Frequently asked questions about Visual Workflows.

Included in this FAQ:

Workflow Best Practices


A goal is a step in a Workflow that, when completed, pulls subscribers out of all prior steps in the workflow. Learn more.

Within a workflow, I add someone to a campaign of 10 emails and they achieve a goal at email 6, do they get pulled out and removed from that campaign?

Goals always remove someone from everything above them in the Workflow – including delays, nested workflows, and campaigns.

If a subscriber in a Workflow triggers a goal below the campaign they’re in, the goal will pull them out of that campaign.


Is a goal the same thing as a trigger?

Technically, goals are the same construct as an entry point trigger. One of the biggest differences is where they are used. Think of triggers as occurring at the start of a workflow, and goals occurring at any point after that.

Goals are different from triggers in one major way: They will remove subscribers from any campaign, exit, delay, or workflow happening above the goal.


Can I use a goal as an entry point to a workflow?

Yes, goals can be used as entry points at any point in your workflow. To use a goal as an entry point, check the “Use as an entry point” checkbox on the goal.

If you are one side of a decision, can a goal pull you to the other side? Will you be genuinely pulled over or on both branches?

A subscriber will stay at the place they’re at, but simultaneously start on the other side of the decision as well. It’s treated as any other kind of parallel path.
This will operate kind of like a fork: If someone on side “A” of a decision achieves a goal on the “B” side of the decision, they won’t be removed from side A, but they will achieve the goal on the B side, the counts on the goal will reflect it, and the subscriber will get the steps after the goal on the B side.

Will goals remove subscribers from parallel paths?

No. Goals will only remove subscribers from anything above the goal, not parallel to it. Here’s an example:


The Fork at the top of this workflow will perform multiple actions at once to a subscriber:

  • They’ll be subscribed to a campaign after a 4-day delay.
  • On the other side of the fork, there’s a decision that filters based on if a subscriber has a tag or not.
  • In the “No” side of the decision, there is a goal.
  • There’s also a goal below the fork and the decision.

If a subscriber is on the “Yes” side of the decision (tagged with”Burrito Connoisseur”), but performs the “Ate a burrito” goal, they’ll get the “Burrito Eater” tag – even though they were in the “Yes” side of the decision.

Subscribers tagged as “Burrito Connoisseur” won’t be removed from the “5 Reasons To Attend The Burrito Festival” campaign, because it is in a parallel fork. But if they complete the “Attended burrito festival” goal at the bottom, they’ll be removed from the “Congratulations, Burrito Eater” campaign and be removed from the “5 Reasons To Attend The Burrito Festival” campaign.

But if they complete the “Attended burrito festival” goal at the bottom, they’ll be removed from the “Congratulations, Burrito Eater” campaign and be removed from the “5 Reasons To Attend The Burrito Festival” campaign.

Workflow Best Practices

Do I need just one Visual Workflow in my Drip account? When should I create more than one Workflow?

We recommend you start with a single Workflow in your Drip account. If your Workflow begins to feel too big or unwieldy, you may need to create a separate Workflow for different sequences of actions.

At their best, workflows should tell a clear story of a subscriber’s journey. If the story is muddy, that may be a good indicator that you should separate your Workflow into multiple workflows.


I have some parts of a Workflow I want to re-use. How can I do that?

You should create a copy of the Workflow with the steps that you will use in the future. You can nest this new Workflow in other Workflows by using the “Start a Workflow” trigger.


It seems like I can automate everything in my Drip account using Workflows. When should I use Simple Automation Rules?

Simple Automation Rules still play a vital role in your Drip account. They allow you to run an Automation Rule that will apply to your entire Drip account, not just to subscribers in a specific Workflow. If you need to do something like “visited X page, tag with Y,” in every case, then you should use a Simple Automation Rule.

Simple Automation Rules will keep you from building a Workflow for every minute automation you need in your Drip account.


Should I use a Fork or a Decision? What’s the difference?

A Fork allows a subscriber to travel down two (or more) paths at the same time.

A Decision asks the question, “Does this criteria apply to subscribers in this Workflow?” and sends a subscriber down only one of the paths. Decisions allow you to apply yes/no logic to subscribers, creating segments based on what a subscriber has or has not done.


Is it ok to have multiple ‘Exit this workflow’ steps?

Yes. You can construct your Workflow with several Exits, especially if you have multiple Goals in your Workflow. Multiple Exits can be used to remove subscribers in different paths who do not achieve Goals.

To do this, add your Exit before your Goal in the Workflow. If a subscriber achieves a Goal, they will be pulled to that Goal and will avoid hitting the Exit.


Nested Workflows

Can you add a subscriber to a different Workflow from within a Workflow?

Yes, you can do this by using the “Start a Workflow” action. This is a common practice if you have a Workflow that contains a set of steps that you will re-use in several different Workflows. When you nest a Workflow within a Workflow, you don’t need to add an entry trigger to the nested Workflow.