The Campaign Designer's use of steps makes building a campaign a quick and intuitive task. Each campaign step determines which emails are triggered to go out to a subscriber, when they are triggered, and when to check to see if the subscriber has taken the appropriate actions to be moved on to the next step.
Adding campaign steps
On the Marketing Automation > Campaigns > Create page, you can begin the campaign-creation process. The grid-lined area is called the Canvas, while the left-hand side displays the steps for the campaign. To build a campaign, simply drag-and-drop each step of the campaign onto the canvas.
The power of an organized, clearly understood, and methodical campaign cannot be underestimated. These steps are the building blocks you use to automate your communications campaigns. Get creative, and don't be afraid to try something new or innovative!
Each step you can add to build your campaigns is listed and described below.
|This represents the mailing sent to the subscriber. You can choose from mailings that already exist or build new mailings from scratch.|
|There's nothing worse than having to rely on another program to provide information to you, especially if that's a manual step. The Notify step notifies internal staff when a subscriber reaches a certain step in the process, and is a great way to do process-oversight or inject some human outreach at critical junctures. This step supports a single email address, which can be an individual email address or the email address of a distribution list.|
|Getting to know your subscriber is critically important. Use the Profile step to automatically add or remove a subscriber to an interest based upon their behavior in the campaign. Let the automation do the work for you, and get better targeting capabilities as well.|
Establishing a cadence for the campaign is a key factor in how your subscribers react to it. The Wait step must be inserted before any and all Decide steps, but it can also be inserted after any step to add space in the campaign.
There are several different options in the Wait step, and they can be chained/linked together:
|A decision checks if a subscriber has performed a specific action like an open or a click, or check to see if they belong to a specific Target Group before moving the subscriber on to the next step. Both of these actions indicate some kind of conversion aligned with the campaign's goals.|
This step in the campaign designer branches a campaign based on the calendar date. It is particularly useful for fixed-date campaigns and events that can add late subscribers.
This step enables users to input a fixed date; if it is before the fixed date, the campaign will follow one path, and if it is after the fixed date, it will follow another. Typically, you’ll set a date in the future so that the flow can change when the date arrives.
|The Campaign step allows you to select another existing campaign to flow your subscribers into once they have reached a certain step in the campaign that they are already in. This is a great way to make campaigns reusable and flexible.|
|This simple feature is quite powerful: It allows you to have embedded documentation in each campaign. A good comment will include the rationale for a step, who's responsible, what can be changed, what metric to watch for, etc. Make liberal use of the comment.|
|Every campaign has a start and stop. The Campaign Designer lets you create multiple Stop steps on the campaign canvas. This step only has an input node, and it is used so that you don't need to draw a long line from a step to the final Stop step (this should help ease the design of long flows). Note that while you will see additional Stop steps in the flow, these will all end up at the final Stop step.|
Connecting campaign steps
Connecting campaign steps is how you map out the flow of a campaign. Each campaign step performs a specific action to ultimately determine which mailing is sent to a subscriber (e.g., the Wait step governs when the mailing is triggered, the Decision step checks to see whether the subscriber has taken a specific action and then moves them on to the next step, etc.
Connecting two steps is accomplished by clicking the arrow from the first step (that is pointing to the next step) and dragging your mouse to the arrow of the next step.
Keep in mind that Decide steps require you to make more than one connection, so that the campaign flow may continue no matter how the subscribers interacts with that step. As you can see in the example below, users can decide one of two options, and no matter which option they choose, additional steps are available for each path.
Deleting a connector
You can change the path between steps at any time by deleting their connection. To do so:
- Right click the connector.
- Select Cut from the menu.
Make sure that you reconnect those steps so that the campaign can ultimately be activated and put into use. If there are missing connectors between steps, the campaign will have errors that need to be addressed prior to activation.
Campaign Designer overview
Sometimes, the design of a campaign requires a large number of steps to create the flow and routing needed, but this can make it challenging to see the entire campaign on the Canvas. The following tools help you to navigate the canvas and view your campaign more efficiently.
The Navigator provides a bird’s eye view of the campaign. Click the dark blue Navigator tab on the right-hand side of the screen to expand that panel. You can then slide the selector box around to jump to that view in the main campaign display.
Additional Designer Tools
- Zoom - This slider increases and decreases the size of the campaign on the Canvas.
- Print - Print the Canvas view of your campaign.
- Take a Tour - Provides a step-by-step on-screen tour of the Campaign Designer interface. This is particularly helpful for new users of Campaign Designer.
- Align - Reorganizes the steps on the canvas. The steps remain in the same left-to-right order that they were placed on the canvas, but the spacing is adjusted to be as equal as possible and the connecting lines are straightened as mush as possible. Keep in mind that any comments on the canvas will be grouped together and placed in the lower-right corner of the canvas. See the two images below for an example of Align being used.
Before clicking Align