Let’s understand how Mautic Campaigns are triggered (detailed test results explained)

Campaigns. Restarts. Campaignevent additions. Will they run? What does really happen?
Let’s reveil the mechanic turk inside of Mautic with some hands on tests and clear results.

This comes up awfully lot in different forums, tutorials, but there is little clearity behind what really happens. I’d like to clear it up everything in this post. If I wouldn’t be 100% clear about something, please drop me a line and I’ll extend this article.

Case Nr. 1.: Simple Campaign With restarting option
I created a simple campaign with sending out 2 emails sequentially. The source of the campaign is a segment, where contacts qualify based on a tag.

As the last step I created 2 contacts to qualify for the segment by adding a tag.

As you can see, all went well, contacts got into the segment, than into the campaign. Events went to pending state (grey) then executed properly. (yellow). All good.

I removed one of the tags and the contact left the campaign. The funny thing is: the email was already queued for this contact, and once I removed him from the segment, he disqualified to be a member of the campaign, so the email simply failed. This was immediatly represented in the campaign view:

Okay, great, now let’s re-add the contact to the campaign, and see what happens. Will he go to the unfinished step 2? Or he will try to continue the campaign? Or just start from the beginning? (Spoiler: restart means restart.)

This is the complete breakdown of the contact journey with explanations. Please see how he was added, removed and re-added to the campaign.

Conclusion 1:

If your campaign can be restarted, and you disqualify a contact based on segment membership to be the member of a campaign, than the campaign will be started from step 1 once the contact requalifies to be the member of the campaign.

You might ask: okay, but after the last email is sent – is he still a member of this campaign? If yes, can I add further steps to the campaign and will they be executed?

The answer is YES. YES. NO. (Btw my favorite podcast has a yes-yes-no segment…)

The contacts will be member of the campaign:

And YES, you can add campaign steps, and they will show it the campaign action list.

But they won’t be executed, just hand in there 🙂 So if you ever wonder why you see pending actions hanging, this might be the reason:

Okay, great, so what happens if I add new people to this campaign? For them the third step would be there from the first moment.
The answer is: for them it will be business as usual, they will go through all 3 events:

Conclusion 2:
Events are triggered when a contact enters the campaign and executed. If the contact reaches the last step of the campaign, they will be still member of the campaign, but newly added events are not executed for them.

Just for the sake of sanity, let’s see if a contact is re-added to a campaign, where turn off the ‘Contact can restart the campaign’ button.

I created a new contact, a new segment and a new campaign to test it. The campaign had a 2 email sequence.
The contact got the 2 emails.

In order to test the re-adding functionality, as a first step I removed the tag that qualifies the contact to be the segment member, and campaign member. The contact left the campaign as expected.
Once I re-added the tag, the contact was re-added to the segment, but not the campaign. So we got expected results.
See details:

Okay, one last thing to test: What happens if we add a new email?

To test this, I added a new contact to my ‘non-restartable’ segment by adding the neccessary tag. He nicely qualified into the campaign, and got the first 2 emails. Than the contact ‘finished’ the campaign as expected (and stayed a member).

I added the new email, and it was added as ‘pending’ to the list of actions. And the email was never sent, since the campaign was over for this person.

See detailed action list:

Conclusion 3:
Regardless of the campaign restartability, you new actions after a campaign was once over for a contact will be not executed.