Auto-response and follow-up CRM email workflow

When a lead comes into your CRM, any number of actions can be automatically triggered by the versatile and powerful Bitrix24 workflow module.

Auto-responding to incoming leads is a crucial element in today’s customer-driven business environment. You want your customers to end their initial interaction with the feeling that you are already working on their needs. But at the same time, you can’t answer the phone 24 hours a day, and you can’t live in your inbox.

Please note that business processes are available for Bitrix24 Professional plan only.

Here is a simple business process that:

1. sends an auto-response email;
2. uses various lead fields to send different emails;
3. sets and then checks the status of the lead;
4. sends a follow-up email after 7 days if there is no change in status.

Here is a view of the top of the flow chart:

As you can see, a condition block sorts leads according to the type of lead, and then begins the corresponding email process. It’s worth noting that the workflow engine starts on the far left and tests the blocks in succession. If the condition is met, (a “true” value is returned), the workflow follows the fork, without testing any other blocks.

In this example, the first block tests for whether the lead came from a web form.

Leads from web forms are usually “data-rich” – that is, several fields with values that are meaningful. This condition branch could be further separated, for example, according to the product that the customer is interested in, the website where the form came from, or any other data or metadata from the form.

The second block looks at the value of the “lead name” field, and if it has the word “message” in it, it is assumed to be from an incoming email, since the system automatically names such leads as being “from [an email] message”. There are other ways to determine whether the lead has been created from an incoming email, but incoming email messages only have 3 or 4 data fields which may be useful for setting up an automatic response.

Once the condition branch has been chosen, an Email Process begins. There is a give-and-take concerning the number of condition branches you may choose to create: specific auto-responses are useful, but you do want to keep your system manageable.

The action block that sends the first email looks like this. You can send other emails or notifications at this stage to sales agents or other employees at this or any other point in the process. By using the builder available next to the Message Text field, the message can be personalized with data from the lead (the user name would not actually be available in a lead created from incoming email, but the Responsible person could be assigned in the email integration settings).

After sending the auto-response, the process uses a Modify Document block to set the status to “AutoProcessing”. Lead statuses are named and managed under the CRM settings in the Selection Lists section.

Then the workflow pauses for 7 days. During that 7 days, some event, such as a phone call, might occur which advances the lead along the sales cycle such that there is no need to send an automated follow-up after those 7 days. If such an event occurs, the sales agent will change the lead status, or perhaps even convert the lead. Rather than sending unneeded emails, the workflow simply checks the status of the lead, and if it is anything other than AutoProcessing, it is terminated.

After that, a second email is sent out and the process ends. If more than 2 emails are to be sent, another Pause-Check Status-Email series can be added, or a “While Loop” could be employed to send a given number of emails out over any time frame by creating a variable and adding 1 to it with each iteration.

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