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. 

📌 Note: This feature is currently in Beta. 

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.

  4. Now, pick who you want to send this automation to.
  5. For this phase of the beta, you're able to choose a list of people as the source.

6. Once you've selected a list, 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:

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 a time delay. 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 again prompted to set up this 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:

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

Once every person on the list has received every email in the automation, the automation will automatically be moved to the Ended status. Once an automation has ended, it cannot be run again (we are exploring options for cloning or re-using automations in the future).

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, 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:

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.

📌 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.

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:

Related HOWTOs

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


Did this answer your question?