What are Triggers & Actions?


Triggers are the starting point of a workflow. These are events that cause the workflow to run. These triggers can stem from your Shopify store or a third party service. Listed below are a few different types of triggers that you'll find in MESA.

  • Polling: Triggers that utilize a polling system (like Airtable or Google Sheets) cause the workflow to run at specific time intervals. This means on every hour, or whatever frequency is selected, MESA will look for any recent activity in the service associated with the trigger and process all updates collected within the hour (or time interval selected). This will cause a bulk run of activity. To change the default frequency, you can open the Advanced Options setting in your workflow's trigger. 
  • Schedule by MESA: Workflows that begin with a Schedule trigger will run at the time(s) set in the trigger.
  • Webhooks by MESA: Workflows that begin with a Webhook trigger allow you to trigger a MESA workflow from a third-party service. It can similarly be thought of like a notification. It lets a third-party service start a workflow in MESA when something happens in your third-party service.
  • Form submission: Form submissions (via Forms by MESA or Google Forms) will trigger a workflow when a form submission is received.
  • Email by MESA: The Email by MESA trigger will begin a workflow when an email is sent to the email address associated with the trigger step.


Actions are steps that run after a trigger fires. These can involve manipulating the workflow or completing the workflow. You can string many actions together in a single workflow.

To illustrate this, let's take a look at this workflow that exports Shopify orders to Google Sheets. This workflow is called Send orders to Google Sheets.

Here, the Shopify Order Created is the Trigger. The Loop by MESA and Google Sheets Create Row are Actions.

Since actions are unique to what you're trying to accomplish, they are not all created equal. Here's a few types of actions to take note of:

  • Premium steps: Some actions are Premium Apps. These apps have a teal "Premium" badge that appears next to the app title in the Discover tab and within the Workflow Builder. These apps are double the fun, double the automation. When a workflow with a Premium app runs a single automation, MESA counts it as two automations
  • Actions that can't end a workflow: There are actions that can't end a workflow because they don't complete the setup of an automation. These actions include: steps that retrieve (Customers, Orders, Products, objects, etc.), filter steps, loop steps, delay steps, and virtual output steps.
  • Delay steps: Delay steps allow you to delay or pause your workflow before it can proceed to the next action. However, it is recommended to use a retrieve action after a delay step to make sure you retrieve the latest information from the source you're trying to reference (Order, Customer, Product, etc.).