What are automations?

Understanding what automations are, how they're activated, and how to use them!

Updated over a week ago

📣 Note

This Note references automations, available for Essentials and Premium plan members. Learn more about the features included in each plan here.

Automations allow you to automate actions in your project's life cycle, sending out emails, creating internal tasks, or sending certain files at the cadence of your choice... while still allowing room for your personal touch to shine through!

📚 Tip

You can even automate invoices and contracts, resulting in a totally hands-off booking experience.

What are automations?

Automations are sets of automated steps that handle pieces of your business process, so you don’t need to oversee every element. Each step in an automation consists of an action (such as sending an email or file, moving the pipeline stage, or creating an internal task), and a trigger (the activity that causes the action to fire, and the timing for that firing).

From your automations dashboard in HoneyBook, you’ll create any number of automations that can then be applied at various points in any project’s lifecycle. An automation can be applied to a project in a couple different ways, by setting it to begin:

Once applied, the automation’s steps will run based on the actions, triggers, and timing you set up.

So, for example, you may have an automation that is set to activate when a lead form inquiry comes in, with the first step set to send an email 2 hours after activation; so, 2 hours after submitting a lead form, a client will automatically receive the predetermined email from you!

The short version? Automations let you keep control of the process where you want to, and automate the parts of your business that don’t need as much personal attention, getting rid of hours of administrative work per week—so you can spend more time on the parts of the business that you love.

How are automations activated?

Each automation can begin/be activated in three ways:

From your automations dashboard, you can designate which automations are activated by incoming contact form inquiries and lead form submissions.

So, for example, you may have a standard “Welcome Automation” that you assign all incoming inquiries. Or, you can create different automations that are specific to different project types, allowing, for example, your web design clients to automatically get a different email and file than your branding clients.

For automations that don’t need to activate as soon as an inquiry comes in, you can apply them to projects manually (and make edits to the automation’s sequence before activating, if you need!). Once the automation has been applied, it will begin running based on the actions, triggers, and timing you set up.

So, for example, if you’ve applied an automation with a step that sends an email 2 days after a contract is signed, you can apply the automation at any point pre-signing. That way, it’s ready to begin running 2 days after your client signs their contract, whenever that may be.

Automation examples

With all the action, trigger, and timing options you have at your disposal, the sky’s the limit with automations! Here are a few examples to get the wheels turning.

New inquiry kick-off automation

  • Activated: via contact form

  • Step 1: send client a “thank you for your interest” email (action) 5 minutes after inquiry comes in (trigger)

  • Step 2: send client a file with the option to schedule a kick-off call (action), 2 days after the previous step is complete (trigger)

  • Step 3: send client an email with instructions (action), 1 hour after a a session is scheduled (trigger)

Post-booking automation

  • Activated: manually, when applied to project

  • Step 1: send client a questionnaire (action) 2 days after they’ve made their deposit (trigger)

  • Step 2: send client an email with next steps (action) immediately upon questionnaire being submitted (trigger)

Post-project feedback automation

  • Activated: manually when applied to project

  • Step 1: send client a feedback questionnaire 1 week after project date

1-year check-in automation

  • Activated: manually when applied to project

  • Step 1: send client an email 1 year after project date as a check-in, a reminder for them to schedule another session, or just to delight them with a "hello"!

📚 Tip

Check out other tips to automate and streamline your clientflow here.

Next steps: building and activating your automations

Got the gist? Now, it’s time to build out some automations and get that ball rolling! Here’s everything you need to know about creating and activating your automations.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

Did this answer your question?