Add an Automation

Automation allows you to create a targeted series of emails that send when triggered by a specific date, event, or subscriber’s activity. Use MailChimp’s marketing automation feature to streamline your recurring communications, and make sure your subscribers receive the right emails at the right time.

In this article, you’ll learn how to add an automation.

Before You Start

Here are some things to know before you begin this process.

  • Before you create an automation, familiarize yourself with automation terms and the differences between automation types.

  • Step-by-step instructions are different for the abandoned cart automation than what is presented in this article. Find out how to use the abandoned cart automation in our article  Create an Abandoned Cart Automation.

  • The From email address you specify for your automation is used on each email in the series. To change the From email address on an individual email, manually update the email’s settings in the automation.

  • On Forever Free and Pay As You Go Plans, an email credit is used for each email that goes to a subscriber via the automation, including test emails.

  • When you choose an automation type, be sure the default trigger and delay settings fit your needs before you start the automation.

  • Automation activity triggers aren’t available for the first email in a series.

Add an Automation

Automations are built in a series of steps, just like regular campaigns.

To add a new automation in the Automation Builder, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Automation page.

  1. Click Add Automation.
    ​ Image of add automation button with cursor

  2. On the Explore Automations page, click the automation you want to use, or search for an automation that fits your needs.
    explore automations landing page

  3. Click Add Automation.
    Image of add automation button with cursor

  4. In the Add Automation pop-up modal, input the name of your automation and select a list from the drop-down menu.
    Image of add automation popup modal

  5. Click Next.
    Image of next button with cursor

Edit Emails

For each automation type, we’ll automatically add a preset number of emails to the automation for you. In the Emails step of the Automation Builder, you’ll design each email's content and add, remove, and reorder the emails in your automation. You can also edit each individual email’s settings.


Design an Email

  1. Click Design Email.
    Design email button
  2. On the Setup step, input the field names for Name your email, Email subject, From name, and From email address for the specific email you’re working with. Fill in fields for email configuration in workflow
  3. To display the numbered position of the email in the automation, use Automation merge tags in your subject line.

  4. Click Next.

  5. On the Template step of the Email Designer, select your template.

  6. On the Design step of the Email Designer, design your email.
    Be sure to test each of your emails using our preview and test tools, or by sending yourself a test email.

  7. Click Save and Return to Workflow, to return to your automation timeline.
    To change the trigger, delay, schedule, segment, or activity settings, or to reorder emails in your automation, edit the automation on the Emails step of the Automation Builder.

Edit Workflow Settings

Your overall automation workflow settings include your Workflow name, From name, From email address, and tracking options. To access your workflow settings, navigate to the Emails step of the Automation Builder and click Edit Workflow Settings.

Confirm and Start

Now that you’ve designed your emails and configured your workflow settings, it’s time to review everything and start your automation!

  1. On the Confirm step, review the checklist provided and click Resolve or Edit to make any changes to your automation.
    Confirm step checklist overview
  2. When you’re ready, click Start Workflow to start sending your automation.
    Cursor hovers over the Start Workflow button.
    Nicely done. We’ll take care of everything else, so you can get back to work.

Was this article helpful?
What can we do to improve articles like this?

Technical Support