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How to set up automation triggers

An automation trigger is an event that will automatically kick start your automation workflow as soon as that event takes place. Selecting a trigger is the first step in creating an automation workflow.

To see these triggers in action, check What are automation triggers and how you can use them.

There are six default triggers to choose from when creating an automation workflow:

  • When a subscriber joins a group

  • When a subscriber completes a form

  • When a subscriber clicks a link

  • Updated field 

  • The anniversary of a date

  • The exact match of a date

When you open the workflow editor by clicking the Create workflow button, you will be prompted to select your trigger in the sidebar.

When you set your trigger as When a subscriber joins a group, the workflow will be triggered when a subscriber joins the subscriber group of your choice.

To set up your group membership trigger:

  1. Select the workflow trigger When a subscriber joins a group.

  2. In the sidebar under Subscriber group, select which group you want to trigger the workflow when it's joined. Alternatively, click Create new group to create a group specifically for this automation.

  1. In the sidebar under Settings, you’ll see a checkbox labeled Repeat workflow for subscribers who rejoin the same group. Check this box if you want subscribers to re-trigger the workflow every time they rejoin the trigger group. However, subscribers can only be triggered once every 24 hours.

    If you leave this box unchecked, subscribers will complete the workflow once and never trigger it a second time.

Note: A subscriber can't rejoin a group of which they're already a member. In order for a subscriber to rejoin the trigger group (and therefore trigger the workflow again) they must first be removed from it.

  1. Click Save to apply these settings to your trigger.

When you set your workflow trigger to When a subscriber completes a form, the workflow will be triggered when a subscriber enters their details into a subscription form and clicks submit.

To set up your form trigger:

  1. Select the workflow trigger When a subscriber completes a form.

  2. In the sidebar, under Select a form, pick the form that you want to use as your workflow trigger.

  1. In the sidebar under Settings, you’ll see a checkbox labeled Reactivate the full workflow every time a subscriber completes a form; check this box if you wish for the workflow to repeat every time a subscriber completes the same form.

    Leave the box unchecked if you only wish for subscribers to complete the workflow once.

  2. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

It’s important to note that subscribers who complete the form will only trigger the workflow if that workflow is active at the time they complete the form. You cannot manually trigger the automation for subscribers afterward; the only way to trigger an automation triggered when a subscriber completes a form is by that subscriber completing that form.

If you have subscribers in your list already that you’d like to put through this automation, we recommend using the trigger When a subscriber joins a group. You can then select the group that is attached to your form and trigger those subscribers manually.

When you set your workflow trigger to When a subscriber clicks a link, the workflow will be triggered when a subscriber clicks a specific link in any automation email or campaign.

To set up your link trigger:

  1. Select the workflow trigger When a subscriber clicks a link.

  2. In the sidebar under Link, enter the exact URL that subscribers will be clicking in order to trigger the workflow. We recommend your copy/paste the link to ensure that it is exactly the same as the one subscribers will be clicking.

  1. In the sidebar under Settings, you’ll see a checkbox labeled Reactivate the full workflow every time a subscriber clicks the link. Check this box If you would like the workflow to repeat every time the subscriber clicks that same link.

    Leave the box unchecked if you only want subscribers to complete your workflow the first time they click the trigger link.

  2. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

When you use the workflow trigger Updated field, the workflow will be triggered when a subscriber field you select is updated and matches the trigger rule. 

A subscriber will trigger the workflow as soon as the field selected meets the rule. This includes:

  • When you manually update a subscriber’s field in their profile

  • When a subscriber’s field is updated by a survey

  • When a subscriber’s field is updated by an action step in any workflow

  • When a subscriber enters the information in a MailerLite sign up form

  • When a subscriber is added as a single subscriber

Note: Adding subscribers with valid field data via CSV or TXT file will not trigger the workflow.

To set up your field trigger:

  1. Select the workflow trigger Updated field.

  2. In the sidebar under Custom field, select the field that you want to trigger the workflow when updated.

  3. Select the rule you’d like to apply to that field.

  4. Enter the value that the field must contain in order to trigger the workflow.

When setting up an Updated field trigger, you can select from the following rules:

  • Contains

  • Does not contain

  • Is equal

  • Is one of

  • Is not equal

  • Is not one of

  • Is not provided

  • Is provided

This makes up the condition that is your workflow trigger. For example, your trigger may be:
Field: Country
Rule: Is equal
Value: United States

In this example, when a subscriber’s Country field is updated with a value equal to United States, they will automatically trigger the workflow.

The entered value is not case-sensitive. So, if your trigger rule is Country is equal to France, the workflow will still trigger for subscribers whose Country field contains france

When you select the trigger The anniversary of a date, the workflow will be triggered every year on the day/month matching the custom field that you select. This is great for birthday emails and anniversary emails.

To set up your anniversary trigger:

  1. Select the trigger The anniversary of a date.

  2. In the sidebar, select the Group you want to include in this workflow.

  3. Select the custom date field with which you’d like to trigger the workflow. You can choose to trigger the workflow On or Before the date in the custom field.

  4. Select the time of day you’d like the automation to trigger.

  1. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

Note: This trigger checks the value of the selected date field for each subscriber in the selected group every day at 4:00am GMT/UTC +00:00. For example, subscribers that need to be triggered on January 21st need to join the group before January 21st at 4 AM.

Additionally, the date format must be YYYY-MM-DD.

The exact match of a date trigger is similar to the anniversary trigger, however, it will not repeat every year on the same date. Instead, it will only trigger on the exact match of the custom field.

To set up your exact match of date trigger:

  1. Select the trigger The exact match of a date.

  2. In the sidebar, select the Group you want to include in this workflow.

  3. Select the custom date field with which you’d like to trigger the workflow. You can choose to trigger the workflow On or Before the date in the custom field.

  4. Select the time of day you’d like the automation to trigger.

  1. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

Note: This trigger checks the value of the selected date field for each subscriber in the selected group every day at 4:00am GMT/UTC +00:00. For example, subscribers that need to be triggered on January 21st need to join the group before January 21st at 4 AM.

Additionally, the date format must be YYYY-MM-DD.

If you have the MailerLite plugin installed for Shopify or WooCommerce, then you will have access to e-commerce automation triggers. This means events that occur in your store can trigger automation workflows in MailerLite.

E-commerce triggers include:

  • Abandoned checkout 

  • Purchases any product

  • Purchases specific product

  • Purchases from category 

Note: In order to trigger an automation that uses an e-commerce trigger, customers of your store must also be newsletter subscribers and accept to receive marketing from you. This can be by completing any of your sign-up forms, or by checking the box to accept marketing at checkout.

When you select the Abandoned checkout trigger, the workflow will trigger when a subscriber adds items to their cart but leaves before purchasing. 

To set up your abandoned checkout trigger:

  1. In the sidebar, click the E-commerce automation tab.

  2. Select the trigger Abandoned checkout.

  3. In the sidebar, select the number of hours (or days/weeks/months) after cart abandonment when you’d like your automation to trigger.

  4. Under Settings, you’ll see a checkbox labeled Repeat workflow for subscribers only once. When checked, subscribers will only complete the sequence the first time they trigger the workflow. If you want subscribers to receive an email every time they abandon their cart at checkout, then leave the box unchecked.

  1. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

This automation trigger will be executed for your customers who are also newsletter subscribers, or first-time buyers who have provided their email address and accepted marketing permissions.

A workflow email will be automatically generated that contains an abandoned cart block.

Note: When using MailerLite abandoned checkout emails, make sure you have disabled abandoned checkout emails in Shopify or WooCommerce.

When you select the trigger Purchases any product, the automation workflow will be triggered when a subscriber makes a purchase from your store and that purchase is marked as complete.

To set up this trigger:

  1. In the sidebar, click the E-commerce automation tab.

  2. Select the workflow trigger Purchases any product.

  3. Under Settings, you’ll see a checkbox labeled Repeat workflow for subscribers only once. When checked, subscribers will only complete the sequence the first time they trigger the workflow; this is useful if you want to create an automatic email to be sent the first time a subscriber makes a purchase from your store.

  1. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

When you select the trigger Purchases specific product, the automation workflow will trigger when a subscriber purchases a specific product that you have selected, and that purchase is marked as complete.

To set up your specific product trigger:

  1. In the sidebar, click the E-commerce automation tab.

  2. Select the workflow trigger Purchases specific product.

  3. Click the button labeled Select a product from your store.

  1. Select the product that, when purchased, you would like to trigger this workflow and click Insert.

  2. Under Settings, you’ll see a checkbox labeled Repeat workflow for subscribers only once. When checked, subscribers will only complete the workflow once even if they purchase the product multiple times.

  3. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

When you select the trigger Purchases from a category, the automation workflow will trigger when a subscriber purchases any product from a category that you specify. 

To set up this trigger:

  1. Click the E-commerce automation tab.

  2. Select the trigger Purchases from a category.

  3. Select the category you want to use as your workflow trigger.

  4. Under Settings, you’ll see a checkbox labeled Repeat workflow for subscribers only once. When checked, subscribers will only complete the workflow once even if they purchase from that category multiple times.

  1. Click Save to apply your trigger settings.

Still have questions?
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at support@mailerlite.com. A member of our support team will gladly assist you.