Growing Your Business, Lesson 3: Contact Forms & Automations to Scale
Section 4: Understanding & Creating Workflows



Workflows allow you to automate certain steps in your business process, and can be set up to react to particular triggers (like an Inquiry coming in from your Contact Form) with particular actions (like automatically sending an email or a Brochure).


Workflows can trigger automatically, as in the case of Contact Form responses, but you can also apply them manually to individual Projects! They can also contain any number of steps, set to occur at certain times or intervals.


For example, you might set a Workflow to automatically send an email and Brochure to a client as soon as they submit a request via your Contact Form; create another step that automatically sends a Questionnaire 2 weeks later, making sure you collect any additional details you need; then a final step that creates a task for you within the Project, prompting you to schedule your final check-in with the client two weeks before the Project date.


In this section, we’ll review:




Triggers & Actions


Triggers


It's easy to make sure that each step of your Workflow happens exactly when you want it to—just select the appropriate Trigger to initiate the Action.


You can choose to have your selected Action occur any number of days:

  • After activating the Workflow (activating = manually applying to a Project or auto-triggering with a Contact Form submission)
  • Before a Project date
  • After a Project date
  • After the previous step of a Workflow is complete



Actions


Create a Task

Tasks allow you to keep track of all your to-dos, and you can customize them for your unique Workflow. 

When you select Create Task as an Action, you can name the task itself, and choose how many days into the Workflow you need to complete this task.

Once the Workflow is activated, the task will appear in the task list for that Project, set for the appropriate date. From there, you can check it off when it’s completed, or click the trash can if you decide you can skip the task.


Send an Email

When you select Send Email as an Action, you can choose to send any email Template you've created (as we learned in Lesson 1.1!), so you can get the right message across in the right way. Then, you can select when the email should be sent, and decide whether the email should go out automatically, or whether you'd like to review it first.

If you select Approve Before Sending, the approval will show up as a task in your Project task list, with a due date of the day your email should send (according to your Workflow rules). 

When you check this task off, your email will send right away, whether or not you’re checking it off on the actual due date.

If you select Send Automatically, when the selected Trigger date hits, your Action—in this case, an email sending automatically—will occur! The email will appear as though it came directly from you, and will go right to the inbox of the participant(s) associated with the Project or Inquiry to which the Workflow was applied.



Send a Brochure

As we now know, Brochures are an incredibly flexible file type, with which you can create any number of documents (interactive service catalogues, mood boards, proofing documents, and more!). When you select Send Brochure as an Action, you can choose to send any Brochure Template you've created, pair it with any email Template you've created, select when the email & file should be sent, and decide whether the communication should go out automatically, or whether you'd like to review it first.

If you select Approve Before Sending, the approval will show up as a task in your Project task list, with a due date of the day your email should send (according to your Workflow rules). 

When you check this task off, your email & Brochure will send right away, whether or not you’re checking it off on the actual due date.


If you select Send Automatically, when the selected Trigger date hits, your Action—in this case, an email & Brochure sending automatically—will occur! The email will appear as though it came directly from you, and will go right to the inbox of the participant(s) associated with the Project or Inquiry to which the Workflow was applied. The participant(s) can then review your Brochure and select the services that are of interest.




Send a Questionnaire

Our Questionnaire files allow you to pose a set of questions to your client to gather more information on them and their Project. When you select Send Questionnaire as an Action, you can choose to send any Questionnaire Template you've created, pair it with any email Template you've created, select when the email & file should be sent, and decide whether the communication should go out automatically, or whether you'd like to review it first.

If you select Approve Before Sending, the approval will show up as a task in your Project task list, with a due date of the day your email should send (according to your Workflow rules). 

When you check this task off, your email & Questionnaire will send right away, whether or not you’re checking it off on the actual due date.


If you select Send Automatically, when the selected Trigger date hits, your Action—in this case, an email & Questionnaire sending automatically—will occur! The email will appear as though it came directly from you, and will go right to the inbox of the participant(s) associated with the Project or Inquiry to which the Workflow was applied. The participant(s) can then review your Brochure and select the services that are of interest.





Creating Workflows



Now that we understand the concept and components of Workflows, it’s time to create!

To create a Workflow:

1.  From your HoneyBook home page, click the Tools menu. 

2.  Select Workflows from the menu.

3.  Click Create Workflow. 

HoneyBook Tip: You can create as many Workflow Templates as you'd like!

4.  Click the Workflow title to rename the Template as you see fit—this will make it easy to find when you're adding a Workflow to a specific Project.

5.  Choose the first Action in your sequence. As discussed above, you can choose to:

  • Send an email
  • Send a Brochure
  • Send a Questionnaire
  • Create a task for yourself

6.  Select the details of your first Action—i.e., what you’d like to create or send. For example, if you're sending a Brochure as your first Action, you'll select which email Template and Brochure Template should go out. If you've chosen Create Task as your Action, you'll create a name for the task.

HoneyBook Tip: For Actions in which something is sent to a client, remember to select whether you’d like that email/file to send automatically, or whether you’d like to approve it first, as detailed in the section above. 

7.  Select the first Trigger—i.e., when the first step of the Workflow should begin. You can set your Trigger to be any number of days:

  • After activating the Workflow (activating = manually applying to a Project or auto-triggering with a Contact Form submission)
  • Before a Project date
  • After a Project date
  • After the previous step of a Workflow is complete (this can’t be applied to the first step in a Workflow, but can be applied to any subsequent steps)

8.  If you’d like to add additional steps to your Workflow, click the Plus button and repeat the steps above for your Triggers and Actions of choice!

9.  Click Save when you're finished.




In the next section, Applying or Automating Workflows, we’ll learn how to get these Workflows working!








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