Segment entry and exit based automation allows you to use your segments more flexibly and create very precise automated workflows. By using segments for automation you can contact customers who are newly added to a segment, re-added to a segment or have just dropped out of it.
Before you start
- Segment entry and exit based automation is available for users on Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, Magento 1, and API v3.
- This functionality is available for Standard and Pro plan users.
To setup an automation based on entry or exit of a particular segment, you will need:
- to setup a segment with the rules you prefer. Here's how you can create segments.
- to setup an automation based on the entry or exit of that particular segment.
Entry based automation
To start the setup of your segment entry based automation, you should already have a segment created. Here's how you can create one.
Once you have your segment ready:
- Go to Automation and choose Create workflow.
2. Choose Other > Custom workflow. You now have an empty workflow template that you can start working on. It currently has no trigger, emails, SMS messages or events that cancel the workflow. Next steps will cover that.
3. In the workflow editor click on Trigger block and the trigger setup should appear on the right sidebar.
4. Click on Trigger dropdown and choose Contact enters a segment.
5. From Trigger rules click on the name of the segment (a dropdown) and choose your preferred segment, based on which this automated workflow should run. In our case we are going with VIP customers segment.
6. Choose whether you want re-added contacts (those who exit and re-enter the segment again some time in the future) to once again receive the messages on this workflow. No means that this workflow will only be sent once to a particular customer. Yes means that this workflow will be sent as many times as a particular customer triggers it by entering the segment.
7. Add as many emails and SMS messages to this workflow as you need. You can do that by clicking on a plus icon in the workflow editor.
8. Set up your cancellation. This is something that will cancel this workflow and would not send more emails or SMS messages, once the cancellation criteria are met. Click Set up cancellation to continue.
9. Choose a rule that will cancel this particular automated workflow. We suggest using Contact exits a segment if you do not want to send any messages from this workflow once the customer no longer matches the rules of that particular segment. Feel free to combine more than one rule, if you see the need. Click Save to finish.
10. Once you are done with the setup, click Enable workflow to set it live or Save & Close to leave it for later.
Exit based automation
Exit based automation setup is basically the same as entry based. You can follow the same steps (1 to 10), just keep in mind that your cancellation rule should not be an exit of a segment if that is set as a rule for the trigger of this automation.
Triggering the automation for re-added customers
There are two options how your segment entry an exit based automation can behave for a particular customer who exits a segment and then re-enters after some time. Automation can either be initiated once again or not. Choosing No will mean that automation will not be sent another time and choosing Yes will mean that automation will be sent as many times as the customer re-enters the segment.
Example: let's make it simple and say we have a segment based on the city the customer lives in. One of the customer currently has London set. We then create a segment based on the rule that the city is equal to London. This customer enters the segment, the automation gets triggered and they receive the emails or SMS messages.
After some time this same customer updates their city to New York (exits this segment) and even later changes back to London (re-enters the segment). This is when your chosen preference will take effect and either send the automated messages once again (if chosen Yes) or not (if chosen No).
Editing the segment that is used for automation
Whenever you make any changes to the rules of a segment that is used by either of automated workflows (entry or exit based), you will be prompted with a question, whether we should continue sending the automated emails, based on the new rules or not.
Once the rules of the segment are changed, there are two options:
- No - this means that the automation will not send messages to contacts who instantly populate due to the settings update of the segment.
- Yes - this means that the automation will send messages to contacts who instantly populate due to the settings update of the segment.
If there were any customers who were in the middle of the flow (e.g. received 2/5 messages) and they stayed in the new segment, they will continue to receive the rest of the messages. If they got out of the segment due to the new rules, they will not receive the left messages (the rest 3/5).
Manual import impact on automations with segment rules
Automation workflows that contain segment entry or exit rules can be affected by manual import of customers, in case those newly added customers appear on the segments in use.
However, you have a total control on whether you want to use them in automation or not. Every time you are importing your contacts manually, you are prompted with a question about what should be done with these newly added contacts.
There are two options you can go with:
- No - this means that newly added contacts will be added to your list, will appear on the needed segments, but will not receive the automations that would be triggered by said segments. Choose this option if you just want to add contacts, but not trigger any automations for them.
- Yes - this means that these contacts will be added to the list, needed segments, and will receive the automations that would be triggered by said segments. Choose this option if you want to add contacts and trigger automations for them.
When it comes to automatically imported contacts (from your store) and contacts added after filling a form, those are considered as organically added to a segment and automation for them is sent automatically.