Automation menu -> Automation Center

On the Automation Center page, you can view a list of existing programs, their status and creation date; you can also edit existing programs, view their summary after launch or delete them (if necessary).

Contents

See also:

And for a full descrpition of all the workspace nodes, see:

Creating a program

There are two ways to create a program:

  1. Create Blank Program
    This opens the workspace for you to create your own program from scratch.
  2. Create Program From Blueprint
    This displays the Blueprints dialog box, where you can:

    • Use the Blueprint category menu to filter all the available preconfigured blueprints, e.g. based on Customer Lifecycle segment.
    • Choose from a selection of blueprints; selecting one displays it in the Preview pane below.

Select the option you want and click Create to open the workspace. Here you have a menu on the left which contains all available workspace nodes, plus a title and action bar at the top. Hover the mouse over the icons to get more information on what they do.

To name a brand new program, simply click the edit icon next to the title (default name is New Program #) and include a description.

Contact participation settings

The participation settings determine how frequently, and how often, a contact can enter a program. Click Participation on the program title bar to open the dialog.

ac-participation-settings

  • Standard entry criteria are based on whether or not a contact has already entered the program, and if so, how recently.
  • Advanced entry criteria assume that the contact has been through the program once already, and are based on when they last exited it.

The settings you define here will be applied to the program at the node which displays the cog wheel icon. This will be the entry node of a transactional program, or the first segment node in a recurring program.

ac-participation-settings-icon

The participation settings you define will also apply to the program when it is in testing. Please note also that using the advanced settings may have an impact on your program’s performance (see: Troubleshooting).

Notes:

  • One-time batch programs cannot have participation settings enabled due to their automated nature.
  • ‘Contact’ here means a unique contact ID. If an existing person is re-registered with the same email address but with a new ID they will not be excluded and could enter the program more than once.

Defining exit criteria

Exit criteria are an easy way to remove contacts from a program as soon as your objective has been reached.

For example, if you have a trial period for your product during which a contact does not have to pay, you may want to set up a conversion program. Your objective is to convert each contact to a payment plan by sending a series of daily emails with useful information, and maybe even incentives as the end of the trial period approaches. As soon as the contact has signed up to the payment plan, you don’t want to send them any more of these conversion messages.

Instead of adding a filter after every Wait node, you can simply specify exit criteria. This automatically applies a filter with these criteria before every wait node and before the entry point. Once a contact fulfils the criteria (i.e. has signed up) they are removed from the program and cannot re-enter it.

To define such criteria, first create a segment that will identify the contacts you want to exlcude. Then open the program and click Exit Criteria on the program title bar. Here you define a program-level setting for what criteria are used to remove a contact from a program. There are two options:

  • No exit criteria – No program-level settings are used.
  • Segment Based criteria – Select from your available segments to remove a contact from the program when they meet the criteria (e.g. made a purchase).

If there are exit criteria defined:

  • The number of contacts who left the node due to these criteria will show up in the tooltip of the numbers of that particular node.

ac-exit-criteria-numbers

ac-exit-criteria-numbers-tooltip

The total number of contacts who exited the program due to the exit criteria will be reported on the right side.

ac-exit-criteria-exited-contacts

Saving a program

Click the Save icon on the workspace Actions bar. The Automation Center validates the program before saving (see below), but it does not have to pass the validation check in order to be saved. It is a mere indication of the state of the program.

Validating a program

For a program to be activated, it must fulfill a number of conditions. For example, all nodes must contain content, and must have the mandatory settings defined (e.g. subject line for emails).

Every time you save a program, the validation errors are displayed in the bottom right of the workspace for a few seconds (you can pin them to the user interface by clicking the pin icon) and above the affected nodes. Hover your mouse over the icon for details of the error.

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Errors in program settings are checked and displayed on Activation.

Scheduling a program

  1. Click the Schedule icon on the program Title bar and make your selection from the drop-down menu; you must specify a start date in the future.
  2. Click Set Schedule.

Note: Before a program can be scheduled, it must have passed all validation checks.

Scheduled programs can be paused, in which case they will not become active when their start date is reached. If the start date has already passed when you re-activate the program, you receive a warning message that the program will start immediately, and you have the option to change the start date to a date in the future.

Activating a program

Clicking Launch in the Program Status drop-down starts the program, unless a start date in the future has been entered. Provided all validation checks have been passed, the program is now live and contacts can enter and progress along it as expected.

Once a program is active, there are a number of other actions you can perform in the Program Status drop-down.

Deleting a program

To remove a program, go to the Program List and click the Delete icon next to the item you want to delete. Programs can only be deleted if they have not yet been activated, and are not currently under Testing (i.e. they have to be in the state in Design).

Deleting the program will free all associated resources (forms, fields, emails, etc.) for use in other programs. The exception to this are emails which have already been launched during a test. To re-use these emails you must copy them.

Program summary

To see a summary of a program click the view view_details_icon icon to open the Program Summary.

Program lifecycle

The program lifecycle statuses can be grouped into four phases:

Within each phase, changing between the statuses can be done without any restrictions, but changes between the phases can only happen in the order outlined above.

In design lifecycle phase

  • In design – The program is not running, any kind of editing is allowed.
  • Testing – The program is running, but the number of participating contacts is limited to 50.

Active lifecycle phase

  • Active – The program is running.
  • Paused – New contacts can enter the program, but they will not advance in it. Contacts in the program are queued at the next node.

    • Error/Failsafe – This is a sub-category of the Paused status, but this happens only if there is a problem during the execution of the program, and only Emarsys can re-activate the program.
  • Frozen – New contacts cannot enter the program. Contacts in the program are queued at the next node.

Finished lifecycle phase

  • Active finished – The program is running, but no additional contacts can enter.
  • Paused finished – Same as the Paused status, but the end date of the program has passed, thus no new contacts can enter.

Aborted lifecycle phase

  • Aborted – The program is stopped and emptied, all contacts are cleared from it.