How do Contacts enter programs?
Two different types of Contacts enter programs, each at different times:
- Existing Contacts, who are in your source list(s) when you start the program
- New Contacts, who enter the program source while the program is still running
Existing Contacts enter at Program Start
When you start the program, you will be asked to add Contacts:
If you choose Yes, all contacts in your source lists will enter the program immediately when the program starts.
If you choose No, Existing Contacts will automatically exit, and only new Contacts will go through the program.
New Contacts will join the program at the schedule set in the Automated Journey Builder's General Settings page.
New Contacts will enter when your program is running and you go to the program dashboard, choose Actions > Add New Contacts Now.
New Contacts will enter the program immediately after they enter the program Source List.
Example: If the program source is a Form Submission List, the new Contact will enter the program just after submitting the form.
This is not always available. See our FAQ below for more information.
On a Schedule
You set the schedule for when new Contacts enter your program.
You can add new Contacts as frequently as once per hour, or as infrequent as once per month.
Can I have multiple source lists?
Yes, you can! In the Automated Journey Builder, you can select multiple lists and/or segments containing your program's Contacts.
Can a Contact enter a program more than once?
Allowing contacts to re-enter your program is available as an optional feature, but you should use it with caution and care. When Allow contacts to re-enter is enabled for your program, faulty program logic could lead to infinite looping. This could cause significant performance issues for your account and unintended results for your Contacts, such as receiving the same emails (an embarrassing mistake).
This feature also affects the accuracy of your program reports. When Contacts repeat steps, data that counts unique Contacts will not count the same Contact twice.
If you believe you have a use case where allowing contacts to re-enter your program is necessary, you may contact our Support team to request this feature.
What is the unique identifier for entering Contacts?
The unique identifier for Automated Programs is the field that is mapped to E-mail address.
Can I use an alternate unique identifier?
Yes you can! Sometimes it may be more beneficial to use an alternate unique identifier so that a particular email address can enter a program more than once.
For example, you can use your field for an order number. This would allow a Contact with multiple orders to enter the program once per order.
To make the change in your program, enter the Automated Journey Builder and go to General Settings. Under Options, enable Use alternate unique identifier and choose your field from the drop-down.
Can Contacts go through a step more than once?
Yes, when your program as Allow contacts to repeat steps enabled. Use wait steps to avoid looping.
To enable this for your program, enter the Automated Journey Builder and go to General Settings. Under Options, enable Allow contacts to repeat steps.
Can I have multiple Early Exit Conditions?
Yes you can! However, when using multiple Early Exit Conditions, make sure they do not contradict each other. Otherwise 0 contacts would be eligible!
Troubleshooting Contacts in Programs
Why didn't a Contact exit a program when they met an Early Exit Condition?
If a Contact is in a segment that is set as an Early Exit Condition for a program and the Contact is still in the program, the program has not moved the Contact yet. When Contacts progress through a program, Act-on will check for Early Exits just before the next step.
For example, if their next step is to send an email after a 3-day wait, the Contact will leave the program after 3 days, just before the email sends.
Why can't I set my program to enter Contacts Immediately?
Sometimes, entering contacts Immediately is disabled in General Settings. This happens because you are using multiple source lists or using a segment as the program source.
To add contacts Immediately, you must use a single Marketing List as the program source ('such as a Form Submission List).