Get Started With Workflows
Workflows in Help Scout are similar to Gmail filters or rules in other email clients. Workflows are composed of conditions (what you’re looking for) and actions (what you want to happen). In this article we will introduce you to the wonderful world of workflows!
In this article
Workflows contain conditions, operators, and actions. Use those to create if-then statements to perform actions on conversations. For example, if the subject line contains "Order Confirmation", then add a tag, send an email to the customer, and copy the email to a folder. Workflows can be either manual or automatic.
- Automatic workflows are always on, running in the background. They check new and existing conversations for matching conditions, then carry out one or more specified actions automatically. An automatic workflow will only run on a conversation one time to avoid the workflow running based on its own actions. Automatic Workflows has more information on how to manage your automatic workflows and some inspirational ideas for their use.
- Manual workflows run on your command. When you apply a manual workflow, Help Scout performs all actions in one fell swoop. Look for the lightning bolt icon to run a manual workflow. A manual workflow will apply any time it is run, even if it has been applied previously. See Manual Workflows for the specifics on managing these and inspiration for how they can be useful for your team.
Create a Workflow
Note: By default, only Administrators and Account Owners can create and manage workflows. If you want all of your Users to manage workflows as well, change that permission from the Company settings page.
Head to Manage > Mailbox(es) > Your Mailbox > Workflows or open your mailbox and click the gear icon to open Settings and select Workflows. Click New Workflow.
Give your workflow a name and select
Automatic. In our example, we're creating an automatic workflow. Click
Select the criteria and operator (Is equal to, Contains, etc.) for your conditions. A manual workflow will skip this step. Click
Choose the actions you want your workflow to apply when a conversation matches the conditions you specified. Click
Review your workflow on the summary page and toggle
Apply to Previous on if you want the actions to apply to existing conversations. Apply to Previous is not an option for manual workflows. Click
Activate Workflow when you’re ready for the workflow to start.
Note: If no previous conversations match your conditions on an automatic workflow, you will see a note as pictured above. If you believe you should see matching conversations here, click Conditions at the top of the page to review and edit your conditions before you activate. For more on the Apply to Previous setting, see Automatic Workflows: Apply to Previous.
You can edit, delete, and copy workflows, or create a copy of your workflow in another mailbox. Head to Manage > Mailbox(es) > Your Mailbox > Workflows or open your mailbox, click the gear icon to open Settings, and select Workflows.
Delete a Workflow
Simply click the trashcan icon next to the workflow name in the list.
Note: If you accidentally delete a workflow, there is no option in your account to restore it. You can create a new workflow with the same conditions and actions to replace it. If you don't remember what those settings were, get in touch with us for an assist.
Edit or Copy a Workflow
Click on the workflow name from the list to open the workflow editor. From this screen you can choose to turn the workflow off by clicking the toggle in the top right corner.
The + dropdown menu next to the toggle contains the copying options. Choose Copy Workflow to duplicate the workflow in its current mailbox. Copy to Mailbox... will allow you to copy the same workflow to a different mailbox.
Edit conditions and actions by clicking Edit in the top right corner of each section.
More on Workflows
Workflows are tools with great power to level up your support, and with that power comes great
responsibility complexity as well. Take a look at some of our other articles about workflows for even more help!
- Workflow Conditions and Actions explains each condition and action available.
- Automatic Workflows offers more information specifically on automatic workflows and ideas for using them.
- Manual Workflows has further details on manual workflows and when they might be useful.
- Create Folders Using Workflows to Organize Conversations shows you how to use workflow folders to keep an eye on your conversations.