Managing the flow of contacts in automation processes

Kentico EMS required

Features described on this page require the Kentico EMS license.

Automation processes run in a separate instance for each contact. You can move contacts through steps that require human input or manually override the automatic decisions of the process.

The system provides the following lists of contacts in automation processes:

  • Pending contacts – contacts within any running automation process, which the system cannot move forward automatically at the current time (does not include contacts in the Finished step). Only displays contacts that you are allowed to move from their current step.
  • Contacts within a specific process (including those in the Finished step).

Note: You need to have the Read Contact management permission to view the lists of contacts.

Managing pending contacts

Contacts are “pending” when they are within a running automation process, but cannot be moved forward automatically by the system at the current time. This includes contacts in Wait steps, and those who require a decision from a user to move forward (for example in User choice or Standard approval steps). Pending contacts do not include contacts who have completed the process, i.e. are in a Finished step.

Pending contacts only display contacts that you are allowed to move from their current step in the process. To move contacts, you need to be included in the step’s security settings or have the Manage processes on-line marketing permission (the permission must be assigned via a Global role to apply in all scenarios).

You can access pending contacts in the following locations:

  • Contact management application on the Pending contacts tab.
  • My pending contacts application or on your widget dashboards through the My pending contacts widget – these lists are further filtered to only include contacts where you are assigned as the owner (via the Contact owner property of individual contacts).

Managing contacts in a specific process

  1. Open the Marketing automation application.
  2. Edit () the process whose contacts you want to manage.
  3. Open the Contacts tab.

The page shows a list of all contacts that are currently going through the process or have finished the process in the past (includes contacts in the Finished step).

Moving contacts between steps in the process

When viewing the list of pending contacts or the contacts within a specific process, click Manage process () next to a specific contact. A diagram appears where you can see the current position of the contact within the process.

The following actions are available:

Note: You can only use the actions allowed by your on-line marketing permissions and the security settings of individual steps.



Move to next step

  • Directly moves the contact to the next step in the process if there is only one possible option.
  • If the current step branches into multiple steps, clicking the button offers you all available options. Each option represents one of the possible steps to which the contact can continue.

Move to previous step

Moves the contact back to the previous step in the process.

The contact’s previous step is not necessarily the step that precedes the current step in the process designer. For example, if the contact was manually moved using the Move to specific stepaction.

Move to specific step

Moves the contact to any step of your choice.

Comment and move to step

Available after clicking on the Move to next step, Move to previous step or Move to specific step buttons.

Opens a dialog where you can enter a comment for the step transition. Choose the target step using the selector above the comment box.

The comment is then visible in the Process history.

Remove from process

Ends the automation process for the given contact. This deletes the entire process instance running for the contact.

For example, you can use the remove action if a contact gets stuck in a step that has incorrectly set conditions or connections.

Tip: You can view the history of all step transitions made by the contact in the Process history section below the process diagram.