Autopilot: How does a contact enter a Journey?

How does a contact enter a Journey?

Contacts enter Journeys via triggers.

When a contact enters a Journey, you will see the following feed item in their activity feed:

Contacts can enter Journeys multiple times via any trigger (including the same trigger) as long as they meet a trigger's criteria. Let's take a look at some examples:

In this example, we'll be notified in Slack every time our contact form is submitted. The contact enters the Journey every time the form is submitted.

In the below example, we're using Segment events to update a contact record when they perform certain behaviors in Autopilot. This allows us to group users and enhance the Autopilot on-boarding experience.

Over time a contact may meet the criteria for any (or all) of the triggers, and therefore enter the Journey via any (or all) of them over time.

If you were using a Segment Event which can occur more than once, contacts could also enter the Journey via the same Segment trigger more than once. For example, imagine you were pushing to Segment every time someone takes a photo using your external app. If you had a "total photos taken" field in Autopilot, the same Segment trigger could be used to update that field every time the new total is pushed to Segment.

What happens when a contact enters the same action?

Given triggers can fire more than once per contact, this means that a contact can enter the same action more than once. Please take this into account when creating your Journeys.

Three actions have built-in protection against being performed more than once per contact:

  • Emails: by default, Autopilot will only ever send a specific email to a contact once, in order to prevent the accidental sending of duplicate emails. You can override this default behavior if you wish to do so. Learn more here
  • Postcards: similar to email, Autopilot will only ever allow you to send the a specific postcard to the same person at the same address. Learn more here.
  • Headsup messages: by default, Autopilot will only ever show a specific Headsup Message to a contact onceLearn more here.

For all actions other than those listed above, if you don't want them to be performed more than once, one way of achieving this is to use the Update Field action when it occurs the first time. You can then check that field with the Check Contact Field condition before the action is performed.

For example, let's say you only want to send an SMS to someone thetime they submit your contact form, but on any subsequent form submits by that contact you don't want to send another SMS. You could achieve this using the below Journey:

An alternative to the above would be to use the Add to List action, and the Is On List condition (i.e. add them to the list the first time they submit the form, and then check if they're on the list before performing the action).