This is a great question, and I’ve always struggled with the idea of a subscriber signing up to multiple lead magnets (freebies in exchange for their email address) and receiving multiple emails a day from me because they’re subscribed to multiple email sales funnels.
Recently I studied ConvertKit’s instructions on how to prevent a subscriber from receiving multiple email sequences as the same time, but the problem with their instructions is that it only dealt with two separate email sequences.
As of now, I have four email sales funnels with a few more on the horizon. I needed to expand upon ConvertKit’s tactic to work for my specific situation.
You can view ConvertKit’s documentation here for running two sequences at a time. It will give you a quick overview of the basic idea: http://help.convertkit.com/article/61-two-sequences-at-once
Quick Overview of How My Email Sequences are Set Up
I have multiple lead magnets on one of my websites. The lead magnets all have their own email sequences.
So I have four lead magnets and each one welcome email and a separate email sequence.
When someone signs up for a lead magnet, they’re taken through a series of emails that provide value.
During the sequence, I’ll provide them with an opportunity to purchase a lower priced “intro offer”. If they purchase the “intro offer”, they are taken into another email sequence that provides value and eventually leads to a higher priced “core offer”.
However, if they do not purchase an intro offer, the subscriber is then put through an “ongoing” email sequence providing more value.
As I mentioned earlier, I have four separate sales email sequences and use ConvertKit to deliver them to my subscribers. I only allow a subscriber to receive one email sequence at a time, and I’ve set up the priority for these sequences to go out in the event a subscriber signs up for multiple lead magnets.
I’ve added in a few more steps so you can get a better idea of how it all works. Here’s how I have it set up based loosely on ConvertKit’s original instructions:
Step 1: Form and Welcome Email for Each Sequence
Each lead magnet has its own form and a separate welcome email with the download link to the lead magnet. The welcome email is assigned at the form level.
Advanced Tip: I have the welcome email scheduled to be sent one hour after someone confirms their email address via double opt-in. This gives the subscriber some time to read my intro offer on the thank you page (after they confirm their email address) without being distracted by the welcome email with the lead magnet download. If they get distracted by an incoming email, they’re more likely to miss out on my offer.
Step 2: Automation to Unsubscribe from Welcome Email and Tag with Sequence Tag
I have tags set up for each email sequence. They are structured as follows:
“Sequence – [identifying funnel]”.
The tag for my email sequence for my beginner’s quick start guide is called “Sequence – Beginners Guide”.
When a person completes the welcome email, I have an automation set up to add the appropriate tag to the subscriber. This tag is used to identify who is receiving which of my sequences. I’ll go in more detail on how we use this tag in step 3 below.
It’s important to note that the tag should be applied when the subscriber completes the welcome email and NOT when he/she subscribes to a form *or* when he/she receives the welcome email. It’s always AFTER they completed the welcome email (I’ll explain a bit further below).
Step 3: Rate Your Email Sequences in Order of Importance
Decide in order of importance how you want your subscribers to receive your funnels assuming they sign up for many at the same time or within days or weeks of one another (very often I have the same subscribers signing up for all of my freebies at the same time).
Make exclusions inside of each sequence setting using your sequence tags you set up for each sequence (step 1) in order of importance. This is how I have mine set up:
Sequence 1 – no exclusions
Sequence 2 – exclude sequence 1 tag
Sequence 3 – exclude sequence 1 and 2 tags
Sequence 4 – exclude sequence 1 and 2 and 3 tags
Below is an example of my sequence #4 and the three tags I have excluded from receiving this particular sequence.
Step 4: Automations to Remove Tags/Sequences
I have an automation set up so that when someone is finished with an email sequence OR they purchase an intro or core offer, the sequence tag you assigned for each sequence is removed from that subscriber’s record.
When a subscriber is finished with the sequence and the tag is removed, they’ll start receiving the next email sequence if they signed up for another lead magnet.
Once they are finished receiving the second sequence, the same automation is set up to remove the tag, and if they signed up for another lead magnet, they’ll begin receiving the next email sequence, and so on.
Step 5: Other Exclusions and Automations
Depending on how your offers and funnels are set up, you may want to exclude some intro offer customers from receiving a certain email sequence (if you’re offering the same intro offer in multiple funnels).
With my particular email funnels, rather than exclude certain customer tags (except for the sequence tags above) in the settings you see above, I used the filter feature in each individual email inside of a sequence, and also used conditional tagging to customize each email for those who may have already purchased in the past.
This ensures that even customers of your offer are moved through the funnel and the sequence tag removed once they are finished with the sequence (this prevents subscribers from being “stuck” with a sequence tag and not being able to progress through so they can sign up for other funnels and be presented with other offers).
Step 6: Timing of Automations
It’s important that your automations are set up properly and in the correct order. I’ll give you an example:
All sequence tags should be added to the subscriber record when the subscriber is completes a welcome sequence (see step 2 above). The reason is this: if you were to apply the tag at the form level, for instance, it’s quite possible that if a subscriber signs up for the same lead magnet in the future and the tag is applied at the form level, they’ll be stuck with the tag forever preventing them from ever advancing to other lead magnet sequences.
This used to happen to me quite a bit – a subscriber could no longer find their email with the lead magnet download link, so they opt in for that particular email list multiple times. If you have a tag applied at the form stage, you’re going to have issues with them never receiving another sequence again. So rather than at the form level, apply a sequence tag when they’re finished with the welcome email.
In practice, when someone signs up for my main freebie (sequence 1) and my least important one (sequence 4) at the same time, they will receive both welcome emails for their respective lead magnets/downloads.
Because I have no exclusions set up for sequence 1 and I have exclusions set up for sequence 4 (to exclude #1), they’ll only receive sequence 1.
Once they’ve gone through sequence 1 and the sequence tag is removed, they will begin receiving sequence 4.
Having these systems and automations in place ensures your subscribers are not receiving multiple emails from you in any given day. You can also exclude your sequence tags if you’re running a special promotion to your list and don’t want to confuse those who are receiving emails inside of a sales funnel.
If you’re not a current ConvertKit customer and would like to try it out for your sales funnels, click here to sign up to try ConvertKit for your business.
*Disclosure: I’m a customer and affiliate of ConvertKit. If you click on an affiliate link in this post and decide to sign up for ConvertKit, I’ll likely receive a commission. I only promote products I use and love!