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UPDATE: There is a significant flaw in the process outlined below which I originally overlooked (well, I knew it was an issue, but I wasn’t aware of how big an issue). Please see my updated blog post here. You may want to come back to this blog post, but definitely read this one first: How to Use ‘In Sequence’ Segments NOT tags in ConvertKit
You can also grab my free guide on ‘Knowing Who’s Currently In a Sequence’:
In this blog post, I wrote about how I use a newsletter tags in ConvertKit to only start sending newsletter broadcasts to subscribers after they’ve finished the welcome sequence. If you don’t know what I’m on about, I recommend you go and read the first point in that blog post (and then come back – please come back!).
The setup I mentioned in that blog post works really well for a lot of people, but sometimes you find yourself wanting to know who is currently in the welcome sequence (or any other sequence for that matter), and that can be really tricky to work out, especially if you also allow people to unsubscribe from sequences via custom unsubscribe links.
In order to also have this information (who is in a sequence right now), we need a slightly different setup.
We’re going to build on the setup outlined in the other blog post.
1. Create an automation rule that tags someone when they enter a sequence
You can either do this one rule per sequence, and distinguish in the tags which sequence they’re in:
or you can set up one rule for all sequences:
(If you do this, please make sure you read my notes at the bottom).
2. Create/update an automation rule to untag them when they complete the sequence
Just a reminder that completing a sequence is classed as when they have received the last published email in a sequence.
If you previously had this rule:
Then you’ll want to update it to this:
Orrrr. it may look more like this for you:
You’ve got to work out what makes most sense to you.
3. Send your Broadcasts to the right people
- If you want to send to everyone who’s been through your welcome sequence at least once:
- If you want to send to everyone who’s been through your welcome sequence but not to people who are currently in a sequence (presumably a different sequence):
- If you want to send to everyone who’s been through your welcome sequence and to people currently going through your welcome sequence, but not to people who’ve opted out of your newsletter:
- If you want to send to people currently going through your welcome sequence:
Hopefully this gives you an idea of the variations and targeting that’s possible once you’ve also got one or more ‘In Sequence’ tag(s).
4. Automation Rule for Custom Unsubscribe Links
If you’ve set up a custom unsubscribe link for people to stop receiving a specific sequence (but remain on your list), then there’s one more step for you. You need to make sure that you remove the ‘in sequence’ tag when they unsubscribe from the sequence. The rule will look like this:
- The setup described above will only work for people joining a sequence from this point forward. It’s usually very tricky to tag people currently in sequence (especially if you’ve got multiple sequences going on). The exception to this is if you’ve got a fairly straightforward setup. In this case it may be possible to isolate the people who are currently in a sequence by creating a segment of people who signed up after a certain date (how long the sequence lasts) and who are also in that sequence. It can be a little tricky, and once you’ve created your segment, spot check that people in that segment haven’t yet received all the emails in the sequence. You then want to tag everyone in the segment as ‘in sequence’. When they finish the sequence, that tag will be removed based on the automation rules you’ve setup above.
- This setup doesn’t take into consideration people who are excluded from receiving a sequence, or specific emails within that sequence. If Polly is excluded from Sequence A because she has ‘existing subscriber’ tag, then Polly will still receive the ‘In Sequence: A’ tag and have that removed, even though she never actually receives any emails in Sequence A.
- If you’ve got multiple sequences that people are subscribing to/completing, and you’re just using a generic ‘In Sequence’ tag, then do be aware that if Bob is subscribed to Sequence A on Monday, and Sequence B on Tuesday… and then finishes Sequence A on Friday and finishes Sequence B on Sunday, he will have the ‘In Sequence’ tag removed on Friday, even though he’s still in Sequence B until Sunday. If this applies to you, then I recommend you have all your sequences with their own ‘In Sequence’ tag. If you want you can create a segment of everyone currently in a sequence, which is made up of all the different ‘In Sequence’ tags.
I hope you’ve found this tutorial about ‘In Sequence’ tags useful. I’d love for you to share in the comments below how you get on or if you have any related questions I’ve not answered.
If you’d like to learn more from me about using ConvertKit to its full potential, check out ConvertKit Club! There’s a full training in there dedicated to Sequences (including video tutorials on 9 different scenarios you might have in your business).
Alternatively, if you’re new to ConvertKit or even just considering it, check out my free 40 min A Beginner’s Guide to ConvertKit video.