Automations are the fairy godmothers of the internet: you tell them to do stuff for you, and they do. 🧚♀️✨ It's a hands-off experience that rids you of tedious and error-prone manual work by manipulating data on your behalf in accordance with your commands.
In this article we extoll the benefits of automating FULL FABRIC – please read it if you haven't yet –, so here we're gonna show you how to build an automated workflow.
What is an automated workflow?
An automated workflows is a series of actions which profiles enter when they meet certain criteria.
For example, an automated workflow to send profiles an automatic email informing them that their application is incomplete when they are moved to "Applicant, incomplete" state could look as follows:
What are the different kinds of automated workflows can I set up in Full Fabric?
It is possible to set up automation workflows in the following areas in Full Fabric, each of which have particular start and exit conditions relevant to their area:
Lifecycle workflows - start/exit conditions based on transitioning to a particular lifecycle state for a group of classes/courses
Classes - start/exit conditions based on transitioning to a particular lifecycle state for one specific class
Applications - start/exit conditions based on starting/submitting an application
Events - start/exit conditions based on registration/ attendance of an event
Forms - start/exit conditions based on submitting of a form
Offers - start/exit conditions based on making/ accepting/ declining an offer
How to set up an automated workflow
1) Enter the tab Automation and click Add workflow
2) Define a trigger to set the workflow in motion
3) Add any additional conditions
4) Define the actions and wait periods
5) Establish an exit condition – a finish line that, once crossed to victory, terminates the workflow early
This is the general picture, but for the sake of clarity, we'll proceed to isolate each step in order to take a closer look now:
Additional workflow conditions
The purpose of this function, which is optional, is to impose additional criteria that must be fulfilled to kick off the automation. For Events and Forms, the criteria is based on the responses to the fields in the schema.
Suppose, for instance, that you'd created a checkbox titled: WHEN ARE YOU PLANNING TO START YOUR MBA?, and, for this workflow, you'd like to specifically target the people who checked 2020 as their year of choice:
You'd then have to set that answer as the condition's VALUE, writing it in exactly the same manner as you did in the schema:
For applications, the criteria is the Primary choice programme selected by candidates. Consequently, all you have to do is tap inside the CONTEXTS box to cycle through your school's programmes and campuses and multi-select attributes:
As for classes, The capacity of the product is the criteria, as defined in the class Details tab. Pick Below the maximum capacity or Above or equal to the maximum capacity, as appropriate:
The logical operator is always AND. There's no restriction on the amount of conditions you can have. The exception is Offers, which doesn't support additional conditions.
Altogether, up to 13 actions can be automated, either in the same workflow (if the audience is the same), or in separate workflows (if you want to do different things to different people):
Although many of the actions are self-explanatory, some comments are in order:
➜ Send email and Send email to profile are the same automation under different names. The second name appears on modules that also let you Send email to staff to avoid confusion between the two. Unique to Offers and classes is the option to just generate a draft instead of dispatching the email.
➜ You have to define whether you're sending marketing correspondence or not when employing the Send email and Send email to profile actions by selecting Yes, only subscribed profiles will receive this email or No, all profiles will receive this email (default), under IS THIS A MARKETING EMAIL?. Marketing emails are only sent to subscribed users and contain an unsubscribe link in the footer, as well as the recipients' latest marketing policy agreement.
➜ Send email to staff and Send notification have distinct purposes: the former is an actual email whereby you pick an EMAIL TEMPLATE and write a SUBJECT; the other is just a generic warning letting staff know that a form was freshly submitted.
➜ Wait works in conjunction with the Send email ACTION to schedule a date to send the email, instead of sending it immediately whenever a registration is submitted that matches the workflow requisites. That way, you can schedule a series of emails to be sent in a particular order and at different specified times, in order to sustain engagement over time and educate users about your programmes, your school or even a career goal. All you have to do is determine a relative date, click Add step to define which email you want to send, and repeat for follow-up emails, like so:
Every email in the sequence must be preceded in the workflow by a Wait ACTION indicating the respective send date to nicely spread out the communications.
➜ Add profile to class and Add profile to classes by names or ids accomplish the same, but very differently. The former works by invoking the target intake by name, as (multi-)selected from a dropdown menu:
In contrast, the latter asks you to identify the input field in the schema where you gathered submitters' intake of interest. Then, depending on the programme and class defined by the submitters, one of the following things will proceed to happen:
If the options in the input field match the names or ids of the programmes, the profiles will be added to the next upcoming intake of the programme they chose;
But if the options correspond to the class names or ids, the profiles will be added to the class they specified themselves.
Exit conditions derive their name from the outcome they result in, which is a profile exiting a workflow upon a certain objective being attained. In other words, an exit condition defines when profiles exit the workflow: once the profile has fulfilled the exit condition, none of the subsequent actions in the workflow are triggered for that profile. Therefore, exit conditions are meant for workflows containing multiple steps with waiting in between.
What happens is that, upon establishing an exit condition – say, user starts any application or user submits any application –, the workflow will constantly evaluate its profiles against the condition until they effectively start or submit an application. When that moment comes, the profiles in question are removed from the workflow, even if outstanding tasks remain.
But let's examine an example: in the workflow below, belonging to a form, the plan is to firstly tag the profile and send it an email, wait three days, send another email, wait four days, and then finally send the final email. Now let's imagine someone enters the workflow, is in the three day period, but in the meanwhile starts an application – the rest of the workflow is cancelled, meaning that the emails "GMAT tips here!" and "Interview next week" won't be sent anymore.
This type of dynamic serves goal-oriented workflows, such as lead nurturing marketing campaigns, which work up to a specific feat. Since everything boils down to realizing said feat, remaining tasks are made redundant once it's in the bag, accounting for why they must be ceased.
If you don't want to employ an exit condition, just keep the default all actions have been completed.
What happens when I edit a live workflow?
Editing a live workflow, where profiles are currently in the workflow, and it is "in progress" and have not exited yet, will only affect future profiles that enter the workflow and will not affect those profiles where the workflow is in progress.
You have reached the end of this article. Thanks for reading! 🤓 If you have any questions or comments on the topic at hand, or if you enjoy reads like this and have article requests, let us know. Also, please leave a rating below. Your feedback is highly appreciated! 💖
PUBLISHED: February 18, 2020
LAST UPDATED: January 3, 2022 at 2:03 p.m.