Basic Guide to Marketing Automation Through Tasks

Modified on: 2014-11-14 13:41:12 -0600


Creating effective Automation Tasks can be a little tricky but this support article is chock full of best practices to help you avoid common pitfalls.  Here's a look at the components that make up an Automation Task and some strategies for achieving the results you want.

Understanding Automation Terms

Automation Task - The Automation Task is a set of triggers and filters that is attached to one or more workflows. It includes at least one trigger, optional filters and workflow(s).

Trigger - An event that results in a workflow running. It's important to remember that only triggers can start a workflow and that at least one trigger is necessary to perform any automated action. Visiting an important page, filling out a form, and arriving at a site from a link in an email can all be great triggers.

Filter - An optional part of an Automation Task that is used to narrow the scope of triggers. Filters are only tested when triggers are fired.

Workflow -  Actions grouped together to accomplish a desired result. Workflows can be saved independently and attached to one or more triggers in an Automation Task. 

Action - An event that happens as a result of a Workflow running. Here are some examples:

  • Immediately send an email.
  • ​After 2 days, send email "No. 2"
  • After a 1 month, remove from "XYZ" list

Building the Perfect Automation Task

Now that we've got those definitions down, here are a some best practices to make effective Automation Tasks.

Triggers and Filters

Rules can be triggers, filters or both. Remember, a filter will not set off a WorkflowOnly use filters to help narrow the results of your trigger. Check out Using Triggers and Filters Correctly for a deeper dive into this topic. Here's an example Automation Task that uses filters and triggers together. 

  • First, we "Add the Trigger" When a contact "fills out any form" "1 time" "or more"
  • Then, "Add the Filter" When a contact "has the field" "Title" containing "Marketing Director" "included"
  • Now, when a lead who fill out a form and has the job title "Marketing Director"  the Workflow will kickoff. (See Screenshot).




 
"When Any" v. "When All": 
Use "When All" if every condition in the Automation Task should be true before setting off the attached Workflow.  With "When Any" the Workflow will be set off every time any of the conditions are met.
 

Exactly, or More or Less: Exactly, or more and or less enable you to create rules based on the number of times something occurs. Consider a scenario where you wanted to build a trigger for a lead visiting a page 2 times. Here's what will happen if you use "exactly," "or more" and "or less."

  • With "Exactly" the lead must visit the page 2 times exactly for the trigger to fire.
  • With "Or More" the lead must visit the page at least 2 times. If a lead only visits the page once, then the trigger will not fire. 
  • With "Or Less" the trigger will fire the first time and second time the visitors comes to the site.

 

Rule Groups: To use "When Any" and "When All" rule sets together you will need Rule Groups. Click the blue "New Group" button to add a Rule Group and begin creating more sophisticated Automation Tasks.

You should now have a better understanding of Automation Tasks. As always, if you have any questions or concerns send us an email at partnersupport@sharpspring.com.


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