Creating a Date Based Workflow with Send Time Optimization in HubSpot

This article describes how to integrate send time optimization via Seventh Sense into workflows centered on a date. Since this is an advanced skill, we recommend first learning how to integrate Seventh Sense with normal nurture campaigns before attempting to integrate with date centered workflows.

Why integrate Seventh Sense into date centered workflows?

If you're running an event, a course, or even just a seasonal sequence of emails, it can be helpful to use a workflow centered on a date or a date property in HubSpot. By integrating Seventh Sense webhooks into your workflow, you'll be adding a layer AI-powered personalization that will set you apart from other marketers and maximize your odds of success. 

Instead of emails going out at the same time for each contact, emails will be delivered at the ideal time for each person. This increases the chances users will click your emails. The natural spreading out over time of emails also lowers the chances your emails get rate limited or caught in spam filters.

How to Integrate Seventh Sense

Note: Building a date based workflow integrating Seventh Sense requires webhooks which are only available with a Seventh Sense Pro or Enterprise subscription. Please email support@theseventhsense.com if you would like to learn more or to upgrade your subscription.

To integrate send time optimization into a workflow centered on a date, we will use Seventh Sense webhooks. You can learn how to create Seventh Sense webhooks here. 

Every Seventh Sense webhook is associated with a specific workflow. When you put a webhook into a workflow, all it does is enroll the contact in the workflow associated with the webhook.

The magic of using a Seventh Sense webhook is that it will not just enroll the contact in a workflow immediately, it will enroll them in the best time in the next 24 hours, or 7 days depending on your settings. This might not make sense right away, but read on and you'll see how this simple tool can be used to create powerful intelligent workflows that learn as your contacts flow through them.

For the rest of this article, we'll assume you are using a 24-hour webhook.

Creating Your Workflow

A date-based nurture campaign with Seventh Sense actually is made up of two workflows. The first will look similar to your normal date-based workflow, but instead of emails after each delay step, there are webhooks.

You can see an example of what this looks like below:

Screen_Shot_2020-01-24_at_12.28.30_AM.png

You're probably asking now, "what about my emails?" Good question, we'll get to that, but first, let's look at what this workflow is doing. As I said earlier, a webhook enrolls a contact in its associated workflow at the best time in 24 hours. So this workflow is using normal date based delays, but then after each delay it's sending contacts to another workflow.

We'll need two workflows to integrate Seventh Sense. The second workflow will hold your emails. Let's take a look at that second workflow now.

Screen_Shot_2020-01-24_at_12.36.30_AM.png

This workflow should look similar if you've built a normal non-date based nurture campaign with Seventh Sense. It looks complicated, but it's actually really simple once you get the hang of it.

In a traditional workflow, people enter once and stay in the workflow until they've met the goal or completed all the steps. This workflow works a little differently. People will be "enrolled" into it more than once. To allow this re-enrollment to take place, we'll need to change a setting in the enrollment criteria to allow contacts to be enrolled more than once as seen below.

Screen_Shot_2020-01-24_at_12_34_52_AM.png

To allow the date-based timing in HubSpot to work, contacts will stay in Workflow 1 through the entire campaign. Each time a contact hits the webhook step in Workflow 1, they will be re-enrolled in Workflow 2 at the best time in the next 24 hours. We're storing all your emails in Workflow 2. Contacts will be enrolled each time the next email should go out, and if/then branches to make sure each person only gets each email once. 

In addition, this Workflow is designed to make sure that if contacts enroll within 15 days of the "course start date" they will skip any emails that would have been sent earlier in the workflow. To do this, we've added an "if less than X from course date" criteria to the if/then branches. If you're only enrolling a single batch of contacts once, you can skip this step.

Let's take a closer look at the if/then branch to see how it works.

Screen_Shot_2020-01-24_at_12.36.52_AM.png

 

Understanding Your Workflow's Logic

Let's examine the logic of these two workflows a bit closer. First, we'll look at a contact who's enrolled before the course date in Workflow 1.

Contact enrolled more than 15 days before the start date

Step 1 - Contact enrolled, Workflow 1 waits til 16 days before the start date and then triggers webhook

Step 2 - Webhook enrolls contact in Workflow 2, since its more than 15 days before the start date, AND the contact has not been sent Sample Email 1, they are sent sample email 1 and exit the workflow.

Step 3 - Same as Step 2 but now sending Sample Email 2

This continues until the contact hits the final step in Workflow 1 and exits the workflow.

Contact enrolled 9 days before the start date

Step 1 - Since we're less than 16 days before the start date, Workflow 1 will skip the first step and jump to the second action which happens 8 days before the date.

Step 2 - 8 days before the course start date, Workflow 1 will trigger a webhook and enroll the contact in Workflow 2.

Step 3 - The contact has not received "Sample Email 1," so normally they ould go down the no branch and be sent Sample email 1. But because we put the second criteria "Course Date Test" is less than 15 days from now, they will skip Sample Email 1 and go to the second if/then branch. Since they haven't received the email, and it's also NOT less than 7 days till the course date, they will receive Sample Email 2.

The rest of the workflow will continue as normal since the contact is now on schedule.

Conclusion

Integrating Seventh Sense maximizes the effect of your nurture workflows in HubSpot by allowing the system to learn and adapt as each customer traverses your nurture campaign. As Seventh Sense builds an ever-improving profile of when each person prefers to engage, your results will continue to improve. 

Now that you are armed with this basic skill set, you can experiment with building more complex workflows like the one at the beginning of the article. The possibilities are virtually limitless!

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