Create a Play

Article author
Brandan Blevins


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What's the Plan, Stan?

Please note, you can access plays if you are on a basic, professional, or custom plan. If you are on a custom plan, you can run plays galore on net new and saved contacts. If you are on a basic or professional plan, plays will only run on saved contacts and in increments of 25 at a time.

On a free plan and want to upgrade? Check out our pricing page or reach out to the Apollo Sales Team to discuss your options.

Plays help you automate actions in Apollo that would otherwise require manual input. The automated steps include the option to add or remove contacts from sequences and lists and the ability to schedule tasks for your reps.

More Examples, Please!

Looking for a little more inspo? Refer to the play templates section of the "Plays Overview" article for an overview of some of the most popular use cases.

Follow the steps below to learn how to create and configure plays from an existing template or from scratch in Apollo.

Map it Right

Please note, before you get the ball rolling and start creating new plays, make sure you have set up and mapped the appropriate custom fields first. For more information on how to do so, refer to the Create a Custom Field section of the "Leverage Plays to Automate Your Workflow" use case.

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Create a Play from an Existing Template

Launch Apollo and click Plays.

Plays button in top nav

Click All templates.

All templates button

Browse through the play templates, use the search bar at the top, or click the categories on the left to find the type of play you want to run.

Play template library

When you have chosen a play template, click Try it.

Try it button next to a play in the play library

Review the play summary and the actions you can automate. If you do not want to automate an action from the list, click the checkbox to deselect it. Then, click Create.

Create button

Changed Your Mind?

To return to the previous screen, click View all templates or click the X to continue browsing the available play templates. View all templates button

Follow the tooltips to customize the play to your specific use case.

Tooltips in new play

Not a Fan of Tips?

Already know what to change? The on-page tips are here to help, not to hinder. If you'd rather review and amend on your own, click Disable tips in the tooltip or click the toggle on the left to disable them. On-page tips toggle

Click the tick icon when you've made the recommended adjustments. Then, give the play a once-over to make any final edits. Refer to the "Play Details" section below for more details on the different settings you can customize.

Tick icon in tooltip

Click the toggle to activate the play, then click Save changes.

Activate play toggle and save changes button

You have successfully created a new play from a play template in Apollo. To make any further changes to the play, click the additional options (...) button and then click Edit play. You can also use this drop-down to clone, move, or archive the play.

Additional options button on play homepage

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Create a Play from Scratch

Launch Apollo and click Plays.


Click + New play.

New play button

Click Create from scratch.

Create from scratch button

Calling All Play Pros!

The play templates are here to help, not to hinder. If you already know what actions you want to automate, click the Show when creating new play checkbox to stop the template library from appearing every time you want to create a new play. Show when creating new play checkbox

To reactivate the modal, click All templates and then click the checkbox again. All templates button

There are 4 settings to configure when you create a new play:

  • Play details: Create a name, choose your play target type, and add a description
  • Configuration: Specify if you want the play to run on a repeat schedule or based on a specific event or trigger
  • Filters: Apply filters to narrow down the specific people or companies that you want this play to target
  • Actions: Decide which actions you want to automate when the conditions above are met

Refer to the sections below to configure each setting.

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Play Details

Decide whether your play should apply to People or Companies. This decision determines which filter options are available for the rest of your setup.

Target type buttons

Then, give the play a name, add an optional description, and save it in a specific folder.

Play details section

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Click the event or date/schedule radio button to confirm when you want the play to run.

Configuration radio buttons


If you click the When a specific event occurs radio button, click the drop-down and select an event.

When a specific event occurs radio button

You can select multiple events for your play. For each event you add, click Add event and use the drop-down fields to configure the details.

Add event drop-down

Click Show advanced options to limit how often a contact should enter the play.

Show advanced options drop-down

You've Got Options

Timing comes in 3 delicious flavors: every time, only once, and once every. The every time setting allows a contact to run through a play every time it meets the criteria for the filters. The only once setting limits a contact to run through a play one time. The once every setting allows a contact to run through the play when it meets the criteria for the filters at a time interval you specify.


If you click the On a specific date/schedule radio button, use the Run on: fields to define when you want the play to run for the first time.

First Run On

Then set the frequency to define how often the play repeats. You can run it once or add a manual timeframe (for example, every 2 days).

Frequency options

Click the Show advanced options drop-down to limit the number of contacts to add to the play each time it runs.

Show advanced options drop-down

Then, click the appropriate radio button to determine how often the same contact can enter the play.

Limit radio buttons

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Click + Add Filters to show the complete list of filter options.

Add filter button

Be Careful What You Wish For!

Please note, if you do not apply any filters, your play targets all contacts or accounts. That's a lot to handle! We'd recommend that you apply filters to segment your audience and target the specific types of contacts or accounts to which the play is most relevant.

Select the filters you want to apply to your play.

Filter List

Filters in Apollo

For more on Filters, see the "Search Filters Overview" article.

As you add filters, Apollo populates the contact list.

Filter Summary

Click Save filters.

Save filters button

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There are 2 types of actions—alerts for manual tasks and automated actions for tasks that Apollo can run for you.


Click the Create an alert to take action toggle to enable or disable alerts for a manual task.

Create an alert toggle

On the Alert?

Got your eyes open for more info? Hop into the Alerts section of the "Use the Control Center" article.

To configure alerts for a manual action in the play, click the Call-to-action drop-down and select an action.

Call to action drop-down

The action you select determines which follow-up option Apollo provides. For example, in the Call action, you can select a call purpose and add notes.

Fields for the call action

Whereas for the Add to sequence action, Apollo prompts you to select the sequence(s).

Add to sequence drop-down

If you want to personalize the content you receive in the alert, click the Message field and edit the default message.

Alert message field

To include additional dynamic variables in your message, click Add dynamic fields. Then, click on a basic, custom, or advanced dynamic variable to add it to the message.

Add dynamic fields button and modal

The Dynamic Trio!

There are 3 kinds of dynamic variables in Apollo. For more information refer to the following articles:

Use Basic Dynamic Variables

Use Advanced Dynamic Variables

Use Custom Dynamic Variables

Click the Visible to drop-down to select which users receive the alert.

Visible to drop-down

Click the Priority drop-down to categorize the level of importance for the manual task.

Priority drop-down

Click the Alert category drop-down to select the type of alert you want the task to fall into.

Alert category drop-down

Hover your mouse over a category in the drop-down if you want to rename it or delete it from the list.

Rename and delete buttons in alert category drop-down

You have now created an alert for a manual task in your play.

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Automated Actions

Click the Automate these actions toggle to activate or deactivate automation for the play.

Automate these actions toggle

To automate an action, click the Select action drop-down to define what should happen when the conditions from your play are met.

Select action drop-down

The action you select determines which follow-up options Apollo provides. For example, the Create Contact Task action provides the fields pictured below.

Action options

Improve Your Email Deliverability with Round Robin and Mailbox Rotation

Please note, if you select the Add contact to sequence action and want to improve your email deliverability, you may want to select the "round robin" option. This allows you to send emails from multiple users in your Apollo instance. Apollo then evenly distributes the number of emails sent per selected user.

Alternatively, you can choose to "rotate your mailbox." This means that Apollo divides the total number of emails evenly between all the mailboxes connected to your personal Apollo account.

If you want to go for the killer combo, you can activate the "round robin" and "rotate your mailbox" actions together. Apollo evenly splits the number of emails you send from each user. Apollo also evenly distributes the number of emails sent from each of the user's connected mailboxes. For example, let's say you select 3 users to "round robin" and each user has 2 connected mailboxes. If you send 60 emails from this play, each user will send out 20 emails—10 from 1 mailbox and 10 from the other.

Add contact to sequence action in plays

Click + Add step to include additional actions.

Add step button

When you finish configuring your play, click the toggle to activate it and then click Save changes.

Save changes button

You have now successfully created and configured a play from scratch in Apollo. To make any further changes to the play, click the additional options (...) button and then click Edit play. You can also use this drop-down to clone, move, or archive the play.

Additional options button on play homepage

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