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 a series
- Add an email to a series
- Edit the emails
- Configure the series order and timing
- Exclusions and end criteria
- Pre-activation checklist
Components of a series
Let's start with an overview of the key components that control a multi-email automation, or series. The below image shows an automation with a single email. Before expanding this automation to a series, make sure you understand these key components.
- Start: the start card outlines the trigger action a subscriber takes to enter the automation.
- End: the end card explains how a subscriber may exit or reach the end of the automation. All automations end when all emails are sent but may have more exit options such as adding an exclusion tag to the customer or if the recipient places an order.
- Delay: the amount of time to wait before sending the corresponding 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: the number of subscribers currently waiting in the delay that are potentially going to receive the next 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: if you see this icon, that means the email has a discount assigned. Selecting the icon will reveal a brief summary of the discount and eligibility. To assign or edit a discount, you must go that email's detail page. Read more about assigning a discount in an automation.
- Exclusions: an optional list of customer tags, any of which will prevent a customer from starting or progressing further in the series.
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 but the new email must be customized before it can be enabled.
Each email in an automation should use a different Subject line and Preview text, even if the email content is very similar. Generally, each email in a series should bring new value to the recipient and have a specific goal driving the email content. For certain automations, such as Abandoned checkout or Lapsed purchaser, similar email content may be appropriate.
Edit the emails
While the overall automation settings will control which subscribers move through a series, the content of each email is controlled at the individual email level.
Customize an email
To update an email, select View on the email card from the automation timeline. This will take you to the familiar detail page. From there, you can use the Customize button in the top-right corner to open the editor.
Assign a discount
Discounts are assigned at the email level to give you more control throughout a series. To assign or modify a discount, select View on the right of the card of the email you want to configure the discount on. The discount is assigned in the settings panel of that email - the same as you would on a Newsletter.
Discounts can be configured to use the code you set when creating the discount or to have Seguno generate a unique code for each recipient using that discount as the parent. 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.
- Create separate discounts in Shopify for each automation to have better insight to 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, shown in the above image, to protect your margins and not give a coupon to someone who is more likely to purchase.
Navigating between emails
After going in to look at a particular email, there's a timeline in the right-hand column that allows you to easily jump between the different emails in the series. This is an alternative for going back to the automation summary to select a different email.
Configure the series order and timing
With multiple emails in a series, you can control the active emails, timing between emails, and order of those emails.
Once customized and tested, you must activate the new emails added to a series using the toggle switch on the email cards.
New emails in a series default to disabled so that you may edit and test while running the previously completed version of the automation. When disabled, the delay and email will be skipped, moving to the next step in the automation.
If a subscriber is currently on a delay when you deactivate the email, they will remain on the delay for the configured time and then skip the email before proceeding to the next step in the series.
Control the delay between emails
With multiple emails in a series, you may need to change the amount of time between sending the emails to avoid over-contacting your subscribers or rushing the series.
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.
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 delay timing will help to avoid over-sending to your contacts and increasing your unsubscribe rate.
The minimum delay between emails in a series is 30 minutes to avoid unintentionally spamming your subscribers.
To reorder emails in the series, drag the email by the handle located in the top-left corner of the email card. Drag it to the new spot you'd like it to be in and then release.
When reordering emails, the configured delays will remain tied to the sending sequence to avoid altering the intended cadence.
As long as it's not the only active email in an automation, any email can be deleted from a series. Select the email you'd like to remove by going to the email's detail page. The option to delete the email is below the email preview. When an email is deleted, the email metrics for that specific email are also deleted. The aggregated metrics for the automation as a whole will remain available and will continue to include the metrics of the now-deleted email.
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 timing settings for each email to make sure the initial email is sent appropriately after the trigger event and subsequent emails do not over send to the subscribers.
- 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 are properly set for customer tags that you would like to prevent from entering the series or prohibit them from continuing if already in the series.
- Review the end criteria to make sure you are familiar with how subscribers can exit the series.