Workflows: What It Is, How to Use It & More? (2023) Workflows

If you’re here, you’re probably already using (also Circle), or you’re considering it for your community.

So, you’re wondering about Workflows. What is it? How do you create one? How can you use it to improve your community?

To answer these questions, we’ve crafted this comprehensive guide to Circle’s Workflows feature. Here we’ll discuss what the feature is, how it works, the possible use cases, and more.

Let’s begin!

What Is Circle Workflows?

Circle Workflows is a community management tool that lets you automate tasks to simplify community management, deliver personalized member experiences, and scale your community while saving you time and money.

It supports two types of workflows—Automation and Bulk Action.

An automation workflow lets you automate specific tasks in your community by using triggers and actions. You can think of these as “if-this-then-that” statements, where a trigger is a specific event (e.g., a member joins your community) and an action is the response to that event (e.g., sending them a message).

Trigger-based automation workflow
Trigger-based automation workflow

Here are some examples of automations you can create in Circle:

  • Send a welcome message when someone joins your community
  • Send a direct message to a member when they create a post
  • Tag a member when they complete a course

Bulk actions, on the other hand, enable you to quickly take action on a group of members at once. It gives you the ability to segment your members and send them messages, tag them, or remove them from your Circle community.

Circle is the only major community builder to offer a feature like Workflows. From community management to member engagement, it allows you to do more with less effort.

The only thing to keep in mind is that Workflows is a premium feature and requires the Business or Enterprise plans to use.

Now, let’s create our first workflow together, shall we?

How to Set Up a Circle Workflow

Setting up a workflow in Circle is straightforward. To get started, click on your community’s name in the top left part of the screen, and select Workflows.

Here you can create your first workflow by clicking the New Workflow button in the top right corner of your screen.

Select workflows from the dropdown menu
Select workflows from the dropdown menu

This will open a new window where you’ll see pre-made workflow templates. You can select one of these or start from scratch.

You’ll also notice that each template has a label—automation or bulk action. As we mentioned above, these are two different types of workflows.

You should use the Automation option if you want to create a workflow that responds to an event and performs an action based on that. On the other hand, Bulk Actions let you perform a task immediately (no trigger needed).

Workflow templates
Workflow templates

While the workflow templates make your life easier, we’ll create a custom workflow in this tutorial to help you get a better picture of how this feature works.

To create a custom workflow, click the Custom Workflow button and select the Automation option on the next screen.

Create a custom automation workflow
Create a custom automation workflow

This will open the workflow editor, where you’ll be able to define the trigger and actions.

Circle has dozens of triggers, and here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Member joined community
  • Member joined space
  • Member published a post
  • Member posted a comment
  • Member completed course
  • Tag added to member

Because we want to send a welcome message when a member joins a space, we’ll select Member joined space as the automation trigger. Also, make sure to choose a particular space.

Setting the automation trigger (entry rule)
Setting the automation trigger (entry rule)

After that, you need to select what you want to happen when a member joins a space. In this case, we want to send a message automatically.

To do that, click Add an action, select Send a direct message, and add text to the message body.

Send a message action
Send a message action

Circle has several actions, as well, and here are the most common ones:

  • Add member to space
  • Remove member from community
  • Add member tag
  • Cancel paywall subscription
  • RSVP member to event

Moreover, you can add multiple actions to the same workflow.

So, in the example above, when a member joins a particular space, you can automatically send them a welcome message and also assign a tag to them.

And to do that, all you have to do is click on the Plus icon below the first action box and select the desired action.

Add multiple actions to a single event
Add multiple actions to a single event

Once you’re finished setting up your workflow, make sure to click the Activate button in the top right corner of the screen.

Now, let’s quickly show you how to create a Bulk Action workflow to send a message to members interested in attending a particular event.

Follow the same steps as before, but select the Bulk Action option this time.

Creating a bulk action workflow
Creating a bulk action workflow

For bulk action workflows, you need to segment your audience and then decide what you want to do.

Circle has several filters to help you precisely define your audience segment. You can fitler your audience based on multiple criteria, including member role, spaces, tags, events, etc.

For this example, we’ll set the member role filter along with a filter for events, and select the particular event.

Creating filters to define audience segment
Creating filters to define audience segment

Now, in the Action box below, again select Send a direct message and fill out the From and Message Body fields.

All that’s left is to start the workflow by clicking the Run Now button in the top right corner of the screen.

This is how you create workflows in Circle. As you can see, it’s a straightforward process, and you can do so many things with it, which is what we’ll explore next.

Use Cases of Circle Workflows

Now, let’s explore some practical scenarios in which you can create workflows to automate administrative tasks and improve member engagement. Look, the possibilities with Workflows are endless, so we’ll try to cover the more popular use cases.

1. Send a Welcome Message to New Members

If you want to create a personalized onboarding experience for your new members, you can create a workflow that automatically sends them a welcome message (action) once they sign up for your community (trigger).

The trigger in this case will be Member joined community, and the action will be Send a direct message. You can include a personalized welcome message, point them to the video tour of your community, or even include download links for Circle apps.

Send a direct message to new members
Send a direct message to new members

You don’t have to stop here—you can add more actions:

  • RSVP the member to your weekly new members’ meet-up event
  • Add new members to one or more spaces so that you don’t have to do that manually

2. Tag Members When They Like a Specific Post

Another example of an efficient workflow is to tag members based on their activity, which will help you segment your audience and send them content and offers they’ll be interested in.

For this workflow, the trigger will be Member liked a post, and all you have to do is specify the post for which you want to track member likes.

Create a trigger for when a member likes a post
Create a trigger for when a member likes a post

To make this example less abstract, let’s say you have a post teasing a new online course. You can use this workflow to tag all members who like the post and send them personalized messages and content promoting the course.

3. Congratulate Members on Completing a Course

Circle Workflows can also be a powerful engagement tool. You can reward and recognize your students’ achievements. And there’s even a pre-built template you can use for that.

You’ll find the Congratulate members when they complete a course template under the Engagement tab.

You’ll notice that this template has one trigger and two actions, i.e., when a member completes a course (trigger), you can message them directly (action 1) and add a member tag (action 2).

Congratulate members on completing a course
Congratulate members on completing a course

Your message can be anything from a simple congratulations to thanking members for participating in your community.

And with member tags, you’ll have a list of all members that completed a particular course. You can send them a certificate of completion or share a discount coupon for another course. The options are almost limitless.

4. Send a Reminder Message About an Upcoming Event

Circle offers three workflows related to events, two of which are Automations, and one is a Bulk Action.

Event workflow templates
Event workflow templates

You can use the second template—Send a message to members when an event is about to start—to easily achieve this.

That’s not all you can do:

  • Send a message to members when they RSVP to an event
  • Send a bulk message to event attendees post the event

5. Duplicate Members to Another Space

You can also use Workflows to save time on repetitive tasks, and here we’ll talk about adding members from one space to another.

To do that, you can use Circle’s Bulk Action Template, Duplicate members over from one space to another.

Once you open the template, you’ll see the option to set audience rules and select the space from which you want to move members.

Duplicate members with Bulk Action workflows
Duplicate members with Bulk Action workflows

The audience box will already have your audience filtered by role. You only want to move members, not moderators and admins.

You should then select the space from which you want to duplicate members and add any other audience rule to make your selection more precise. For example, you can move all members from a selected space with a particular member tag.

Then, in the action box, you should select the space where you want to move members over, and that’s it!


To wrap it up, Workflows is a versatile tool that can be used for reducing manual work, as well as to better connect with your members and create more personalized experiences for them.

In this guide, we covered the basics of Workflows, including how to use them and some practical examples you can apply in your own community.

If you’ve still not signed up for Circle, you can start a 14-day free trial (no credit card needed) to start using Workflows.

We hope you enjoyed reading this guide, and if you have any questions, we’d love to hear them.

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