In Maileon, you can create programmes in the Marketing Automation (MA) module to perform automated tasks using the contacts in your Maileon account. For example:
- Sending trigger mailings
- Sending SMS messages
- Changing data
- Unsubscribing or deleting contacts
The elements available to you in the panel on the right define your actions in the programme: the start, action, splits and end elements. With this helpful description of the automation module, you will learn how to apply these elements for a successful automation flow.
When getting started with Marketing Automation (MA), it is important to take a result-oriented approach and work out a (concept) flow based on this. If you write or draw this out, you can then base the MA programme on it, test it and develop it further. In this article, you will find several examples of automation flows for inspiration.
The Marketing Automation programme editor. The grey block in the middle is called the canvas.
Once you start a new programme, you always start with an empty "canvas" and the sidebar with all the action elements. By dragging them into the canvas, you add them to your automation flow. By drawing lines (arrows) between the dots on the elements in the canvas, you can connect them until you have a logical path that the contacts attached to this automation will follow.
It is important to note that you can only use one starting point per programme, but can insert several ("unlimited") action, split or end elements. The elements will immediately follow each other unless you add wait time.
Tip: if you want to remove a connected arrow, select the arrow itself and press the delete key on your keyboard.
Starting point – Contact filters
One of the first decisions you have to make at the start of any marketing flow is: how do you want the programme to start? Do you want to start a selection of contacts in the programme periodically, daily or weekly for example, you can do this with a contact filter. In the filter, you provide the right (combination of) criteria for the selection. In the start element, you choose the filter and the frequency at which it should be called up.
With a contact filter as a starting element, you can use Marketing Automation without links to external systems, because it filters on contact data and properties within your Maileon account.
Note that if a contact meets the conditions in the filter more than once, it will be added to the programme each time.
Security with contact filter start point
Using a control field, you can protect a contact from starting more than once (or simultaneously) in an automation programme. To do this, create a contact field (e.g. type boolean) and set the value in a condition of your contact filter, e.g. as "does not equal true". The first step in the programme should then be to modify the field value (to true) so that the contact no longer meets the criteria of the contact filter after it has been in the flow. Optionally, at the end of the flow, you can "release" the contact again by resetting the field.
Other starting points
Depending on the integrations you have with external systems, you can also use:
- A Contact event as a starting point, e.g. an order from an e-commerce platform
- An API call, e.g. a CRM system starting a welcome programme
- A DOI confirmation starts a programme the moment a contact confirms its subscription with a click on a DOI confirmation link.
Action and split elements
Automation without a programme
It is possible within Maileon to automate actions without an automation programme. This is only available for single actions, if multiple actions follow each other then this works best or even exclusively via an automation programme. This is possible for example to trigger emails that directly respond to a Contact event or independently periodically refresh a contact filter of emails to contacts. For this, see the Dispatch logic step when activating a trigger mail.
Another way of automating without a programme is to change contact dates via a Contact job under ‘Lists & Contacts’. This is done based on a contact filter of your choice and can be set to trigger periodically. This function can be used in combination with other forms of automation.
Editing after activation
When you activate a programme, you can no longer make structural changes in the active programme. However, you can change the link of a trigger mail. If you want to change more, you can copy the programme, activate the copy and deactivate the original.
The same applies to a trigger mail: you cannot edit the content of an active trigger mail. You can only edit links included in the mail, provided link tracking has been applied to these links.
This programme starts when a contact confirms the registration email (Double opt-in mail). It then sends 3 emails (at intervals). The last mailing is optional and is only sent if the contact has clicked (within a day) on a link in the second mail.
Example: Birthday programme
This programme starts daily at 10 am, by checking a contact filter. In this contact filter, contacts whose date of birth equals today's date are filtered. They will then receive an SMS to congratulate them. A day later, an e-mail is sent to ask if they got what they wanted. If not, they get a discount code as "gift" to make a discounted purchase.
Example: Abandoned shoppingcart
This programme starts when a contact adds a product to their shopping cart of the web shop. It then first checks whether a contact is already in the programme to prevent spam. If not, the contact can start the programme.
The programme always checks whether an order has taken place because then the "abandoned shopping cart" programme can be terminated. If not, a total of 3 reminders are sent at intervals to entice the contact to complete the purchase.
At the end of the programme, the contact field that serves as security changes value again, so that contacts can rejoin the programme if necessary.