Contactually | Overview of Programs (how-to)

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Overview of Programs (how-to)

Last Updated: Jun 19, 2018 11:14AM EDT

Automate your workflow so no task is overlooked

Think of a Program as a virtual assistant. Programs enable you to automate a series of steps, or alternatively, to set up a series of specific reminders so that you're alerted to take specific actions over time. Preschedule important best practices so you don't run the risk of something slipping your mind. No need to manually set individual contact tasks for broadly applicable follow-up actions. Create a Program in advance and easily enroll contacts in the Program as they reach the point in your relationship when the Program applies. Then simply execute on prompted steps.

Whether you want to schedule a series of emails, automate an immediate Follow-Up for a new lead, or set several specific Tasks, you can relax knowing your Program will keep you on point. Stuck on where to start? Check out Contactually's library of Programs and download some into your account.


How to create a Program

1. Go to the Programs tab and click Create Program at the top right.

2. A window will open. Enter the Program name and goal.

3. The "+ Add Bucket" option under Triggers is optional. Attaching a Bucket to the Program will automatically enroll contacts in the Program when they're added to the Bucket. This only applies to contacts added to the Bucket from this point forward. Contacts already in the Bucket will not be automatically enrolled in the Program.

3. Add the steps (actions) you want the Program to trigger.

How to create a step

Click on "+ Add step."

Under "Delay (Days)," type in the number of days you want the Program to wait before executing the step. A delay of 0 will trigger the Program to execute the step immediately after the previous step is completed.

Skip the Action section for now.

Under Options, decide if you want to "Reset delay if we interact." Unchecking this box will ensure the step is executed regardless of any other communication you have with a contact. Ticking the checkbox will tell the Program to monitor for any communication between you and the contact. Any time you're in communication with the contact and that communication is logged in Contactually, the Program will restart the waiting period (the number of days indicated under Delay) before executing the step.

Now select the action you want the Program to trigger.

Remind me to follow up generates a Follow-Up Reminder on your Dashboard.

Send Message tells the Program to send an email to the contact. You won't be able to simply trigger a reminder to send an email (to do this, use the Custom Task action). You must use an Email Template, so be sure to create the Templates you need in advance of creating the Program.

If you have multiple email accounts connected to Contactually, you can select from which email address you want the Template to be sent.

You can also set a specific time of day to send the email and enable tracking options so that you can see when an email has been opened or a link within the email has been clicked. Enabling the tracking option for replies will trigger a Dashboard notification if the recipient does not respond.

"Require approval before executing" allows you to modify, further personalize, cancel, or simply approve the message before it's sent to a contact. Unchecking this box sends the email automatically.

"Notified me if opened" alerts you when a message is opened.

Add to Bucket adds the contact to the Bucket you select. If you wish to remove from a Bucket and add to another, you must do the Add step before the Remove (as the Remove will end the Program, if the Bucket is associated with the Program).

Remove from Bucket removes the contact from a specific Bucket. If you remove the contact from the Bucket associated with the Program, the contact will also be removed from the Program. For this reason, Remove from Bucket is often used as a final step. If you wish to remove from a Bucket and add to another, you must do the Add step before the Remove (as the Remove will end the Program, if the Bucket is associated with the Program).

Follow on Twitter follows the contact on Twitter if the contact's Twitter handle has been imported or is publicly searchable.

Sync  To syncs the contact with an integration app, such as a mailing list. To add or remove integrated apps, go to Contactually's Settings and Integrations.

Custom Task generates a custom notification on the Dashboard. You can use this to remind yourself of general Tasks (for example, to send an email you don't have a Template for, to send a handwritten card, or to call the contact) or specific Tasks (for example, to invite the contact to coffee).

Move to Program removes the contact from this Program to another Program. Any steps that follow a Move to Program step will not be executed because no contacts will be enrolled in the Program beyond that point.

Click Save when you have added all the steps you need.

To delete a step, click the trash can icon to the right of the step.

To rearrange a step, use the double vertical areas to the right of the step and drag it to the desired position.

Adding contacts to a Program

To add contacts to a Program, see here.


Is there a limit to the number of steps a Program can have?

No, you can add as many steps as you need.

Can a contact be in more than one Program?

No, a contact can only be in one Program at a time.

How can I set it so that a Program is triggered automatically for a new lead?

Create a Bucket for new leads and attach that bucket to the program, either via the 
"+ Add Bucket" option under Triggers, which you can see when creating or editing a Program, or via the small Integrations & Programs tab for that specific Bucket, which you can access by going to the Buckets tab and clicking on the name of the Bucket. Any time you place a new lead into the new leads Bucket, the lead will automatically be enrolled in the Program.

How can I trigger an automated, immediate email for lead follow-up?

Create an Email Template. Create a Program where the first step has a delay of 0 days and select Send Message as the action. Select the Template you created for immediate lead follow-up. Set a specific send time if desired. Be sure to uncheck "Require approval before executing" and "Reset delay if we interact."

Can I create an indefinite Program that repeats monthly or annually?

No, you can only create a Program with an end time. A Program's timeframe can be as long as needed. You can create a multi-month or multi-year Program.

Can I use a Program to send a monthly newsletter?

Because a program doesn't run indefinitely, it's recommended to use MailChimp or other email marketing services for newsletters. MailChimp directly integrates with Contactually, while others can be connected through Zapier. You can automatically add a contact to MailChimp via a Sync To Program step.

Is there a limit to the number of emails a Program can send each day?

Yes. For Professional plan users, the limit is 300 emails per day. For Accelerator plan users, the limit is 400 per day. For Enterprise plan users, the limit is 1,000 emails per day. These limits include any emails sent via the ScaleMail feature. (For example, if you are a Professional user and you send 150 emails via ScaleMail, you can only send 150 emails via Programs that same day.) Individual Follow-Ups don't count toward the email limit.

How do CAN-SPAM and CASL laws affect Programs and Contactually?

It is your responsibility to make sure you abide by the laws regarding electronic communication. See here.

Related articles

How to add contacts to a Program
Mass adding contacts to Programs
Removing contacts from Programs

How to create a drip campaign
How to send a handwritten card through Contactually

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