Start an automation on a date or time

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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 "2 pm" can be any time between 2:00 pm and 2:59 pm
  • When setting a date/time segment in an automation trigger, contacts will only be added if they meet both the trigger and the segment conditions you set simultaneously. 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 January to enter your automation

Enter the automation on a date and 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 time. Contacts can only enter the automation once they meet the trigger and segment conditions. Your segment can be as narrow (within a particular 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."
    segment_contacts_entering_this_automation.png
  3. The trigger modal will expand. Here you can use the segment builder to create segment conditions:
    • Click the "Conditions" dropdown, then click the "Date & Time" category
    • Click the date and time option you wish to use. 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' time zones or your time zone
    • Click the middle dropdown in the segment builder to select an operator, then click the right dropdown to choose the value for the condition you set
  4. When finished, click the "Add Start" button

Note that contacts can 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 times.

Add_another_condition_example.pngEnter 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 queue in a conditional wait step until a specific date and time.

Once they meet the date and time conditions, 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 specific 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 "Add a Wait Condition" action will expand and display the segment builder:Wait_until_specific_conditions_are_met.jpg
    • Click the condition dropdown and click the "Date & Time" category
    • Click the date and time condition you wish to work with. This can be a current day of the week, the current day of the month, the current month, the current year, or the current time according to your contacts' time zones or your time zone
    • Click the middle dropdown in the segment builder to select an operator
    • Click the right dropdown to choose the value for the condition you set
  6. When finished, click the "Save" button. 

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 times.

Add_another_condition_example.png

"Date-based" automation trigger

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

To set this up:

  1. From the Automation Trigger modal, click "Date Based," then "Continue."
  2. The Action Options modal will expand:
    Date_based_automation_trigger.png
    • Starts: Use the dropdowns to select when the automation will run for each contact and the date field that the automation will reference
    • List: Click the dropdown to choose your list
    • Check: Click the dropdown to program how often the trigger will check for contacts who meet your conditions. You can set this to daily, weekdays, or weekends, and choose the time of day
    • Runs: If you want the automation to run yearly, click "When the month and day match conditions." To make the automation run only once, click "When year, month, and day match conditions"
  3. When finished, click "Add Start."
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