Contact Automation Tips
Contact automations are powerful and can help you keep your agents up to date on what contacts they should reach out to, and send you reminders about what contacts may have fallen through the cracks.
Another way automations can be used is to perform bulk tasks automatically when a contact meets a certain criteria, be it automatically adding them or removing them from email campaigns when they reach a certain status, or automatically tagging them when they fill out a form. These bulk tasks are convenient, but they can cause issues if they are trying to complete an action on a very large portion of your client database. If this is the case, the system may display a warning message to alert you to that possibility. It's possible, but rare, that a long-running automation can cause itself or others after it in order to timeout and not complete.
You see a warning message
This message may immediately go away with the first run. If it does, it means you've excluded contacts that already had the action performed on them, which means they won't be included in the next run. However we do recommend that you give your conditions a quick glance to see if there's any way you can make them better. This will help ensure that your automations run promptly, but it also ensures that they won't take so long that they cause themselves or automations after them to not run properly because they're trying to affect so many contacts.
You are performing one type of action
If you have one type of action, we recommend that you put the opposite in the conditions. This will help exclude contacts that don't need the action performed on them because it already has been!
Eg. You want to add a tag to all contacts that are assigned
- Your automation looks for contacts that have a source of "IDX"
- Then your automation tags them with "buyer"
The first run matches 300 contacts, and tags them with buyer
The next day, you've gotten 10 more contacts that have a source of "IDX", but since you're only looking for people who have a source of "IDX", you also include the 300 you originally started with, so now the automation will try to tag 310 people with buyer.
Next year, you've gotten a lot more contacts who have a source of "IDX". Let's say 4,000 total (nice job!). That means every time this automation runs, the automation will try to tag all those 4310 people with buyer. Remember, this automation runs at least once a day, if you've set it to do with your digest, otherwise it may run 24 hours a day, if you've selected hourly!
For automations where you have one action or one type of action, it's really easy to minimize this problem by simply adding an additional condition:
- Check for contacts that do not have the tag 'buyer'
Once you do that, only contacts that have a source of "IDX" and have not been tagged yet will be run.
Let's look at this again:
Run 1 will match 300 people
Run 2 will match 10 people
Over the year it'll match people each day, but won't balloon out to where it could have negative effects on itself or other running automations if it tries to add a tag to too many people and times out.
Another example of this scenario is removing contacts from many email campaigns. The removal is the same action, so you can modify it similarly. In this case we would recommend that you add a single "AND" action to check to make sure a contact is on a single campaign already. While you may not be removing these contacts from all campaigns, just a few, there may be contacts that are in the list that are only part of those particular campaigns.
You are performing two types of actions
This gets a little trickier if the actions can be performed individually. For example, adding a tag and removing from an email campaign. In this case, the method of making it more efficient is less straightforward if you have multiple conditions in the "ANY" category.
If the tag is directly related to removal of the email campaign, it may be fine to simply check if the user is on the email campaign only. If the tag is not related and you've added it in the same automation for convenience, it may be better to split these actions into two different automations.
Feel free to reach out to us if you're not quite sure what the best path is for your automation!