📌 Note: Additional Automations can be purchased as add-ons. For more information on adding new features please see the add-ons page in your nation.

Table of Contents

Introducing Workflows

Workflows is a new area of the product where chains of actions and reactions can be set up to automate tasks within your nation. We intend to grow this beta feature over time, but for now, you can start with an email series. This will allow you to have multiple emails in an automation with set time delays between each email. 

Create a new automation

  1. Start by navigating to the Workflows section in the navigation's sidebar.

  2. Then, you can select "New automation".

  3. A pop-up modal will display where you can give your automation a name and description.

Choose the source of an automation

Note: Automations triggered from a page action are only available to those on the Team plan or above.

Now, pick who you want to send this automation to. Automations can have either a list or a page as the source.

 5. When you choose a list of people as the source, everyone on the list will have the emails in the automation sent to them. People added to this list after the automation has been run will not be added to the automation.

6. When you choose a page as the source of an automation, people who take action on that page will be added to the automation. If your page is configured to send an autoresponse, the autoresponse will be displayed in the automation timeline. Currently, you can set a Signup, Petition, Event, or Donation (V2) page as the source for an automation.

7. You can set a tag in the database to act as exclusionary criteria for the automation. If a person who has any of the selected tags on their profile when the are added to the automation, they will be prevented from receiving emails. Note: tag exclusions only apply to emails within the automation, and not to autoresponses sent by the page.

8. Once you've configured a source and any exclusion tags, you'll be prompted to set up the first automated email. Select your Broadcaster, enter the Email name, click Save and Continue and you will be taken to the email editor. (You can start from scratch or you can clone an existing mailing to use as a starting point).

📌Note: All you need to enter is the Email Name. (The slug will be generated for you in the background, and you'll be able to change it later if you need to).

Set up an email within an automation 

Now, you're ready to craft your email. It will be just like setting up an email blast. However, the banner at the top lets you know that you're configuring this email as part of an automation.

To set up your email in your automation:

📌 The email will not be sent until you actually run the automation and you've finished adding steps to the workflow. There is no "Add Recipients" section (unlike a standard email blast), since you define your audience in the automation settings.

Congratulations! You've set up the first email in your automated series. If you need to edit the email, you can use the edit link to open the sidebar again:

Once you've added at least one email to the workflow, you can set the automation live by clicking the Run button in the top right. If only have one email in your automation the following message will appear:

📌 Note: An automation must contain at least 1 email to be run. There are 3, 5, or 10 allowed emails per automation for Starter, Pro, and Enterprise plans, respectively.

Adding more steps to an automation

To add more steps to your automation:

  1. Click +Add below your first email step.

2. You'll be asked to add either a time delay or an action. The time delay represents the number of days (or weeks) you want NationBuilder to wait before sending the next email in the series. 

📌 Note: It will be relative to when the previous action in your automation was completed (e.g. when it sent the first email).

3. After defining the desired a time delay, you'll be able to select an action to set up the next email in the series:

Run your automation

Once you're ready to set your automation live — i.e., send the first email and schedule the remaining emails — click the Run button in the top right. You'll be prompted to confirm before the first email is sent. If you're using a List as the source of an automation, your modal will look like this:

Once you confirm, the first email will go out, with the others will be sent out according to the time delay you defined.

If you've selected a page as the source of your automation, the modal will look like this:

Once you confirm, anyone who signs up on the page will be added to the automation.

You'll notice that there is now an indicator that the automation is running, and the Run button has changed to Pause:

Once emails have been sent as part of the automation, you can navigate to the Email results tab to see engagement metrics for your emails as that data comes in:

And, back on the Workflows dashboard, you'll see your running automation listed:

See who's in the automation

Once people are added to the automation, they'll be visible in the sidebar on the right that opens when clicking the badge next to the Source or a wait in an automation.

From here, you can see Everyone in the automation separate from those who are Emailable, and those who have been Removed.

If someone was added to an automation and should no longer be in it, you can remove them from the caret on the right hand of the sidebar listing. People can be added to lists here, too.

If you want to see the current enrollment status and history of a specific person, you can do so from within their profile under the Automations section.

Pause and resume an automation

Once an automation has been Run, you will have the ability to Pause it. Pausing will prevent the following scheduled emails in the automation from being sent. After clicking Pause, you'll be prompted to confirm:

Once you do, with a list as the source, there will be a yellow Paused indicator that will be displayed where your automation paused. The Pause button will now display the option to Resume:

With a list as the source of an automation, upon clicking Resume, you'll be shown when the next email will be sent, and asked to confirm:

While the automation is paused, you will be able to edit the "time delay" for that email to change when it will be sent once you resume.

With a page as the source of the automation, new people who sign up on the page while the automation is paused will be held in a queue:

When you resume, you'll be prompted to confirm that everyone should be included:

📌 Note: You'll be able to leave an automation paused for 30 days. When an automation is paused for longer than 30 days, it is automatically moved to the "Ended" status.

Ending an Automation

With a list as a source, once every person on the list has received every email in the automation, the automation will automatically be moved to the Ended status.

With a page as a source, the automation must be ended manually:

Once an automation has ended, roll-up information about the automation will be displayed:

Once an automation has been ended, it cannot be run again (we are exploring options for cloning or re-using automations in the future).

An automation can also be archived in Automations > Settings.

Manage access to Workflows

You can control access to workflow automations using permission sets. By default, only users with an Admin permission set will have access to Workflows. Admins can selectively enable automation features for other control panel users by editing their custom permission set:

View the automation history of a profile

Create a custom list of people
Create, edit or delete a permission set


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