Everything that happens to each of your leads and customers is dictated and automated by the maps you create in Campaign Builder, which are flowchart-like representations of each contact’s journey with your company.

The campaigns you build can be for any aspect of your marketing strategy: new lead capture and follow up, product fulfillment, reengaging shopping cart abandons, generating referrals, getting customer feedback, webinar sign-up and follow-up, live event management, sales funnel automation, and much more.

In Campaign Builder, there are four types of elements that you’ll use to complete your maps: triggers, goals, actions and filters. These elements determine how contacts flow through the map. With so many possibilities and combinations of elements, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. In this article, we’ve outlined the best approach to building your campaign maps from scratch.

Check out the video about creating an automated campaign to learn more.


Suggested Preparation to Successful Campaigns


  • Determine your campaign goals. Start by identifying the overarching goal of your campaign. What is it intended to accomplish? What would you like your contacts to achieve in this campaign? Keep in mind that goals are often the milestones you will measure to evaluate whether your campaign is meeting your expectations. Some examples of goals in Campaign Builder are:
    1. Fill out a form
    2. Purchase a product
    3. Open an important email
    4. Visit a page
    5. Become a partner
    6. Log in to a membership site
  • List your triggers. Triggers define the ways that contacts become a part of your campaign. Consider all the possible actions a contact can take that will let you know that you need to follow up with them. This is completely dependent on your goals. Some examples of triggers are:
    1. Fill out a form
    2. Purchase a product
    3. Open an email
    4. Visit a page
    5. Become a partner
    6. Log in to a membership site
    7. Have a certain lead source or other tracking variable
    8. Has not completed any activity in the last X days
    9. Has ordered a certain quantity of product

Building Your Campaigns


  • Add elements to your campaign. Once you’ve established the goals of your campaign and the different ways that contacts will enter the campaign, you can start building your campaign map. Go to Campaigns → New Campaign → Start from scratch
    1. You’ll start by adding your triggers. Click + to the right of the default trigger, “Added to Campaign.” For example, to put contacts who have opted in for your free ebook into a campaign, use the trigger Contact Submits a Form and choose the appropriate form, or create the form in the workflow.
  • Map the ideal path you want contacts to take. When a contact is added to your campaign, what should happen to them next? Consider all the possible scenarios based on how a contact could interact with the messages you send. If there are multiple goals at different levels of your campaign, map the path that contacts will follow to get from one to another until they reach the end.To start creating your ideal path, click the what happens next element to add actions, filters and goals, customizing your journey. Each action will “do something,” such as send an email, update a contact record, or remove a contact from the campaign. Filters, on the other hand, will change how contacts travel on your map, such as having them wait in one spot for a fixed time, travel down different paths conditionally, or skip from one point on the map to another. Goal elements represent the steps you want customers and leads to take.
  • Map the path of least action. Although you’re optimistic that contacts will respond positively and take the action that you want them to (open your emails, click on your email links, visit your landing pages, purchase a product, log in to your membership site, etc.), you still need to map the path of least action — the path they will follow if they do absolutely nothing throughout the course of the campaign. This will make sure that you don’t leave gaps where contacts get stuck for the long-term. To start creating your path of least action, click the what happens next element to continue adding more actions, filters and goals for these contacts.
  • Connect all the loose ends. To review your work, consider every possibility and come up with a plan. What happens to contacts if they achieve your first goal but not your second? What happens if they skip ahead and achieve a goal that is meant for later in the campaign? These are all possible journeys that your contacts can take through your campaign map, and each possibility can be determined using goal settings in Campaign Builder.
    1. You also want to think about what should happen to contacts who reach the end of your campaign. There may be several different endpoints if the paths you’ve created split and fork. For each endpoint, decide what should happen next. There are two kinds of ends that you can add to a map in Ontraport. First, a simple “end” element stops contacts on that path. The second kind, an “end, exit” stops contacts and removes them from the campaign. If the campaign is something that contacts could be expected to repeat in the future, the second option is advised. Contacts usually shouldn’t be re-added to a campaign that they are already on (unless you want them to be in two places at once), so removing them is the best choice.
  • Complete your checklist and create your campaign assets. When creating a draft map in Campaign Builder, you can create your email messages, forms and other assets of your campaign along the way, or you can add them in after you’ve completed your map. Either way, a red dot appears on each element with an incomplete asset, letting you know that you need to go back and actually finish creating it. Each of these unfinished items also shows up on your checklist on the right side of your screen, including additional settings for elements that still need to be decided upon before publishing. After you’ve mapped the entire flow of your map and considered all the possibilities for how contacts may move through it, go back through and make sure you’ve created and reviewed all of your copy and design for each aspect before launching.
  • Save and publish your campaign. Once all of your checklist items are completed, you can click the blue publish button to secure changes and publish your campaign. If you are not ready for your campaign to go live just yet, only click the blue save button . After your campaign is published, you can switch to Performance Mode in the Campaign Builder to watch how your contacts are flowing through your campaign map.