Automation Tracks are built on a linear path constructed with qualifying conditions and follow-up actions. An enrolled and qualified Target works their way through an Automation Track based on the pre-defined timeline (top to bottom). The timeline is separated into three different types of blocks: Conditions, Wait Connectors and Actions.
Basic Logic and Rules:
Conditions must always come before an Action and a Wait Connector must always be used to bridge a Condition and Action together. However, your Wait Connector can also be as low as 1 minute. Combining these three groups creates a successful logic block on the timeline.
The Automation Flow (top-to-bottom)
The Automation Timeline is linear and Targets that match your Automation qualification and enroll will begin their journey at the top and work their way down to the end. The duration of an Automation (start-to-finish) is determined by the Wait Connector settings between Condition Blocks and Action Blocks.
A Condition Block is a group of conditions that are bound by an AND/OR statement. Your Automation Track can have as many Condition Blocks as you wish and a Condition Block can contain multiple unique condition types. Condition Blocks are always followed by a Wait Connector that sets the time delay before the Action Block begins.
An Action Block is a group of follow up actions that are triggered to Targets that have matched the previous Condition Block. Actions are executed once the Wait Connector time delay concludes. Action Blocks can contain multiple unique action types and each action contained in a single block is separated by a Wait Connector, so once a Target reaches the Action Block, each action will trigger in a sequence based on the Wait Connector and not all at once.
Creating an Automation Track
Smart Targeting, not just a static list.
Unlike most marketing platforms, an Automation Track does not begin for a target simply by list membership alone. Instead, Automation enrollment is based on both list membership as well as meeting certain criteria that is defined by your condition(s) properties.
The condition properties can be as simple as "I want to include all targets in my list, created after 6/1/2013" or more complex like "I want to include targets with a lead score of at least 125, a lifecycle stage of warm and an open sales opportunity over $5k".
#1. Which marketing list should this campaign target?
The first step is to select a source list (Marketing List or CRM List) for your campaign. This will set forth the source of target and contact data for the campaign. Since different lists can have varying data fields and parameters, you're limited to selecting one list per campaign. But, you're not limited to the number of automated campaign tracks that you can create. You'll also need to select Matching Settings that determine how the campaign engine will match and include records as the campaign rolls on (see below).
#2. What type of targets should be included in this campaign?
After you select your target list you will need to create your first logic group, beginning with your first condition block. The first condition block can be critical for your campaign, especially if you selected a Smart Campaign. The first condition block essentially dictates the first round of targets that will be included in your campaign from your target list. It's also the criteria that will drive a Smart Campaign.
For example, if you only want targets from a specific lifecycle stage included in the campaign you can specify that stage with a condition. Now, the difference with using a Smart Campaign is that if your target enters the campaign based on that lifecycle stage, but their stage changes half-way through the campaign, the campaign automatically ends for that target. The Smart Campaign is always checking to make sure the active targets still meet the condition(s) set forth in that first condition block. Remember, like all condition blocks your first can be comprised of multiple conditions, depending on how specific and targeted you want to be.
#3. How long after a condition matching, should the follow up action trigger?
Once you assemble your condition block, you'll be prompted to add an action. But, before you proceed to the action wizard the system will require that you define a Wait Connector to bridge the condition block that you just created, with the action block you're about to create. The Wait Connector defines how much time should lapse after a condition block matches, before the action block that follows should trigger. This period can be hours, days or weeks.
#4. Now define the action that is taken after condition(s) are met
The final step of your logic block is to define follow up action(s) that occur for targets that met your previous condition(s) block. Similarly to conditions, you can include several follow up actions all bridged together with AND and you can even define Wait Connectors between each follow up action as well.
Now that your logic block is completed (Condition, Wait Connector and Action) you can either END your campaign or continue building it. If you choose to continue building your campaign you will have the opportunity to add another logic block. This second logic block could also include conditions that might have occurred on your first logic block, such as a target opening an email that was sent in the first block or clicking a link.
Only the current condition
When you select to match by Current Condition only, you’re instructing the Automation engine to only consider matching the current Condition Block and not to check if any previously matched condition rules are still true. Any previously matched conditions are irrelevant and all that matters is the path ahead.
For example: a campaign that has already included a target based on their Lead Score being less than 300, will continue to include that target even if their score increases to more than 300 later on in the campaign cycle.
Smart Campaigns are exactly that, smart. The first Condition Block must ALWAYS continue to match for future actions to take place. Smart Matching allow you to create intelligent, goal-driven campaigns that will allow you to ensure a continual flow of relevant communication to your targets and leads.
For example: If you create a Smart Campaign with a Scoreboard condition that requires a specific Lifecycle Stage assignment, and include that condition into the first condition(s) block, then the target MUST continue to be assigned to that specific stage in order to continue qualifying for the campaign. If a target moves to a Lifecycle Stage other than the one specified in your first condition block, then the campaign immediately ends for that target.
Current and past conditions
Current and Past Condition matching requires that all previous conditions that a Target matched in your automation track must continue to be true, as your target continues through the nurturing path. Before any additional actions activate, the Automation engine will check all previous conditions to ensure that every previously matched condition is still true.
Current and Past Condition matching is similar to Smart Matching, except that Smart matching will only re-check the first block of conditions.
Example with Multiple Condition Blocks:
To help better explain how each matching setting functions, we're going to use the example of three condition blocks and a record. So you have Condition Blocks A, B, and C. and a Target record is currently in Condition Block B.
Current Condition - The system only cares about Condition Block B. If the criteria is met, the record will move to the action phase. The principle is applied to whatever Condition Block the record is in.
Past and Current Condition - The system cares about, not only the criteria for Condition Block B, but Condition Block A as well. If the record meets the criteria for both condition blocks, then they will move to the action phase. Once they reach Condition Block C, they will need to meet the criteria for that as well as A and B. Thus this principle is applied
Smart Matching - The campaign will ALWAYS care that the criteria in Condition Block A is met. But, the system cares about the criteria for Condition Block B as well. If the criteria for B AND A is met, the record will move to the action phase. Now they are in Condition Block C. So the system now cares about the criteria for Condition Block C AND A. The constant is A. If A is no longer met, they will be taken out of the workflow.
One-time or Recurring Automation?
An Automation Track can be configured as a one-time enrollment for a unique Target or it can be configured for a Target to be eligible to enroll multiple times. One-time enrollment will permit a Target record to qualify and enroll in an Automation track only one single time. Recurring enrollment will permit the Target to qualify and enroll multiple times based on your settings.
To enable Recurring Automation, simply click the checkbox for 'Yes, this automation track can be repeated by the same Target more than once'.
Maximum Number of Enrollments by a Target
The next step is to define a ceiling of how many unique enrollments a single Target can have into this specific Automation Track. In order for a Target to be considered for a subsequent enrollment in a Recurring Automation track, they will need to be meet the following criteria:
1. They will need to match the condition(s) of your Automation Track in the first condition block to enroll. Which is the standard process for a Target to enroll in any Automation Track.
2. Any subsequent condition matches will need to be entirely unique and new events from their previous enrollment. We will not enroll a Target into an Automation Track multiple times based on the exact same condition event. For example, if the qualifying condition is that a Outbound Call Status equals Voicemail, any subsequent enrollments after the first will require an entirely new Outbound Call be recorded with a status field value of Voicemail. In other words, once we match an event (i.e. a unique Call), we won't consider it again. This is a built-in security mechanism to ensure Targets are only enrolling into an automation more than once based on new profile changes or behavior, not past events that we have already enrolled them for.
Delay Concurrent Automation Track Enrollments (Runs)
Once you determine the maximum number of enrollments a unique Target can have, the next step is to configure a delay between multiple enrollments. The concept behind configuring a delay is to ensure that if a Target has multiple qualifying condition events, that they don't enroll in the Automation Track multiple times all at the same time. Configuring a delay will space out their enrollment(s) by the time period you define.
So for example, if Target John Doe enrolls in an Automation Track with a delay of 5 days and has multiple qualifying condition events, it will be another 5 days before another enrollment and run can begin.
Once the basics of your campaign is settled, you can now begin to select your Conditions.