Automating customer life cycle from the moment of registering/signing up until conversion and further is a challenge for every marketer. The Workﬂows feature facilitates this process. It allows to build marketing automation scenarios that execute according to the predeﬁned sequence of events. Its easy-to-use interface include interconnected drag&drop elements that help to set up and visualize the logic behind each marketing scenario.
A Workﬂow is a visual scenario that consists of a series of events. Those events form a sequence that describe what will happen to each subscriber that goes through a particular workﬂow.
There may be multiple workﬂows deﬁned in each business unit. Many workﬂows may also run at the same time.
Each workﬂow needs to have a Start event. It deﬁnes which subscribers will be selected to go through the workﬂow. Subscribers enter the workﬂow whenever they match the settings from the Start event. This means that there may only be a few subscribers or a big number of subscribers going through the workﬂow at any given time, depending on the type of the Start event. Please refer to the Workflow events section for more details about the Start event.
Note that it is possible that one subscriber may be processed by multiple workﬂows at the same time provided that there is a match for multiple Start events in more than one workﬂow.
Each workﬂow may have one of the following statuses:
- Running – all workﬂows in this state are active and will handle all subscribers that will match the entry conditions deﬁned in the Start event. Running workﬂows cannot be edited.
- Paused – workﬂows that are paused are temporarily inactive. It is possible to edit them, which should be handled with care if there are subscribers that have entered and have not ﬁnished the workﬂow. Paused workﬂows can also be resumed back to the running status or stopped permanently.
- Stopped – when a workﬂow is stopped, all the subscribers that have not reached the End event are removed. It is possible to edit and restart such a workﬂow.
- Blocked – in case of errors with running workﬂows they can be automatically blocked. Such workﬂows will be moved to the Blocked tab for further investigation.
- Draft – all workﬂows that are still being edited and do not have complete settings yet will be automatically placed in the Draft tab. All newly created workﬂows are autosaved as drafts. It is also possible to deliberately save a workﬂow as a draft, when it is not completed yet.
The building blocks of each workﬂow are units called events. Each event indicates an activity or a decision point within a workﬂow. Event in the workﬂow needs to be connected with at least one other using arrows in order to indicate the sequence in which they should execute. There needs to be at least one Start event and at least one End event within each workﬂow.
Each event can have a name that is visible on the workﬂow canvas as well as a longer, initially hidden, description for the reference of a marketer. There are 9 types of events that can be used within a workﬂow.
One of the most important purposes of workﬂows is to send the right message (email, sms, Web Push, or even a third-party type of message) at the right time. Only a special type of email and SMS messages can be used within workﬂows. Workflow email messages need to be predeﬁned using the Create workﬂow email message button under the Workﬂows > Email Messages menu, whereas workflow SMS/MMS need to be set up with Create workflow SMS/MMS message under Workflows > SMS/MMS Messages.
It is possible to use particular message only once within any of the created workﬂows. The workﬂow that is using a particular message is indicated on the workﬂow messages list. Only active messages that have no workﬂow assigned can be used for Send events. To learn more, consult the Workflow email messages section.
It is possible to start workﬂows on demand using an API call. This feature is useful for reﬂecting user interactions with the brand on the website (such as an abandoned shopping cart) or at any other touch point (such as swiping the loyalty card at the cashiers desk) in order to start a corresponding marketing automation scenario within the multichannel platform.
Each custom event is triggered for one subscriber at a time. The custom event API call may include additional data ﬁelds that will be available within workﬂows for the duration of each workﬂow scenario the subscriber participates in.
One custom event may be used to trigger multiple workﬂows at the same time.
Data ﬁelds provide a solution if there is a need to add additional information about the subscriber to the marketing automation scenario.
Data ﬁelds are placeholders for short-lived, workﬂow-speciﬁc details. Data ﬁelds may be the perfect way to store the order id, a parcel tracking number or other similar information.
The values of data ﬁelds may be provided within the Custom events API call and can be accessed by any workﬂow that make use of data ﬁelds with the same name and type. The values of data ﬁelds may also be used within the email messages using personalization tags or Dynamic Content.
Data ﬁelds can also be used to distinguish instances of the same subscriber in the same workﬂow from each other. For example it is possible to distinguish subscriber instances based on the value of an OrderID data ﬁeld. Each time a subscriber with the same email address will complete another purchase, while still being in a sales completed workﬂow from a previous purchase - a new, separate instance of that subscriber may enter the same workﬂow from the very beginning, but with a different OrderID.
Data ﬁelds are automatically discarded once the subscriber associated with them ﬁnishes all workﬂows using those data ﬁelds.
To learn more about using data fields in workflows, consult Managing data fields.