How-to create an automation workflow

Introduction #

An automation workflow in SaaSBuilder is a sequence of steps that are executed whenever a certain event occurs inside your application. Such a workflow can be created by an end-user via the SaaSBuilder dashboard (no development required).

Some typical use cases of workflows in SaaSBuilder are:

  • You send a sequence of emails after a user has signed up
  • You send a thank-you email after a user has subscribed to 1 of your plans

We will show how you can create a workflow for your application.

Create a simple workflow #

When you select “Builders > Automation” in your SaaSBuilder dashboard, you get an overview of all existing workflows (initially empty of course). From the same page, you can also create a new workflow by clicking the “Add Workflow” card:

After you pressed “Add Workflow”, you start with an empty (not active) workflow:

We will now configure a simple workflow where we’ll welcome website subscribers with an email.

Let’s get started:

Give your workflow a name in the input box at the top (see 1 in the screenshot above), for instance ‘Welcome Subscribers’ and supply some extra information (see 2).

Specify a trigger by clicking on the plus sign just below ‘Triggers’ (see 3): your workflow will be triggered automatically whenever this event occurs. For our example, we selected the trigger “Tag added to contact”. On the right side, you can specify the specific tag: we select ‘web-subscriber’ (because we use this tag whenever a new contact is coming in via our marketing website: see the documentation about WordPress forms)

Remarks: 

  • This trigger works for both new contacts and existing contacts: this workflow will be triggered whenever the specified tag is added to the new or existing contact.
  • You can add the tag manually to any contact in your contact database (ideal for testing) or you could have other logic in place that adds the tag to the contact (example: someone subscribed via your website)
  • You can also specify multiple triggers for the same workflow by repeating the above process.

At this stage we have the following minimal workflow:

Now we’ll start to add actions to the action flow: press the plus button just below ‘Action flow’ to add the first action (see 4). Now select the “Send email” action. On the right side you can configure the details for the mail to be sent.

Let’s configure the email:

  • Fill in a valid “From” email address
  • Select the “To” checkbox of the “Send to triggered contact” property: this will automatically add the email address of the contact (that triggers the workflow) to the “To” list of the email.
  • Add email addresses to the Cc and Bcc lists of the email as needed
  • Add a subject
  • Then we have 2 options for the body (the actual text) of the email:
    • Inline: when you leave the “Body template” selection empty, then you can input the body content directly inline.
    • Using a content template: this requires that you first create the body content with the separate content builder and then you can select it from the “Body template” selector. This allows you to create more advanced designs with images and other types of content blocks.

At this stage, we configured a trigger and a first action (sending out an email), so we already have a functioning workflow. When we activate the workflow (by clicking on “Not active’: this will toggle to ‘Active’), then the email will be sent whenever the tag ‘web-subscriber’ is added to a new or existing contact.

Adding more actions to the workflow #

Let’s extend the workflow we created in the previous section so that: 1 week later we’ll send the same contact a reminder about our product/service.

So first we need to pause the workflow for 1 week. Simply press the plus sign at the bottom of our action flow again and select the ‘Wait’ action: 

On the right side, you can set the details of the Wait action: configure 7 days.

Finally, add the second email action by pressing the plus sign again, and select ‘Send email’.

Fill in all the details for the second email.

Summary #

In SaaSBuilder you can easily create workflows that automate certain tasks without having to write code. A workflow has always 1 or more triggers and then a sequence of actions that will be executed in that order.

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