With the Visual Workflow Builder, SharpSpring offers an interface for you to develop and visualize the journeys for your leads. Build simple or complex automation workflows using a combination of triggers and/or filters to fire off actions or action groups. You can use the Visual Workflow Builder to construct diagrams of your leads' journeys to control the paths they are taking toward conversion. This article will provide information on the various aspects of the Visual Workflow Builder.
The following user roles can create visual workflows:
- Marketing Managers
Understanding Visual Workflows
A visual workflow is a sequence of triggers, filters, and actions. A trigger is required to start a visual workflow.
|action||An event that happens as a result of an action group running.
An example of an action is a trigger immediately sending an email.
|filter||An optional part of an automation task that is used to narrow the
scope of triggers. Filters are only tested when triggers are fired.
|trigger||An event that results in an action group running. Only triggers
can start an action group, and at least one trigger is necessary
to perform any automated action.
For more information on automation terminology, refer to Understanding Automation Terms.
Creating Visual Workflows
To create a visual workflow, do the following:
To delete an item, click Delete. Deleting an item higher in the workflow will delete all items directly following it.
Note: You can edit an existing visual workflow by typing in the Filter Workflows field for the specific visual workflow, then clicking the name to open it.
Note: Every visual workflow must begin with a trigger, which is the initial event that begins the workflow.
Note: You can view the performance of your visual workflow, including the total number of times the visual workflow has run, on the main visual workflows page.
Previewing and Editing Content
You can preview sites, emails, forms, pages, and certain media assets from within the Visual Workflow Builder and quickly jump to them to edit those assets.
With a visual workflow, you can see every aspect of your automation from a single interface, which makes this an ideal centerpiece for your marketing strategy. Workflows have the following available triggers:
• Click the send the email action or visits from the email trigger
to see a preview of the email.
• Click the Edit icon to edit that email directly in the
• Click the form trigger to see a preview of the form that
people are filling out.
• Click the Edit icon to edit that form directly in its
• Click the media center trigger to see a preview of that media
center link (except .PDFs).
• Click the Edit icon to edit the settings for that Media
• Click any site trigger or filter to see a preview of that website,
or an unavailable message for unavailable website previews.
• When previewing the visits from the page trigger, only
tracked sites will show up as a preview since this trigger
relies on the page to have tracking code.
Exporting Visual Workflows
To export and download a visual workflow as a .PDF file, do the following:
Note: The process for downloading .PDF files can vary based on browser type and .PDF reader application.
Gated and Open Triggers
The Visual Workflow Builder includes options for triggers to have them fire if the trigger condition was met. This condition interacts with the referenced item originating in the specified workflow and action group. Gated and open triggers are available for any branching trigger. These trigger options are as follows:
- Gated Trigger: Only fire the trigger if the email is sent as part of this workflow.
- Open Trigger: Allow this trigger to fire even if the email is sent as a smart email, to a list, or through another group.
Gated and open triggers allow you to create multiple scenarios within the same visual workflow. These triggers allow for the option, on a trigger-by-trigger basis, to choose whether conditional logic should apply, or whether any lead action that meets that condition should fire the trigger.
For example, a trigger for visits from the email with a parent action that sends that email will only fire if a visits from that email was sent from the parent action group, and will not fire if that email is sent as a smart email, to a list, or through another action group.
To utilize open and gated triggers, do the following:
You can start a visual workflow with multiple triggers. However, it is important to note that these triggers will be evaluated as an or condition. Meaning a lead could fulfill trigger A or trigger B or trigger C, and be added to an action group. The option for and triggers is not available in the visual workflow builder. Instead, use a single, more generic trigger combined with filters to create unique communication branches.
Note: When selecting Remove from Parent Action Group, the workflow will branch off and will no longer be connected to the original workflow. The lead will no longer be associated with the original workflow and will now receive actions on this new branch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I save a visual workflow?
A. Triggers, filters, and action groups are saved automatically once they are added to the visual workflow.
Q: What are the differences between action groups and branches?
A: Reusable action groups are a collection of standalone events that can be referenced within a visual workflow or be manually scheduled to a list. Branches are not action groups. Branches refer to a collection of actions created for use only within a visual workflow. As the name implies, this collection of actions branch out from the action group and are dependent upon additional criteria in order to function. Branches will not be added as reusable, standalone action groups.
Q. Will my visual workflows and action groups display in the normal Task or Action Group pages, and vice versa?
A. Visual workflows will remain separate from the pre-existing tasks and action groups. These will not be accessible on the same page.
Q. How do I make changes outside of an action group?
A. The action group must be saved prior to making any changes outside of the action group.
Q. Can I rename the branches in my visual workflow?
A. Yes. To rename the branch, simply click on the green bar above your action group and type in a new name. The name will save automatically.
Q. How can I see how far a lead is in a visual workflow?
A. On the Memberships tab of the lead record, the visual workflow name will display, followed by the name of the specific branch a lead has taken part in. You can see aggregate usage, including the last time the visual workflow ran, on the main visual workflows page.
Q. Can visual workflows be repeatable?
A. Visual workflows are repeatable if the action groups are repeatable.
Q. How do time delays work in visual workflows?
A. Time delays in the visual workflow builder are structured around the timing of the prior event. The visual workflow builder does not use from start time delays. When adding time delays to a visual workflow, that delay is timing iterative from the previous event.