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What is a conditional / control step and how can you use it in a workflow

Automations are one of the most crucial and effective elements in email marketing: they need to happen without wasting any time, as a reaction to an external trigger, at the precise time, and to the exact target that you have set. With that in mind, using conditional and control steps is the key to success for every automation workflow.
Conditional steps focus your automation on specific targets by filtering down the number of recipients who receive it. Control steps create time intervals between the different stages of your automation workflow, making sure each step takes place exactly when it should.

Creating an automation workflow is very easy. At any point in the process, you can set up conditional / control steps. Just follow the steps below:

A. Finding the Conditional / Control Step option

1. Click on the + button, located at every intersection of your workflow.conditional_and_control_steps_1.png

 

2. Make sure that you're on the Conditional / Control Steps tab on the pop-up that appears - it is the default option.

 

3. Click on the type of conditional / control step that you want to add to your workflow.conditional_and_control_steps_2.png

The available options are:


B. Adding a Split Flow step

When you add a Split Flow step to your automation's workflow, your flow will be randomly split, based on a percentage that you set. First, reach the conditional/control steps pop-up as seen above (section A). 

Then, follow the steps below:
1. Click on the Split Flow option.
2. In the window that appears, toggle the cursor to the left or to the right, to set your desired percentage split (the default is a 50/50 split), then click on the Save button.conditional_and_control_steps_3.png
A pop-up message will appear at the bottom of your screen, informing you that your automation was successfully updated.

Keep in mind that when the split flow occurs, the actual split percentages are likely to be a close approximation of the percentages that you have previously set.

You can continue adding Actions and/or Conditional/ Control steps in both parts of your Split Flow (left and right) so that your automation performs exactly as you want it to.

C. Adding a weather condition filter

Let's examine how to add a conditional step based on the weather in your contact's location. First, reach the conditional / control steps pop-up as seen above (section A).

 

Then, follow the steps below:
1. Click on the Filter by weather conditions in contact's location option.

 

2. Choose one of the available weather conditions from the drop-down menu.conditional_and_control_steps_4.png

Your options are:

  • Fog
  • Rains
  • Snows
  • Clear Skies
  • Clouds
  • Extreme Conditions

3. Click on the Save button.

 

D. Adding a contact filter

Let's examine how a condition of the Filter (If condition / Else)  variety is set up. First, reach the conditional / control steps pop-up as seen above (section A).

Then, follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Filter (If condition / Else) option.

 

2. On the drop-down menu, choose the email list to which this set of filters will apply.conditional_and_control_steps_5.png

Your options are:

  • Apply to any mailing list
  • Apply to mailing list of the recipient performing the action
  • Apply to mailing list <mailing list name>
  • Apply to mailing list <mailing list name>

3. Click on the Add a condition button.

 

4. Set the criteria for your Filter, using the three drop-down menus available:conditional_and_control_steps_6.png

 

  • The first drop-down box lets you choose the type of criteria by which you will narrow down your target audience (e.g. Member Name, Member Email, Date they were Added, Campaigns they have Opened, Links they have Clicked, etc).
  • The second drop-down box helps you choose how the type of criteria you have chosen on the first box will narrow down your condition (e.g. is, is not, is before, is after, contains, does not contain, etc). It's like making a small sentence that describes what your condition will filter.
  • The third drop-down box defines the specific criteria that have to be fulfilled by the previous two boxes. The options available depend on your previous choices: it can be a drop-down list (e.g. if you have chosen Opened Campaign Name on the first box), date options (e.g. on Date Added), time spans, or time intervals (e.g. on Number of Campaigns Opened).

You can click on the Add more conditions button if you need to narrow down the recipients of your automation workflow further by adding more conditions to the filter.

5. Click on the Save button to add the Control Step to your workflow.

 

E. Adding a time interval

Let's examine how to add a control step of the Time Interval variety. A time frame of your choosing (or a specific date that needs to be reached) is added between two steps of your automation by first going to the control steps pop-up as seen above (section A). 

Then, follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Wait a specific time interval option.

 

2. Click on the Wait for some time tab (this is the default option), fill in the time duration you want to wait until the next step in your automation takes place, and then select the measurement of time you want to use from the ones available in the drop-down menu.conditional_and_control_steps_7.png

Your options are:

  • minutes
  • hours
  • days
  • months

3. Click on the Save button to add the time interval to your workflow.

 

4. To wait for a specific date between two steps within your workflow, click on the Wait until a specific date tab.conditional_and_control_steps_8.png

 

5. Use the Select HourSelect Minute, and Timezone drop-down menus to specify the exact time, and timezone, for the next step in your workflow.conditional_and_control_steps_9.png

 

6. Toggle the Recurrency by day option to the right, if you wish to specify a specific day or days, for the next step to occur, at the time that you have already specified.conditional_and_control_steps_10.png

 

Your options are:

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Check the box next to a day in order to select it. You may select as many of the days of the week as you like. Note that if you don't enable this option, all days will be considered.


7. If you wish for the step to repeat on a specific day each month, toggle the Recurrency by date option to the right, and then use the drop-down menu to select the day, from the 1st to the 31st of every month, that you wish the step to be repeated on.conditional_and_control_steps_11.png

Note that if you don't enable this option, all days will be considered.

8. Click on the Save button to add the specific date/time you specified to your automation workflow.