What Is An Action?
Actions are polite and wait until the previous step has completed, before directing the Subscriber to the next step in the automation. Picture a traffic light: you only proceed when the light changes from Red to Green.
Action icons are indicated by a green color, so just think “Ok it’s time to go again”.
5 Type of Actions
Here is a list of all of the things you can do with an Action step in a Visual Automation.
- Add to a Sequence
- Add / Remove a Tag
- Delay the Subscriber (i.e. hold them at this point in the Automation until an amount of time has passed)
- Move the Subscriber (i.e. have them start another Automation, exit this Automation, or remove them from another Automation)
- Apply a Custom Field
Add Subscribers to a Sequence
When you have a Form or Landing Page on your website, the common next step from the opt-in, would be to send these Subscribers some emails!
The most typical, and simple use case for an Automation is to have a Form as the entry point, and then an email Sequence as the next step. Here is what you need to do to achieve this:
• Add your Form as the entry point at the top of the Automation
• Click the (+) under the Form step to add another Action step
• Choose Email Sequence
• Type the name of your Sequence in the field below (or create a Sequence name and then hit the Enter key on your keyboard to create a New Sequence)
Remove a Tag From a Subscriber
Now you can remove a Tag from a Subscriber, just like you can add one. This will check if the Subscriber has a specified Tag and remove it if they do.
Delay the Subscriber
Delays are useful if you want Subscribers to wait for something else to complete, or simply to give them a “break” before something else happens. This can be helpful if you are surveying your audience to see what topic they are interested in.
We do this too!
We use this technique at ConvertKit to onboard new customers. In the first email there are two links, “New to Email Marketing,” and “Experienced”. Since people don’t always open emails right away, we built in a two day delay at the end of the Sequence to give people a little extra time to re-open and click the link.
Here’s a look at how a finance blogger may use delays also:
3 Ways to Move the Subscriber
You can have a Subscriber Start another Automation, Exit current Automation, or Remove them from another Automation.
To find these three options, under an Action Step, you'll click on Move Subscriber:
Once you click on Move Subscriber, you'll see three options.
1. Start Another Automation
This allows you to add a Subscriber to the beginning of another Automation. They will remain in both Automations. Multitasking like a pro!
An entry node will show up in that other Automation you have Subscribers added to, which will show the number of Subscribers who have entered via another Automation. This node would only show up once a Subscriber actually took this path. It will look like this. ⬇️
2. Exit Current Automation
This allows you to remove a Subscriber from the current Automation. It acts the same as the final “ END OF AUTOMATION” node. This is only available in Condition branches or Events when there are multiple in the same row. There has to be another path a Subscriber can take for this to work.
Once you add this node, you will notice the line ends there because subscribers can’t move past it:
3. Remove From Another Automation
This Action will check if the Subscriber is currently in another Automation and, if so, will remove them. This is handy for making sure Subscribers are not in two overlapping Automations at once, when moving them around!
- Actions are polite, waiting for the previous step to be completed.
- Actions direct Subscribers to the next indicated step.
- Actions can add a Tag, start a Sequence, or add a Delay.
- Actions can remove a Tag, add a Subscriber to an automation, or cause them to exit an Automation