If you couldn’t tell already, we are HUGE advocates for ActiveCampaign. In fact, we’ve built a lot of our business model around their platform. Did you know the ActiveCampaign platform includes a variety of recipes to help you get started building a new automation?
This is the first guide in our three-guide series on using automation recipes.
Automation recipes are basic templates we’ve created to give you a starting point when you go to create an automation. They’re designed to be easy to import into your ActiveCampaign account so you can easily tweak and adopt them for your business’ specific needs.
We’ve provided a variety of automation recipes to get you started in the Automations area of our platform, and to demonstrate the wide variety of business processes and functions that can be automated.
This guide is part of a series of guides we’ve created to walk you through our automation recipe “menu” and highlight some of the recipes within to help you generate ideas and get more comfortable with building out automations for your business.
In this guide, we’ll explain what automation recipes are, introduce you to the recipe menu, and highlight a few recipes designed to help you increase revenue and boost traffic to your website.
Why Use an Automation Recipe?
You always have the option to “Start from Scratch” when you go to create a new automation, but we know a blank slate can sometimes be overwhelming: finding ways to fit the start triggers, actions and logic together to create an effective automation for your business can be a challenge.
So whether you’ve already created a few automations or are completely new to our platform, you may find it helpful to see what an automation looks like and how all of its parts fit together to automate a specific business function.
To create a new automation in ActiveCampaign, click “Automations” in the top navigation menu to load the Automations Overview page. Then click the green New Automation button in the top right corner to open the “Automation Recipe” modal. This is where you’ll find categories of automations you can instantly import.
In our recipe menu, you can browse recipes by the following categories: Recommended, Increase Revenue, Increase Traffic, Automate Sales Team, Boost Contact Satisfaction, and Manage & Track Contacts.
Simply select the recipe you’d like to use from the menu, then click the green “Create” button at the bottom of the modal window, and the “Automation Setup Wizard” module will walk you through any modifications you need to successfully import the recipe into your account.
It may ask you which list you want to use, what sender information a campaign should use, and other details that will be unique to each account. We’ve included guidance at each step so you’ll know what selection to make.
You may need to leave the import process to create a new custom field or create a new list. When this, or any interruption, happens during the import process, don’t worry—the Import Wizard will save your place. The next time you edit the automation, the wizard will pick up where you left off.
Now that you know how to import an automation recipe, let’s go back to the menu categories to learn more about your options.
This category features recipes for automations most ActiveCampaign users could benefit from; no matter what you’re using our platform to achieve, there’s something for everyone here.
These recommended recipes will help you get the most out of our platform.
They can help you build some of the most tried-and-true automations for processes that include targeted follow-up by product interest, engagement tagging, product tagging, and sending abandoned shopping cart reminders.
You can also find the recipes featured here in the other menu categories that describe them. For example, the Product Interest Targeted Follow-up recipe can also be found in the “Increase Revenue” category.
We’ve highlighted several recipes below and labeled the ones that you can also find in the “Recommended” category.
If your main goal is to increase sales and boost your revenue, the automations in this category are designed to help you do just that.
They are further divided into subcategories according to the type of contacts you’re targeting: There are recipes that will help you follow-up with potential customers or leads (Prospect Follow-up) or current customers (Customer Follow-up).
Read on to learn about some of the recipes included in this category.
Product Interest Targeted Follow-up *RECOMMENDED*
This recipe is an example of a follow-up sequence targeting contacts with a particular interest. It will help you create an automation to deliver messages that align with the specific product that has caught a contact’s interest.
Since this automation is triggered when an “Interested in…” tag is applied to a contact, you may find it useful to explore the “Product Interest Tagging” recipe along with it. This recipe, found in the Track Contacts category, will help you set up an automation that applies interest tags to contacts when they signal interest in a product or category of products.
Part 1 & 2 – Abandoned Cart Reminder *RECOMMENDED*
This is a two-part automation series geared toward nudging contacts who place products in a shopping cart, but fail to complete the checkout process, into returning to make the purchase. (See the second automation in the series immediately below.)
With this series, and all the two-part automations, it’s very important that you import and activate both automations because they work together. They will not work if you only import and activate one part or the other.
Part 1 uses Site Tracking data to send an “abandoned cart reminder” email: After a contact visits your shopping cart page, the automation will wait three hours. Once the wait action expires, it will send a follow-up email encouraging the contact to come back and make a purchase. Make sure this campaign includes a link back to your shopping cart page. If you like, you might also include a time-sensitive coupon to further encourage contacts to take action.
If the contact completes a purchase at any time during that three hour wait, Part 2 will end the automation so that the contact won’t receive the abandoned cart email reminder. Part 2 is triggered when a contact visits the order confirmation page of your website, indicating that a purchase has been made.
Note: The three hour wait time may not make the most sense for your business, so feel free to modify this step in the automation to any wait time that works for you.
Note: This automation series will only work if your eCommerce platform has a distinct cart URL and order confirmation page URL.
Upgrade Incentive and Outreach
This recipe aims to help you increase upgrades by reaching out to your customers and providing them with incentive to upgrade. You could also use this automation to suggest related products to customers post-purchase.
The automation is triggered when a contact visits your upgrade or purchase page. If a day goes by and that contact hasn’t upgraded, the automation will send an email with a coupon code to incentivize upgrading.
After the email is sent, it waits another three days. If a contact still has not made a purchase when this wait action ends, the automation will send another email asking, “Why haven’t you upgraded yet?” When you send this message, you open up a line of communication with the contact, and create a chance to address any concerns.
In general, this type of email can serve as a conversation starter to help you gain valuable insight into your customers’ pre-purchase hang-ups, so you can improve your marketing copy and purchase process.
This category includes automation recipes to help you boost traffic to your website by encouraging your contacts to return to your site. Here, you can also find automations geared toward helping you increase referral traffic specifically, if that’s your goal. Or, browse automations that aim to help you grow your community as a whole.
“Share a Campaign on Social Media” Incentive
This simple automation sends an email delivering a reward to contacts who share your campaign on social media.
To encourage social sharing, include a call to action at the bottom of your initial campaign email. It might say something like, “Share this campaign on Facebook or Twitter to receive 10% off your next order!” A coupon or special discount incentive motivates your contacts to share and make a new purchase, thus increasing your purchase frequency while spreading awareness.
This automation is triggered whenever a contact shares the campaign on social media, and will then send another campaign email containing the coupon reward to that contact.
Grow Your Community:
Identify Possible Advocates
If someone returns to your website over and over, they’re probably a fan!
Use this automation to identify repeat visitors and apply a tag indicating status as a potential advocate of your brand or business.
You could then use this tag to begin a follow-up sequence that nurtures the relationship and encourages advocacy. (This would be done in a separate automation, triggered by the application of the “Possible advocate” tag.)
Note: This automation is triggered after a contact visits your site five times, but you can always increase that number to further improve the quality of leads the recipe generates. Someone who visits your site 10 times is more likely to be an advocate than someone who visits twice, for instance.
Now that you’ve glimpsed a few of the automation recipes available within our platform to help you increase revenue and boost website traffic, take some time to explore the others!
You can also find more in Part 2 of this guide series, which highlights recipes to automate your sales team and boost contact satisfaction, and Part 3, which includes recipes for contact tracking and engagement.
Remember, many of the recipes in this guide series can be tweaked for any business, organization or brand, whether you’re selling products, offering a service, or simply promoting engagement with your brand. So if it’s close but not quite right, think about what adjustments would be needed to make it the right automation for your needs.
We’d love to hear which recipes you’re importing and using to experiment. Let us know!