PLEASE NOTE: HoneyBook's Workflows have changed their name to Automations! They still have all the Workflow functionality you know and love, plus some exciting improvements and, of course, a brand new name.
With all the things you inevitably have on your to-do list, every bit of work off your plate can help. Automations allow you to automate actions in your Project's life cycle, sending out emails, creating internal tasks, or sending certain document types at the cadence of your choice... while still allowing room for your personal touch to shine through!
In this article, we’ll review:
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 document, 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 life cycle. An Automation can be applied to a Project in a couple different ways: by setting it to begin automatically when a Contact Form inquiry is received, or by manually adding it to a Project.
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 Contact Form inquiry comes in, with the first step set to send an email 2 hours after activation; so, 2 hours after submitting a Contract 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 two ways:
Automatically, when a Contract Form inquiry comes in
Manually, when applied to a Project
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 brochure 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.
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 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 brochure detailing your services (Action), 1 day after the previous step is complete (Trigger)
Step 3: create a task for yourself to follow up with potential client (Action) 1 week after brochure is submitted back to you (Trigger)
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"!
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.
Want to learn more?
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!