Workflows

Use delays in your workflows

Last updated: August 19, 2020

Applies to:

Marketing Hub  Professional, Enterprise
Sales Hub  Professional, Enterprise
Service Hub  Professional, Enterprise

When creating a workflow, use delays to space out workflow actions, time your email sends, and create a more personalized experience for your prospects and customers. 

There are three types of delays:

  • Delay for a set amount of time: delays enrolled records for a specific amount of days, hours, and minutes. Use this delay when you want to pause all enrolled records for the same amount of time between workflow actions.
  • Delay until a day or time: delays enrolled records until a specific day and/or time. Use this delay when you want an action to execute only on certain days or times. 
  • Delay until event happens: delays enrolled records until they complete an event, such as a form submission or website page visit. Use this delay when you want to pause enrolled records until a specific action is taken.

Please note: the above delay types aren't available in Center on a date and Center on a date property workflows. Instead, delay actions are set relative to the central date or date property. Learn more about scheduling actions in date-based workflows.

Add delays to workflows

Delay for a set amount of time

Use the Delay for a set amount of time action to pause records for a specific amount of days, hours, and minutes. 

To add this type of delay to your workflow:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Automation > Workflows.
  • Click the name of a workflow.
  • In the workflow editor, click the plus icon + to add a workflow action.
  • In the right panel, select Delay for a set amount of time.

    delay-for-a-certain-amount-of-time
  • Set how long the delay will last by using the Days, Hours, and Minutes fields. 
  • Click Save

Delay until a day or time

Use the Delay until a day or time action to pause your workflow until specific days of the week and/or time of day. 

For example, if you're using a workflow to send a series of promotional emails, you might want certain emails to only go out on Tuesdays. You can add a Delay until a day or time action just before the email send action to pause delayed contacts until Tuesday at 11:00 AM. 

workflow-delay-until-a-day-or-time

To set up this type of delay:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Automation > Workflows.
  • Click the name of a workflow.
  • In the workflow editor, click the plus icon + to add a workflow action.
  • In the right panel, select Delay until a day or time

    workflow-delay-until-a-day-or-time-panel
  • To add days of the week to the delay, click Delay until a day of the week, then select the days. When adding multiple days to the delay, records will exit the delay on the next available day. For example, if your delay includes Monday and Thursday, any contact who enters the delay on Tuesday will be released on Thursday.

    delay-until-day-or-time-select-day-or-time
  • To add a time of day to the delay, click Delay until a time of day, then select a time. If you don't add a time of day to the delay, records will exit the delay on the set day at the same time they entered it. For example, if your delay is set to Wednesday and a contact enters the delay on Monday at 9:50 PM, they will exit the delay on Wednesday at 9:50 PM.
    • To base the selected time on your HubSpot account timezone, select Use portal time zone.
    • To base the selected time on the contact's time zone, select Use contact's time zone. If the contact has a value in their IP time zone property, HubSpot will use that time zone. If the contact doesn't have a value for that property, the account's time zone will be used instead.
  • Click Save.

Delay until event happens

Use the Delay until event happens action to pause records until a specified event occurs. For example, delay a contact until they visit a page or fill out a form.

To add this type of delay to your workflow:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Automation > Workflows.
  • Click the name of a workflow.
  • In the workflow editor, click the plus icon + to add a workflow action.
  • In the right panel, select Delay until event happens.

workflow-delay-until-event-happens-action

  • Click the Event dropdown menu and select the event that will release records from the delay. 

    delay-until-event-happens-select
  • After setting the delay event, use the Days, Hours, and Minutes  fields to set the maximum amount of time that a contact will wait until being released from the delay. If a contact doesn't meet the event criteria, they'll be released from the delay after the set amount of time. To delay the contact for up to a year, select the Delay as long as possible checkbox.

    workflow-delay-wait-up-to-setting
  • Click Save.

In this type of delay, if a record already has the specified property value when it enters the delay, it will not immediately exit the delay. Records will immediately exit the delay only when the property value is changed while the record is in the delay.

For example, if a delay is based on the Deal stage property being set to Closed won, deals that were already set to Closed won won’t meet the delay criteria. However, if a deal is set to Closed won while in the delay, it will immediately exit the delay.

View records waiting in a delay

In Delay for a set amount of time and Delay until a day or time delays, you can view the records that are waiting in a delay, along with how much time is remaining:
  • In the workflow editor, click the count of records in the delay action. 

    time-delay-records-waiting
  • In the right panel, view the records that are waiting in the delay and how much time is remaining. 

    contacts-in-delay

Editing a delay

Editing a delay will affect any records that are currently waiting in the delay.

  • When you delete a delay, records waiting in the delay will immediately proceed to the next action.
  • When you change the length of a delay, the records waiting at the delay will immediately be rescheduled. Rescheduling will take into account the amount of time that has already passed in the original delay.
    • If you make a delay longer, delayed records will be rescheduled to complete the remainder of the new delay length. For example, if you adjust a delay from one hour to two hours, records that have already waited 30 minutes will wait for an additional hour and 30 minutes.
    • If you make a delay shorter, records will be either be rescheduled to the new length, or exit the delay. For example, if you adjust a delay from two hours to one hour, a record that's waited for 30 minutes will wait for an additional 30 minutes. A record that's waited an hour and 30 minutes will exit the delay immediately.
  • When editing a Delay until a day or time delay: 
    • If you edit the delay to be in the future, delayed records will wait until the new day or time.
    • If you edit the delay to be a day or time in the past, delayed records will exit the delay immediately.
    • If you edit the delay to be the current day with no time specified, delayed records will exit the delay immediately.
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