Automation logic and timing


Using goal, conditional split, or audience split logic and inserting wait times in your automation is a great way to send customers through a highly targeted and personalized path based on their actions and preferences! Read on to learn about each logic and timing control in Sendlane automations.

In this guide

Adjust timing with wait nodes

Add a wait node after every message sent in an automation to prevent your contacts from receiving too many messages in a short time. Wait nodes act as buffers between automation nodes.

For example, let's say you're setting up a welcome automation with three email nodes. Without a wait node between your email nodes, contacts will receive all three emails in rapid succession right after meeting the trigger criteria. However, if you include a wait node of one day between the first and second email and another one day wait node between the second and third email, contacts will receive email one on day one, email two on day two, and email three on day three.

Remember that a contact's journey through automation is set when they meets its trigger criteria. When contacts enter the example welcome automation described above, they will not become "stuck" in a wait node; the wait node adds the amount of time specified in its settings to the contact's journey. An automation without wait nodes will schedule all messages to be sent as soon as the contact meets the trigger's criteria, while an automation with wait nodes adds the specified amount of time to the schedule.

To add a wait node:

  1. Click the + button 
  2. Click Wait 
  3. Set your desired wait period and timing options 
  4. Click Done

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Determine next action with goals

When you add a goal to your automation, your contact will jump to that step once they meet the condition (or conditions) specified in the goal.

Goals check whether contacts have met the condition specified every six hours, until the default of one week has passed or the amount of time specified in the "Max time to check for conditions" setting. To prevent contacts from being pulled out of the automation too soon, goals should always have a "Max time to check for conditions" setting that matches the length of the automation.

Once a goal is reached, contacts will skip any action not yet executed and proceed immediately to the following action or action you assign below the goal.

⚠️ Goals are only aware of the branch they are nested in

If you use a conditional split in your automation and add a goal under one side of the automation, the goal can only pull contacts out of the automation once they reach the side of the conditional split that contains the goal. You may need to create multiple goals for a single automation to cover all branches.

Add a goal

To add a goal to your automation:

  1. Click the + button
  2. Click goal 
  3. Set your conditions
  4. Click Done

Goal options

  • Goal Name Enter a descriptive name for your goal
  • Conditions Select conditions to trigger your goal
  • Go to this action if goal is reached Select a step in your automation to send contacts to when they meet your goal's conditions
  • If goal is not met Select an option for contacts who have not met your goal
    • Continue means the contact will proceed to the next node in the automation
    • Wait means the contact will wait at this step indefinitely until the goal is reached
    • End means the goal will keep checking for met conditions until the max time has passed
  • Max time to check for conditions Select a length of time to check for conditions

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Create logic based paths with conditional splits

Conditional splits provide divergent paths for contacts to be funneled through based on a condition. conditional splits check to see if contacts meet the criteria once: at the time the conditional split action is reached.

⚠️ Conditional splits do not include automatic wait times for engagement based logic

Conditional splits check for the conditions set in the split immediately. This means that if a conditional split's logic includes opened or clicked conditions, the split will immediately check for those engagement metrics without enough time for contacts to engage.

When using engagement based logic in conditional splits, add a wait node of 24 hours as the first node under each path to give contacts enough time to engage.

⚠️ A condition using an integration will only pull contacts who exist in the integration’s database into the YES side of a conditional split

Using an integration based condition in a conditional split will only pull contacts who exist in the integration’s database into the YES side of a conditional split. All contacts who do not exist in the integration’s database will be sent down the NO side of a conditional split, regardless of the conditions set.

Let’s say you want to create a conditional split that divides your audience into contacts who have placed at least 1 order and contacts who have placed 0 orders.

Your condition would be Customer > Total Orders Places > is greater than > 0:

The YES side of this conditional split will grab contacts who exist in your store’s database and have placed at least 1 order. The NO side will grab contacts who do not yet exist in your store’s database (because they haven’t made a purchase or an account on your store) AND contacts who exist in your store’s database but have not yet placed an order.

Add a conditional split

To add a conditional split to your automation:

  1. Click the + button
  2. Click conditional split
  3. Set your conditions
  4. Click Done

The conditions you select will funnel contacts who meet them down the Yes branch. contacts who do not meet the conditions specified will be sent down the No branch. It is not possible to move a contact from one branch to the other.

Delete a conditional split

To delete a conditional split:

  1. Click the conditional split
  2. Click the trash can icon
  3. Select a path or both paths to delete
  4. Click Delete

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Split your audience to A/B test two paths

Use an audience split node to specify a percentage of your audience to be sent down separate paths.

Once contacts reach the audience split, they cannot be moved from one path to another. If the split percentage is changed after the automation has been activated, existing contacts will stay on the path they started on.

To create an audience split node:

  1. Click the + button
  2. Click audience split
  3. Use the slider to determine the percentage of the automation's audience to send down Side A and Side B
  4. Click Done

To determine a winning path:

  1. Click the audience split node
  2. Click the trash can icon
  3. Select a path to delete
  4. Click Delete

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Additional resources

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