How to gauge your workflow’s performance

Last updated: February 13, 2017

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Marketing: Pro, Enterprise
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After your workflow has been active for some time, you will want to assess the effectiveness of your workflow. Depending on the goal of the workflow, you may measure success in different ways. First you must decide which metrics you want to focus on as an indicator of your workflow's performance. For example, if you are running a lead nurturing campaign, you will probably be interested in your goal list's conversion rate and click through rates of the various emails. It is also important to benchmark your workflows against the historical success of your marketing efforts and track trends over time.

The first thing you’ll want to check is the workflow’s Actions page, which you'll see once you select your workflow from the Workflows dashboard.

Actions

In the Actions page, you’ll find the details of your workflow actions. Each step will reveal a little bit more about the engagement of that action, so you can see if contacts in your workflow are opening/clicking on emails, are in a delay, or have met the workflow's goal criteria.

Of course, this is also the main area for editing a workflow. Click the plug sign to add new steps where necessary (there will be one between each step) or you can click on a particular action to make changes to that action.

Performance

In your left-hand navigation, you’ll find Performance. This screen displays your contact performance as well as your email performance per individual workflow. 

You'll see a quick overview, first, of your workflow performance in terms of its conversion rate.

Below that, you'll see the section Performance Trends section that shows a visual represenation how many contacts enrolled in your workflow, completed your workflow, were lost, and met goal per any given time period. You can select the date filter at the top-right of this section to see a very specific time or change that to a custom date range so you can get a better idea of how the workflow has performed over an extended period. Here's a quick explanation of what these terms mean:

  • Contacts enrolled: The number of contacts currently in the workflow.
  • Contacts completed: The number of contacts who finished the final step of the workflow.
  • Contacts who met goal: The number of contacts who were added to the goal list and subsequently removed from the workflow.
  • Contacts lost: The number of contacts who don't meet any of the other three criteria. This category includes those who were manually unenrolled, suppressed, or removed as a result of enrollment in another workflow.

And, finally, you'll see a number of Email Performance sections that displays how your workflow emails are performing, showing the delivered number and rate for each workflow email, the open number and rate, and the clicked number and rate. You’ll also find how many churned contacts happened from these workflow emails (contacts who either unsubscribed from all emails or flagged an email as spam) in addition to the delivery failure rate, expressed as a percentage of bounced emails.

When you hover over any of the bars representing your email, you’ll find information in Email Engagement such as the step that the email sends, the name of the email, and the number of delivered/opened/clicked. In Engagement Rate, you’ll find the same information but instead of a hard number, you’ll find the rate.  Below is how each rate is calculated:

  • Delivered = delivered / sent
  • Opens = opened / delivered
  • Clicks = clicks/delivered

Contact churn is expressed as the percentage of lost contacts divided by sent emails.

Delivery failure is expressed as the percentage of bounced emails divided by sent emails.

History

You can access History from the top menu of your workflow. There may be a time when you want or need to check what happened throughout the life of your workflow. Maybe you want to check the steps that took place for a particular contact, or you want to view the history of a particular time range. Maybe you just want to view progress updates or alerts. Workflow’s history allows you to view all the actions that have taken place during the life of your workflow.

When you access history, the default view you’ll see is the chronological order of each step that the workflow has taken for each contact. The most recent information is listed at the top. On each step there is a colored indicator that explains whether or not the action executed:

  • Progress updates (blue) - This indicator shows the contact being enrolled in the workflow, an action scheduled to execute with the date and time (with time zone) of when it will execute, and successful workflow completions. It also shows other progress updates such as a contact triggering an action outside the nurturing window or a contact being on a suppression list.
  • Successful action completion (green) - This includes each successful action listed in the workflow, such as the email being sent, or the contact property was set. It also includes when your contact was unenrolled due to joining your goal list.
  • Alerts or errors (red) - This includes a failed action that was unable to execute, such as being unable to send an email to a contact who has previously bounced or unsubscribed. This will errors such as a step failing to execute during a workflow. You can read more about common alert messages in the troubleshooting section of this guide.

You can sort the data in history to find a specific contact, see all actions for a given timeframe, and/or view specific event types.

Find a particular contact by name or email address

Use the Search for contacts menu find a specific contact and view all actions that have occurred for them in a specific workflow. Start typing by first name, last name, or email to find your specific contact, then select that contact to view all actions for just that contact in the workflow.

Filter by date or date range

At the top left of the History screen you'll see a date filter option that defaults to All Time. Use this filter to view data for for specific time periods like today, this week, a custom time period, and more.

Sort by specific event types

In the last column you can sort by specific event types, such as all event types, progress updates, successful actions, and alerts and errors.

It is a good practice to regularly check in with your workflow’s overview, performance, and history to gauge how effective your workflow is at reaching your target contacts. Regularly checking in ensures that your workflow is and continues to be effective. A good question to ask yourself after designing and viewing the results of your workflow’s performance is “Are my workflows doing their job?” Always keep in mind what the purpose and vision of this campaign is, aligning it with your marketing goals, and, most importantly, keeping people at the center of it.

Measuring internal workflows

When measuring internal workflows that do not have a goal list, your workflow does not send emails; therefore, you’ll mainly focus on the overview and history. The first thing you’ll want to check is the workflow’s Actions, where you’re brought when you click your workflow from the Workflows dashboard.

In the Actions, you’ll find the details of contact engagement, such as how many contacts when through each step. You can also check your History tab to ensure all actions properly executed for a particular contact, or in a particular time range.

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