu, then click "Edit" for the automation you want to edit.
  2. Click "Conditions and Workflow" and drag the "Goal" action to your automation. 
  3. The Goal action modal will appear. Type the name of the Goal into the Name field provided. As a best practice, we recommend choosing a name that describes the Goal's desired outcome.
  4. Use the segment builder to set your Goal conditions. 
  5. Click the "And when this goal is" dropdown and select either "Below the contact's position" or "Anywhere."
  6. Click the "If the contact does not meet goal conditions" dropdown and choose an option. This determines the action contacts will take when encountering this action in your automation but do not meet the goal conditions.
  7. Optional: Click the "Trigger this conversion when this goal is achieved" dropdown if you want this Goal to trigger a Conversion. This option is available on Marketing Professional and Marketing Enterprise plans only. 
  8. Click the "Save" button.

Creating segments with Goal data

There are four segmenting options available with the Goal action:

  1. Has achieved Goal
    Contact met the conditions of the Goal while going through the automation.
  2. Has not achieved Goal
    Contact exited the automation before achieving the Goal or has not yet met the goal conditions.
  3. Has skipped Goal
    Contact reached the Goal action but either skipped it or ended the automation.
  4. Is waiting on Goal
    Contact is queued at the Goal action and will only proceed once they have met its conditions.

Note: Contacts who match the "Has skipped goal" condition will also match the "Has not achieved goal" condition. 

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