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Home > Automations  >  Goals
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Attention: this video showcases a feature that has since been updated. Please check out the support article.
Goals
Goals represent an action you want contacts to take in your automations, like making a purchase. Find out how they work in this deep dive.
You'll learn:
  • The purpose of goals in Ontraport automations 
  • How to create multiple paths for your contacts in an automation using goals 
  • The difference between goals and triggers 
  • How to configure your goal settings 
  • Tips for what should happen when contacts reach a goal (or don’t) 
  • How goals interact with other elements, like triggers and waits
Instructor
Sam Flegal
Goals
Goals represent an action you want contacts to take in your automations, like making a purchase. Find out how they work in this deep dive.
You'll learn:
  • The purpose of goals in Ontraport automations 
  • How to create multiple paths for your contacts in an automation using goals 
  • The difference between goals and triggers 
  • How to configure your goal settings 
  • Tips for what should happen when contacts reach a goal (or don’t) 
  • How goals interact with other elements, like triggers and waits
Course Instructor
Sam Flegal
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Transcript
You’ve learned about triggers, actions, and waits. Let’s talk now about what happens when your contacts respond to you! Rather than setting contacts on entirely automated processes, treating everyone the same, Ontraport allows you to create highly personalized automations using goals. And these automations take into account their actions as well. So let’s take a deep dive into goals.

Goals are automation elements that represent an action you want your contacts to take. Goals function a lot like triggers. They watch your contact’s actions, and when the right action is taken the goal is activated, the contact is moved or added to the goal, and then they move down the path to the next steps.

For example, your goal might be to get your contact to buy a product. Let’s say you plan to send 10 follow-up emails separated by a couple of days each, but after the 4th email, a contact purchases your product. At that point, you don’t want them getting another 6 emails urging them to buy. You want to skip over those, and start the client welcome and onboarding process. That’s exactly what goals are for.

So just ask yourself, “What am I hoping a contact does as a result of this automation?” and typically the answer to that question is a goal. For example, if your goal is to nurture hot leads towards a sale, your goal is a purchase.

Another way to use goals is to create multiple paths for your contacts on the same automation, so their journey stays relevant. Sales funnels are an example of that.   

In your sales funnel, you’ll probably want to have a sales rep give contacts a call and, depending on what happens on that call, you’ll want to have entirely different next steps. If the contact didn’t answer -- you could task your rep to try again tomorrow. Or if they aren’t interested -- stop communications. Because you can add multiple goals next to each other in a map, this variable functionality can be easily accomplished.

The settings for goals are also similar to triggers, but they have an additional very important setting regarding who can achieve that goal.

“Who can achieve this goal” gives you four options:

The first option, “Any contact on this map” will include contacts who are already on this automation. This is just like the setting in triggers where any contact who’s already on the map can achieve the goal.

The second option, “Only contacts on previous wait” includes contacts who are sitting on the automatically added wait above. This means that contacts who are NOT sitting at the wait directly above the goal won’t be able to achieve it.

This is used typically in cases where you’re tracking progress and goals can be repeated. For example, you might want to track how many months your typical subscriber sticks around… so maybe you’d create an automation with a series of goals that are achieved when a subscription payment is made. Since all those goals are the same, it won’t make sense to move everyone to every goal when a payment is made. Instead, you’ll only move contacts down who are on the previous wait. Then, they’ll wait again for their next monthly payment to achieve the next goal.

The third option, “Contacts on any upstream element” includes contacts who are already on this automation but only above this goal element (not below, or across).


This is useful if, for example, you’ve got one product that you’re selling, but you’ve segmented your follow up based on interests… So maybe you’ve got three different email follow-up series, each with a goal at the bottom for ‘product is purchased.’ Since the goal is the same, and you don’t want contacts from another follow-up series to achieve it, you’d limit it to only be achievable by contacts who are on an upstream element from each goal.

The fourth option, “Any contact in account” creates a trigger functionality. Any contact who is, or is not, on this automation already can activate this goal and move here. This means a contact can be added to the automation and placed here when achieving the goal.

If contacts are already on the map, you have three options. These act just like the settings in triggers and are used the same way.

Here are your options:
“Move here when achieved” means when a goal is accomplished by a contact on the map, pick them up and move them here.
“Add here again when achieved” means you leave the contact where it is already, and create a copy of them here.
“Ignore this goal” means you want to leave the contact where it is, and pretend this goal wasn’t achieved.

Finally you have the option to set the goal to only work once per contact.

Now let’s add a new goal so you can see how that works. When adding a new goal you’ll notice a new wait step accompanies it automatically, and that wait is set to “wait here forever” by default. This is so contacts who follow the flow above will pause here until they accomplish the goal. That’s because you can’t FORCE a contact to achieve the goal.. Right? You actually have to wait until they buy the product or visit the page or whatever you’ve set in here.

Now, this wait doesn’t have to be FOREVER. It can be edited to match other waits, including amount of time, specific date, relative date, or day of the week.

If you change the wait’s settings to a set amount of time, a new branch will be created to the side. This is the flow they’ll go down if the allotted wait time passes without the goal being achieved. For example, I want to resend an email if a contact doesn’t click it within 2 days. If they do click it, I want to send a different email. 

So, contacts will go down the path on the left if they don’t click the email, will have it resent, then will rejoin the main path. If they do click, they’ll jump to the goal, and continue moving down without getting the email resent to them. Very tricky. 

Ok, now we’ve learned about triggers, actions, waits, and goals -- awesome! Those are the fundamental building blocks of the automation builder. With this knowledge you’re ready to start building sophisticated automations. But, there’s still more to learn! In the next video we’re going to talk about some of the filter elements available to you.
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