How to begin a Visual Automation
Ready to put your emails on auto-pilot? There is virtually endless amounts of things you can automate when you use Visual Automations. Let's get you started with creating yours!
When you go to your Automations page in your account, you can start a new Automation.
"What is an Automation?"
An Automation is for subscribers to begin their journey through a series of actions.
Think of it like a map. You're mapping out the course that these subscribers will take. Each "destination" on the Automation is a piece that exists in your account, and you're simply bringing those together to guide your subscribers to each of those places on the "map."
When you first click to create a new Automation, this is what you’ll see:
Once you select the first entry point, click the (+) button on the side, in order to add more entry points. These follow “OR” logic, that is, if " this Form or this Tag" is triggered, then the Automation will begin for that subscriber.
For example, you could have a subscriber who signs up to your Form on your blog, and that can be a very basic entry point. Additionally, you might have a subscriber who receives a Tag from a purchase. This tag could then begin the Automation as well.
Create Multiple Points of Entry
Part of the beauty of Automations is that you don't just have to stick with one entry point per Automation. You can add an additional entry point by clicking the (+) next to your initial one.
You can add up to 5 entry points in an Automation!
If your Automation is initially wider than the allowed entry points, you can split them into multiple Automations. Another great option for multiple forms to an Automation is to group all of those Forms to a Tag, and have that single tag become your Automation’s entry point.
"What's the difference between an Automation and a Sequence?"
The difference between Automations and Sequences are that Sequences are simply back-to-back emails. Each email has delays in between them, telling the system how long it should wait before sending out the next email in line. Automations on the other hand are much more powerful, and can have a Sequence inside of it—or multiple Sequences! Automations are a string of multiple and endless actions that you can have a subscriber follow through after being triggered into the Automation, to flow through a series of steps.
"I created an Automation with an entry point and an action step, but no one is in the Automation. What did I do wrong?"
There are a few things you can check when this happens. But first let's take note of how Automations operate.
Note: Automations do not work retroactively. If your subscribers were already on the entry point that your Automation begins with, they will not be pulled in—because they were already on this step before you created the Automation.
Let's take a look at some common reasons why no one seems to be in your Automation.
- Is your Automation "Paused" or is it set to "Live" in the top right corner?
- Is the second step in your Automation an Action step, or an Event step? If it's an Event, the Automation is waiting for them to meet the requirements of that Event step.
- Is your Action step a Sequence? If so, are you emails in your Sequence set to a "Draft" status, or a "Published" status?
- If your Action step under your entry step is a Sequence, and the emails are set to "Published", make sure your Sequence is not sending from a "gmail", "yahoo", "aol", or any other personal email. Read here for more info.
"Why are subscribers getting unsubscribed from Sequences in my Visual Automation?"
When a Sequence is inside of a Visual Automation, as subscribers go through all of the Published emails in the Sequence, they are marked as having completed that Sequence, the Visual Automation unsubscribes them from that particular Sequence—not your subscriber list entirely. The Automation moves them forward to the next step in the Automation.
However, if you have an Automation Rule that sends a subscriber from a Form or Tag to a Sequence, when the subscriber makes it through all of the published emails, in this case they will not be unsubscribed from the Sequence. They will still be an active subscriber in this Sequence. So if you were to add an email to this Sequence later on down the road, this subscriber who was added via the Rule will get that new email you added.