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    Rules Overview

    Rules & Automation

    Rules are used to automate the management of contacts. Using rules you can set it up so that if a contact does or does not perform an action, then do something based on a condition (or no conditions at all). In the case that you do not want a rule to fire, you can simply choose to pause the rule using the Pause button.

    Rules Actions Menu

    Rule Components

    To understand the power of automating the management of your contacts, it’s important to understand what each piece of a rule does.

    Triggers

    Triggers are an action that a contact performs such as opening an email or not visiting a webpage or an action that a user performs such as manually updating a field in the contact record. In the system it’s known as WHEN THIS HAPPENS: 

    Rule trigger drop down

    Conditions

    Conditions are used to further refine your triggered automation. For example, you could set up a rule to fire if a contact has clicked a link more than 2 times, or contact has a particular membership level on a WordPress site, or contact has a declined credit card. In the system it’s labeled as AND THIS IS TRUE:

    Blank conditions drop down

    Actions

    Actions are the outcomes that occur once a rule is triggered. Some examples of outcomes are: add contact to Sequence, remove membership subscription, remove open order, change a Field to a particular value, generate a Task, etc. In the system it’s labeled as THEN DO THIS:

    blank actions drop down

    Full List of Triggers, Conditions, and Actions

    Triggers

    Triggers are used to activate global Rules. As soon as a global Rule is created it waits silently in the background for the Trigger event and then springs into action. The Trigger is selected in the drop down box under WHEN THIS HAPPENS.

    • Contact is created

    • A field is updated  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of any Contact record field

    • When Contact is added to Sequence  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Sequence or "Any Sequence"

      Trigger: contact added to a sequence

    • When Contact is removed from Sequence  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Sequence or "Any Sequence"

    • Subscription to Sequence is Paused  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Sequence or "Any Sequence"

    • Subscription to Sequence is Resumed  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Sequence or "Any Sequence"

    • Opens Email  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of specific Email or "Any Email"

    • Clicks an Email link  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Email or "Any Email". Indicate the Link desired by entering a number corresponding to the position of the Link in the Email (e.g., the first Link in an Email is "1"). System generated Links, such as the Manage Your Subscription Link at the bottom of all bulk Email are not counted. Use 0 (zero) to fire the Rule if any link is clicked.

      trigger is clicked an email link

    • Sends you an Email  Show / Hide

      Requires setting up IMAP Settingsexternal link to add incoming Email to the Contact record

    • Purchases Product  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Product or "Any Product"

    • Gets a refund on a Product  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Product or "Any Product"

    • Visits a Landing Page  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Landing Page created in ONTRAPORT or "Any Landing Page" created in ONTRAPORT. For pages not created in ONTRAPORT use the Contact visits URL Trigger instead

    • Visits a PURL  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific PURL or "Any PURL"

    • Open order is created  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Product or "Any Product" on the Order

    • Open Order is charged or updated  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a specific Product's Open Order or "Any Product". Update status selection includes Charged, Cancelled and Completed

      trigger: open order is charged or updated

    • Credit card is charged or declined

    • When Contact is added to Tag  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a single Tag

    • When Contact is removed from Tag  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a single Tag

    • When Contact is added to Fulfillment List  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of a single Fulfillment List or "Any Fulfillment List"

    • Is given access to WordPress Membership Level  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of any single membership level in an integrated WordPress sites

    • Loses access to WordPress Membership Level  Show / Hide

      Allows selection of any single membership level in an integrated WordPress sites

    • SMS Received from Contact  Show / Hide

      Requires use of ONTRAPORT's SMS functionexternal link. Acts when Contact sends your ONTRAPORT SMS number a SMS message

    • Contact visits URL  Show / Hide

      Requires ONTRAPORT Tracking Script to be installed on the page (ONTRAPORT Landing Pages and integrated WordPress sites have the Tracking Script by default)

    • Clicks Tracked Link  Show / Hide

      Activates only when a Tracked Linkexternal link is clicked. Tracked Links in ONTRAPORT are a specific kind of Link that can be used in any media and are tracked in the aggregate, not from the individual source.

    Conditions

    • Has been on a sequence for a certain amount of time  Show / Hide

      Allows you to filter Contacts based on time spent on a specific Sequence

    • Was subscribed to sequence before or after a certain date  Show / Hide

      Allows you to filter Contacts based on the date (on, before, or after) subscribed to a Sequence

    • If Contact is subscribed to Sequence  Show / Hide

      Allows you to filter Contacts based on which Sequences they are subscribed to

    • If Contact is not subscribed to Sequence Show / Hide

      Allows you to filter Contacts based on which Sequences they are NOT subscribed to

    • Subscription to a sequence is paused

    • Subscription to a sequence is resumed

    • Field is this value  Show / Hide

      Allows you to filter Contacts based on a value of a field within their Contact Record

    • Contact has Tag

    • Contact doesn't have Tag

    • Has visited a Wordpress site a certain number of times

    • Has visited a landing page a certain number of times

    • Has opened an Email a certain number of times

    • Has clicked an Email link a certain number of times

    • Has spent a certain amount on a product

    • Has ordered a certain amount of a product

    • Is subscribed to product

    • Has been subscribed to a product for a certain amount of time

    • If Contact is subscribed to Fulfillment List

    • Has access to WordPress Membership Level

    • Does not have access to WordPress Membership Level

    • SMS contains an Email address
    • SMS does not contain an Email address
    • SMS contains text
    • SMS does not contain text

    Actions

    • Recharge all transactions that are in collections

    • Add Contact to Sequence

    • Remove Contact from Sequence

    • Remove from all sequences

    • Pause subscription to a sequence

    • Unpause subscription to a sequence

    • Add Product to Purchase History

    • Cancel Open Order

    • Notify someone with an Email (any email address)

    • Notify ONTRAPORT User with an SMS
    • Add Contact to Tag

    • Remove Contact from Tag

    • Send an Email

    • Send a Postcard

    • Add Task

    • Send an SMS

    • Change the value of a field

    • Add to Lead Router

    • Ping a URL  Show / Hide

      Also known as a "Web Hook" a Ping URL, once triggered, allows you to send information to a 3rd party application, script, or website

      actions: ping url

    • Add Contact to Fulfillment List

    • Remove Contact from Fulfillment List

    • Remove Contact from All Fulfillment Lists
    • Give access to WordPress Membership Level

    • Remove access to WordPress Membership Level

    • Update Facebook Custom Audience

    How to Create a Rule

    1. Go to the Navigation bar > Contacts menu > Rules
       
      contacts navigation menu: rules
       
    2. Click the New Rule button
       
      click the New Rule button
       
    3. Name your rule
      1. Use naming conventions and be as descriptive as possible when naming a rule so you can always find it in the future.
    4. Select the event(s) that will trigger the rule
      1. Select a trigger from the When this happens dropdown menu
      2. If a dropdown menu appears with your trigger, make a selection
      3. To add additional triggers click + ADD NEW TRIGGER
    5. Select the condition(s) of the rule (OPTIONAL)
      1. Select a condition from the And this is true dropdown menu
      2. If a dropdown menu appears with your condition, make a selection
      3. To add additional conditions click + ADD NEW CONDITION
    6. Select the action(s) performed
      1. Select an outcome from the Then do this dropdown menu
      2. If a dropdown menu appears with your outcome, make a selection
      3. To add additional actions click + ADD NEW ACTION
    7. Save

     

    Other Resources

    The ONTRAPORT Q & A Forum offers peer to peer support with our Certified Consultants and ONTRAPORT support staff actively monitoring the forum. 

     

     

    Have more questions? Submit a request

    Comments

    • Avatar
      Paul Coman

      How does the "when contact sends you email" rule work?

    • Avatar
      Cody Ferrel

      Hey Paul,

      That is a really good question and this is a new feature we are offering with ONTRAPORT. In order to trigger a rule based on a contact sending you an email you must first  have an Email Importer set up for each reply to email address in the account. The email importer is similar to parsing but rather than forwarding a message it logs the message in the inbox, and scrapes for a contact match. Once that is set up and a contact sends an email to the "Reply To" address, the rule will then be triggered. Below is a reference to our Email Importer set up instructions.

      1

      - https://support.ontraport.com/entries/31307190-Using-the-Email-Importer

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact support either by email at support@ontraport.com, live chat, or by phone. (1-855-668-7276)

      **Cody Ferrel**

      Customer Support Sidekick

      1-855-668-7276

      **ONTRAPORT | Forums**

    • Avatar
      Peter Price

      Is there a time when it is best to use a rule rather than a sequence? I am getting confused about whether to use a rule to trigger a sequence, or just to have all the required actions in the rule itself.

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Peter,

      Global or stand-alone Rules in ONTRAPORT are pro-active, waiting for something to happen. At any time in the future, if the trigger is met, the Rule springs into action. 

      A Rule step in a sequence only acts when the contact gets to that step of the sequence; it is not active if the contact meets the condition in the future after they have passed that step.

      Here's an example of when a Rule works in concert with a sequence. If you decide to add a tag to all contacts that visited your website, you can create a sequence and have a rule checking for the website visit and adding the tag. Subscribe all your contacts to the sequence, and the ones who ... in the past ... have visited the website get the tag. That's great, but what about contacts who visit the site tomorrow? They won't be tagged, because they have already been through the rule in the sequence.

      A global Rule can be set up for any future website visits. The trigger is the website visit, and the action is to add the tag. Now, you know all contacts who visited the site in the past are tagged because of the sequence, and all contacts that visit the site in the future will be tagged by the global Rule. 

       

    • Avatar
      Rowan Gregson

      Hi,

      i am trying to set up a rule based around "when an email is not opened" I can't seem to find where the appropriate statements are in ontraport.

      Thanks

    • Avatar
      Paul Nugent

      Hi Rowena,

      You could create a sequence to do this is by having a rule step with a condition of has opened email this number of times and then adding a tag.

      Here is what the rule would look like:

      http://screencast.com/t/iVWDqjmzgw  

      This way you can then create a group that with the criteria of contazct tags does not contain [tag]

      Thanks for your question!

      Best,

      **Paul Nugent**

      Customer Support Sidekick

      1-855-668-7276

      **ONTRAPORT | Forums**

    • Avatar
      Marius-Adi Florea

      Can you tell us what rules should we use for: (Global Rules or Sequence rules )

      • WHEN contact opens email 0 (zero) times send him to sequence 2?

      • when contact opens email 1 (one) time send him to sequence 3 ?

      I cannot make the difference what the global rules are for and the sequence rules are for and when should I use them ?

    • Avatar
      Johanna Burkhardt

      How do you create a rule that when someone gets added to your email list, if they already exists it will just update their record and not duplicate it?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Johanna, we already prevent duplicate contacts except in very limited situations. If someone opts in via one of our forms it will merge rather than create a new contact. There are three ways you can create duplicate contacts:

      1. You manually enter a duplicate contact from within ONTRAPORT.
      2. You import a CSV of new contacts and do not select "Merge and Underwrite" as the add method.
      3. You have an application using the API that is adding contacts without checking to see if one exists first (if this is the case, tell the external app to use our "saveorupdate" API call that combines checking and adding or updating in one call).

      You can see how the contact was added by looking in the Automation Log in their Contact Record. Here's a screen shot of the Automation Log in version 3.0 showing that I manually added the contact Susan Smith: http://screenshot.ontrapedia.com/public/fhagan/1486656149.png

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