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Creating and sending a Sequence in ConvertKit
Creating and sending a Sequence in ConvertKit

Learn how to use Sequences to send automated emails to your subscribers.

Updated over a week ago

Sequences are self-contained sets of automated emails.

When you add a subscriber to a Sequence, they’ll go through all the Sequence emails in order, starting at the beginning.

Each Sequence email’s send day and time will depend on when the subscriber was added to the Sequence, or the delays set up from the previous email in the Sequence (as relevant).

For example, you could use a Sequence to send an automated series of welcome emails as follows:

  1. “Welcome to my newsletter!” - sent immediately upon sign-up

  2. “Check out these popular blog posts” - sent two hours after the previous email

  3. “Here’s an exclusive coupon code for you” - sent three days after the previous email, and only on weekdays

Sequences are different from Broadcasts, which are one-off, non-automated emails that you send at a specific date and time.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Let's dive in!

How to create a Sequence

To find the Sequences page, click Send > Sequences in the top navigation.

Click the + New Sequence button near the top right and select a default template for your Sequence. (You can change this template later.)

Composing your Sequence emails

Upon creating a new Sequence, you’ll see the Content tab of the Sequence editor, which is where you’ll compose the emails in your Sequence.

At the top left of the Sequence editor, click the pencil icon to rename your Sequence.

NOTE: The Sequence's name is for your reference only and can be changed anytime.

At the right sidebar, you’ll see:

For now, go ahead to compose the first email in your Sequence! The Sequence editor autosaves your work, so you don’t have to worry about losing any of it halfway. 😊

Once you’re done composing your email, you can set up preview text for it.

This is a short snippet of text that gives subscribers a hint on what your email is about. Learn more in our guide to setting up preview text for your emails.

Then, click Preview email to preview your email on desktop, mobile, or by sending a test email to your inbox.

If you don’t need your email, click the Delete icon to delete it.

Setting up and customizing your Sequence email templates

Click the Settings tab at the top right of the Sequence editor.

Under the Email Settings section, you can set a default email template for all new emails in your Sequence.

You can change your email template for individual Sequence emails. To do so, use the Template setting in the Sequence editor for the relevant email.

The template you choose here will override the default template you've set for your Sequence.

If you've selected a starting point template for your Sequence email, you can customize your template's look by clicking the Styles tab in the right sidebar.

NOTE: If you've selected a classic or HTML template for your Sequence email, you can customize it using the separate visual email template editor or HTML template code editor respectively. However, your customizations will apply to all emails using that classic or HTML template instead of just that particular Sequence email.

Publishing your Sequence emails

Happy with your email? Then activate the Published setting to publish it! This is super important, because your email will not send if it isn't published.

NOTE: If you make changes to your email after its status has been set to “Published,” you will need to save your changes by clicking the separate Publish changes button at the bottom of the Sequence editor.

And you’re done with the first email in your Sequence!

Adding new emails to your Sequence

To add a new email to the Sequence, hit the Add Email button in the right sidebar of the Sequence editor.

You can rearrange the emails in your Sequence by dragging and dropping them to their new position, then clicking the Save Order button.

How to send your Sequences

Setting up your From email address

Click the Settings tab in the Sequence editor.

Use the Send emails as setting under the Email Settings section to choose the "From" email address for your Sequence emails.

Setting the overall Sequence schedule

Set the default Send Days and Times for your Sequence emails in the Sequence Schedule section of the Settings tab.

For example, if you don’t want your Sequence emails to be sent on weekends, then uncheck the “Sat” and “Sun” boxes.

Or to temporarily pause the sending of your Sequence, uncheck all of the sending days.

Setting the Send Days for specific Sequence emails

You can also adjust the Send Days and Times for individual emails in the Sequence using the Send this email setting in the Content tab.

This setting lets you send individual emails:

  • A certain number of days or hours after the previous one, and/or

  • On only certain days of the week.

Let's say that you uncheck all the send days for a particular email except for Wednesday. In this case, that email will be sent only on Wednesdays. This is even if your Sequence is set up to send an email every day under the Sequence Schedule setting.

Alternatively, you can set up a series of emails to be sent out in two-hour intervals.

On the other hand, to have your first email go out immediately, set it to send either 0 days or 0 hours after the last email.

NOTE: Only the first email in your Sequence can be sent immediately.

What's the relationship between the overall and per-email Sequence send settings?

For avoidance of doubt, the available Send Day and time options for the individual emails are limited by the overall Sequence Schedule. In other words, the per-email settings are a subset of the overall settings.

Let's say you have used the Sequence Schedule section under the Settings tab to set your Sequence to be sent on only weekdays. If so:

  • ❌ You won't be able to use the Send this email setting to send any individual Sequence emails on weekends.

  • ✔️ You can use the Send this email setting to send a particular Sequence email on only a certain weekday (such as only on Wednesdays).

Sending your Sequence to Form and Landing Page subscribers

To get subscribers into your Sequence after they’ve signed up with you via your Form or Landing Page, create a Visual Automation.

Add your Form or Landing Page as the entry point for the Visual Automation, then add your Sequence as the next action step.

NOTE: If you’re new to Visual Automations, check out this guide!

By default, subscribers will exit the Sequence that they were added to via a Visual Automation when they reach the end of the Sequence. That means they won't receive any new emails you add to that Sequence afterward.

However, if you want your subscribers to remain active in your Sequence indefinitely, then select “Yes, subscribers added via Visual Automations should stay in the sequence” in the Should subscribers added via Visual Automations stay in the sequence? setting under the Settings tab of the Sequence editor:

Starting a Sequence on a specific day

Want your Sequence to start sending only on a certain day, such as Christmas or on the day of your course launch?

You can do so by creating a Visual Automation (see above), and then adding the “Date occurs” Event just before the action step containing your Sequence.

You’ll also have to set the first email in your Sequence to be sent immediately (in other words, “0 days after last email” in the Send this email setting in the Sequence editor).

This is so that it goes out immediately at the date specified in the “Date occurs” Event of the Visual Automation.

Resending your Sequence emails to subscribers

By default, once a subscriber has completed a Sequence, they will not be able to receive the emails in the same sequence again.

However, you can allow subscribers to go through a Sequence more than once. This is handy for situations such as where:

  • Your subscribers want to be able to sign up for an email course multiple times

  • You want to put subscribers through a cold subscriber Sequence, which you may reuse for periodic pruning of your email list

To set this up, select “Yes, enable the ability to restart the sequence multiple times” in the Should subscribers be able to restart this sequence multiple times? setting under the Settings tab of the Sequence editor.

If a subscriber restarts a Sequence, they will receive emails from the very start of the Sequence—they won’t ever be in two places in the same Sequence at once.

Excluding subscribers from your Sequences

Your Sequence emails may not be for everyone.

For example, you probably don’t want to send subscribers emails that pitch a particular product if they’ve already bought it.

So here’s how you can exclude subscribers from your Sequences—be it the entire Sequence or just certain emails in your Sequence:

Excluding subscribers from entire Sequences

Open the relevant Sequence, then go to the Settings tab of the Sequence editor.

Use the Subscribers setting to exclude subscribers to certain Forms, Sequences, Tags, or Segments from receiving your Sequence emails.

For example, let’s say you have tagged all buyers of your baking course product (whether manually, or by using a Visual Automation or Automation Rule) with a Tag called “Baking Course Buyer.”

If you have an email Sequence that promotes your baking course, you can then set it up to exclude all subscribers tagged with “Baking Course Buyer.”

Excluding subscribers from only certain emails in your Sequence

On the other hand, perhaps you have a welcome Sequence that not only onboards new subscribers, but also occasionally pitches your products.

In this case, you’d want to exclude buyers of these products from only your pitch emails and not the entire Sequence.

To set this up, click the Filter icon in the Content tab of the Sequence editor for the relevant Sequence.

This filter has more exclusion features than the exclusion settings for entire Sequences. For example, you can filter subscribers by location, email address or subscription date.

You can even combine filters by clicking Add Filter Group!

How to duplicate your Sequence

You can make a copy of a Sequence—including its current content and settings—by opening the relevant Sequence in the Sequence editor.

Click the Settings tab, followed by the Duplicate option at the bottom of the Sequence settings.

Click Duplicate to go ahead with the duplication.

How to delete your Sequence

If you no longer need your Sequence, you can delete it by opening it in the Sequence editor.

Click the Settings tab, followed by the Delete option at the bottom of the Sequence settings.

Click Delete to confirm the deletion.

Key takeaways

  • Use Sequences to send self-contained sets of automated emails to your subscribers.

  • After creating your Sequence emails, set the Sequence schedule and subscriber exclusions for the entire Sequence, as well as the Send Days and Times individual emails in the Sequence, as necessary.

  • Send your Sequences to your Form and Landing Page subscribers by setting up a Visual Automation.

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