By default, a contact can only complete an automated program once. Sometimes you may want to design a program that would have a contact repeat it multiple times for some reason. For example, if you are sending a happy birthday message, a contact would complete the program once every year.
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 repeatedly 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, please continue with the steps below for the best results in your automation.
Essentials to Get Started
- Brief description of your use case(s) and why re-entry is needed to satisfy them
- Example list(s) you plan on using in a re-entry automated program
- Example Automated Program created for testing
- Timing: Think about what context a contact would need to repeatedly enter a program; either under a scheduled cadence or triggered by an action.
- Variance: There should be some changes happening to a given contact on subsequent entries into a program. This could be a behavior causing them to go through a different branch of your program, or updated profile information that changes the content of a message they'll receive.
- Periodic programs with entry based on certain dates, such as account renewals, birthdays, or similar, where contacts would repeat the program from the beginning.
- Application status based on a form submission
- Triggering alerts to your Sales team for contacts reaching targeting behavior milestones
- Transactional messages needing extra details not collected in a form submission
- Order confirmations (See using an alternate unique identifier)
- Weekly Job Alert emails containing Dynamic Content
- An alternative to this, however, is using RSS to Email instead of an automated program.
If you haven't already, check out Automated Program Basics and Best Practices, then review these best practices specific to re-entry programs:
- Leverage behavioral segments when possible to control when and which contacts will re-enter your program
- Utilize Wait Steps in your program to ensure people are progressing as intended.
- Double-check there are no scenarios someone would get the non-transactional message repeatedly
- Avoid any looping logic via Go To steps instead of Exit steps
Add Re-Entry to a Program
To have contacts re-enter a program:
- Go to Automation > Automated Programs > select the edit pencil for the given program
- Note that a running program should be stopped to edit.
- Go to General Settings > Options
- Enable Allow contacts to re-enter and save the program
Once you start/restart this program, you will be asked if you want to enter new contacts, now that re-entry is enabled, the entire source list(s) should enter the program.
Contact Us to Enable Re-entry
If your account doesn't already have re-entry enabled, please contact Support with a description of your use case. An agent will assist with enabling the feature for your program.