Series: multi-email automations
Automations are great but multi-email automations, or Series, drive more revenue because you're able to keep the conversation going during critical stages of the customer lifecycle. And the best part is it's all automated after you set it up!
Be sure to check out our webinar for a live demo and strategic advice on extending your two most important automations from 1 to 3 emails.
On this page
- Components of an automation
- Add an email to a series.
- Edit the emails
- Exclusions and end criteria
- Pre-activation checklist
Components of an automation
Let's start with an overview of the key components of your automation or series. As with the example below, automations start with a single message and can be expanded.
Before expanding from an automation into a series, make sure you understand these key components.
- Start: This is the trigger action that a subscriber takes to qualify for the automation or series.
- End: Once the subscribe has proceeded through the active emails and configured delays, they will exit the automation or series. In some automations, the End criteria will have more options to determine when an automation should end for a subscriber.
- Delay: The delay is the amount of time before the automation sends that email. Aside from the very first email, the delay timing begins after the previous step in the automation, not the start of the automation itself.
- Subscriber count: This count shows the number of subscribers currently waiting to receive the email. After the delay has passed, these subscribers will be re-evaluated to determine if they receive the next email or exit the series.
- Discount: Discounts can be assigned to each email for an automation or series. Selecting the icon will reveal a summary of the discount and eligibility. Learn more about assigning a discount.
- Exclusions: Exclusions tags can be added to block subscribers with certain customer tags from starting or proceeding with an automation.
Add an email to a series
To expand a series, use the Add email button below the last email in the series.
When you add an email, the last email in the series is duplicated to give you a relevant starting point. The new email can then be customized by using the Actions menu.
Once you've customized the email, be sure to configure the delay and activate the new emails. The timing of each delay is based on the previous step. The first email is sent immediately in the example below, and then the second message is sent 1 day after the first email is sent.
Select the linked time at the top of the corresponding email's card. Suggested timeframes are listed for each automation type but may be customized to your preference.
There is no limit to the number of emails for a series, so be sure to properly configure the delays to avoid overwhelming your subscribers and being reported as spam.
It is important to consider how many emails a subscriber might receive in a short period due to automations and newsletter sending. Being strategic about your delays will help avoid overwhelming your contacts and minimize your unsubscribe or complaint rate.
Edit emails in an Automation or Series
While the overall automation settings will control which subscribers move through a series, each email's content is controlled at the individual email level.
Each email can be customized for a series. Start by opening the actions menu for the email you'd like to customize.
- Customize - takes you to the editor for that email. Make sure to save your work and send test emails! Learn more about the basics of editing an email.
- Edit discount - allows you to assign a discount for this email. Discounts can be configured to use the generic code name or have Seguno generate a unique code for each recipient with that discount's price rules. If you have Seguno generate unique codes, you can also assign an expiration date based on when the recipient receives that code to help drive a sense of urgency.
- Preview email - sending test emails is important, but if you need a quick desktop or mobile preview after a few tweaks, this is the way.
- View activity - produces the activity report for this specific email in the series, including a list of who the email was delivered to, who opened, clicked, unsubscribed, bounced, or complained. Learn more about email metrics.
- Delete email: You can generally deactivate emails that you no longer want to send in an automation. If you would like to clean up any old content to avoid confusion, deleting it is permanent.
If there is only one email in an automation, you won't be able to delete it. To stop the automation, use the toggle switch for the automation overall.
- Each email in a series should use a unique Subject line and Preview text, even if the email content is similar.
- Generally, each email in a series should bring new value to the recipient and have a specific goal for the content. For certain automations, such as Abandoned checkout or Lapsed purchaser, similar email content may be appropriate.
- Create separate discounts in Shopify for each automation to have better insight into which codes are most impactful. Think "Welcome automation," "Abandoned Checkout automation," or "Lapsed Buyer automation."
- For the Abandoned Checkout automation, discount codes can be configured to send to all recipients or only first-time purchasers. Consider using this eligibility setting to protect your margins and not give a discount to someone who is already a loyal purchaser.
Exclusions and end criteria
Some automations or emails in a series may not be relevant for all customers who perform the trigger actions. These are configured at the automation level.
Subscribers start a series when they perform the trigger action for that automation. If you would like to prevent an otherwise eligible subscriber from starting or progressing in a series, you may apply a tag to their customer record and assign that tag as an exclusion for the automation.
Depending on the type of automation, additional control of when a series ends for each recipient may be available. If available, select the edit option on the end card to reveal these options.
Before activating your automations for eligible subscribers to trigger, make sure to work your way through this checklist.
- Send test emails for each email in the series. Make sure all images and links are correct. Double-check the desktop and mobile layouts for image sizing and text wrapping.
- Verify your delay settings for each email to ensure the first email is timely and subsequent emails do not overwhelm recipients.
- Double-check discounts for expiration and settings, making sure that the discount does not have an expiration in the Shopify Admin and that the Seguno discount settings have the correct eligibility and rolling expiration date.
- Verify your exclusions and end criteria are set properly.
- Review the end criteria to make sure you are familiar with how subscribers can exit the series.