How do I start an automation on a date or time?

In this article, you'll learn three different ways to start an automation on a specific date:

Take note

The first two options in this article involve the segment builder. Here is some terminology to remember:

  • The "Current time" condition applies to the entire hour you select. That means "2pm" can be any time between 2:00pm and 2:59pm
  • When setting a date/time segment in an automation trigger, contacts will only be added to the automation if they meet both the trigger and the segment conditions you set at the same time. For example, if your trigger is “Subscribes to List” with a segment of “Current month is January," then your contacts will need to subscribe to your list during the month of January in order to enter your automation

Enter the automation on a date and/or time

This option uses the segment builder in the automation trigger. You can use the segment builder in a trigger to allow contacts to enter an automation at a specific date and/or time. Contacts cannot enter the automation until they meet both the trigger condition and the segment condition. The segment you create can be as narrow (within a certain hour of the day) or broad (a year) as you like. 

To set this up: 

1. Add any trigger to your automation.

2. Click the "Segment the contacts entering this automation" checkbox. This is located under "Advanced."

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3. The trigger modal will expand and you will see the segment builder. Click the "Conditions" dropdown on the left and click the "Date & Time" category. 

4. Click the date/time option you wish to use. Note that you can select the current day of the week, current day of the month, current month, current year, or current time according to your contacts' timezones or your timezone. 

5. Click the middle dropdown in the segment builder to select an operator then click the right dropdown to select the value for the condition you set.

Note that you can have contacts enter your automation on a specific date and time. To do so, click "+Add another condition" and select “AND” as you add months, days, and time.

Enter the automation and wait until a date/time to proceed

This option will allow contacts to enter the automation if they meet the trigger conditions. Once they enter the automation, they will queue in a conditional wait step until a specific date and/or time. Once they meet the date/time condition, they will move to the next step in your automation. You can use this at the beginning of an automation or anywhere you want to pause the automation until a certain date.

To set this up:

1. Add any trigger to your automation.

2. Click the node (+) under the start trigger.

3. Click "Conditions & Workflow" then click the "Wait" action.

4. Click the "Until specific conditions are met" option.  

5. The "Conditions Editor" will appear. Click the condition dropdown and click the “Date & Time” category.

6. Click the date/time condition you wish to work with. This can be current day of the week, current day of the month, current month, current year, or current time according to your contacts' timezones or your timezone.

7. Click the middle dropdown in the segment builder to select an operator then click the right dropdown to select the value for the condition you set.  

Note that you can use a specific date and time. To do so, click "+Add another condition" and select “AND” as you add months, days, and time.

“Date based” automation trigger

This trigger will automatically add contacts from a list you specify into your automation as they meet the date requirements that you set. The automation can start before, on, or after a specific date.  

To set this up:

1. When choosing a trigger for your automation, click "Date Based," then, click "Continue."  

The Action Options modal will expand and look something like this:

2. Along the top row, click the dropdown menu on the right to select which date the automation will reference, e.g. Subscription Date, Forecasted Closed Date, etc. Click the dropdown menu second from the right to select whether your automation will start on, before, or after that date. If you select "before" or "after" you will have too choose how many days, weeks, months, or years from the date.

3. Click the dropdown next to "List"  to choose your list.

4. Click the dropdown next to "Check" to set how often the trigger checks your contacts to match with the condition. You can set this to daily, weekdays only, or weekends only, and choose the time of day.   

5. If you want to automation to run yearly, click "When the month and day match conditions." To make the automation to run only once, click "When year, month, and day match conditions."

7. Click Add Start.

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