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:
“Welcome to my newsletter!” - sent immediately upon sign-up
“Check out these popular blog posts” - sent two hours after the previous email
“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:
How to create a sequence
How to schedule and send your sequences
How to exclude subscribers from your sequences
Let's dive in!
How to Create a Sequence
Click on the Automations tab in your ConvertKit dashboard, followed by “Sequences”.
Click on the New Sequence button near the top right. Name your sequence, then click Create Sequence.
NOTE: The sequence’s name is for your reference only and can be changed anytime.
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 right sidebar, you’ll also see a list of emails in your sequence and their respective send schedules.
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 also set up preview text for it.
This is a short snippet of text that gives subscribers a hint on what your email is about, and you can learn more in our guide to setting up preview text for your emails.
Then, preview your email in your browser or by sending a test email to your own inbox.
If you don’t need your email, click the Delete icon to delete it.
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 be sent out otherwise.
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 clicking on them in the sidebar, dragging and dropping them to their new position, and then clicking the Save Order button.
How to Schedule and Send Your Sequences
Setting up your From email address and email template
In the sequence editor, click on the Settings tab, then check out the “Email Settings” section.
Choose the From email address that subscribers will see as the sender of your sequence emails. Then select the email template that you want to use for your sequence.
Setting the overall send schedule for your sequence
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 schedule for specific emails in your sequence
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.
For example, if you uncheck all the send days for a particular email except for Wednesday, then 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 email go out immediately, set your email to be sent 0 days after the last email.
NOTE: Only the first email in your sequence can be sent immediately.
Sending your sequence to form and landing page subscribers
Add your form or landing page as the entry point for the visual automation, then add your sequence as the next action step.
(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 that 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 that contains your sequence.
You’ll also have to set the first email in your sequence to be sent immediately (i.e. “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 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 email 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.
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 those products from only those pitch emails and not the entire sequence.
To set this up, click on 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!
Use sequences to send self-contained sets of automated emails to your subscribers.
After creating your sequence emails, set the send schedule and subscriber exclusions for the entire sequence, as well as individual emails in the sequence, as necessary.
Send your sequences to your form and landing page subscribers by setting up a visual automation.