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  • Writer's pictureExpert Opinion

Getresponse marketing automation

Automating your marketing sounds like an overwhelming task that requires a lot of technical skills. The truth is, it’s as complex (or as simple) as you make it.

Before you master marketing automation, taking the first steps is what counts. You’ll see it’s not as intimidating as it may seem. If you don’t already know what marketing automation is and why you should use it, read What is Marketing Automation? first.

If you do know, but don’t know how to start, follow-through, and you’ll see how simple marketing automation can be.

Automation in marketing takes many forms. When marketers talk about automating their processes, they might mean anything from building conversion funnels, integrating apps so that they work together (saving their time), or creating workflows for their email campaigns to work automatically.

Before you start, you need a few things for marketing automation to work for you. These are:

  • at least one automation message,

  • a landing page,

  • and a registration form.

You don’t need to have an extensive list of contacts to start. In fact, it’s better to experiment with your first automation workflows on a smaller group of people, just in case there’s a small mistake here and there. So, if you’re nervous about testing on your customers, create a list with just a few emails, yours and your colleague’s, and you’re good to go.

Also, don’t stress if you don’t have enough data to begin with – your workflows can be set up in a way that they’ll collect valuable data that you’ll be able to use to boost engagement and conversions.

The final thing you’ll need is a good marketing strategy. Plan out what you want to achieve and what steps will be necessary to do it. This will keep your workflows straightforward and effective. Then, put the plans into action by building your first marketing automation workflow.

Basic marketing automation building blocks

Marketing automation consists of workflows that reflect your subscriber’s experience or journey.

The simplest way to create a workflow is by using a pre-made workflow template. In GetResponse, there are dozens of templates you can choose from, depending on your goals and needs.

Although using templates is super easy, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the workflow’s building blocks first to understand how the template works and to be able to customize it.

You should also know that marketing workflows are stackable and modular, so you can start with two blocks and add more later.

There are three types of building blocks categories: conditions, actions, and filters.


Conditions are events that happened within your online environment triggered by your user’s behavior. They’re also typically the X in the “If X, then Y”.

To build a workflow, you need to define a condition first. When it’s met, automation executes the workflow, and the contacts flow down the path.

There are various useful blocks in this category, such as:

Subscribed via …, message sent, and landing page visited

These three are all starting conditions – they should be placed at the beginning of your automation workflow. They trigger the workflow for those you have selected for the condition. They only have a “yes” connector, which means they can only start the workflow for those who meet the criteria. Subscribed via … –– this when the contact makes its first appearance on your list. You choose which list you’re focusing on, and the method by which they subscribed. For example, “somebody subscribed to my list called vip-customers via my landing page” or “I added a person to the my-dearest-friends list manually”.

Another simple block is the “message sent” – it starts the workflow for the contacts to which you sent a specific (or any) message.

“Landing page visited” works the same way as “message sent”, but, of course, for any landing page visited by the subscriber.

Use the “link clicked” block when you want to determine if a subscriber clicked a link –– it can be any link from any message, any link from a specific message, or a specific link from a specific message.

The “message opened” block is pretty similar. It means the subscriber opened your message – any message, any newsletter/autoresponder/AB Test/automation, or a specific message.

After these blocks, you can choose different actions for both “yes, they clicked”/ ”yes, they opened” and “no, they didn’t”.

(Also a starting condition) Special events can be set for any date custom field you have in your account. It can be the contact’s birthday, their subscription date, anniversary, etc.

You can choose when to trigger the next step (the other building block’s action) –– immediately, before, or after. Also, decide if you want it to be a one-time event or if it’s supposed to be active every year on the same day.

“Custom field changed” works for any change that happened to any type of custom field, whether the change was applied by you or the contact themselves.

“Contact copied to list” and “contact moved to list” are useful when you want to add contacts to your workflow when they’re copied from or moved to a different list. It’s important to note that the contacts need to be copied/moved by API or a different workflow.

These four blocks are extra useful for ecommerce stores.

“Purchase” lets you apply the condition to any purchases from your stores. If you integrate your store with GetResponse, you can do it either with API or install a specific JavaScript on your website.

If you integrate with JavaScript, you enter the after-purchase thank you page’s URL to track. If you connect via API, you select conditions for the purchase you want to follow. For example, you can set it to work like this: “Whenever a purchase of item X, variant 3, for more than 100 USD is made at my store Store4 (…)”.

“Abandoned cart” lets you choose the number of days/hours after which you assume the cart in your store was abandoned. It’s a perfect block to use in cart abandonment email series to get your customers to convert.

“Visited URL” lets you see if the subscriber visited a site of your choice. (You need to install JS code on the URL you want to track). It can be useful, for example, to score or tag contacts that visited a link you sent them via email.

“Billing status changed” allows you to take steps after the billing status from any of your stores has changed.

If tag…, If score…

These two conditions let you take the next steps for contacts that have been assigned a given tag or have reached a number of points in your workflow – but, more on that later, when we get to “score” and “tag” action blocks.


Actions are the essence of marketing automation. It’s what happens when the condition is met. Here’s what they do:

  • Send message: Although the name is self-explanatory, there is one thing worth mentioning: the message sent will be a marketing automation message. It’s a type of message used only as an action. The difference between this and any other message you use is that the email gets sent as a result of all the conditions and filters you set up in the workflow – you don’t use standard settings to determine when the message is sent. You can create a marketing automation message specifically for the purpose of your workflow or copy the content from any message you have already created.

  • Custom field: With this action block, you can assign a custom field and its value to your contact or remove an already existing custom field.

  • Copy to list; move to list: These block copy/move the contact to another list, with the option to add them to a custom day in the autoresponder cycle, or don’t add them to the other list’s cycle at all.

  • Copy to workflow; move to workflow: If you copy contacts to another active workflow, they complete two workflows at a time. If you move them to another active workflow, they will complete only the one you moved them to.

  • Wait: Temporarily stops contacts from moving down your workflow. It’s best used before other actions to time them.

  • Remove contact: Removes the contact from any given list, autoresponder cycle, entire account, or current list and workflow.

  • Score: Adds a number of points to your contact for completing an action. For example, if your lead opened an email, you can give them 5 points; if they clicked a link –– 10 points, etc.

  • Tag: Assigns a label to your contact. It can be anything you set it to be, but it’s great for tracking customer engagement, for example: active, inactive, engaged, not_engaged, etc. You can create tags as you go, but it’s best to have a basic tagging plan set before you begin, so think about who you want to tag, how, when, and why.


Filters create segments that help you target more specific parts of your audience. They should be used as the object of an action (e.g., if you want to send a message, which is an action, and you want to send it to first 100 contacts, you use an “Amount” filter)

The filters you can use in your marketing automation workflows are:

You chose up to 6 different ranges of contacts, for example, every hundred people, and you can choose a different action for each range. In the picture below, you see a block with six set-up ranges and six connectors, each representing a following range of contacts.

What you want to do with contacts from each range is up to you and the actions you connect to the block.

This block lets you choose how many contacts to reach with the next action, e.g. if you want to send an automation message to the first 100 contacts that subscribed to your list and assign a different action to all the remaining contacts after the 100 mark.

Example: You can set the range to 100 contacts and send them a discount code.

Dynamic segments allow you to target specific segments of your list, using segments you have already created, or by creating a new, workflow-specific, segment. You can adjust properties of this block to segment your contacts across all lists by adding multiple conditions or condition groups.

The “Lists” block can search through your lists in two ways. The first way is sorting contacts by the list they’re in – searching by their ID. If your workflow starts by contacts subscribing to any of your lists, you can use this filter to perform an action only on people from one specific list.

The other variant is searching for contacts in all your lists using their email address, to see if they appear on more than one list. You can then perform different actions for people who are duplicated in your account, and people who are subscribed to one list only.

If you have created at least one Consent Field, you can then sort your contacts in the workflow by their consent status. For example, if they agreed to you sending them marketing communication, you can proceed with sending messages, connecting a corresponding action to the “yes” connector.

If they haven’t given consent, or have withdrawn it, they’ll go down the negative path, so you can use the “no” connector to tag them as “no_consent” or even delete them from your list to leave only consenting contacts on it.

This is the simplest block to use, as it’s not configurable. It filters out duplicate contacts on your list, so you don’t have to worry about sending multiple messages to the same contact more than once.

The “Splitter” block is perfect for when you want to test different automation messages. Or, just test two marketing strategies, sending contacts down two varying paths.

You can choose the percentage of people that will land in path A and in path B, and they will be randomly distributed. It can be any split, but consider the most popular 50/50 for the most reliable test you can then track in your statistics.

How to make the most out of marketing automation in 30 days

If you’re thinking about trying out marketing automation for yourself, a free trial in GetResponse is the best way to do this. You’ll have 30 days to make the most out of it. How? It’s easy, let me explain.

  • When you sign up, start with creating a landing page.

  • Put a contact form in a visible place on the landing page.

  • Publish the page and post the link to it on your social media – let your friends and family sign up to your list.

  • Using our email creator, make an automation message that will welcome your new contacts.

  • Then, set up a workflow consisting of only two blocks – “subscribed to a list via any method” and “send a message”.

And that’s only day one! You’ve got 29 more days left to start generating conversions!

  • Analyze the results of your first automated email, taking metrics like open rate and click-through rate into account.

  • Think of your goal and see if any of the workflows suggested in this article applies to what you want to achieve. Look at other templates built for you in GetResponse. If you want to try something different, try building a workflow yourself using your fresh knowledge of building blocks.

  • Experiment and test your workflows – it’s even easier when you’re just starting out because you can do pretty much anything without any big risks.

  • Analyze your tests to see what works for your brand and what should be tweaked.

  • If you want to know more, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, look into our FAQs, look for inspiration in resources, and check out more articles on our blog. This will take you on a journey to become a marketing automation expert.

Are you ready to try automating your marketing?

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