Journey triggers

To create an automated journey, you start by choosing a “trigger” which determines how and when the emails will be sent. The trigger might be based on subscriber activity, like an online purchase, or it could be associated with people's birthdays. When the specified activity takes place, or the date rolls around, the journey will be triggered to send.

Get started by opening Automation in your account, then click Create a new journey. You'll be prompted to name the journey, choose a list to send to, and select a trigger:

Note: The trigger can't be changed after you've started adding steps to a journey, but if you make a mistake you can save your work by copying the journey to the same list.

Subscriber joins a list

Choose this trigger to automatically send emails to new subscribers or customers. The journey you've created will be triggered to send when someone subscribes to your list through a signup form, or is added individually to a list through an API call.

Beyond a standard welcome email it could be used, for example, to deliver a training course over a few months, guide potential customers through a product trial, or to send out chapters of an e-book.

IMPORTANT: Importing a list of subscribers, manually adding subscribers, or bulk importing subscribers through the API will not trigger the journey.

Segment-based triggers

There are two types of segment-triggered journeys: when someone enters a segment, and when someone exits a segment.

Subscribers become members of a segment when data associated with their subscriber profile matches a segment's rules. A subscriber can also affect which segment they belong to by changing their subscriber preferences.

Some useful information before getting started:

  • Your selected subscriber list needs at least one segment to use these triggers.
  • A segment-triggered journey will only be triggered the first time someone enters or exits the segment.
  • If your segment-triggered journey contains multiple emails, they will keep sending until completion, even if a subscriber exits or re-enters the segment part way through.
  • Segment-triggered journeys can be triggered if you change an existing segment rule, which in turn changes that segment's membership.

Subscriber enters a segment

This journey will trigger when subscriber details match the rules set in a segment. This journey type can only be triggered once per email address. It can be used to send timely, personalized journeys based on contact behaviour or data. For example, a welcome package when a customer reaches VIP status, or a re-engagement campaign for subscribers who haven't opened any emails in a while.

Subscriber exits a segment

This journey will trigger when subscriber details no longer match the rules set in a segment. This journey type can only be triggered once per email address. You could use this trigger, for example, to re-engage with customers who haven't used your product for some time.

Date-based triggers

To use a date-based trigger for a journey you first need to set up a date custom field for the list you're sending to. There are two types of date triggers, as explained below. In both cases you can set up the journey to begin on, or before, the trigger date:

By default, date-based workflow emails are sent at midnight in your local time zone. This means the start of the day, not the end. Be mindful of this when setting up, or testing, date-triggered journeys that have today's date in the "date" custom field.

To send a date-triggered email after the trigger date, add a delay step in the journey designer. For example, add a delay of 9 hours so emails arrive in the inbox at a few minutes past 9am instead of a few minutes past midnight.

A date

Choose this trigger for customer journeys based on a specific date, for example, a purchase date, an appointment due date, or the end date of a free trial period.

An anniversary of a date

The "anniversary of a date" trigger runs every year on the specified day and month recorded in a subscriber's date custom field. This trigger is often used for birthdays, but has plenty of other use cases. For example, a car dealership could send a reminder email to new car customers to book their first annual service.