Automation is currently in closed beta. During beta, only approved participants have access to the feature and we reserve the right to change the functionality at any time without warning. For more information on the Automation beta, or to join the beta waitlist, see our Email Marketing Automation page.
SendGrid’s Automation beta allows you to send a series of emails to contacts automatically at a cadence you define. Automations are simple to set up, and once created, you can trigger them to send automatically by adding new recipients to a chosen list, saving you time.
With the Automation beta, you could build email campaigns to:
For beta participants who also use Marketing Campaigns, it’s important to know that during the beta, there is little connection between Marketing Campaigns and Automation. Specifically, the following items are not shared across the two offerings:
Unsubscribe Groups and Senders are shared between Marketing Campaigns and Automation.
Additionally, during this phase of the beta, some Marketing Campaigns features will not be available in Automation. For easy reference, the primary feature gaps include:
We’ll be working iteratively to close these feature gaps as quickly as possible.
Before you start building your first automation, complete the following:
If you would like to have notifications about your account's Automation activity sent to an email other than your parent account address,you can add them in Notifications.
To add a notification email address:
You can add up to 10 email addresses to Automation notifications.
Automation shares Unsubscribe Groups with the rest of SendGrid. If a contact unsubscribes from an email you send via Automation, they're unsubscribing from any emails you send using that Unsubscribe Group in Marketing Campaigns as well.
A great reason to create an Unsubscribe Group specific to the automations you're setting live is that at this stage of the beta, you cannot remove a contact from an Automation once they've entered it (exit criteria is limited to contacts receiving all emails in the series). However, if you create an Unsubscribe Group specific to your automation, you can remove contacts from an automation by adding them to that Unsubscribe Group.
For information on creating Unsubscribe Groups, see Create and Manage Unsubscribe Groups.
For more information, see Senders.
Once you've completed the prerequisites, you start building your first automation. You can start with a pre-built Welcome Series and make it your own, or start from scratch by selecting Custom Automation.
To create a Custom Automation:
Contacts will only receive your automation if you add them to the list you select for entry criteria after you set the automation live.
During beta, templates from Marketing Campaigns are not available in Automation. However, you can export the template HTML from Marketing Campaigns and paste it into an Automation blank template using the Automation code editor.
If you did not do so within the editor, you can add a subject line and select a sender from the Edit Automation page.
To add more emails to this automated series, click Add an Email.
Choose how long to wait before sending the next email. This time will be relative to the preceding email.
Repeat steps 5-9 for each additional email you add to this custom automation.
Once you have created all of your emails for the automation, click Set Live.
To duplicate an automation:
The pre-built Welcome Series automation provides a jumping off point to inspire you to create your own tailored welcome series.
To create a Welcome Series:
If you keep the entry criteria as "All Contacts" it's important to remember that any recipient you add to your Automation contacts after you set the welcome series live will be entered into the automation. Use "All Contacts" with caution to avoid sending a welcome series to contacts that aren't actually new to you.
Adding contacts to a list that's designated as the entry criteria for an automation will trigger that automation. The Automation beta experience offers several ways to add contacts to lists, including CSV upload, using signup forms, or via the Contact Management APIs.
During the beta, contacts you upload to Automation are distinct from your existing Marketing Campaigns contacts. An Automation contact will be treated as new even if they’ve been in your Marketing Campaigns contacts for some time.
Note that automations will only trigger to contacts who are added to an entry criteria list after the automation is set live. Contacts who you add to a list before the automation is set live will not receive any emails in the series.
You can add contacts to a list via CSV Upload or by creating a Signup Form to automatically send signups to a list.
At this phase of the beta, custom fields are not supported. You can import reserved fields, including
last_name, and address fields.
Use Signup Forms with the SendGrid Automation beta to capture new contacts and add them directly to an Automation list. If the list you add them to is acting as the entry criteria for a live automation, the new contact will automatically receive any emails you’ve created as part of that automation.
You can enable contacts to access your signup form either by sending them a link hosted by SendGrid or by embedding it directly into your website.
The number of signup forms you can create is limited to 15.
To create a new signup form:
Using the action menu on the Signup Forms page you can edit, duplicate, or delete existing signup forms.
Because of the iframe technology used to create the signup form, the form dynamically updates on the page or pages where you have the form embedded anytime you edit a form and click Save & Apply.
To make your form accessible to new contacts, you can either send them a link hosted by SendGrid or you can embed code on your website that displays your form as an iframe.
To share the code for your signup form:
Navigate to the signup form you want to share or embed.
Click the action menu and select Share Code.
On the Integrate Form modal, copy either the Landing Page or Direct Embed link.
You can also find the options to share the signup form in the form editor by clicking Share Code in the top-right corner of the editor.
During this early phase of beta, you can only view and edit contact details from the All Contacts page. In the future you'll be able to view and edit contact details from lists. You'll also be able to delete contacts.
To view the contents of a contact list, you can export the list to a CSV and download it to your computer.
To export contacts:
Exported CSV files are only available for download for 72 hours after the export is initialized.
You can integrate with the Contact Management APIs to create and update lists, add contacts, manage reserved field data, export contact lists, and pull data about your contacts and lists. Learn more through the documentation for Automation Contact APIs.
During the beta, you are only able to edit the content, subject line, and sender for each email in your series.
To disable an automation:
When you disable an automation, all emails in your automation will stop sending unless you set it live again. No new contacts will be entered into your automation while it's disabled. If you set the automation live again, contacts who entered the automation before it was disabled will continue receiving emails again according to where they left off.
To set a disabled automation live again:
When you re-enable the automation, contacts who previously entered the series will continue receiving emails where they left off in the series. Contacts who met your entry criteria during the disabled period will not be added to the automation. For this reason, do not add users to lists that are used as the entry criteria for automations in a disabled state.
To delete an automation:
To migrate HTML from a Marketing Campaigns template or email:
Navigate to Marketing Campaigns and locate the campaign you wish to migrate.
Hover over the action menu until the icons appear.
Select the Export HTML icon. The campaign HTML downloads to the folder specified on your computer
Navigate to the Automation dashboard.
Locate the automation you want to add the exported email to and hover over the action menu.
Within the automation, find the email you want to add the content to and click Edit.
Select Blank Template.
Select the code editor.
Paste the HTML you copied from the downloaded file into the code editor and then click Preview.
To migrate a contact list from Marketing Campaigns:
To migrate a segment from Marketing Campaigns:
During beta, segmentation is not enabled in Automation. You can build a segment in Marketing Campaigns, export it, and import it as a list to Marketing Campaigns.
This section provides a non-binding view into the current prioritization of planned additional Automation features and functionality.
At any time, the features and functionality below, as well as the timing associated, may change. Feedback from beta participants is a likely driver of reprioritization. Our degree of confidence for near-term deliverables is much stronger than mid- to long-term deliverables.
Have feedback or questions? We welcome your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Insert reserved fields into email content using substitution tags.||LIVE|
|Ability to create signup forms that can be embedded into a website or shared as a link. Signups are added directly to an Automation contact list.||LIVE|
|Availability of the public facing Automation Contact APIs.||LIVE|
|Ability to view All Contacts, edit contacts, and export All Contacts or specific lists.||LIVE|
|Ability to search and delete contacts.||In progress|
|Exit criteria of no longer meeting entry criteria.||Planned|
|Ability to view the details of an Automation Contact list||In progress|
|Ability to import custom fields and use them for email content and subject line personalization.||Planned|
|Ability to save an email design as a template.||In progress|
|Ability to test Automation emails for rendering across inboxes and browsers, link validation and spam testing.||In progress|
|Ability to trigger an automation when a contact joins a segment||Planned|
|Ability to trigger an automation based on a calendar date||Planned|
|Ability to schedule emails within an automation according to scheduled calendar dates||Planned|
|Ability to track clicks to links within emails||Planned|