Creating an automation workflow

Pabbly Email Marketing automation workflows all start with a trigger. This trigger determines how the workflow starts.

Below are the email automation triggers:

  • When a subscriber joins a subscriber list – Workflow triggered when a subscriber joins your subscriber group.
  • The anniversary of a date – Workflow triggered every year on specific dates (e.g. birthdays or wedding anniversaries).

When the trigger is selected, you can start building the workflow with our easy-to-use automation editor. With the editor, you can create professional automation sequences for all types of marketing needs.

In your workflow, you can add and combine 4 different types of steps:

  • Delay – Within the default option, there are multiple options to set a delay before your next step: minutes, hours, days, weeks and months.
  • Email
  • Condition
  • Action

Each new step can be added by clicking on the plus icon below the trigger and then below each step. Once you’ve added a new step, you can click on the step and enter the required data on the right-hand side.

Please note that you need to fill in the required data for all of the steps in your workflow to be able to activate the workflow.

When the workflow is ready and all the steps are added, the workflow can be activated by clicking the ON button in the top right corner of the automation editor.

When you need to make changes later on, you can pause or activate the workflow from the other views, like the Automation list or Automation overview.

Please note:

  • When the automation workflow is activated, new steps cannot be added.
  • Existing steps can be changed without pausing the automation. In order to change the step, go to the automation editor and click on the step you want to change.

Subscriber movement throughout the automation sequence

When your workflow is activated, new subscribers that match the trigger will automatically start the workflow.

For example, your workflow contains the trigger “When subscriber joins a list”. In this case, only those subscribers who join the group after the workflow is activated are triggered. If there are subscribers who have been in the group before the workflow was activated, they won’t be triggered automatically. These subscribers need to be triggered manually.

All the steps in a workflow are processed immediately, one after the other. If the workflow doesn’t have any DELAY steps, the subscribers who started the workflow will complete all steps at once. To avoid this you can add one or several DELAY steps between other steps.

When a delay is added, subscribers are queued before continuing with the next step.

For example, if a workflow has a DELAY step that is set on 1 day and then the EMAIL step, subscribers will have to wait 1 day before the email is being sent to them.

Pausing the workflow

When an automation workflow is paused, subscribers are not moving through the automation sequence.

When the automation is activated again, all subscribers who have been in the automation sequence continue at the steps they’ve been waiting in.

Please note that if there are subscribers that have been waiting in steps that contain a delay, it’s possible that the delay time has passed and subscribers won’t continue the sequence. They will be counted as unsubscribed.

It is set to wait for 1 day, followed by an EMAIL step. In total 4 subscribers are triggered to receive the email after 1 day. If you turn off the automation workflow and turn it on again after 2 days, all 4 subscribers will be unsubscribed from the workflow.

Automation Activity

The automation workflow builder allows you to create an email series with different emails and steps. To keep up with where your subscribers are within the workflow, we provide an activity report that informs you about the subscriber’s states.

There are 3 main statuses: Completed, Queued and Unsubscribed.

The status Completed shows all your subscribers who completed the entire workflow.

In the Queued status you can see the list of subscribers who are at different levels of your workflow and currently waiting for the next step.

The status unsubscribed allows you to see all the subscribers that were removed or canceled from the sequence.

There can be several reasons for a subscriber to be unsubscribed –

  • Delay time has passed: The workflow was turned off and turned on again, and the next send time for some of the subscribers passed during the time the workflow was off. Please note that the workflow doesn’t correct this when turned on again. You have to do that manually.
  • Workflow trigger was changed: The main workflow trigger was changed (ie.g. from “when subscriber joins the group” to “when subscriber joins a segment”)
  • Subscriber doesn’t belong to the group anymore: The subscriber was removed from the group in the middle of the sequence and added to another group.
  • Not active: The subscriber unsubscribed in the middle of the workflow.