Before you begin
In order to successfully create a Marketing Automation flow, you will need to have created a Consent list in Audience. Moreover, a section must also have been set up in Data Sections; this, however, is an admin user task to perform.
Continue reading this article for in-depth instructions on how to successfully create your first Marketing Automation flow.
If you leave the wizard at any point, your flow will appear in the Drafts tab.
All changes will be saved automatically.
If you're after a guide on how to use the Flow Editor,
take a look at the About the Flow Editor section.
Create a New Marketing Automation Flow
1. Head over to the Marketing Automation tool. You can do so from the shortcut on the calendar page or from your Tools page.
2. Click Create a New Flow.
3. The conversation wizard will open.
Continue scrolling through this article to follow through every step.
Click on a step on the left side navigation to fast-forward.
You'll see all of APSIS One's pre-defined Marketing Automation flows, Ecom flows, as well as your own flow templates. To make a completely custom flow, click Blank Canvas. Otherwise, choose whichever template you prefer.
We have articles on how to create pre-defined flows, in case you'd like detailed instructions.
This is the very first step of the Conversation Wizard. All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory. Let's get started!
1. Enter a working name for your flow. It's only for internal purposes.
2. Choose a section to create your flow in. After you choose a section for this activity, it cannot be changed. Accounts with only one section will have their section selected by default.
3. Choose a Consent list and Topics to send the emails to. Profiles that do not have consent for the Consent list and Topic(s) that you chose will exit the flow when reaching a consent-based node, like an SMS or Email node.
4. Ready? Click Next.
The Flow Editor
Welcome to the Flow Editor. Here you will add nodes and establish the paths for your marketing automation. If you would like an in-depth guide for every aspect of the Flow Editor, take a look at our About the Flow Editor section.
Start by setting up the Listen Node.
The listen node is the most important node in your marketing automation flow.
It will listen for the profiles in order to bring them into the flow. As profiles join your Audience, perform any actions, enter a segment, etc., they may come into your flow depending on your settings. Read more about the listen node...
1. Click Select.
2. The Listen node will expand. Choose between attributes, tags, events and segments. You may only choose one per flow.
3. Fill in the node settings. For more detailed information about the listen node, jump here.
If a Profile enters your flow based on the Listen node settings, and the entry limit is more than 1, the same Profile can enter the flow again before it's able to leave the flow from their first journey. Read more about Flow Settings...
If you'd like to avoid sending too many emails or having duplicate Profiles in your flow, you may use a Check Profile node to see if they've entered your Marketing Automation flow in a period of time. Read more about the Check Profile node...
4. Once you've set up the Listen node, click Save.
Adding a Node
1. Click on the plus sign (+) to connect another node to the listen node.
3. Click Edit to fill in the node settings.
4. Repeat the same process above to add more nodes. If you would like more information about all the nodes and how to set them up, jump to About the Nodes.
5. To connect the nodes, click on the plus sign (+) and drag a line towards the next node to connect. Nodes must always be connected to another node, unless they signal the end of the flow and require no future action.
To open, click Flow Settings in the Bottom bar.
In Flow settings you can adjust your preferences as to how many times profiles enter your flow, excluding tags and set a specific time zone. Here's some information about Flow Settings. They're divided between General, Ecommerce, Consent and SMS settings.
Click on an item below to expand:
These are the general settings of your Marketing Automation flow. Here you can choose the flow's constraints in terms of which profiles are allowed to enter and how many times, as well as the time zone that should be used for the flow.
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These settings will allow you to decide how many times profiles can enter the flow.
If a Profile enters your flow based on the Listen Node settings, and the entry limit is more than 1, the same Profile can enter the flow again before it's able to leave the flow from their first journey.
If you'd like to avoid sending too many emails or having duplicate Profiles in your flow, you may use a Check Profile node to see if they've entered your Marketing Automation flow in a period of time. Read more...
Choose between unlimited, and up to five times.
You may also choose to allow them to enter a number of times within a certain time frame. To achieve that, click the Within a time frame box and select between 1 to 10 days, weeks, months or years.
Removed profiles from a paused flow
When activating a paused flow, you get the choice of removing the profiles from it. If you do, not only will they still be a part of the Report, but they will also be able to re-enter this Marketing Automation flow after you activate it again.
This means that, even if you limited the number of times profiles can enter the flow, those who were removed from the flow when reactivating will be allowed in once more.
It's possible to set up a rule that will remove from the flow all profiles that are tagged at any point in time. Regardless of where they are in the flow, or when they're tagged, if you set up this rule you may remove them from the flow.
Note that the profiles will not be removed immediately when they are tagged, but rather when they leave a node. This means that profiles will enter the Listen node and then be removed. They will also be a part of the statistics of the Listen node.
For example, if a profile is tagged while on a Timer node, the profile will remain in the Timer node according to its settings. If the profile is still tagged when it has completed the Timer node, it will be removed from the flow. If the profile is not tagged anymore by the time it completes the Timer node, it will remain in the flow.
Click on the drop-down menu to select an existing tag.
To create a new tag, click Create new tag
Enter the name for the tag and click Save.
You may adapt this marketing automation flow to a specific time zone. This is particularly useful whenever creating flows that will affect profiles who reside in other countries.
Select a time zone from the drop-down menu.
When done, click Save.
Ecommerce settings are only available for flows that have been set up with an Ecom flows template.
To prevent sending too many emails or SMS messages, use the Frequency option and exclude Profiles from receiving communications from this flow.
Expand the Choose Filter drop-down menu and select an option. For now, we support a filter to exclude those who have received an email or SMS message within a time period.
Choose a period of time by entering a number and choosing between days, weeks and months.
Here you can see which section, Consent list and Topics you chose when setting up this Marketing Automation flow. This is only for information purposes, as you cannot change them once the flow has been created.
Click on an item below to expand:
The section this Marketing Automation flow has been created on.
The Consent list that contains the profiles that will enter this flow and will be receiving emails from this Marketing Automation flow. Profiles that have not provided their consent for SMS or email communications will exit the flow when reaching a consent-based node.
The Topics (from the Consent list you chose) that will enter this flow and will be receiving emails from this Marketing Automation flow. Profiles that have not provided their consent for SMS or email communications will exit the flow when reaching a consent-based node.
If you have one or more SMS nodes in your Marketing Automation flow, take a look at these settings to ensure that your flow doesn't interfere with the SMS tool activities in regards to your SMS credits. Read more about SMS credits...
About Negative Credit Balance
When sending SMS messages with an SMS node in Marketing Automation, SMS messages are sent to the Profiles as they reach the node and your credit balance will fluctuate as Profiles move through your flow. All SMS messages and their cost are calculated according to the SMS tool's credits and pricing model.
In some cases, a Marketing Automation flow can have a large amount of Profiles coming in and reaching an SMS node, which results in a large amount of SMS messages. Since the SMS tool also requires credits to send messages, a flow that is depleting the credit balance may interrupt SMS tool activities. Another consequence can be, as you can imagine, that your account runs out of credits.
We do send a notification in the Information Centre when you're running low on credits, but this option can allow you to continue to send SMS messages and have a negative credit balance indefinitely. Of course, your negative balance will be considered at the time that you add more credits into your account.
Please reach out to your account's Admin or Owner before you activate a flow with an SMS node so that you choose the strategy that fits best.
Tick the Allow negative credit balance box to continue sending SMS messages even when you're out of credits.
If you don't tick this box, Profiles will leave the flow on the SMS node when your account is out of SMS credits, because there aren't enough credits for them to proceed. Have in mind that, same as with the SMS tool, your SMS node will allow for a negative balance once. So, if you have 1 credit left and 15 Profiles reach the SMS node at once, your SMS will be sent and the balance will become negative. The next Profiles that enter the SMS node will exit the flow since your balance is already negative.
Congratulations on creating your new Marketing Automation flow!
Now, let's have an overview. Check that all the nodes are correct; if you would like to change anything, this is a good time.
Does everything look good? Click Activate.