Articles on: Automation

Understand Timeline of a Workflow

Understanding a workflow's timeline is critical not just for determining when a message will be sent, but also for gaining insight into the customer's experience. In this article, let's go over the timeline of a workflow so you can better understand the timing of a flow's components.

Understand time elements in AVADA

First, let's start by getting familiar with elements effecting the timeline that you will meet when creating an automation workflow:

Start event: This is the trigger of your automation workflow, it will decide the sending time of the campaign when all conditions are met. For example, a win back automation campaign will get sent a certain days after the last purchase of a customer.

Wait time: A workflow element that lets you edit the time before a certain element is trigger. It can be edited in days, hours, minutes, weeks, months, and years.

Certain time: A workflow element that lets you set the time for an element to trigger. You can customize the specific time and date, as well as time zone.

Customer time zone: Often presented with a checkmark, you can select this option to let AVADA send your campaign based on the customer time zone so all your recipients receive messages at the same time in their time zone.

End/exit: A workflow element that can force a group of contacts who are in a certain path to exit the workflow. This can shorten the timeline of your automation messages.

Understand Flow Trigger and Filters
How to configure wait time/certain time on an automation workflow?
How to use Exit Event in Automation workflows?

Understand the timeline of a workflow

Each workflow corresponds to a certain consumer experience. It's critical to consider the timing of each elements in your flow in relation to the activity or behavior that started the workflow in the first place if you want to create a workflow with timely touchpoints.

For example, you may have the first email sent after 7 days. Then the second email waits another 4 days, which brings the total number of days counted from the starting point or the flow trigger to 11 days.

It's also crucial to consider how time delays interact with other elements, particularly conditional splits. You should usually add a time delay before any conditional split to give recipients enough time to, say, place an order before being directed down a specific path.

Let's take a look at some of AVADA's well-used workflows to see how their timeline go:

Welcome Subscribers Workflow

In this preset workflow, we send three emails to a new subscriber in order to convert them into paying customers. The Start event element is when someone subscribed to audiences list.

After that, a welcome email with a gift code is immediately sent. The gift code lets the subscriber earn a 20% discount for their first purchase.

1 day later, controlled by a Wait Time element, another email is sent to remind the subscriber of the gift code since it would expire in 4 days.

Then, 3 days later, another email is sent to alert the subscriber that the gift code will expire in 24 hours and they should act quickly. After that, no matter the outcome, the workflow comes to an end.

Abandoned cart split workflow

Let's go to a more advanced workflow. This abandoned cart split workflow can change the message based on the cart worth of the customer.

First, you have the Start event of someone abandoning their cart. Then, you have the Wait Time element of 1 hour before sending the first reminding email, letting the potential customers know that their cart is still waiting for them to check out.

If they still don't check out, we go to the Yes/No Split element. It determines that if the cart worth is more than $100, an email will be sent 2 hours later to offer a 10% off coupon on the cart. If the cart's worth is less than $100, the potential customer will join another workflow, where they receive an email 1 day later, reminding them that the cart is going to be expired.

Adjust timeline for each element in the workflow

You can notice the time delay underneath each action element as well as on the sidebar of each Wait Time on the canvas to assist you keep track of how far your flow has stretched from the trigger.

All of AVADA Marketing Automation's workflows have automated wait time ready so you can run your campaign with a timeline. Of course, there are situations that you can't determine the exact timing of a message.

These situations often arise when you mix two Wait Time elements in the same flow:
Wait Time: Days, Hours, Minutes, Weeks, Months, or even Years
Certain Time: Specific Day and Time with the recipient's time zone.

When you specify Wait Time as X days and write in a certain number of day, each day will be calculated not as a fixed 24-hour day but as calendar day. This means that the actual delay period (in hours) is not known ahead of time. Depending on when someone enters the flow, this will change.

If you are mixing Wait Time and Certain Time, make sure that you understand the timeline and timing of your campaign to accurately calculate the days for a given message to be sent by the trigger.

Related: How to configure wait time/certain time on an automation workflow?

Updated on: 06/09/2021

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