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Contacts, Triggers and Actions: key elements of each automation
Contacts, Triggers and Actions: key elements of each automation

This article explains the role of contacts, triggers, and actions in automations.

Written by Martyna Woźniszczuk
Updated over a week ago

In order to automate any process and thus build automation, three basic elements are necessary:

  1. Contacts that are to be involved in a given automation and reach a specific goal (e.g. placing an order after abandoning the cart)

  2. Triggers specifying when the automation is to be launched (e.g. event on the store's website: cart abandonment)

  3. Actions, i.e. steps that the automation is to consist of

Let's look at each element separately.


In automations, you can, but don't have to, add contacts manually to the automation. The whole simplification is that the contact jumps into the automation itself as soon as it meets a predetermined condition (e.g. abandons the cart on your store's website). A contact that does not meet this condition is not entered into automation. In this way, the entire automation is personalised and directed to a specific group of recipients.


Triggers are conditions that start an automation. Thanks to them, you can define which contacts are to be added to the automation.

In our panel you have a choice of 27 triggers. All triggers relate to actions taken by contacts (e.g. subscribing to a newsletter, abandoning a cart, making a purchase) or updating contact records (e.g. adding a tag, deleting a tag, etc.). When a contact performs a specified action, it is automatically added to the automation and included in the defined sequence of actions.


Like production lines, automation is not just about shifting something from point A to point B. Automation without any actions in the meantime (no workstations) really makes no sense. Automation of the business process and reaching the specified goal is possible only when the contacts perform the individual actions along the way. If they don't, they won't go through the process and, therefore, won't achieve your goal.

Contacts perform actions on their own (e.g. open an e-mail sent to them) or the system performs an action for them (e.g. updating contact fields, adding a tag to a contact). You can also create actions that automatically notify members of your team when another event occurs (for example, informing a sales rep that a contact has made a purchase).

You can choose from four categories of actions:

1. Sending options – these actions only apply to messaging. You can send messages in the form of an e-mail, SMS or site notification. You can also select the "Send a notification email" option to notify max. five e-mail addresses about the contact reaching a certain point of automation. This activity is commonly used in internal communication.

2. Conditions and Workflow this category includes activities that dictate the routes of contacts during automation. For example:

  • Wait suspends the progress of contacts in automation for a specified period of time or until the conditions are met;

  • If/Else invokes the segment builder. With this tool you can segment your contacts to an unprecedented degree. As a result, communication is properly targeted and personalised, and the likelihood of contact conversion increases;

  • Split it also a great way to segment your contacts. This activity not only splits the automations as you like, but also monitors which route is more efficient and automatically calculates a winning route based on the criteria you set.

The rest of the activities in this category are used to relocate contact points in automations, route them to new automations, or complete automation completely. The Goal action, for example, is useful for pushing contacts through stages of automation that are not relevant to the contact because the contact already met certain conditions. Thanks to this, they do not receive any irrelevant messages.

3. Contacts – actions in this category are used to automatically update contact information. For example, you can subscribe to and unsubscribe contacts from your lists, change the values ​​of custom fields, and add or remove tags. Additionally, you can adjust the position of contacts in lead scoring.

The purpose of these actions is to ensure that the contact database is up-to-date, which is essential for the entire Marketing Automation system and for further automations.

4. CRM – these activities affect your CRM.

Remember that your CRM is a visual representation of business processes. You can easily track and manage the progress of contacts in your automations and even use it for revenue forecasting. Actions in this category will help you keep your data up-to-date.

5. The actions in the Salesforce and CX Apps categories are used to integrate the automation with external applications that you use.

Now you know the role that contacts, triggers and actions play in automation. Go to the article


for more details on these two key elements of any automation.

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