Goals are a powerful workflow tool that will help you take your automation to the next level. This article will run through goal examples, teach you how to set them up in your workflows, and how they behave in different situations.
In this article:
- What is a Goal?
- Goal examples
- Setting up a Goal
- Goals and Campaigns
- Goals and Delays
- Goals and Parallel Paths
A goal is a step in a workflow—that when achieved—removes the subscriber from any step directly above it.
Goals are easily recognized by their green color. Here we have a goal that is triggered when someone creates an order on a Shopify store.
You can think of goals as the main milestones you’d like your subscribers to achieve while they’re active in the workflow.
It’s common practice to set up goals for when a subscriber makes a purchase, clicks a trigger link, or visits a page on a website. This allows you to pull subscribers further down your workflow and send them email content that better compliments the action they have just taken.
For instance, you might send your new subscribers a standard welcome series campaign designed to find out more about their interests. You’ll probably want to change up the email content they receive once you get a better idea of what they want to know more about. The subscriber might click a trigger link in an email because they’re more interested in socks than scarves. Goals make that easy to do.
Here is a simple goal example:
Let’s say the subscriber is currently subscribed to our Flash Sale Campaign, and still have a few more emails to receive before it's completed. If at any point, the subscriber achieves the Order created goal below it, they will get removed from the campaign and will stop receiving any further emails. Then, the subscriber will then continue down the workflow at the goal they just triggered.
You can use multiple goals in a single workflow. When setting up multiple goals, it is recommended that you configure them in the order they’ll most likely get achieved.
For example, in Drip’s own onboarding workflow, there is a goal for when someone starts a trial and another for when someone becomes a customer. Since it’s more common for someone to go through a trial before becoming a customer, the goals are set up in that order.
Notice how the “Started a trial” goal if further up the workflow than the “Became a customer” goal.
Although this is the most likely order, a goal is not dependent on other goals above it. Therefore, it is possible for subscribers to skip over entire sections of a workflow if a goal further downstream is achieved. So, if a someone opts-out of the trial phase and becomes a customer right away, they will skip over the trial goal and get pulled straight to the customer goal.
If a subscriber skips over a goal, there is no way for them to move backward through the workflow to achieve goals they have skipped over. This is another reason why it’s recommended to set your goals in the order they’ll most likely be achieved.
To set up a goal in your workflow, click the + icon wherever you would like to insert your goal.
When the modal appears, select the Goal option.
Then, select the trigger you’d like to use to fulfill the goal.
You’ll notice that Drip has many native triggers already built in. Many of Drips 3rd-party integrations all send events that can be used as the goal’s trigger. This makes it easy to record events.
Goals as entry points
A goal can be an entry point into a workflow. If you check the Use this trigger as an entry point setting in the trigger editor, subscribers will enter the workflow if they achieve that goal outside of the workflow.
Goals can also be set up right beside each other.
When goals are set up in this way, their behavior can be thought of as “either this goal or that goal” will pull subscribers to that step in the workflow. So, in the case of the above screenshot, either clicking a trigger link or visiting a web page will pull the subscriber to that position in the workflow.
As you have learned, goals immediately pull subscribers out of any steps above it.
This is also true for your email campaigns.
If you are using campaigns to encourage your subscribers to achieve another goal below it, there’s a good chance that campaign will become irrelevant once they do so. In fact, you’ll probably want to change up the email content receive from that point forward or until they achieve another goal.
In some cases, though, you might want the subscriber to continue the email campaign even when a goal is achieved.
To do this, turn the Continue sending emails even if a goal is achieved to the on position:
Just like with email campaigns, goals immediately pull subscribers out any delay they might be paused in at the time of achieving the goal.
Since goals can be placed on both sides of a parallel path, it might not be totally obvious how the automation will behave once a goal is triggered.
Here’s an example:
Based on the example above, a subscriber will get subscribed to two different campaigns once they enter into the parallel path. Take note that there is a goal located directly underneath each campaign. The subscriber will continue to receive both campaign subscriptions until they trigger one of the goals. The subscriber will only be removed from the campaign step located directly above the goal that was triggered. For instance, if the subscriber triggers ‘Goal 1’ they will be immediately removed from ‘Campaign 1’. The subscriber will retain their 'Campaign 2' subscription because goals do not affect any automation steps that are parallel to it.