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Home > Automations  >  Filters
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Filters
Create multiple personalized paths on your automation maps with the filter element following this deep dive tutorial.
You'll learn:
  • The purpose of filters in Ontraport 
  • When and how to use the five different types of filters: conditions, forks, splits, go-to, and end/exit 
  • Strategies for split testing emails, pages and more with filters 
  • How to configure your settings for each type of filter 
  • How to compare the results of multiple paths on your automation map 
  • How to end any automation flow
Instructor
Sam Flegal
Filters
Create multiple personalized paths on your automation maps with the filter element following this deep dive tutorial.
You'll learn:
  • The purpose of filters in Ontraport 
  • When and how to use the five different types of filters: conditions, forks, splits, go-to, and end/exit 
  • Strategies for split testing emails, pages and more with filters 
  • How to configure your settings for each type of filter 
  • How to compare the results of multiple paths on your automation map 
  • How to end any automation flow
Course Instructor
Sam Flegal
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Transcript
In this video we’re going to talk about the filter elements and their various settings. Filters are elements of an automation designed to alter a contact’s path through your map. They’re important because they help you deliver more relevant and personalized experiences. We’ll cover 5 filters in this video: conditions, forks, splits, go-to, and the end/exit element.

A condition is a filter that determines whether or not contacts fit a specific criteria and sends them down different paths depending on the answer. You can think of it as a decision point: when a contact hits a condition element, Ontraport asks whether conditions you set up are true or not for this contact. Based on the answer, the contact is then sent down the yes path or the no path.

You can use conditions to filter your contacts into different streams and deliver specific follow-up to each. For example, you might send different emails to folks who have bought your stuff in the past vs those who haven’t. Or you might want to send people in different locations different messages. Maybe you want to get a sales rep to call someone who says their budget is higher, but stick to emails for the entry-level folks. All this is easy with conditions.

Select a condition element, go to the element settings, then add a condition, select your criteria using the “add condition” button. This is a lot like setting up conditions elsewhere in the app.

Sometimes you’ll want to break your audience down into more than two possible paths. Maybe you’ll want people with a budget over 10k in one path, those between 5 and 10 on another, and the folks under 5k on a third path. So the way to do this is to just stack one condition after another, creating multiple branching paths, like this.

Remember that conditions don’t get ‘triggered’ or move contacts from other parts of the map like triggers and goals do. Instead, they are looked at only in the moment that a contact hits the condition element. The condition is then either met or not, and the contact continues down the appropriate yes or no path.

Ok, let’s switch gears to talk about another type of filter: forks. Forks create two paths, like conditions but the difference is when a contact hits a fork element, they go down BOTH paths. That is, there is no condition or if/then thing happening here. Instead, a copy of the contact is created and they are sent down both paths simultaneously. So, the contact will now be on your map twice.

This is useful when things get complex and you need two things to happen, but at least one of them has some conditions involved or is otherwise more complicated. For example, people often use forks when they have an “add to campaign” element on their map. Let’s say you have a generic lead nurture campaign, but you also want to send contacts interested in specific content down a special series campaign. Really, this is one campaign nested within another. You don’t want to remove the contact from the lead nurture campaign if they also want that special content, so instead -- you can use forks to send them down both!

The next type of filter is a split, which is short for a split test. Like both conditions and forks, splits will create two flows beneath it. Unlike forks, though, a contact passing through a split will only go to one side or the other. And unlike conditions, a contact’s path is not determined by some criteria you set, but rather by chance.

A split ensures that a set percentage of contacts flow to each side. You can control what percentage goes to each side in the split’s settings. The purpose of a split test is to evaluate the performance between two sets of actions to determine what your audience responds to. This is particularly useful when you want to split test email messages, or you can test entire systems.

The most common use of this is to simply split test emails. Just add a split, send some traffic down both sides, then grab two different emails and put one on each side. Maybe the change is as simple as a different subject line. You should really do this, because it’s easy.. And sometimes you’ll find that one email just performs a ton better than the other, and that’s a free win that you get to keep going forward. Of course, you would eventually kill the losing email and keep the winner.

It’s often a good idea to put a goal element after your split, so you can properly judge your split test. For example, if you decided to split test two completely different follow-up automations, you’ll want a goal at the bottom to see which produced better results. If you’re trying to get folks to buy, then create a goal for that, and you’ll be able to see which side of your split test caused more people to buy.

Now let’s talk about the “go to” filter. “Go to” elements are simple: they pick up contacts and move them to a different location on the map. Here’s how to use it.

Just click and drag the arrow and attach it to whatever element you want to move contacts to. “Go to” elements are really handy when you have branching flows based on things like goals and conditions, but want to put your contacts back together later on in an automation. Let me clarify that with an example.

Say you have 3 ebook opt-in pages for 3 different ebooks. You’ll have a trigger for each of those, and under each you’ll have an email that delivers the ebook to the prospect. But after that, your follow-up may be the same for all three prospects. In that case, instead of copying your whole follow-up sequence, you’ll just add a couple of go-to elements and move folks all into one flow.

Finally, the end and exit filters are how you’ll want to end any particular automation flow. Here’s how it works.

Ends will stop contacts there and leave them on the map while exits will pull the contact completely off the map. For reporting reasons, it’s usually best to just leave folk on the map at an end element unless you have a reason to remove them.

To make an exit, you actually start by adding an end element. Then you’ll have one choice in the settings on the left: “remove contacts from this automation when they reach here.” This check box is basically asking you if you want to actually have the contact exit, instead of just end. If you check that box, the end becomes an exit and any contact that hits this element will be removed from the automation automatically.

With that done we’ve officially covered all of the element types (except the advanced stuff which you shouldn’t worry about right now). In the next video we’re going to put all these element types together into an example automation!
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