Automation Types

MailChimp marketing automation allows you to create targeted emails that send when triggered by a specific date, event, or contact's activity. We offer a number of automation options with pre-selected triggers and other settings, so you can quickly find and create the right campaign for your business needs. You can also create a custom automation from scratch.

In this article, you'll learn about the different automation types available in MailChimp.

Things to Know

  • The default triggers and other settings listed for most automation types can be changed at any time. To learn more about different ways to customize your automation, check out All the Automation Triggers and Edit Automation Emails.
  • Subscribers can only receive the emails in an automation once, with the exception of date-based automations, abandoned cart emails, order notifications, and product retargeting emails.

About Automation Categories

When you create an automation in MailChimp, here are the automation categories you'll see.
automation options are featured, tags, subscriber activity, e-commerce, date based, API, custom

  • Featured
    Recommended automations based on the details of your account.
  • Tags Automation that sends when you add a specific tag to a contact.
  • Subscriber Activity
    Automations that send based on signups and changes in list data.
  • E-Commerce
    Automations that send based on purchase activity in your online store.
  • Date Based
    Automations that send based on data in a date or birthday list field.
  • API
    Automations that send based on an API call.
  • Custom
    Automations that send based on the unique settings of your choice.

Tags

Email Your Tagged Contacts

Use the tagged contact automation to send a targeted email after you add a specific tag to a contact. This message can be anything you want to communicate, like a special offer or a follow-up after an event.

Automation type Default trigger settings
Added tag
Send an email when you add a specific tag to a contact.
Email 1
Trigger: Tagged contact
Delay: 1 day after the contact is tagged.

Subscriber Activity

Use subscriber activity automations to streamline communication with your subscribed contacts. Welcome new subscribers, help them get to know you, and send follow-up emails based on their activity.

Welcome new subscribers

These automations send when a contact subscribes to your emails.

Automation type Default trigger settings
Welcome message
Greet people after they subscribe to your list.
Email 1
Trigger: Signup
Delay: 1 day after someone subscribes to your list
Onboarding series
Share tips and resources with a series of onboarding emails.
Email 1
Trigger type: Signup
Delay: Immediately after someone subscribes to your list


Email 2
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email


Email 3
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email


Email 4
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email


Email 5
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email
Education series
Manage an online course, or send a series of emails that engage and inform.
Email 1
Trigger: Signup
Delay: 1 day after someone subscribes to your list

Email 2
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email

Email 3
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email

Create an Automated Welcome Email

Respond to subscriber updates

These automations send when there's a change in a contact's group settings or list field value.

Automation type Default trigger settings
Added to group
Send an email when contacts join a list group.
Email 1
Trigger: Joins list group
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber joins a select list group

Email 2
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email
Removed from group
Follow up with contacts who leave a list group.
Email 1
Trigger: Leaves list group
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber leaves a selected list group

Email 2
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber is sent the previous email
List field change
Send a message to contacts whose list field data has been updated.
Email 1
Trigger: Changed list field to value
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber's list field value changes

Email 2
Trigger: Changed list field to value
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber's list field value changes

Email 3
Trigger: Changed list field to value
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber's list field value changes

Thank pop-up form subscribers

This automation sends when someone subscribes to your emails from a MailChimp pop-up form.

Automation type Default trigger settings
Thank pop-up form subscribers

Send an email when contacts join your list from a connected pop-up form.
Email 1
Trigger: Signup
Delay: 1 day after someone subscribes to your list.

E-Commerce

Personalize each customer's buying experience with automation. Target new and repeat customers with custom messages or discounts, and re-engage those who haven't purchased from you in a while. You can even send store-branded receipts, shipping confirmations, and more.

Recover abandoned carts

These automations send to customers who put an item in their shopping cart but don't follow through on the purchase.

Automation type Default trigger settings
Abandoned cart email

Encourage customers to complete their purchase if they leave items in their cart.
6 hours after a customer abandons a cart in your store.
Abandoned cart series

Encourage customers to complete their purchase with a series of reminders if they leave items in their cart.
Email 1
Trigger: Abandoned Cart
Delay: 1 hour after a customer abandons a cart in your store

Email 2
Trigger: Abandoned Cart
Delay: 1 day after a customer abandons a cart in your store, and previous email was sent

Email 3
Trigger: Abandoned Cart
Delay: 3 days after a customer abandons a cart in your store, and previous email was sent.

Create an Abandoned Cart Email

Add an Abandoned Cart Series

Product Follow-Up

These automations send after a contact purchases certain items from your online store.

Automation type Default trigger
Specific Product Follow-Up

Send a follow-up message after a customer buys a specific product from your store.
Email 1
Trigger: Purchase specific product
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber purchases a select product from your store
Any Product Follow-Up

Send a follow-up message after a customer purchases any product from your store.
Email 1
Trigger: Purchase any product
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber purchases anything from your store
Category Follow-Up

Send a follow-up message after a customer buys a product from a specific category.
Email 1
Trigger: Purchase product from category
Delay: 1 day after subscribers purchase a product from a select category

Thank first-time customers

This automation sends to new customers who have made only one purchase. If they make a second purchase, they won't receive the next email in the series.

Automation type Default trigger settings Default segment
First purchase

Send a follow-up message to new customers after their first purchase.
Email 1
Trigger: Purchase any product
Delay: 1 hour after a subscriber purchases anything from your store

Email 2
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 10 days after a subscriber is sent the previous email

Email 3
Trigger: Previous email sent
Delay: 20 days after a subscriber is sent the previous email
Email 1
Total number of orders is 1

Email 2
Total number of orders is 1

Email 3
Total number of orders is 1

Add a First Purchase Automation

Reward your best customers

Automation type Default trigger settings Default segment
Best customers

Reward your best customers with sale announcements or special coupons.
Email 1
Trigger: Purchase any product
Delay: Immediately after a subscriber purchases anything from your store

Email 2
Trigger: Sent previous email
Delay: 1 week after a subscriber is sent the previous email

Email 3
Trigger: Sent previous email
Delay: 1 week after a subscriber is sent the previous email
Email 1:
Total amount spent is more than $100
and
Total number of orders is greater than 2

Win back lapsed customers

This automation sends to customers who have made at least one purchase, but haven't bought anything in a while. If they make a new purchase, they won't receive the next email in the series.

Automation type Default trigger settings
Customer re-engagement

Send an email to customers who haven't purchased from your store in a specific timeframe.
Email 1
Trigger: Not purchased any product
Delay: 120 days after a subscriber last bought something from your store

Email 2
Trigger: Not purchased any product
Delay: 240 days after a subscriber last bought something from your store, and previous email was sent

Email 3
Trigger: Not purchased any product
Delay: 360 days after after a subscriber last bought something from your store, and previous email was sent

Add a Customer Re-Engagement Automation

Order Notifications

Automation type Default trigger settings
Order Notifications

Send receipts and invoices, and update your customers on shipping, refunds, and cancellations.
Triggered by contacts' order status changes in your connected store.

Add Order Notifications

Retarget site visitors

Automation type Default trigger settings
Product Retargeting Email

Encourage customers to purchase an item they viewed on your site.
Triggered after a subscriber clicks to your store from a MailChimp email campaign to view a product.

Create a Product Retargeting Email

Date Based

Date-based automations can help you engage with your subscribers throughout the year. Send email to your subscribers on their birthday, anniversary, or any other occasion that falls on a specific date that's saved in a subscriber's list field. Subscribers can receive the same date-based automation emails more than once.

Automation type Default trigger settings
List added date

Send a series of emails when someone becomes a subscriber.
Email 1
Trigger: List Date Added
Delay: 1 day after someone becomes a subscriber

Email 2
Trigger: List Date Added
Delay: 2 days after someone becomes a subscriber

Email 3
Trigger: List Date Added
Delay: 3 days after someone becomes a subscriber
Birthdays

Send an annually recurring email based on a birthday field in your list.
Email 1
Trigger: Birthday
Delay: 1 day before a subscriber's birthday

Email 2
Trigger: Birthday
Delay: On a subscriber's birthday

Email 3
Trigger: Birthday
Delay: 1 day after a subscriber's birthday
Specific date

Send a one-time email based on a specific date in a subscriber's list field.
Email 1
Trigger: Date
Delay: 14 days before the list field date.

Email 2
Trigger: Date
Delay: On the list field date

Email 3
Trigger: Date
Delay: 1 day after the list field date
Recurring date

Each year, send an email based on a subscriber's date field.
Email 1
Trigger: Annually Recurring Event
Delay: 1 day before the list field date

Email 2
Trigger: Annually Recurring Event
Delay: On the list field date

Email 3
Trigger: Annually Recurring Event
Delay: 1 day after the list field date

Create an Automated Birthday Email

API

Trigger the start of an automation with an API call. After you create the email series in the MailChimp application or via the API, a list subscriber can be added to an automation with a call to a URL we'll provide to you. API requests can trigger an automation email when a single subscriber meets your sending criteria via the API delay settings.

Automation type Default trigger settings
API 3.0

Trigger the start of a workflow with an API call.
Email 1
Trigger: API 3.0
Delay: 1 day after an API call is posted with a subscriber's email id

Email 2
Trigger: API 3.0
Delay: 1 day after an API call is posted with a subscriber's email id

Email 3
Trigger: API 3.0
Delay: 1 day after an API call is posted with a subscriber's email id

MailChimp API: Automations

Custom Automation

If none of our pre-built automations fit your needs, create an email or email series that works for your unique business needs with a custom automation. These automations can be based on a variety of criteria, and can be enhanced with API 3.0 and other integrations.

All the Automation Triggers

Edit Automation Emails

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