Automation rules are a versatile tool that can be configured to trigger a variety of actions.
In many ways, they work as "virtual community assistants" that allow you to automate time-consuming tasks that have to be performed across your Community Essentials site daily, weekly, or monthly.
Tasks that you can automate
- Send emails to users across your community site, based on a set of criteria
- Give ribbons to users
Watch the video
Watch the Higher Logic Academy video that covers what automation rules are and how to configure them; best-practice automation rules; and how to measure the impact of automation rules.
NOTE: Also check out our Automation Rule resources page which has guidelines, tips & tricks, and how-to videos.
Access automation rules
To access your automation rules:
- Access the Admin interface.
- Navigate to Automation > Automation Rules.
Manage automation rules
Before you can work with automation rules, the Community name and Community Manager email address must be specified on the Automation Rules > Settings page. If either (or both) of these values is missing, you'll see one (or both) of the following messages at the top of the Automation Rules page.
- Navigate to Automation Rules > Settings and specify the missing value (or values). Then return to the Automation Rules page to work with your automation rules.
On the Automation Rules page, all of the default automation rules are listed. Here, you can use the menus at the top to filter automation rules by:
- Scheduled status, and/or
TIP: Use multiple filters to further refine the list.
The Actions column has three management options:
- Add to/Remove from Schedule
Edit an automation rule
- Click Edit in a rule's Action column.
- On the Create/Edit Rule page, use the fields and options to configure the automation rule.
IMPORTANT: The fields, field labels, and dropdown options on this page will vary, depending on which type (Ribbon, Email, or Conversion) of automation rule you are editing.
EXAMPLE: When editing an Email automation rule, there is a Send this email to those who have not been affected by this rule option with "start" and "stop" sending fields. These help mitigate spamming users with unnecessary automation-rule emails. These fields are unique to Email type automation rules.
The Edit page
To edit an automation rule:
- At the top of the page, the Scheduled setting means that the rule is active and ready to be run per the defined schedule. You can toggle this to Un-scheduled to prevent it from running.
NOTE: The automation rule type field is disabled and locked based on the rule type.
- From the every contact who dropdown, either: i) type in the search field to quickly find a criterion OR ii) scroll and select a criterion; click Add. Repeat to add more criteria.
- The criteria are added to the gray shaded area in the middle of the page.
- When multiple criteria are selected, they can have either an AND or an OR relationship, controllable via the buttons to the right. Select the option best suited for your rule.
- Click the trash can icon to the left of a criterion to remove it.
- From the next dropdown, select a ribbon, email message, or conversion.
TIP: Click the Calculate Who Qualifies button to see how many users qualify for the rule.
NOTE: Here, Ribbon and Email type rules have a few more fields; Conversion does not.
- Name your automation rule.
- Optionally, specify a group name to group this with other automation rules.
- Click Save to have the rule run when designated by the schedule OR select Save and Run Now from the dropdown to run the rule immediately.
Schedule/unschedule an automation rule
You can schedule or unschedule an automation rule. A "scheduled" rule will run at the schedule/frequency set Rule Schedule on the Automation Rule Settings page. Ensure a rule is unscheduled if you don't want it to run.
To schedule/unschedule an automation rule:
- Click a rule's dropdown and select Add to Schedule or Remove from Schedule.
Your selection is automatically saved. The page refreshes and the Status column automatically updates.
View an automation rule's report
Each automation rule generates a unique report based on the criteria that are configured for it.
To view an automation rule report:
- Click the down arrow and select Reports to view the report in a new tab.
- On the Report page, you can see the dates on which the report was run, as well as download it in a variety of formats.
NOTE: These reports are unique to each automation rule; they are not the same as the reports that are accessible on the Automation > Reports page.