Configuring program delays

Summary

You may want your program to have a delay in it at some point, in between performing one action and moving on to the next.

For example, let's say that you'd like to wait a certain period of time until you follow up a previously sent campaign with another automatic campaign: this can be done by adding a Delay node to your program.

Configuring a program delay

delay_node_config.pngIn the example we run through here, a delay of seven days is going to be added between campaign sends.

To do this, drag and drop a delay node from the side panel onto the canvas, making sure it attaches to the previous node. Click on the delay node to set the length of the delay. A panel will slide in from the right side of the screen.

Select the amount of days you'd like to set for the delay by either using the incrementing buttons or by entering it into the field. Click Apply when you're happy.

The 'Delay' node will populate accordingly on the canvas.

Optional controls: other delay types and settings

By default, a contact is held in a delay node for a set number of days (a multiple of 24 hours). 

By clicking on More options at the top of the side panel, you'll expand the delay types to reveal the following options:

  • Wait until a set time of day
  • Wait until a set day or days of the week 
  • Wait until a set day of the month, which can be selected as the 1st through to the 31st or 'last' day of the month, or as the first, second, third, fourth or last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday of the month
  • Wait until a set date
  • Wait until a calculated date, which can be set as a certain number of days before or after a custom date field or the anniversary of a custom date field (so, for example, 'wait until 90 days before BOOKINGDATE' or 'wait until 7 days before the anniversary of DATEOFBIRTH')
Wait until a set time of day
In this scenario, a contact will be held in the delay until the clock next reaches that time. So a contact joining a delay step of "Wait until 11:00" at 10:00 will be held until an hour later that day. A contact joining a delay step of "Wait until 09:00" at 10:00 will be held until 09:00 the following morning.
Wait a set number of days, and until a specific time on that day
In this scenario, a contact will be held until the given number of days has been reached, and will then be moved on from the delay step at the specified time. So a contact joining a delay step of "Wait until 2 days later at 10:00" at 08:00 will be held for 50 hours (just over 2 days). A contact joining a delay step of "Wait until 2 days later at 10:00" at 12:00 will be held for 46 hours (just under 2 days).

A helpful example explaining what would happen to a contact joining the delay step at the current time is always displayed below the controls.

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Comments

  • Avatar

    So far so good - but there is a major issue which is you are limited to days and cannot select hours or minutes later. This is a real downside. For example you have a customer who registers

    1. An email immediately triggers "Welcome to Domain.com"
    2. +30 mins later "Help on Getting Started"
    3. +60 mins Later "Special Offer if you purchase today"

    This is not possible although its available on many of your competitors - guys it would be really useful if you could include a minute say every 15mins or 30mins later and an hour one. So after an initial email you can send another one out

  • Avatar

    Hi Alexander,

    Thanks for your comment. Plus I note that you've already raised this as a feature request under 'Automation'. That's the best thing to do, as it stands to rise up our development priority list as it picks up votes. Whilst there are no imminent plans to introduce this functionality just yet, we're always listening to, and considering, suggestions and requests as we formulate our future development plans.

  • Avatar

    Is there any movement on this as it seems a logical step forward...a number of your competitors are offering this but we haven't hear anything about this?

  • Avatar

    Hi Alexander,

    There hasn’t been any further movement on this, although we assure you that we continue to monitor all comments closely.

    So far, we’ve found that a day has proven a short enough period of delay for the majority of our program users. We would, in fact, urge some caution when looking to automatically email a contact several times a day, even if they’ve just registered. Hitting their inbox with such regularity within the space of an hour may not be the best approach.

    However, how do others feel? If you're reading this thread, please let us know what you think about the possible introduction of shorter program delay periods, or lend your support to the feature request - https://support.dotmailer.com/entries/100140086-Add-Hours-and-minutes-to-the-delay-in-the-automation-flow

    The more support it receives, the more chance it will have of featuring in our development plans.

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