It will become obvious how important it is that you start creating your own Custom Fields when you realize that among the available automation trigger types, there is one called "When a specific day is reached"! As its name implies, this trigger reacts by setting your automation design in motion when a specific date is reached and can be used in conjunction with any Custom Field of the DateTime variety.
This type of trigger has five parameters which, when defined, will make up a sentence that looks like this:
Start this automation X amount of time before/after the contact's Y DateTime field. Run every Z time!
To complete this sentence you will have to set the following parameters:
1. You will need to define when you want the automation to start running, in relation to the DateTime custom field chosen further below.
Tip: using zero (0) in the fill-in area will work as the same date as your custom field choice!
2. The second parameter has you choose between days / months / years, as a measure of time for the number you typed.
3. You will need to choose between Before / After, to define whether your automation will run before or after the date set on the DateTime field, which comes immediately afterwards.
Tip: if you filled-in zero (0) on the first step, choosing Before or After on this step won't matter; the date will be the same as the DateTime field you set on the next step.
4. You will need to select a DateTime custom field, from the list of available options.
Your automation will start running in relation to the custom field chosen here. The name of the mailing list where each DateTime field belongs, can be found in brackets.
5. You will also need to define how often your automation will run, in relation to your DateTime field choice, from the available options in the drop-down menu.
You can choose between:
- Every year on that day and month
The automation will run every year, on the day and month defined by the DateTime custom field.
- Every month on that day
The automation will run every month, on the day defined by the DateTime custom field.
- Once on that day
The automation will only run one time, on the day and month defined by the DateTime custom field.
Clicking on the Save button will place your trigger inside your workflow, so that you can continue with its design. This trigger will start your automation on the date of the custom field, at 00:00, which is itself determined by the timezone you have set on your account's Time & Date settings.
Remember that any changes in your Mailing Lists and/or your Custom Fields may affect your automation when using this type of trigger, so make sure that you take this under consideration when you make such changes. To move ahead with your current design you should learn how to use the Conditional / Control steps and how to use Actions.