How to use IF/THEN rules for a more productive business

if then rules for a more productive business

We use conditional if-this-then-that "rules" all the time in our own lives.

It means that if A is true, then action B should be taken. Otherwise, action C should be taken.

Think of making plans for your weekend. If it's sunny, then you'll go to the beach. If it's not, you'll stay inside.

IF/THEN diagram


If you look for them, you can find IF/THEN rules everywhere in the decisions we make every day.

But what about our businesses?

Setting clear IF/THEN rules in your business is one of the best ways to boost productivity and streamline processes.

Instead of having to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, you can determine clear rules that trigger automated actions at the right time without you needing to lift a finger.

This means you can reduce the manual tasks on your plate and free up your time for the most valuable work.

Let's dig into how you can introduce straightforward IF/THEN rules to streamline processes and bring more ease to your business...

How to use IF/THEN rules in your business


Think in terms of workflows

A workflow is the way you get work done, illustrated as a series of steps that need to be completed in sequence.

To implement the most helpful IF/THEN rules in your business, think about the recurring workflows that need to take place every day.

As an example, here's a list of emails you might send to marketing leads to nurture them towards becoming customers:

  1. Someone finds your business in a Google search
  2. They subscribe to your mailing list
  3. You send a welcome email instantly
  4. You send an email with new content after 1 week
  5. You send an email with new content after 2 weeks

With the right tool, you can automate these steps so the right emails are sent at the right time without you having to do anything.

If someone subscribes to your mailing list, then your email marketing tool automatically sends them a sequence of personalized emails at pre-determined intervals.

This radically reduces the time and cost of acquiring new customers.

Here's an example of an automated email workflow with ConvertKit. It sends the right email to the right people, depending on their subscriptions and interests:

ConvertKit email funnel  

You can also create automated internal workflows for common processes in your organization such as:

Tools with extensive automation features like HubSpot make creating these internal workflows super simple. With a drag-and-drop workflow builder, you can quickly build exactly the right workflow to handle your own IF/THEN rules:

HubSpot drag and drop automation builder  

List the common actions your customers take

Another way to introduce more IF/THEN rules in your business is by thinking about your customer journey.

Even before thinking about automation, it's helpful for any organization to list the common steps most people take before becoming a customer. It allows you to be there for your marketing leads at exactly the right time.

A simple version for an ecommerce store could be:

  1. A person views your website
  2. You send them retargeting ads that remind them of your store
  3. They return to your store and click the "buy now" button when they're ready
  4. You send personalized emails that show other products they might like

Once you understand your customer journey, you can identify areas where you can introduce automations based on IF/THEN rules.

For instance, if a customer orders baby shoes from your online clothing store, then your email tool can send them a discount code for other kid's clothes.

4 examples of IF/THEN rules to use in your business


IF a customer submits a support ticket, THEN alert their account manager

Popular customer support software such as Zendesk or Freshdesk offer built-in options to create workflows that alert the right people when certain conditions are met.

We love how Freshdesk describes their automation functionality as "A sorting hat for every ticket."

Freshdesk ticket automation

A common IF/THEN rule for support teams is alerting the account manager when one of their customers submits a ticket, so they can ensure a timely response.

A similar example is alerting an account manager when a customer submits a negative NPS score, so they can follow up and fix underlying issues.

IF a new lead enters your CRM system, THEN add them to your mailing list

By connecting your CRM and email marketing tool, you can ensure that data for new leads immediately syncs to the right places.

PieSync is designed to solve IF/THEN rules like this. For instance: if a contact is in HubSpot, then sync the contact two-ways between HubSpot and Mailchimp:

HubSpot and Mailchimp two-way integration


IF a customer completes an order, THEN give them a discount code

If you're using a popular ecommerce platform such as WooCommerce or Shopify, you benefit from a built-in option to send automated emails via your integrated email service provider.

Sending automated discount codes is an easy IF/THEN rule to reward your store customers and encourage them to come back. Here are some more ideas to automate your ecommerce business:

IF a contact does not wish to be contacted, THEN change their subscription status in other tools

When you connect your email marketing tool with your other marketing apps, you can keep subscription status updated between them in real time.

For instance: if a contact is marked "Do not contact" in Pipedrive, then update their subscription status in Mailchimp. This provides an easy way to adhere to GDPR policies and respect your audience's contact preferences.

Here's an example of using PieSync to only sync contacts that want to be contacted with Mailchimp:

Pipedrive and Mailchimp sync for GDPR

Integrate your apps with PieSync to use IF/THEN rules that boost productivity

What's PieSync? It's a two-way syncing solution that keeps the right data perfectly connected between your favorite business apps, like your CRM and email marketing platform.

With IF/THEN rules that determine how your apps sync, PieSync lets your business tools talk to each other and exchange data based on clear conditions you set.

Get started with a free trial to automate more of your day-to-day workflows and create a more productive business with customer data syncing.

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.