Campaign automation is a robust nurturing tool that can send your participants down different paths based on specified criteria. But what if you want to dynamically stop participants in a campaign automation path instead of moving them forward?
For example, let’s pretend your business has different service packages or levels—silver, gold and platinum—and each sales level has a different campaign automation associated with it. Your customer, Vickie, is a gold-level customer who upgrades her service package to platinum. But Vickie is in the middle of the gold campaign automation, and the campaign automation has another 10 days and two email sends left until completion.
Naturally, you wouldn’t want Vickie to continue receiving email communications that are no longer relevant to her service package. You could manually go into the campaign automation and stop Vickie’s participant timeline to prevent her from moving forward, but that may not be the most efficient method.
Instead, you could build in checkpoints at various points in the campaign automation to verify if the participant should move forward or if their timeline should terminate because of a status change.
One important caveat: the criteria that determines whether a participant should move forward or get pulled out of the campaign automation must exist as a field on the lead or contact record. So, for our example, service level would need to be a field on the lead or contact record that we could reference in a campaign automation decision node.
To dynamically or automatically remove participants out of a campaign automation pipeline, first you will need to create the field you’re going to use as criteria (if it doesn’t exist already). Go to any lead or contact record and open the CRM form editor. For my example, I created an option set with the three levels we referenced above.
Add this field to your lead or contact record, save and publish. Also, be sure to publish your metadata at this point.
Then, build your campaign automation, or take an existing campaign automation and add some extra actions to the canvas. When you split off a path into two options, continuing through the campaign automation or going into the negative path, a purple decision node will appear.
Click on the decision node to open it. In the decision node, if the service level equals gold, it will move the participant forward to the next step in the campaign automation. If the service level does not equal gold, move the participant into the negative path. The wait timer preceding the decision node allows for the recipient to have enough time to interact with the email itself or to fulfil the email’s call to action before the decision node’s service level check.
You can use the negative path to perform a variety of activities that may be relevant for your business needs. For example, if Vickie moves from gold to another service level, you can use a Remove from List action on the decision node’s Does Not Equal path to not only terminate her forward movement in the campaign automation, but also remove her from the gold-level marketing list simultaneously. Or you could have the terminating path notify a user or team in CRM for a follow-up, or create a task activity or campaign response. Another easy solution would be to add a wait timer with a short timespan (like five minutes), so when the participant hits the decision node, if the service level has changed from gold, the participant will move into the wait timer. That means after five minutes, their timeline will be completed, preventing them from going further down the campaign automation.
You can add these decision node checkpoints before each new section of the campaign automation to periodically remove participants that are no longer relevant to this automated process. When and if the customer’s Service Level value is changed or not would depend on your company’s internal processes. Like a workflow updating the Service Level field’s value when a record in CRM is created or a sales person updating the field value manually as discussed in a previous blog post.
Service level or sales package is only one example of how to use this automation setup. You could also look for a score value, a lead rating, a created-on date and more. The possibilities are endless!