Streamline your recurring communications using MailChimp's Automation tool. Once you set up your automation workflow, your subscribers will receive the right emails at the right time.

In this article:

Before you start

Keep these things in mind when you're creating your automation workflow.

  • Since workflows are triggered by a subscriber's action, if they don't trigger the first email, they won't receive any others in the series either.
  • Once an automation workflow starts, you can't make changes to the list, trigger, or email order, because these make up the foundation of your workflow. Changing them would alter the process for subscribers already in queue. You can add emails to the end of your workflow, or delete emails and workflows.
  • 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.
  • There is no limit to the number of emails you can create in an automation workflow.

Create a workflow

  1. Navigate to the Automation page.
  2. Click the Create Automation Workflow button.
    Button with Create Automation Workflow text.
  3. Click the Which list do you want to use? drop-down menu to choose the list that will receive your automated workflow.
    Drop-down menu showing available lists.
    You'll have the option to segment recipients later.
  4. Find the workflow type you want to work with, and click Select.
    Welcome message workflow tile with cursor clicking Select.
  5. Available workflows display based on the list you've selected. To use one of the grayed-out workflows, your list needs to meet the indicated requirements.
  6. On the Setup step, fill out the Workflow configuration fields and choose your tracking options. These settings will be applied to all the emails in your workflow. You'll configure each email's settings later.
    Fill in fields for workflow configuration
  7. Click Next.
  8. On the Trigger step, confirm or customize your trigger and segmentation options. Some triggers require more information from you, others are defaults based on the workflow type you chose on the List and Workflow step.
  9. The Emails step is where you'll add and design emails, organize them in your workflow and tell us when each email should send.
  10. On the Confirm step, look over the Pre-delivery Checklist and test your emails if you haven't already. Click Resolve or Edit to make changes.
  11. When you're finished reviewing, click Start Workflow.
    Blue button with Start Workflow text.

Add and edit emails

Automation workflows can have one email or a lot of emails. You'll add, design, and organize your emails in the Emails step.

Create an email

  1. Navigate to the Emails step.
  2. Click Add Email.
    Button Add Email.
    Some workflow types offer an option to bulk add a recommended number of emails.
  3. Click Design Email to open the email designer.
    Automation email slat showing cursor on Design Email button.
  4. Fill out the Email Information. These fields only refer to the specific email you are editing, not the entire workflow.
    Fill in fields for email configuration in workflow
  5. Click Next.
  6. On the Template step, choose your layout from basic templates, Themes, Saved Templates, or Code Your Own. Click Select next to the template you want to use.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Design your campaign in the email designer and click Finish.

When you're done creating your email, we'll take you back to the main Emails step, which displays your workflow timeline.

Set workflow timeline

The first email in your workflow will send when a subscriber meets the trigger criteria. Generally, delay times for subsequent emails are relative, meaning they're based on the previous email in the workflow. If you're using an absolute date-based workflow, your delay times will appear on the timeline before and after the trigger date.

  1. Navigate to the Emails step.
  2. Click Change delay.
    Click blue text to Change Delay.
  3. Choose when you want the email to go out. Input a number in the first field, and choose hour(s), day(s), month(s), or immediately.
    Delay configuration fields and drop-down menus.
  4. If you want to apply the same delay to all the emails in your workflow, check the box next to Apply to all. The immediately option is only available on the first email in a workflow.
  5. Click Save.

At any time, you can Send a Test Email or Save and Exit from the navigation bar.

Workflow options

List and Workflow step

While you're editing your workflow, you can change the workflow type or list you're using. Click List and Workflow on the navigation bar, make new selections, and continue editing.

Trigger step

On the Trigger step, you can segment your list and make other choices about the workflow queue.

  • Segment: Under the Build workflow heading, click the Add segmentation conditions box to view and set segmenting options.
  • Subscribers who meet the criteria: Check Send first email immediately to existing subscribers who these conditions if you want to add existing subscribers to the workflow queue. Check the box to send an Ecommerce360 workflow to a customer who spent $200 with you last month. Otherwise, that customer won't trigger the workflow until they spend another $200 in your store.
  • Trigger on import: Check Trigger workflow when subscribers are imported to include subscribers in the queue who were imported by you, via API or a third-party app. Use this option for signup-based triggers, to make sure that all your new subscribers receive your workflow emails, even if they didn't sign up through a MailChimp form.

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