Test A Workflow

When you build a workflow, particularly a complex workflow, it's useful to test the workflow before you start using it. To do this, you can temporarily add filter nodes to the beginning of a workflow so only certain contacts are engaged when the workflow is triggered.

About this task

This allows you to make sure that the workflow functions as expected and to iron out any issues before you engage with your real contacts. Before you start a workflow test, you will need to have test contacts who match the workflow criteria that you can test with. For example, if you want to test a workflow that triggers based on order data, the contacts you test with need to have order data or the workflow test won't work. Also, you should be able to access the accounts for these contacts so you can make sure that the contacts receive the expected messages after the workflow is triggered.

It's a best practice to test with multiple contacts so you can test all of the paths your filter criteria can take your contacts through. An easy way to manage this level of complexity is to create a list of test contacts you can use for workflow testing and to use the List Membership filter node to only run these contacts through the workflow. You also have the option of testing a workflow using a single contact by using the Contact Field Comparison filter node.

When you use one of these filter nodes for testing, this node must be the first node that occurs after the trigger node in order to prevent any other contacts from being sent through the workflow.

To test a workflow:

Procedure

  1. Identify the contacts you want to use to test the workflow and add them to a list.
    If you are only testing with a single contact, you do not need to add the contact to a list. For information about:
  2. Go to Automation > Workflows.
  3. Open the workflow you want to test.

    If you have a complex workflow and don't feel comfortable editing it, you can make a copy of the workflow and add your test nodes to the copy. Using a copy is also a good idea if you have a workflow with several long delay nodes, as you will want to adjust the delay times down.

  4. To test with a list:
    1. Drag the List Membership filter node to the canvas.
    2. Click a list in the node text, click the name of your test list, and click Select.
    3. Disconnect the workflow's trigger node from any other nodes it is connected to.
    4. Connect the trigger node to the List Membership filter node.
    5. Connect the List Membership filter node to the next nodes in your workflow.
  5. To test with an individual contact:
    1. Drag the Contact Field Comparison filter node to the canvas.
    2. Click field in the node text, select Show Default Fields, click Email, and click Select.
    3. Click a value in the node text, enter the email address for the test contact, and click Done.
    4. Disconnect the workflow's trigger node from any other nodes it is connected to.
    5. Connect the trigger node to the Contact Field Comparison filter node.
    6. Connect the Contact Field Comparison filter node to the next nodes in your workflow.
  6. If you have any delay nodes in the workflow that are set to greater than 15 minutes, drop the delays down to 15 minutes in order to facilitate faster testing.
  7. Activate the workflow by clicking on the Inactive toggle.
  8. Use your test contact accounts to see if the workflow is behaving as expected.

    For example, was the contact moved to the appropriate list? Did the contacts receive the email you expected them to receive and were the tags replaced correctly?

  9. If necessary, make adjustments to your workflow.

    If you want the workflow to stop sending to your test contacts as you edit it, make the workflow Inactive again.

  10. When you are done testing the workflow:
    1. Make sure the workflow activation toggle is set to Inactive.
    2. Remove either the List Membership or Contact Field Comparison filter node.
    3. Connect the trigger node to the appropriate nodes in the workflow.
    4. If you are ready to start using the workflow, reactivate it. Otherwise, you're done.