Automated Playbooks

Playbook automation help you automate internal customer management, fire alerts for in-need accounts, and engage customers.

Playbook Automation Overview

Playbook automation help you automate common Customer Success needs by performing a series of actions (e.g. fire a risk indicator, send an email, create a task) on Vitally Objects that meet certain requirements.

Each action in a Playbook automation is applied at a defined schedule based on when the Playbook was first activated on the organization/account/user.

Creating Playbook Automation

Let's look into creating playbook automation! Below is a video to walk you through some examples. As you keep scrolling down on this documentation, we'll take a deep dive to help you make the best decisions in creating your playbook automation. We chat through frequency, triggers, actions, rules, and more!

How ToHow to Visual

How to create a Playbook automation

  1. Navigate to your Settings (βš™οΈ) by selecting your Account Logo on the top left

  2. Navigate to Playbooks under Customer Management (or get there via Quick Jump or the Global Create Button).

  3. Select Create New on the top right

  4. Select the Object you're targeting (Accounts, Users, Notes, Tasks, etc)

  5. Build your trigger rules by using filters

  6. Add in Actions (Create Note, Start a Conversation, Create Project, etc)

  7. Turn on your playbook once you're satisfied

Below we dive deeper into how to choose your filters, frequency, re-enrollment, actions, waiting periods, and more.

🚨 If you don’t want your playbook automation to include churned enrollees, simply add a filter for β€œChurn date is not set” for Orgs and Accounts or "Deactivated is not set" for Users if your lifecycle tracking rules have been configured.

Playbook Automation Frequency

Frequency allows you to choose the limit of how many times the Object can enroll into the playbook over a specific timeframe when it matches and un-matches the rules. This is not to be confused to a recurring playbook automation, you can learn about recurring playbooks here.

Once an object matches, Playbook automation run on an hourly basis to see what object matches the rules set. This can not be modified.

There are three options:

As "OBJECT" matchesAt most X time(s)At most X time(s) every X days

Accounts/Users/Orgs or Objects (Notes, Tasks, Custom Objects, etc) will run as they match and un-match the rules.

If an Account matches on January 1st, unmatches later that day and then rematches January 2nd it will re-run through the Playbook.

Control the amount times that an Object runs through the life of a Playbook as it matches and un-matches the rules.

If set to 'At most 1 time': If an Account matches on January 1st, unmatches later that day, and then rematches on January 2nd, it will not re-run.

Control the amount times within a timeframe that an Object runs through the life of a Playbook as it matches and un-matches the rules.

If set to 'At most 1 time every 7 days': If an Account matches on January 1st, unmatches later that day, and then rematches on January 2nd, it will not re-run. If it rematches January 8th, it will then re-enroll.

Playbook Automation Triggers

Before you start creating your Playbook automation, you want to make sure you're choosing the correct triggers. Your triggers are what control what goes in and out of your Playbooks so it is very important that you start with the correct list of customers.

Playbooks can be triggered off any traits, Success Metrics, Elements, other Playbooks, Indicators, etc. There are many options for you to choose from to narrow down the audience list you want to specifically target (Below, there is a User vs Account Playbook Example).

Churned Accounts, Organizations, and Users will be enrolled into Playbooks, and all actions will apply. If you don’t want your Playbook automation to include churned enrollees, simply add a filter for β€œChurn date is not set” for Orgs and Accounts or "Deactivated is not set" for Users if your lifecycle tracking rules have been configured.

Playbook TriggersPlaybook Trigger Visuals

Playbooks: AND vs OR Logic

You can select between your hierarchy, Notes, Tasks, Conversations, or Custom Objects.

Playbooks: AND vs OR Logic

There are two types of logic when configuring more than one Playbook rule:

  • AND Logic: To identify Objects that meet one rule/group of rules AND another rule/group of rules

  • OR Logic: To identify Objects that meet one rule/group of rules OR another rule/group of rules

Playbooks: Filter groups

Filter Groups allow you to use AND/OR logic with any groups of multiple filters

Depending on the trigger rules you want to choose from and what you're trying to accomplish will depend on your selection. Below, User vs Account Playbook Example, we go over Users vs Accounts as an example.

User vs Account Playbook Example

Account Rules vs User Rules

These rules function somewhat differently depending on whether your Playbook targets accounts or users:

  • Targeting Accounts - If your Playbook targets accounts AND you have User rules defined, then the account is a 'match' if any User at the Account matches your User rules.

  • Targeting Users - If your Playbook targets Users, we'll apply any Account rules to the User's Account and any User rules to the User itself.

Your selection here determines whether our system will apply the Playbook's automated actions to either Accounts, Users, or Organizations (that match your Playbook's rules). There's a big difference in functionality based on your selection!

For example, let's say you build a Playbook automation with these conditions:

Let's also say your Playbook has an action to automatically send an email to whoever has the Playbook applied to them. Depending on whether your Playbook targets Accounts or Users, the functionality is quite different:

Above, notice how targeting Accounts doesn't necessarily prevent Users with NPS scores <= 8 from getting an email, but targeting Users does. Why is that? When targeting Accounts, you are telling Vitally that the output of the Playbook is to impact/affect the Account - not necessarily a specific User.

To elaborate, let's say that the action is to add the Account to a Segment (instead of sending an email). If your Playbook's conditions are the same - there's 1 Account rule and 1 User rule - Vitally needs to look at the Account and go, "Should we add this Account to this Segment?". We answer that question by looking at the Account's Users and going, "Is there any User with a last NPS score greater than 8?". If so, the Account gets added to the Segment. That same process occurs when targeting Accounts with a "Start a conversation" action.


Q: What should I do if I want to send emails based on User activity? A: If you want to send specific Users specific emails for exhibiting specific behaviors, then 99% of the time, you'll want the Playbook to target Users and not Accounts. Since targeting Users gives you complete control over the exact set of Users that get your email, then that's likely the way to go.

Q: Why would I target Accounts with an action to "Start a conversation"? Should I always just target users? A: Definitely not. Since Vitally works with B2B companies almost exclusively, there's plenty of valid cases for saying "I need to email this company". For example, let's say you want to auto-engage Accounts the moment all Users at the Account stop using your product for 7 days. However, you don't want to engage ALL those Users, just the primary owner at the company that bought your product - perhaps you want to check in with that person to see if a team-wide onboarding session should be scheduled.

In that case, targeting the Account is 100% the right way to go. To make sure that the primary Account Owner is the only one to get the email though, you'd select that option when configuring your email action:

Playbooks Automation Actions

Actions allow you to configure something that should happen once Organizations, Accounts, or Users match your rules on a set schedule.

For example, on the 1st day a Playbook automation is applied to an account, you can send an email to the Account's owner. On the 3rd day, you can create a Task for the Account's CSM. Then, on the 10th day, you can send another email.

How ToHow To Visual

By clicking the blue plus sign button you can add actions and rules.

Playbook Automation: Available Actions

Assign a Key Role to the Account/Organization

Manage your Key Role assignments with intelligent algorithms! With the "Assign a Key Role" Playbook actions, you can auto-assign team members to Accounts or Organizations using 3 different algorithms:

  • Assign to the selected team member who has the least-managed Accounts

  • Assign to the selected team member who has the least-managed revenue

  • Assign to the selected team member who has not been assigned to an Account for the longest amount of time (i.e. 'round robin')

Additionally, you can assign it to a specific person!

Create an Account/Organization Indicator

Indicators are automated alerts that detect significant opportunity or risk states into which accounts may transition. They can be assigned to teammates, manually silenced (by marking the Indicator as addressed), and more.

Add the Account/Organization/User to a Segment

Segments are organized subsets of each hierarchy, and you can use Playbooks to add and remove segments automatically.

Start a conversation with the Account/Organization/User

Starting a conversation with the right user at the right account is a critical component to Customer Success, and this action helps you do just that! You can send an email via Gmail or Outlook to auto-send it from the account's CSM, send personalized messages (using user, account, and CSM variables), and even schedule conversations to start on a delay, which gives your team time to review pending conversations and make any needed edits.

Trying to send a drip-campaign? No problem! We now have the options to:

  • Limit how many emails the action schedules to send for a given sender on a given day. This helps you if you want to drip emails out and somewhat control the frequency of any responses

  • The ability to prevent schedule dates from falling on the weekend

You'll see an option for 'Daily maximum per sender' when using the conversation action. What this does is it looks at the emails that need to get sent and groups them by sender and their send date.

Reply to a Conversation

If you want to follow up to a previous conversation action you can select reply to a conversation! You'll, of course, need to have a conversation to reply to and once you've got that, you can then use the reply to a conversation action to send a follow-up email. To properly identify which conversation you want to reply to, reference the unique ID assigned to the conversation action.

Create an Account/Organization Task

Tasks are to-dos created for Organizations/Accounts and assigned to your teammates. With this action, you can ensure your team members complete specific activities for Accounts exhibiting specific behaviors.

The 'Create a task' action in playbooks also supports selecting multiple fallback assignees alongside an algorithm to use to determine which assignee should be assigned to the task. The 2 algorithms supported are:

  • Round robin: Assign the task to the teammate not assigned to a task created by the action for the longest period of time

  • Least incomplete tasks: Assign the task to the teammate with the least incomplete tasks created by the action

Update Task(s) for the Account/Organization

Use the data you are syncing to Vitally to update or complete a task automatically. E.g. When the Account enables our Slack integration, mark the 'Enable Slack' task as completed. Search for the tasks you want to target and then update completed, task name, assignee, category, task status, or task traits!

Create an Account/Organization Project

Projects are sequences of Tasks aimed to help a customer reach some stage or goal. With this Playbook action, you can ensure that standard projects like onboarding, annual renewals, QBR processes, and more are automatically created for the right customers at the right times.

Create an Account/Organization Doc

Docs are dedicated workspaces to gather and share information.

Docs provide transparency between you and your customer, the ability to create templates for consistency across team members, and the capability to share with customers to create a more collaborative relationship.

Update an Account/Organization/User/Custom Object Trait

You can update any editable trait via a Playbook automation! In this action, you have the ability to increment/decrement a number Trait.

A popular use case for this can be used in conjunction with Custom Object Playbooks to do some basic rollups, like tracking the number of Jira tickets created by a customer over the last 30 days.

Custom traits help you track data points about your customers directly in Vitally. With this action, you can set the value of a custom trait automatically for Accounts that match your rules.

A popular use case for this action is to map your plan names to their monthly cost, automatically setting an MRR trait for accounts based on the plan they're subscribed to.

You can configure Playbook actions to update traits on a Custom Object for Playbooks that enroll said Custom Object. For example, if an Opportunity needs to have a field automatically updated when its stage changes, Playbooks will support that.

Send a Segment track (Account and User level only)

Vitally's Segment integration allows you to configure Vitally as a Segment destination, syncing the data you track in Segment (groups, identifys, and tracks) into Vitally in real-time. However, you can also use Vitally as a Segment source, which allows you to push Vitally's unique customer insights back to Segment for use in your other tools! This doc explains that in more detail.

This action allows you to send a Segment track call to Segment-connected integrations as accounts or users reach certain points in the Playbook. For example, say you have a Playbook automation that welcomes new customers the first day they become a paying customer. With this action, you can send a track back to Segment to let other systems/data stores log a record of these new customers.

An example track sent from a Playbook might look something like this:

  event: "New Vitally customer", // You get to define the event name per Playbook
  groupId: "ACCOUNT_GROUP_ID", // We auto-set this for you using the account's Segment group ID
  context: {
    groupId: "ACCOUNT_GROUP_ID" // We auto-set this for you using the account's Segment group ID
  properties: {
    playbook: "New customer playbook" // This is the name of the playbook in Vitally
Ping a webhook

You can trigger actions in external systems with the Ping a webhook Playbook action. With this action, you can send a Playbook Identifier that identifies which playbook is sending the webhook, along with any user or account traits that you wish to send. You can also ping a webhook from note-triggered playbooks with details about the note.

To configure this action, make sure that you enter a valid webhook URL and select the proper HTTP method (PUT or POST). If your request will require any headers (i.e. authentication), simply enter those into the the Request Headers section.

Show an in-app NPS survey (Account and User level only)

Vitally's NPS for B2B SaaS (free) add-on is NPS rebuilt for Customer Success. When enabled, you can pair it with Playbooks to limit the users at accounts that should be shown a NPS survey.

For example, you could setup rules that filter accounts to just those on an annual deal that are renewing within 30 days. Add a 'Show NPS' action to your Playbook, and we'll only show the NPS survey to users at matching accounts!

Playbook Automation Rules

Rules allow you to add delays or split logic to create branches.

  • Split: Another word for this is branches! With branching, teams can create workflows with dedicated paths for addressing a range of different outcomes. The branching logic also means teams can reduce the number of their overall Playbooks. For example, instead of using multiple Playbooks to assign new customers to specific plan types, teams can utilize branching to filter new customers into their correct plan from a single Playbook.

  • Wait: You can now choose between setting a rule for a waiting period as a defined number of days or until the account matches a specific set of rules. Users can set this rule for various situations, including automating emails, tracking account set up, or any other action your team may be automating for. When delaying automations until a specific condition is met, users can also define a maximum number of days to delay the next action. If a customer is stuck or doesn’t complete the expected action, your team can set a new path to best address the customer.

Playbooks: Branched Logic

With our "split" rule, you can create branching conditions within a playbook. Follow these steps to add a branch:

How toHow to Visual

How to create Playbook branch logic:

  1. Select Rules tab when adding a new action

  2. Select Split into paths

  3. Click to +Add a branch

  4. Name your Branch

    1. Define the conditions of the branch(s)

  5. Repeat step 3-4 until you have all the branches you need

  6. Select Save once you're satisfied

An "Otherwise" branch will always be created to capture any objects that do not match the logic of the other branches.

Branches can be reordered or deleted using the up and down arrows or the trashcan icon in the popout next to each branch name.

Split/Branch logic use cases:

Creating email campaigns with branched logic

To create Playbooks that branch off of email engagement first add a branch to define the filters using Action Filters. For example, if you would like to create a new conversation if the previous message has not been replied to select that property and set it "Is False."

Once you have defined your branch logic, you can add what actions to trigger after the conversation. You can add the action Reply to a Conversation so the follow-up is tied to the initial conversation and a new thread is not created.

Once you've selected the action to Reply to a Conversation, you can select the conversation to tie it back to. There is an ID on each conversation that can easily identify the specific conversation (this comes in handy when you've got a large Playbook with many conversations).

Once you've selected the conversation, you can then define the reply. Once done select Save, and you're all set!

Playbooks: Wait/Delays

There are 2 options to delay an action in a playbook

Wait/DelaysWait/Delays Visuals

Wait for a number of days

This allows you to wait a specific number of days until the Playbook's next steps are applied to the Object

Wait until Object matches specific rules

This allows you to define rules that must be met in order for the matching audience to move forward in the Playbook. You can also add in a max wait that will be a maximum amount of time to wait and when it has exceeded that wait time period, the object will move forward in the Playbook.

Playbook Automation Details

Define general details about your Playbook.

How toHow to Visual

Select gear icon on the top righthand corner you can define general details about your Playbook:

  • Description - Want to give your team some context and direction when the Playbook is applied? Then enter a note here and add account/user variables via the bottom right icon in the toolbar. We will 'compile' your note here with the matching account/user when displaying it throughout Vitally

  • Category - Optional, but helps keep your Playbooks organized

  • Name - Give your Playbook a name so you/your team can easily identify it later

Creating a Playbook Category

Creating a category is done when you're in a Playbook so the workflow is slightly different than some of the other categories.

How ToHow to Visual

How to create a Playbook Category:

  1. Navigate to a Playbook you want to categorize

  2. When in your Playbook, click the settings gear on the top right

  3. A pop-up will appear where you can select from existing categories or create a new one

  4. Type out the new category and press enter

  5. That's it! You've created a new category

Managing your Playbook Automation

View Matching Audience

How ToVisual

Matching Audience allows you to preview the audience that currently matches the Playbook criteria. This includes an audience that has already run through the Playbook, or that will run through the Playbook.

  1. Select the TRIGGER and the right panel will populate

  2. You'll see Edit Rules and matching Audience. Select Matching Audience

*Please note that CHURNED will not populate in this view but churned will go through the Playbook. More on what actions are ignored when a user/account/org is churned in the FAQ

Viewing Active Playbook Automation in a Table View

How ToHow to Visual

To view Accounts with a specific Playbook active, you can enable the column for the desired Playbook and then sort by that column, add a filter on the column for the desired Playbook, or both!

The column for each Playbook shows the date the Playbook was applied to the Account as well as when it completed (e.i ran through the Playbook to completion)

If you click on the Playbook column for a specific Account, you can also see a history of the actions performed on the account by the Playbook.

View Playbook Automation History

How ToHow To Visual

When in a Playbook, you can view any objects that are active or closed. By selecting an object you can see the history for that instance

  1. When in your Playbook, select the clock on the top right

  2. A left panel will pop up where you'll see Active and Closed

  3. Select either and search for the object you're looking for

  4. Once found, select it to see the history

You can also go to an Org/Account/User 360 to see all the Playbook automations they have run through and select each one to view the history for that.

  1. Go to the Org/Account/User

  2. If you have a deck other than the default one, X out of it

  3. On the right hand panel, scroll down to Playbooks

  4. Here you'll see a list of all Playbooks the object is running through or has run through

  5. Select the Playbook to be taken to the history

How to Pause a Playbook Automation

Manually removing an object from a Playbook is not possible but you can pause a Playbook automation. This action has 2 impacts:

  • All previously-applied actions are 'undone' (e.g. active Indicators are ended, pending messages are not sent, etc)

  • No further actions will be applied to the Account for that Playbook unless the Account has the entire Playbook reapplied to them.

How ToHow To Visual

If you'd like to 'force stop' a Playbook from executing any further actions on the account

  1. Go to the Account (or other hierarchy)

  2. If you have a deck other than the default one, X out of it

  3. On the right hand panel, scroll down to Playbooks

  4. Here you'll see a list of all Playbooks the object is running through or has run through

  5. Select the Stop Playbook link displayed

  6. You can add a note as to why, which is visible to your team

How to Clone or Delete a Playbook Automation

When you delete a Playbook, here's what will happen:

  • All previously-applied actions are 'undone' (e.g. active Indicators are ended, pending messages are not sent, etc)

  • If the Playbook added an Account to a Segment, the Account will be removed from the Segment.

  • Tasks and custom traits will either be deleted/cleared or left alone, depending on the option that you select in the action configuration.

How ToHow To VIsual

Deleting or cloning a Playbook is simple:

  1. Go to your Settings

  2. Scroll down a bit and select Playbooks

  3. You'll see all the Playbooks and the meatball menu

  4. Select the meatball menu to see Delete and Clone

Playbook Use Cases, Tips, & Tricks

Playbook automations can be used in so many different ways to achieve different goals. You can trigger drip campaigns, assign key roles based on specific data, update traits, and much more. The many options can be overwhelming but don't fret, we've got you covered on strategic ways to achieve your goals. Below we go over 2 of the most commonly asked questions on Playbooks:

  • How to manually enroll a customer in a Playbook (start video at 1:44)

  • How to set up a recurring Playbook (start video at 7:30 min)

Creating a recurring playbook

If you're creating a recurring playbook off activity (notes, tasks, and projects) then you can follow the steps below. We're using Projects as the example but these are the same steps for Tasks or Notes:

  1. Create Categories:

    • Create a category for example, "Collaborative."

  2. Create Templates:

    • Assign the appropriate category, such as "Collaborative," to relevant project templates like QBR (Quarterly Business Review).

  3. Defining Playbook Trigger for Playbooks: You can trigger off Next Due Task or Last Completed Task, depending on what you want select the appropriate option!

    • Establish the logic for playbook triggers based on key activities. For example:

      • Trigger off the last completed project within the "Collaborative" category.

      • Set the timeframe for triggering the playbook (e.g 90 days)

  4. Add Playbook Actions:

    • Add an action to create a new project (and any other actions you want)

Once a project is completed, individuals will be removed from the current playbook. Upon completion of the new project, individuals will be added back into the playbook for the next cycle.

By following these steps, you can effectively configure project categories, trigger playbooks based on key activities, and automate project creation within your system. This enables seamless management and execution of recurring tasks or projects, such as Quarterly Business Reviews.

If you want to create a recurring playbook that is not targeting Notes, Tasks, or Projects there is another method, which would be based off an actual date. This method involves creating custom traits and setting specific date criteria for triggering actions:

  1. Creating Custom Traits:

    • Create a DATETIME custom trait, such as "Last QBR Date."

      • Please note a datetime trait is highly, highly recommended since date traits can fluctuate with UTC. So if it's a daily playbook, a date trait will not work, but if it's a 30, 60, or 90 day playbook, it will probably work ok.

  2. Defining Playbook Trigger for Playbooks:

    • Establish the trigger condition based on the custom trait. For example:

      • Define the trigger condition as "Last QBR Date greater than 90 days ago."

      • Consider including additional filters as needed.

    • Handling Nulls:

      • Include a condition to handle null values, ensuring individuals are included if the event has not occurred previously.

  3. Automating Actions:

    • Determine the actions to automate within the playbook, such as creating a new QBR project or Vitally Doc

  4. Add a Wait action:

    • Incorporate a wait step to hold the process until the completion of the QBR event.

    • Utilize available data to detect the completion of the QBR, such as activity objects or specific indicators.

  5. Update a Trait Action:

    • Add an action to update the custom trait with the current date to mark the event's occurrence.

    • This update ensures individuals are removed from the playbook until the next cycle.

As time progresses, individuals will cycle in and out of the playbook based on the date criteria. The playbook will automatically adjust based on the specified time frame, in this case, ninety days.


Q: I applied an action retroactively, but it didn't work? A: When a Playbook gets retroactively applied, it applies all new actions that have not yet been applied to matching objects. It doesn’t rerun any actions that have already been applied to a matching object.

Q: Do churned customers run through playbooks? A: As of 12/8/23, all actions will be applied for any Playbook created on or AFTER. You'll want to add a filter such as 'churn date is not set' so those actions don't trigger on churned Organizations or Accounts.

This does NOT include users. We will NOT email churned Users from the start or reply to conversation action in a Playbook.

Any Playbooks created before 12/8/23: Yes, but not all actions are applied to churned Objects. Below is a list of actions that a Playbook will ignore and actions that will work via a Playbook:

Playbook actions applied:Playbook actions ignored:
  • Add to a segment

  • Update task(s)

  • Update a trait

  • Send a Segment track

  • Ping a webhook

  • Show a NPS survey

  • Assign a key role

  • Create an indicator

  • Start a conversation

  • Reply to a conversation

  • Create a task

  • Create a project

Q: How do I stop churned from being enrolled into Playbook automations? A: Churned will be enrolled into playbooks and all actions will apply. If you don’t want your playbooks to include churned enrollees, simply add a filter for β€œChurn date is not set” for Orgs and Accounts or "Deactivated is not set" for Users if your lifecycle tracking rules have been configured.

Q: I'm using the action filters to reply to a conversation earlier in the playbook but can not find the conversation I want to reply to, what's going on? A: This is likely tied to the "strategy" in your conversation action. You want to be sure to have it set to "start a group conversation with users at the same account" and NOT "start one conversation per user". Once you switch that over to the appropriate strategy, you will now see the conversation under the action filters.

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