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Overview

Parallel Paths

Parallel Paths split Workflows into multiple concurrent paths. Each path can contain actions, goals, delays, exits, and decisions. Parallel Paths look similar to Decisions, but they require no logic to initiate and when a person enters a Parallel Path, they will travel down all available paths simultaneously. 

To add a Parallel Path to a Workflow:

  1. Click the + icon in the Workflow at the point you'd like to add a Parallel Path
  2. Click Parallel Path
  3. Add other Workflow nodes to the paths as needed

Add more paths to a Parallel Path by clicking the + icon to the right of the Parallel Path that's already added to the Workflow. Parallel Paths can be quite simple or more complex.  We’ll run through a few examples below to help you understand how they work. 

Actions in Parallel Paths 

Parallel path that has 2 paths to send a Campaign

In this example, when a person enters into the Parallel Path, they will travel simultaneously down both sides. They immediately get subscribed to a Campaign on each side. This allows you to send multiple Campaigns at the same time. If these Campaign actions were set up vertically, the person would have to finish one Campaign before they start the other.

Delays in Parallel Paths 

Parallel path with three paths. Two to send a Campaign and one with an exit and goal below it.

In this example, when a person enters into the Parallel Path, they will receive a one-off email on the left branch and enter into a Delay in the middle and right branches. Once the email in the left branch has been sent, the person will advance straight to the Exit below the Parallel Path and never reach the other two actions in the middle and right branches. 

In order to remain active in the Workflow after receiving the email on the left branch, the person would need to reach a step allowing them to remain active in the Workflow until they can finish the delays and pass through the middle and left branches.

Exits in Parallel Paths

Parallel path in a Workflow

When you add Exit steps at different points under a Parallel Path, as soon as a person hits the first Exit, exit-intent is set within the Workflow. This means that any other paths running will continue to run until they get to a stopping point of a Goal, Delay, or another Exit. As soon as each path hits one of those stopping points, the intent to exit sets in and they’re removed from the Workflow. 

Any steps occurring instantaneously will complete (apply a tag, set a custom field), but any that require people to sit at a node (Goal, Delay, send a Campaign) will exit the Workflow without any further steps in the Workflow completing.

We'll walk through the Workflow above as an example. Path A is on the left and path B is on the right. Here’s what happens when someone enters the Parallel Path:  

  • Under path A, the “path_a” tag is applied and then they hit the Exit step. 

  • Under path B, the “path_b” tag is applied, the “done” tag is applied, and then they hit the Exit step. 

  • The “done” tag is applied in path B although it appears that the person has already exited the Workflow under path A. 

  • Once someone reaches the exit under path B, they’re removed from the Workflow.

Goals in Parallel Paths 

Parallel path with Goals

In this example, a person will get subscribed to two different Campaigns once they enter into the Parallel Path. Because there is a Goal located directly underneath each Campaign, the person will continue to receive emails from both Campaigns until they trigger one of the Goals. Only then will they be removed from the Campaign step located directly above the Goal that was triggered. 

For example, if the person triggers ‘Goal 1’ they will be immediately removed from ‘Campaign 1’. The person will retain their 'Campaign 2' subscription because goals do not affect any automation steps that are parallel to it.

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