Starting with Marketing Automation

Starting with Marketing Automation

The term Marketing Automation is almost self-explanatory; it is a process of automating repetitive marketing activities. Marketing Automation can create a better customer experience and free up marketing resource, but it can also create a bottle neck.

Some of the problems that I saw with clients using Marketing Automation:
  • Starting with too many processes
  • Too long and complex processes
  • Undefined marketing strategy

If you are new to Marketing Automation my advice is very straightforward: Start small and simple.

By implementing a process with few, small and simple steps you can get an understanding of how it works. Then you can work on strategy and other processes. It is important not to overdo it.  

I will show you how to implement one simple process in Kentico and will also share few ideas on what to do next.
If you are following my blog you already know about my free landing page template that we are filling with new features.

Our first process will be a follow up mail: “Download your eBook”.

Inside Kentico go to: On-line marketing > Marketing automation and click New process. Add display name: Download your eBook.

After save on General screen setup in Advance settings chose If it hasn't been run before in Start the process dropdown.

Our next step is to setup triggers that will activate the process. In our case this happens after the form is submitted. Click on Triggers and in New Trigger add following parameters:

Display Name: Download eBook
Type: Contact performed an activity
Activity type: Form submission
Macro condition:  
Additional condition: Click Edit

When clicking on edit in Additional condition a new popup up window will open and it will offer a variety of conditions. We need to select on the right side: Activity 'Form submission' was performed for form. Now on the left side choose form. Now your condition should look like this:

Activity 'Form submission' was performed for form White paper download form

Click Save & Close.

If all parameters look like mine click save.

So now let’s move to the next action and that is Steps. When you open steps for the first time you will see two processes linked Start --- Finished. Now we will add our new step. In the toolbar find a Send Email control, drag and drop it below. Now you should remove the connection on Start and Finish and connect your process so that is in the middle.

After all arrow connections are established and your process looks like mine, click on the pen icon on Send Email process.

In here we will setup our properties for this process. For my example I will send an HTML formatted email, but you can read more about Email Templates in the Kentico documentation.

Display Name: Send email
Code name: SendEmail
From: (you can add any email)
To: Click on little black arrow on left we will add macro in here
Based on: HTML formatted text
Subject: Download your eBook
Body: Download your PDF from this link

Note: Feel free to use any type of data.

In Action 'Send email' parameters section click on the little black arrow after the label To. This arrow will open us macro editor.

To start writing macro type {% Contact.ContactEmail #%}. When you start to type you can see that intellisense will offer you some suggestions. We need to place our contact email in here. So when the form is submitted, a contact will be created and from that contact we will get the email that we will send over our Download instructions.

If you have trouble with macro editor just copy my code in:

{% Contact.ContactEmail #%} . Don’t forget to click OK.


Now open your site in private browsing mode or if you are using Chrome open your page in Internet Explorer. Try to submit a form from the landing page. Return back to your Marketing automation and Contacts. In here you should see a new contact entry:

And if you click on Edit (pen icon) you can access this activity screen. This is very useful because you can move your user between steps and also check if the user was stopped on some step.

Now that we know how to check the status of our steps it would be great to see if our mail was actually sent. We can check that in Email queue.

I’m usually testing my process on local Kentico installation. There is a great app that can catch your localhost email called PaperCut. You can see how PaperCut got my email. This is great way to test if mails are leaving and how they will look.


You have created your Marketing Automation process. This will automatically be sent to any new subscriber link for download. As you can see this can give us lot of options for automating our marketing activities.

Feel free to experiment with different options like triggers and steps. Also try upgrading your process with Wait option.