Triggering a campaign when a contact joins an address book


You can set up triggered campaigns to automatically send to contacts based upon various actions; in this case when they join an address book. This allows you to send a welcome email to them, which makes a great impression and allows you to engage with your new subscriber instantly.

Setting up a join action trigger

Create your address book in the normal manner, giving it a unique name and entering a description. Remember – if it is a public address book, your contacts will see its name, so give it some thought!

Once your address book has been created, go to your Contacts list and click on the Properties icon alongside the address book to edit its settings.

'Join action' enables you to select a triggered campaign to be sent automatically whenever a new contact joins this address book. Note that this will only apply to single joins, for example via a signup form or preference centre. It won't apply for bulk subscriptions, such as a contact import.

Click on the 'Join action' dropdown list. A scrollable list will appear of all of the triggered campaigns that you’ve created in your account. This list is also searchable.

Alternatively, click on the Explore button to open the side panel and search for a triggered campaign within your folders; you can also view your triggered campaigns via this option before selecting them. 

Whichever method you use, simply select the appropriate campaign for someone joining the address book; this could be a triggered campaign you’ve created called ‘Welcome!’, for example.

Once selected, click Save. This will ensure this campaign is automatically sent to every contact when they join the address book.

Before using this function, you must have already set up the appropriate 'triggered' campaign otherwise no campaigns will be listed.

More on automated and triggered campaigns

For more on automated and triggered campaigns, check out the following articles:

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar

    What is the "appropriate triggered campaign"?

    Edited by Hannah Supple
  • Avatar

    Hi Hannah,

    Thanks for your feedback – and you’re right. There’s a little bit of a lack of clarity in the article, so I’ll be updating it to address that.

    The campaigns featured under the ‘Join action’ tab will be all of the triggered campaigns that you’ve created in your account. All you need to do is select the appropriate one for someone joining the address book, which could be a triggered campaign you’ve created called ‘Welcome!’, for example. Click on the radio button next to the campaign and then click SAVE, which will ensure this email is automatically sent to every contact when they join the address book.

    If you don’t have any campaigns listed here, then use the ‘Triggered Campaigns’ link to create one.

    I hope this helps. However, for more on triggered campaigns, you may want to check out the following articles:

  • Avatar

    Hi Neal,

    Thanks for your responding - is there a way to send a triggered campaign to contacts added from a bulk upload to an address book, rather than only through the form?



    Edited by Hannah Supple
  • Avatar

    Hi Hannah,

    No problem. Thanks for your further question.

    The short answer is that there isn't a direct way of doing this. However, you could try the following workaround, which would work as long as the contacts added to an address book from your bulk upload are brand new and aren't already within the system:

    1. Create a new triggered send (Campaigns > Triggered campaigns > click 'ADD NEW' from the 'Triggered sends' tab)
    2. Complete all the settings under 'Create new'
    3. Ensure you set the data field for triggering as 'signup/created date'
    4. Set the trigger to fire at least 1 day after the contact's 'signup/created date'
    5. Select the triggered campaign you want to send from your dropdown list

    This will result in your triggered campaign being sent to the contacts in your bulk upload one day after the bulk upload. However, as mentioned, this won't work for any contacts that already exist in your account with an earlier created date.

  • Avatar

    Hi, Is there a way to trigger a program when a customer is added to an address book rather than just sending one campaign?

  • Avatar

    Hi Jemima,

    Yes there is, and there's a choice of two possible ways of doing it:

    1. You could create a whole program to cater for it, from start to finish, without making use of a triggered 'join action' email. This means the program would need to enrol contacts via a segment based upon belonging to a specific address book. However, the drawback is that the first email that is sent by the program (after the contact's subscription to the address book) will not send immediately after their joining but rather when the segment is next evaluated (for instance, the following morning). If this is acceptable to you, then that's great; if not, and it if's important to you that the 'join action' email is sent immediately upon the contact joining the address book, then...

    2. You could keep your 'join action' triggered email in place but follow on with a program that then enrols contacts based upon being sent that triggered email, so it all works seamlessly.

    If you want further guidance on programs, read 'Getting started with the program builder', whilst 'Configuring program start rules' will also prove useful for what has been discussed here.

    Hope that helps you out.

  • Avatar
    Hi, How can I check reports for these triggered campaigns? I've set a join action to send out a campaign, but can't find the report for this campaign in the regular place.
  • Avatar

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your question. You should find reports for triggered campaigns (such as a join action) in the usual place - under 'Campaign reports'. As long as you know the campaign's name, you should be able to locate it (search for it if you need to) and drill down on it.

  • Avatar

    Hi Neal,

    Following on the comment above to Jemima - Is there no other way to trigger a program when subscribers join an address book?

    My situation is that I want to fire off a different welcome email to subscribers based on their location and language - the issue is that all these subscribers are being pushed into the same address book. I know that the easiest way would be to push subscribers to different address books based on their lang/country and set up a 'Join' campaign per address book but at this point in time it will take longer to change our data flow.


  • Avatar

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for this. You're correct about the easiest way being the pushing of subscribers to different address books according to their country/language. However, let's look at some alternative options for your one address book.

    Assuming you have a contact data field that already stores your contacts' country/language, then you could potentially use a program and a series of filtering decisions to accomplish the sending of different welcome emails. After enrolling contacts based upon their membership of the address book (and bear in mind this could take up to 24 hours until they're enrolled), you'd next set up a series of decision nodes based upon their country/language equalling 'Spain/Spanish' for instance. If 'yes' they get sent the Spanish welcome email; if 'no' they move to the next decision node that sends the appropriate campaign to them if they equal 'Italy/Italian'; if no they move to the next decision node that sends...and so on. Here's our support article on decision nodes, in case you need it -

    The practicality of the above, however, depends on just how many languages you are catering for in total, otherwise it all might get a bit unwieldly. If it isn't that many, it could be an option.

    Even better though, and this wouldn't require a program at all, would be to use dynamic content blocks within the join action campaign. This dynamic content would, again, be based upon the country/language stored against the contact and would send the variation appropriate to them. Here's our support article on dynamic content blocks, in case you need it -

    I hope one of these might offer a solution to you. Furthermore, you might also want to post a feature request for a new address book join action that would enrol a contact to a program - The more votes and support a feature request gets, the more likely it is to figure in our future development plans.

  • Avatar

    Hi. Picking up on the earlier comment about sending an automatic email to users who haven't joined via a sign up form (so Add a list of contacts or Add an individual), is there a work around if they do already exist in All contacts?

    We want to send a survey out to people who fill out an application form to join. The data comes from a separate system but they may already exist in Dotmailer from before and some may be new. Ideally I would like to just add them to a "Survey" address book, and the email would be sent out.

    What's the best way of doing this?


Powered by Zendesk