You can also use ladders to kick off automated campaigns, moving people through a ladder of engagement depending on what action they take.
Let's say you wanted activists first to sign a petition, then to write a letter about the issue to an elected official, then donate money to your campaign or join a rally in DC, depending on if they lived near DC or not, all at specific coordinated times. To set up a ladder for this campaign plan you would start with a rung who's trigger is "Received a specific email." The email you would choose would be the draft of the kickoff email of the campaign, which you would set up using our mass email tool and would ask activists to sign your petition.
The next step would be a wait of 3 days, giving activists time to sign your petition.
Next, a send an email action step would send activists an email asking them to sign the petition again, assuming they haven't yet. (Commonly knows as a "kicker" email.)
Another rung would be added below the first, the trigger being "Took a specific action" and the action being the petition you are asking activists to sign. With this rung added, activists who sign the petition will be pulled down to this rung and be removed from the above wait and kicker email. In this way there's no need for a decision to evaluate whether an activist has signed the petition before sending the kicker email -- if they sign, they'll be moved down to this rung and bypass the kicker email step.
After this trigger the next step would be a wait until a certain date that you want activists to all write letters, perhaps a week from the start of the campaign.
The next step would be another send an email action, sending activists an email linking to a letter campaign and asking them to write a letter about the issue to their elected official.
After that there would be another 3 day wait like the first rung, and another kicker email asking activists to write as if they haven't already.
A third rung could be added at the bottom of the ladder, with the trigger being "Took a specific action" and the action being the letter campaign you are asking activists to use to write an elected official. Like the last rung, this would pull waiting activists out of previous rungs and down to this rung, obviating the need for a decision before the kicker email in the previous rung.
Another wait step until a specific date and time could be added. After we'd add a decision looking to see whether the activist lived near DC or not. If they did, we'd add a send an email action step asking activists to RSVP to the DC rally. If not, we'd add a send an email action step asking them to donate to the campaign, with another 3 day wait after and another kicker email action after each.
Finally, a fourth rung, with two "Took a specific action" triggers, one for each action (fundraising and rally RSVP) could be added, with no subsequent steps, pulling activists out of previous steps if they donate or RSVP and exiting them out of the ladder.
In this way, you've created an entire campaign plan that would run automatically from start to finish, asking activists to sign a petition and reminding them if they don't, asking them to write a letter and reminding them if they don't, and asking them to join a rally or donate money and reminding them if they don't.
Here is a screenshot of this example, taken from the ladder's edit page. Click to open up the image directly for a larger view.