How to choose the workflow type and enrollment triggers best suited for your goal

Last updated: November 21, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Pro, Enterprise
Sales: Professional

When creating a new workflow, you have three options for the workflow type:

  • Standard
  • Fixed-date 
  • Contact date property

The timing of your workflow actions will depend on the type of workflow that you select. Once you select a workflow type, you will need to choose your enrollment triggers. Your enrollment triggers is a rule (or set of rules) that determines when a contact should enter a workflow. You can decide whether or not you want to enroll contacts into your workflow manually or automatically based on set enrollment triggers. 

In this article, you will learn about the differences between the three workflow types and the different enrollment triggers available.

Please note: workflow actions are available based on your HubSpot product subscription. To learn more about workflow actions, check out this article.

Workflow types

Below is a description of each type of workflow as well as some examples of typical use cases for that particular workflow type.

HubSpot Help article screenshot

Standard workflow

Standard workflows are designed to trigger once a contact meets the enrollment triggers of that workflow. If a delay is added as the first action, that delay will be relative to when the contact was first enrolled in the workflow. When a delay is added anywhere else in a standard workflow, that delay is relative to the previous step, not to when the contact was first enrolled.  

Some common use cases for the standard workflow type include:

  • Automating a series of actions once you capture a particular piece of information about a contact, such as their industry or persona.
  • Setting a custom contact property when a contact fills out a form with a particular response.
  • Sending an internal email to the owner of a contact when that contact visits your pricing page (Marketing Professional and Enterprise only).
  • Triggering a specific follow-up email after a form submission (Marketing Professional and Enterprise only).

Fixed-date workflow

While Fixed-date workflows share the same enrollment triggers options as standard workflows, any delays that are included are relative to a particular date. Below the enrollment triggers, you’ll see a place to set the date to center your workflow around.

By default, the workflow will execute around that particular date in the calendar year selected. However, if the event happens at the same time each year, you can elect to make the workflow Recur annually. Some common use cases for this workflow type are:

  • Sending cetain types of marketing emails, such as holiday emails (Marketing Professional and Enterprise users only).
  • Creating a task after a contact fills out a specific form.
  • Sending a reminder to register for an upcoming webinar.

Contact date property workflow

The Contact date property workflow resembles the fixed-date workflow; however, instead of selecting a fixed calendar date, this workflow type requires you to select a date-type contact property to center the workflow around. Any delays that are included in this workflow are relative to the date value listed on the enrolled contact's record, which can differ for each contact in the workflow. You can also elect to have the enrollment triggers repeat each year by selecting Recur annually. Some use cases for this workflow type could include:

  • Automating internal and external actions based on the expiration date of a contact's trial.
  • Sending a welcome email and a series of emails with helpful getting started tips based on a custom contact property, such as Account activation date.
  • Sending emails to a contact on his or her birthday with coupons or personalized offers.

Set enrollment triggers

Now that you understand the different types of workflows, it's important to learn about the different enrollment triggers that can be used to enroll contacts. Once you create your workflow, you are presented with the following options for enrollment triggers:

  • Manually: this option will allow you to set up your workflow to perform your desired actions and then manually enroll contacts into a workflow. Choosing this option will not enroll any contacts unless you decide to do so. To learn more about enrolling contacts and/or lists manually into a workflow, check out this article
  • Automatically: this option will dynamically enroll contacts as they meet the enrollment triggers you set within the workflow. You'll be prompted to decide what enrollment triggers you want your contacts to meet in order to join the workflow. You can select from the following options based on your subscription level:
    • Marketing Professional or Enterprise: contact property, company property, deal property, list membership, form submission, email, page view, event, workflow status.
    • Sales Professionalcontact property, company property, deal property, form submission, workflow status.

Contact property

You can build out your workflow around a specific contact property. In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contact with a Lifecycle stage (which is a property that exists for all HubSpot contacts) of Lead or Subscriber.

Company property

You can build out your workflow around a specific company property. In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contacts whose associated company property Number of locations is greater than 99.

Deal property

You can build out your workflow around a specific deal property. In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contact whose associated deal has a Close date before July 15, 2017.

List membership

The List membership enrollment trigger enrolls contacts in a workflow when they join a particular smart list. Only smart lists will appear as options. Once a contact meets the smart list's criteria, they are added to the list and subsequently enrolled in the workflow.

Form submission

The Form submission enrollment trigger enrolls contacts in a workflow when they fill out a specified form. You can choose to enroll contacts when they submit a specific HubSpot form, no matter where that form appears across your website (on any page), or you can only enroll contacts who fill out a specific form on a specific HubSpot page.

In the example below, you can see the workflow will automatically enroll any contact that has filled out the form entitled November Form specifically on the New Homepage page.

You can even narrow this down further by choosing Refine by. Within this section, you'll see options related to date/time. So the form submission enrollment trigger has now been refined to enroll any contacts who submitted the November Form on the New Homepage on or after October 1, 2017.

Email

You can build out your workflow around a specific email activity (Marketing Professional and Enterprise accounts only). In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contacts who clicked on www.abigaeljamie.info in the Deals email. 

Page view

You can build out your workflow around a specific page view, enrolling contacts who viewed a specific page URL. In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contacts who visit biglytics.net/about.

Event (Marketing Enterprise Only)

You can build out your workflow around a specific event. You can set your enrollment triggers to enroll contacts who completed or did not complete a custom event you have set up.

In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contacts who completed the event called Clicked on Sign-up.

Workflow status

You can build out your workflow around a contact's workflow status. This enables you to enroll contacts who are active in your workflow, completed your workflow, met a workflow goal, and more. In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contacts who met the goal of the Prospective student workflow.

Call-to-Action

Choose Call-to-Action to enroll a contact into your workflow if they have seen, not seen, clicked, or not clicked on a particular call-to-action of yours. In the example below, a contact will automatically be enrolled in the workflow is they click on the call-to-action entitled Get Started.

Enroll contacts who currently meet criteria

If you want to enroll contacts into this workflow that currently meet the enrollment triggers you've set, as opposed to only enrolling contacts who meet it going forward, check the box next to Enroll contacts who already meet these criteria. You can do this for any enrollment triggers listed above.

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