About Automation

This feature is only available on paid accounts.

MailChimp Automation allows you to create a targeted series of emails that send when triggered by a specific date, event, or subscriber’s activity. Our Automation Builder features powerful segmenting, scheduling, and design tools in one easy-to-use package, so you can send emails that inform, reward, and engage your subscribers, automatically.

In this article, you’ll learn about Automation and how you can use it in your email marketing plan.


When we talk about Automation, we use some terminology that's a little different from how we talk about other tools and tasks in MailChimp. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the terminology before you get started.

  • Automation
    An email or series of emails sent to a subscriber based on a specific trigger.
  • Workflow
    The settings for distributing a series of automation emails.
  • Email
    A single campaign that's part of your automation. At MailChimp, we usually call emails "campaigns," because they reach many subscribers. With automation, we call them "emails," because a single email goes to a targeted subscriber, more like an email you would send personally.
  • Delay
    The period of time between two emails in an automation.
  • Queue
    A batch of subscribers who have met an automation's criteria, and are waiting to receive the next email in an automation.
  • Trigger or Event
    The catalyst that starts an automation. For example, someone subscribes to your list or purchases a particular product.

How Automation Works

A regular campaign sends to your subscribers at the time you choose. With an automation, emails are sent automatically to specific subscribers as they meet your trigger and sending criteria.

Choose an automation, create one email or a series of emails, and set your sending criteria. We’ll use activity and subscriber data to determine who should receive your emails and when. After you set up an Automation, MailChimp will manage your subscriber queue and email sends, so your emails get to the right people at the right time.

What You Can Do with Automation

For email marketers whose subscribers have a clear path from signup to conversion or repeat engagement, Automation can streamline your communications process. Depending on your business model, you might send a birthday coupon once a year or a series of solicitations every few days.

When you convert regularly sent campaigns to automations, you’ll reduce the amount of time you spend on design and increase your ROI.

About Workflows

A workflow is the schedule and trigger settings for your automated emails. Trigger settings cover a variety of different criteria, like a subscriber’s birthday, sign up date, or when someone makes a purchase or downloads a file. MailChimp offers many preset automation types with built-in triggers and other configuration details for common activities. If our pre-built options don't fit your needs, a custom automation type is also available.

After a subscriber receives the first email in an automation, they’ll receive every email in the series in sequence, unless they are removed from the automation. You can edit triggers for any email in your automation when you pause sending.

About the Automation Page

The Automation page gives an overview of each automation and its performance statistics, including automation trends. Trends are shown as percentage changes above the Open rate, Click rate, and Sends values, and compare the previous calendar day’s numbers to the daily average. To see more information about your autom's ongoing performance, click View full report.
example slat

You can also hover over an active automation to see the total number of opens and clicks.

hover over stats

When an automation includes multiple emails, its content image displays as a stack. Hover over the content stack to see total number of emails in an automation. If the automation is active, you will also see the total number of paused and draft emails. 

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