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How to use goal steps in CXP automations

The Goal action in an automation is used to measure the effectiveness of your marketing. When used correctly, it can provide a snapshot of how a specific part of your marketing is performing. 

In addition, the Goal action is a way to move a contact to another location within an automation as soon as they meet specific conditions, which are configured in the Goal action. Once a contact meets these conditions, they will immediately jump from their current location to the Goal, skipping all steps in between. They will then proceed to the next action in your automation. 

In this article, we’ll discuss:

Contacts can only meet a goal once per entry into the automation. If a contact meets a specific goal, they won’t meet it again. Contacts would have to exit the automation and be re-added at the top to meet the Goal steps more than once.

How contacts encounter Goals

A contact can encounter a Goal action in two ways:

  1. Organically. Contacts can encounter a Goal action if it is the next step in their automation path.
  2. Jumping. Contacts can jump directly to a goal step from their current position in an automation if they meet the conditions set in the goal.

In order to encounter a Goal, the automation must be set to “Active” and a contact must be in the automation containing that action.

Anatomy of a Goal

The Goal action contains five elements. You’ll need to provide information or direction for each element in order to correctly configure a Goal action:

The five elements are:

1. The Goal name (“Name”)

This is the internal name for your Goal. Contacts will not see this name.

2. The Goal condition (“Jump to this action when…”)

You create a condition that contacts must meet in order to achieve a Goal. This condition is created with the segment builder and you can use almost any data available to you in your account.

3. Location (“And when the goal is…”)

This determines if contacts are eligible to achieve a goal, based on their current position in an automation. There are two locations to choose from:

  • Below the contact’s position: A contact can only achieve this goal and move directly to it if the goal is below their position in an automation. If the goal is located above the contact in an automation, then they are no longer eligible to achieve the goal and will not move to it.
  • Anywhere: A contact can achieve the goal and move to it from any position in the automation. This setting can be used if your automation contains an “If/Else” fork as it will allow the contact to jump from one path in your automation to the goal. If a contact (1) already went through the goal and (2) did not meet the goal conditions, they will not jump up to the goal if they meet the conditions to do so later on. 

4. Conversions triggered (“Trigger this conversion when this goal is achieved”)

You can determine if achievement of this goal will trigger a conversion, no conversion, or you can create a new conversion when the goal is achieved. Conversions are part of our Attribution feature.

5. Action (“If the contact does not meet goal conditions”)

You can decide the next action for contacts that arrive at this Goal action but do not yet meet conditions to achieve the goal. There are three actions you can choose from:

  • Continue anyway: Contacts will proceed to the next step in an automation.
  • Wait until conditions are met: Contacts will wait in this Goal action until they meet the Goal conditions. There is no time limit to how long contacts will wait.
  • End this automation: Contacts will end the automation as soon as they reach this step.

How to add a Goal action to an automation

1. From your automation, locate where you want to add the Goal action and click the node:

2. The “Add new action” modal will appear. Click “Conditions and Workflow.”

3. Click the “Goal” action.


4. The Goal action modal will appear. Type the name of the goal into the Name field provided


As a best practice, we recommend choosing a name that describes the goal’s desired outcome.

5. Click the “Click to add a goal” link to set your Goal conditions. This will open the Goal Editor, which uses the segment builder. You can use any information available to you in your account to create a goal condition.

6. Click the “And when this goal is” dropdown and select either “Below the contact’s position” or “Anywhere.”


7. Click the “Trigger this conversion when this goal is achieved” dropdown if you want this Goal to trigger a Conversion. You can also choose to create a new conversion as this goal is achieved by clicking the “Create a new conversion” link provided.

If you do not want to trigger a conversion, click “None” in the dropdown.

8. Click the “If the contact does not meet goal conditions” dropdown and choose an optionThis determines what action contacts will take when they encounter this action in your automation, but do not meet the goal conditions.


9. Click the “Save” button.


Creating segments with Goal data

There are four segmenting options available with the Goal action:

1. Goal achieved

Contact has met the conditions of the goal while going through the automation.

2. Goal not achieved

Contact exited the automation before achieving the goal or has not yet met the goal conditions.

3. Goal skipped

Contact reached the goal step in the automation but either skipped it or ended the automation.

4. Waiting on Goal

Contact is at the goal step of the automation and will not proceed until they have met the goal conditions.

Note: Contacts who match the Goal skipped condition will also appear in the Goal not achieved condition.