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

Last updated: January 27, 2017

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Workflows allows for the creation of three types of workflows: Standard, Fixed Date, and Property Based. 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 criteria. Your enrollment criteria 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 criteria. You can enroll contacts automatically based on a contact property, company property, deal property, list membership, form submission, email, page view, event (Enterprise only), and workflow status. 

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

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.

Standard workflow

Standard workflows are designed to trigger once a contact meets the starting criteria 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:

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

Fixed Date workflow

While Fixed Date workflows share the same starting condition options as standard workflows, any delays that are included are relative to a particular date. Below the starting condition criteria, 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 a reminder to register for an upcoming webinar.
  • Automating holiday emails with coupons or special offers.
  • Sending conference invitation, reminder, and follow up emails.

Property Based workflow

The Property Based workflow resembles the fixed date workflow; however, instead of selecting a fixed calendar date, this workflow type requires you to select a date-type 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 starting condition repeat each year by selecting Recur annually. Some use-cases for this workflow type could include:

  • 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.
  • Automating internal and external actions based on the expiration date of a contact's trial.
  • Sending emails to a contact on his or her birthday with coupons or personalized offers.

Set enrollment criteria

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

  • 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 criteria you set within the workflow. You'll be prompted to decide what criteria you want your contacts to meet in order to join the workflow. Here are the criteria you can choose from: contact property, company property, deal property, list membership, form submission, email, page view, event, 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 on 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 15th, 2016.

List membership

The list membership starting condition criteria enrolls contacts in a worfklow when they join a particular smart list. Only smart lists will appear as options for this starting condition. 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 starting condition enrolls contacts in a workflow when they fill out a specified form. This starting condition allows you to choose from all of your HubSpot forms. 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 Demo form specifically on the About page.

You can even narrow this criteria down further by choosing Refine by. Within this section, you'll see options related to date/time. So the form submission enrollment criteria has now been refined to enroll any contacts who submitted on the Demo form on the About page on or after December 1st, 2016.

Email

You can build out your workflow around a specific email activity. In the example below, this workflow will automatically enroll any contacts who clicked on biglytics.net in the Event Invite 1 email.

Page view

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

Event (Enterprise Only)

You can build out your workflow around a specific event. You can set the criteria 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 "Free Trial" 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. 

Enroll contacts who currently meet criteria

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

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