The elements in a marketing automation campaign

Abstract

An overview of the elements that are available in a marketing automation campaign including re-entry into a marketing automation campaign.

In Marketing Automation, you build automation campaigns from a set of elements. The Start and End elements appear in your new automation campaign by default and the additional elements are available in the Toolbox pane.

Tip

For a quick overview of the elements of a marketing automation campaign, see the Marketing Automation video on Discover Sitecore.

You can use the following types of elements in your automation campaign:

  • Default elements – the Start and End elements that indicate where contacts are enrolled in the automation campaign and where the campaign ends.

  • Marketing actions – the elements that you can use to make changes to a contact in the system, for example, to add or subtract points from a contact's engagement value.

  • Listeners – the elements that you can use to listen for specific actions made by a contact in a specific period, to identify how the contact should proceed through the automation campaign.

  • Decision points – the elements where you can specify a rule to identify how a contact should proceed through the automation campaign. You can use these elements to filter contacts without delay because they are evaluated against the specified rule immediately.

  • Other elements – the elements that you can use to delay a contact's movement through the campaign, move a contact to the beginning of the campaign, or move the contact to another campaign.

The Marketing actions elements in the toolbox
The Listeners elements in the toolbox
The Decision points and other elements in the toolbox

You must create a language version of each marketing automation element (goals, events, and so on) programmatically or in the Content or Experience Editor to match the language in use. If the language version is missing, various selection lists in the marketing automation element settings pane are not available (that is, they are disabled). In the following example, the Select a goal list is greyed out.

Example of a greyed out selection list

For example, if the language version of the site and the marketing automation elements is French but there is no French language version of each marketing automation element (goals, events, outcomes, and so on), various selection lists are not enabled. The only exception is marketing list selection lists and email campaign selection lists, which are always retrieved in English (en) regardless of the content language.

Activity type items must also have language versions that match the language in use. You can find these items in the Content Editor, in the sitecore/system/Settings/Analytics/Marketing Automation/Activity Types folder. The client translation files on the Sitecore download page contain the necessary language versions for the activity type items.

Note

Elements in a marketing automation campaign do not have a language fallback by default.

In the details for the Start element, you specify the conditions for when a contact is enrolled in the automation campaign. The End element indicates the end of the automation campaign.

Start

Use the Start element to define which contacts you want to enroll in the marketing automation campaign and when you want to enroll them. For example, you can enroll contacts in the automation campaign when they visit a specific page on your website and then schedule for them to receive a recurring email campaign as part of a nurture program.

In the Start element details pane, you can choose to enroll a contact in the campaign based on:

  • The completion of specific goals, events, or outcomes. You can toggle between All and Any to specify if the contact must fulfill one or more of the specified goals, events, or outcomes.

  • A scheduled enrollment. This can set on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis or defined programmatically if you want to use a combination of all three. When using the weekly or monthly interval, you can only select a maximum of five days.

    Note

    The Scheduled enrollment option supports only segmented lists.

  • Rules that you create in the Rule Set Editor.

The details pane for the Start element

When using the Scheduled enrollment option:

  • If you set the maximum enrollments to 1 and the contact is enrolled in a marketing automation plan that runs daily for example, the contact is removed from the plan after completing it once.

  • If you add a new contact to the segmented list prior to the scheduled enrollment start date, the new contact is added to the marketing automation plan when the plan starts.

  • If contacts are removed from the segmented list after the scheduled plan has started and the contacts have been enrolled, they are not removed from the marketing automation plan.

  • If the scheduled enrollment has been implemented programmatically, you cannot edit the campaign through the Marketing Automation interface.

End

The End element indicates the end of the automation campaign. Depending on how you build your automation campaign, not all contacts reach this element, for example, if they have been moved to another automation.

You can use the marketing actions elements to make changes to the information that is stored about a contact in the Experience Database (xDB), for example, to add points a contact's engagement value or to add the contact to a contact list.

Change behavior profile value

Use the Change behavior profile value action to change the behavior profile value of a contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign.

In the details for this action, first select the profile keys that you want to change for the contact and then specify the new value for each profile key.

The Change behavior profile value action details pane

Increase engagement value

Use the Increase engagement value action to increase the engagement value of a contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign.

The details pane for the Increase engagement value action

Raise abandoned cart event

Use the Raise abandoned cart event action to trigger the abandoned cart event when the customer has abandoned the shopping cart without making a purchase.

There is no configuration necessary for this action.

The details pane for the Raise abandoned cart event action

Send commerce email

The Send commerce email marketing action differs from the standard Send email action in that it includes the shopping cart information needed to personalize the email message with the content from the customer’s cart. Shopping cart information is included as custom values in the marketing automation campaign when the customer is enrolled in the campaign.

The following custom values are used:

  • The shop name and Cart ID are used in the Abandoned Cart marketing automation campaign.

  • The shop name and Order ID are used in the New Order Placed campaign.

The Send commerce email action copies all custom values from the marketing automation campaign and uses them as query parameters for the Email Experience Manager.

Important

Do not use the Send email action in place of the Send commerce email action.

In the details for this action, in the Select an email campaign drop-down menu, click the relevant email campaign and then click Apply. You can only choose between the automated email campaigns.

The Send commerce email action details pane

Send email

Use the Send email action to send a selected email message to a contact when they reach this element in the automation campaign.

In the details for this action, in the Select a email campaign drop-down menu, click the relevant email campaign and then click Apply. You can only choose between the automated email campaigns.

The Send email action details pane

Add contact to list

Use the Add contact to a list action to add the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign to one or more contact lists.

In the details for this action, in the Select a list drop-down menu, click the relevant contact lists.

The Add contact to a list action details pane

Unsubscribe from a list

Use the Unsubscribe to list action to remove the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign from one or more contact lists.

In the details for this action, in the Select a list drop-down menu, click the relevant contact lists.

The Unsubscribe from a list details pane

Update consent settings

Use the Update consent settings action to change the consent settings for a contact who reaches this element in the automation campaign.

Type of message

Description

Marketing

When you revoke consent to marketing messages, the contact is removed from all lists and no email messages are sent. This does not include system messages such as order confirmations and password resets. These are sent regardless of the option selected.

General

When you revoke general consent to email messages, the contact is removed from all lists and no email messages (including system messages) are sent.

Note

When this action is part of your marketing automation plan but you do not select either of these check boxes, the contact passes through the element with their original consent settings.

Update consent settings section

Validate email address

Use the Validate email address action to mark the email address of the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign as valid. An email address is valid if, for example, the contact has responded to or clicked a link in an email message that was sent to this email address.

The Validate email address action details pane

A listener element enables you to specify a rule to identify how a contact should proceed through the automation campaign. From the listener, a contact can proceed along a Yes path or a No path in the campaign, depending on how the contact meets the specified conditions in the rule within the specified period.

Because a listener keeps the contacts from moving further through the automation campaign until they meet the specific conditions, you can subject contacts to content personalization even if they do not perform any actions.

Campaign activity triggered

Use the Campaign activity triggered listener to evaluate if the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign has triggered one or more campaigns. The contacts that have triggered the selected campaigns at any time move along the Yes path.

In the details of the listener, enter a name for the listener, select the relevant campaigns, and then specify for how long you want the listener to be evaluating the contacts that reach this element. You can specify if the listener should be evaluating contacts for a specific period or until a specific date and time.

The Campaign activity triggered listener details pane

Custom listener

Use the Custom listener listener to evaluate if the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign meets the conditions in the specified rule within the specified period and then send them along the Yes path or No path accordingly. You can set the custom listener to listen for anything that you specify in a custom rule in the rule set editor.

In the details of the listener, click Edit in rule set editor to create the rule and then specify for how long you want the listener to be evaluating the contacts that reach this element. You can specify if the listener should evaluate contacts for a specific period or until a specific date and time.

The Custom listener details pane

Note

Commerce marketing automation campaigns include the following custom listener: Check cart activity, which includes a rule with the condition where the contact's cart has been manipulated.

Goal triggered

Use the Goal triggered listener to evaluate if the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign has triggered one or more goals. The contacts that have triggered the selected goals move along the Yes path.

In the details of the listener, enter a name for the listener, select the relevant goals and specify if the contacts should have triggered all the selected goals or just one of them. Then specify for how long you want the listener to be evaluating the contacts that reach this element. You can specify if the listener should be evaluating contacts for a specific period or until a specific date and time.

The Goal triggered listener details pane

Outcome registered

Use the Outcome registered listener to evaluate if the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign has registered one or more outcomes. The contacts that have registered the selected outcomes move along the Yes path.

In the details of the listener, enter a name for the listener, select the relevant outcomes and specify if the contacts should have triggered all the selected goals or just one of them. Then specify for how long you want the listener to be evaluating the contacts that reach this element. You can specify if the listener should be evaluating contacts for a specific period or until a specific date and time.

The Outcome registered listener details pane

Visit listener

Use the Visit listener to evaluate if the contact that reaches this element in the automation campaign has visited your website after they enrolled in the campaign. The contacts that have visited the website after enrolling in the campaign move along the Yes path.

In the details of the listener, enter a name for the listener and specify for how long you want the listener to be evaluating the contacts that reach this element. You can specify if the listener should be evaluating contacts for a specific period or until a specific date and time.

The Visit listener details pane

A decision point element evaluates a rule to determine the path in the automation campaign that the contact should continue along.

You can use the decision point element to filter contacts into multiple paths in the campaign. For example, to further filter the contacts that trigger a goal, you add a Goal triggered listener to the campaign and after that you add a number of decision points that each filter the contacts based on, for example, location, age, preferences, and so on.

Important

When you place a decision point after a listener in your campaign and you want to delete the listener, all that paths after the listener, where a decision point appear, are removed as well.

Decision point

Use the Decision point element to direct the contacts that reach this element in the automation campaign along a specific path. You create the rule that you want the contacts to be evaluated against and if a contact meets the conditions in the rule, they continue along the Yes path.

The Decision point element details pane

Note

Commerce marketing automation campaigns include the Is cart empty decision point, which contains a rule with the condition where the contact's cart is empty.

You can use these elements either to pause a contact's movement through the campaign or to move a contact to the beginning of the campaign or to another campaign.

Delay

Use the Delay element to delay the contact's further movement through the automation campaign, for example, you can use the delay to subject the contact to specific personalization of content for a limited period.

In the details of the element, you can specify if the contact must be delayed for a specific period or until a specific date and time.

The Delay element details pane

Move to another campaign

Important

Use this element with caution because it can place a contact in a loop between multiple automation campaigns. When you select an automation campaign to enroll contacts in, you must check if the selected automation campaign enrolls contacts to more campaigns.

Use the Move to another campaign action to enroll the contacts that reach this element in the automation campaign to another automation campaign.

In the details for this action, in the Select an automation campaign drop-down menu, click the automation campaign that you want to enroll the contacts in. You can only choose to move the contact to one other automation campaign.

Note

When you use this action in your campaign, the elements in the campaign that appear on the path after this element are removed.

The details pane for the Move to another campaign action

Remove from campaign

Use the Remove from campaign action to remove the contacts that reach this element from the automation campaign. This element gives you the flexibility to remove contacts from anywhere in the automation campaign.

Note

When you use this action in your campaign, the elements in the campaign that appear on the path after this element are removed.

The details pane for the Remove from campaign action

Return to start

Important

Use this element with caution, because it can place a contact in a loop in the campaign and cause an execution of repeated marketing actions for that contact.

Use the Return to start action to move the contacts that reach this element in the automation campaign to the beginning of the campaign so that they can go through it again. The contact is moved to the element after the Start element and will therefore not be evaluated by the Start element again.

Note

When you use this action in your campaign, the elements in the campaign that are on the path after this element are removed.

The details pane for the Return to start action