This feature requires Manager user level or higher and is part of paid features.
Use MailChimp’s Automation feature to streamline your recurring communications. After you set up your Automation workflow, your subscribers will receive the right emails at the right time.
This is a paid account feature, and is included with all Pay As You Go, Monthly, and High Volume Plans.
Below, you’ll learn how to create and edit an Automation workflow.
Before You Start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
- Before you create a workflow, familiarize yourself with Automation terminology and important differences between workflow types.
- After an Automation workflow starts, you can’t select a different list or change the workflow type or email order, because this would break the process for subscribers who are already in the workflow.
- On Pay As You Go Plans, an email credit is used for each email that goes to a subscriber via the Automation workflow, including test emails.
Create a Workflow
Automation workflows are built in a series of steps, just like regular campaigns. If you haven’t started building an Automation workflow before, start at the beginning. If you’ve started and saved your progress, you can skip to the next step in the process.
To create a new workflow in the Automation Builder, follow the steps below.
- Navigate to the Automation page.
Create Automation Workflow.
List and Workflow Step
On the first step of the Automation Builder, you'll choose your List and Workflow.
- Click the
Select a List drop-down menu and choose the list you want to send your Automation workflow to.
After you select your list, we'll display several preset workflow types based on different events you can use to trigger an Automation workflow. To use one of the grayed-out workflows, your list needs to meet the indicated requirements.
- Select the workflow you want to use.
You'll configure settings for the workflow as a whole on the Setup step. Each email's individual settings will be configured on the Emails step.
- Input the
From name, and
From email address.
- Check the boxes next to any additional settings or tracking options that you want to include.
On the Trigger step, you’ll set up your trigger and segmentation options.
- Confirm or customize your trigger. Some triggers appear by default based on the workflow type you selected, but others require additional information from you.
- Set additional workflow, segmentation, and sending options.
Workflow options vary based on the workflow you use. Below are some of the options and what they mean.
- Trigger workflow when subscribers are imported
Signup-based workflows, like Welcome message or Educate subscribers, display this option. Check the box to add subscribers to the queue who are imported via a list import.
- Add segmentation conditions
Send to an existing or new segment of your list.
- Send first email immediately to existing subscribers who meet conditions
We’ll search for existing subscribers who meet the conditions, and add them to the workflow queue. Existing subscribers will receive the first email as soon as the workflow is started, regardless of any preferences set under On what days should emails be sent and At what time should emails be sent.
- On what days should emails be sent
Choose the days your automated emails can be sent out.
- At what time should emails be sent
Allows you to choose the time of day on your selected days that your automated emails will go out. Click the drop-down menu to choose As soon as possible, Send at, or Only send between.
- When you limit sending times by day or time, subscribers may not receive the scheduled emails when you expect them to. If you use a date-based workflow, we strongly recommend sending all days of the week, because subscribers can miss an email completely if it falls on a day that you’ve chosen not to send on.
- After the workflow is started, you can pause your workflow to change segmentation and delivery settings.
You'll add, design, and organize your emails in your Automation workflow on the Emails step.
Create an Email
Some workflow types provide a recommended number of emails to add with one click.
Design Email to open the Email Designer.
- Input the
Email Information. These fields only refer to the specific email you are editing, not the entire workflow.
You can use Automation merge tags in your subject line to automatically display the numbered position of the email within the workflow. Click Next.
- Select the layout you want to use on the Template step of the Email Designer.
- On the Design step of the Email Designer, design your campaign.
- Click Finish to return to your workflow timeline.
Repeat this process to add up to 100 emails to your Automation workflow.
After the workflow is started, you can pause any email in your workflow to edit it, or add emails to the end of your workflow.
Set Workflow Timeline
You'll create your workflow timeline with a series of delay settings. Delays work differently for activity- or date-based workflows.
To set the delay from the Emails step of the Automation Builder, follow the steps below.
Change delay next to the email you want to edit.
- Input a whole number in the first field, and use the drop-down menu to choose
days, hours, weeks, or immediately. To ensure the delay works properly, choose a number between 1 and 999, and do not use decimals.
- Click Save.
After the workflow is started, you can pause any email in your workflow to change the delay.
You can drag and drop emails in an activity-based workflow to reorder them. After a workflow is started, emails can’t be reordered.
Delay times in a workflow are independent from the emails. When you move emails in the workflow from the Emails step, the delay times remain in their same positions in the workflow. Be sure to review your delay times after you organize your emails.
- Click and hold the three dots next to the email you want to move.
- Drag the email into the correct place on the workflow.
Date-based workflows can’t be reordered this way, but you can change the delay to reorder them in the sequence.
The Confirm step is where you’ll review your workflow for the last time.
- Review the Pre-delivery Checklist, and test each of your emails if you haven’t already. Click Resolve or Edit to make changes to any section of the workflow.
- When you’re finished reviewing, click