What You’ll Learn
- The pieces of a step
- What each piece does
Steps are the basic building block of workflows. Each workflow is essentially a series of steps that people who are enrolled in a workflow move through.
In each step something happens. That something ranges from a communication being sent to people in the workflow to labels (e.g. applicant) being applied to a person’s profile/account. The variety of step actions available in workflows offers tremendous flexibility in how you can respond to people in an automated fashion.
Steps consist of 3 pieces (labeled on the screenshot below): action(s) (1), optional delay (2), and condition (3). We’ll take a look at each of these pieces and then how they fit together.
Also note the icons in the upper corners.
Top left: For reordering steps. Simply drag and drop the step to another place in the workflow.
Top right: The edit menu. Use this to remove a step.
Actions: What Will Happen
Actions determine what will happen in a workflow step. You can add as many actions as you would like. Actions cover a wide range of tasks in Element451 that you might want to automate. More about actions.
For greater control over actions in a step, you’ll want to use conditions. Read below for an introduction to conditions.
The delay controls when a step happens. It’s an optional part of the step. If you don’t edit it, the step will occur immediately. But there are many instances when you’ll want to specify a delay.
For example, if you’re building a student search series and certain communications are time-specific, like a deadline reminder. Or if you’ve set a link in an email as a trigger to send another communication to a person when they click the link. Depending on the context, it can be jarring to receive emails immediately after taking an action. A day or even an hour may feel more natural to recipients.
Let’s take a look at how to add a delay.
1. On the left side of the step you will see the delay button. Click it and a form will open.
2. Select the type of delay: standard or relative. For both delay types, you can set the delay in days, hours, minutes, and seconds. Once you set the timing, click Add to save your step's delay.
Standard: The delay is calculated from the time the previous step was executed.
Relative: The delay is calculated based on another date. There are additional relative delay options to choose from that let you time the step based on something else a person might do. Learn more.
Important: Please be mindful that activating the workflow after adding the delay can affect the timing of the workflow. For example, the delay timer starts when the delay is added, not when the workflow is activated.
Conditions: To Whom and What Else
Conditions let you add logic and more control to what happens and to whom in workflow steps. They also let you indicate who moves on to the next step.
For example, if the trigger for your workflow is a label being applied to people (e.g. prospect) and you want to send a follow-up message to those people if they click a link in an email, you would use a condition to accomplish this.
You can even add a separate action for people that don't meet the condition. For example, people who do not click the link in the email. Let's take a look at how:
- Click the Condition button on the right side of the step. The Condition form will open.
- Choose the condition you want to use. To narrow the condition to apply to a smaller group of your audience, select the User Segment condition to build a segment. Alternatively, if the segment already exists, choose User Segment Reference and load the desired segment. You also have the option to use the Date Condition to schedule the action. Within the condition you set you’ll be able to connect additional conditions. Keep in mind that conditions are linked, so people will need to meet all of the conditions in order for the action to affect them.
- When finished, click back into the workflow area of the screen to save your conditions. You will see the step has changed to reflect your condition and give you a better visual on what will happen when people do or do not meet the conditions.
- Add more actions to either the "yes" or "no" branches of the step. For example, you can end the workflow for people who do not meet the condition, or even enroll them in a different workflow.
Conditions are what allow your workflow to gain the complexity to handle many scenarios by creating branches for different actions. Learn more about conditions.
A closer look at: