This lesson covers the creation of a typical sequence where a series of communications are sent out one after the other at set intervals starting immediately.
In this scenario...
- We will be sending 3 emails to a prospective client, an intro, a chaser, and a break up email
- The sequence will stop as soon as we get any reaction from the recipient
- If the prospect is set to a "Client" part way through the sequence we will also want it to stop
- If the prospect clicks any of the links in the emails we send, we want a new Lead record created
- If we finish the sequence with no response, we will covert the prospect to a "Dead Lead"
This article and steps within it assume you have access to the Sequences feature already.
Step 1 - Create the new Sequence of emails
Go to Tools & Settings > Customization > Sequence Templates to open the Sequences Editor
You will be presented with the following screen where you click the [+] button
Enter a name for your new sequence and select the Record Type from which the sequence will be targeted. In this example we will be enrolling Contacts onto this sequence.
Clicking "Save" will add the new sequence and display further options
The Sequence Name and Association will be as you entered in the previous step and you can now further configure the overall behaviour of this sequence as follows:
Sequence Template Details
"Send Emails and Texts on Weekdays Only" - this will ensure that if a step within the sequence lands on a weekend, that the step will wait until the Monday to send so that it gets maximum potential.
"Day Zero" - this is an important setting and tells the sequence when it should start in relation to now. Selecting "Immediately" will prompt for the sequence to begin straight away, or selecting "Use a Specific Date" will allow you to set a fixed date from which the start of the sequence applies. If this is a date in the past at the point the sequence is started, any steps that would be due before today will not be run e.g. a Newsletter sequence for the year that starts in January.
Stop the Sequence When
"The recipient reacts by" - this allows you to set blanket rules as to when the sequence should stop. Because in this scenario we are looking to stop when we get any reaction, we will tick all of these options.
"One of the following conditions is met" - this allows you to set certain criteria that relates to the data within Tracker changing part way through the sequence. For example, if the prospect decides to buy products or services from us between 2 steps of the sequence, there would be little point in sending further business development emails, so in this scenario we will stop the sequence if the prospect becomes a "client", or they opt our of marketing communications.
Step 2 - Create our first step
Once the main settings have been completed we can create our first step which will be an introduction email. We can do this by clicking the big (+) icon
You will then be prompted to enter the details of the step. Enter a logical step name, the type of communication (in this case Email) and the Offset from the Sequence Start. As this is the first step, we will set this to "Immediately" so that the first step is sent out straight away.
Click "Save" and you will then see this step committed and a familiar template editor screen, where you can start to author your step's communication.
From this screen you can see the step on the left with a delete icon to remove it. You can also see a (+) both above and below this step allowing you to add a new step at any stage of this sequence.
You can adjust the Step Name and the Offset from Sequence Start if these details need changing.
The "Template Subject" field is the subject that the email will have when it is sent out and you can use the [[...]] button to the right of the fields to insert personalised field such as the recipient's name.
You can then build your email content for a good initial introduction using the main template tag menu which is the [[...]] button on the editor toolbar to write and personalize your introduction email.
At the bottom of the Step Details section there are a number of additional features that allow you to control additional content (such as an automatically attached document) or to set either Workflow rules or Reactions related purely to this step.
"Auto-Attachments" - this allows you to automatically attach one or more documents to the email, for example a brochure of your company or a white paper related to the service you are selling. These must first be uploaded to the Document Library (which you can find in Tools & Settings > Collaboration > Document Library). These can then be selected using the [+] button.
"Workflow" - this allows you to set additional workflow rules on this email being sent and works in the same way as our normal templates. For example, you may want to confirm that the contact is set to a type of "Prospect" when the first email is sent as well as a follow up telephone call reminder for 2 days later to be placed into your ToDo List on sending the first email. We would therefore set these as follows.
"Reactions" - this is a great feature for determining what happens when there is any type of reaction to this specific step in the sequence. A "reaction" is defined as one of the following key events:
- this step completes - this is something we can action whenever this step completes
- an email link is clicked - this reaction is triggered whenever a link is clicked within this specific email
- a positive reply is received - this reaction is triggered whenever the recipient replies with positive sentiment
- a negative reply is received - this reaction is triggered whenever the recipient replies with a negative sentiment
Please note that only those sequences sent via our @tracker-sequencer.com domain can be analyzed for sentiment as we do not have access to your email inbox. Details of this are covered a little later on.
On selecting a "reaction", you can then select what happens and there are many options available to you, including:
- Add the person to a Send List so that can then be reviewed or campaigned at a later date
- Create a new Lead or Candidate record from the detail of the contact
- Send a notification alert to either the sender of the sequence, or any other user of Tracker
- Start a whole new sequence for this contact
- Send a standard email template internally to either the sender of the sequence or any other user of Tracker
- Send a standard email template to the recipient contact, for example further information or a Thank You email
For this scenario we are going to set 3 reactions
- If a link is clicked in the email we will create a new Lead record as they are keen on further information
- If a positive reply is received then I will receive an alert in the top right hand corner of Tracker so I can pursue
- If a negative reply is received then Barry will receive an alert to ensure they are removed from Tracker
So it will look like this
Once complete, click the "Save Step" at the top of this section to save this step in the sequence. Please note that whenever this "Save Step" button turns green, this means that there are changes to be saved. If you attempt to create a new step or select a different step before saving the changes to the current step, you will be prompted but it is good practice to always save your step whenever you make a change.
Step 3 - Create our second step
With our first step created, creating new steps becomes a lot easier as we can simply clone existing steps which copies over all content, attachment, workflow and reaction settings from an existing step to a new step.
Clicking the (+) button located underneath the first step, creates a new step that will follow on from that first step. This will present a new Step window that you can complete for the chaser email and clone the introduction step.
Note that for this step we are setting the "Offset from Sequence Start" to "1 week after" in this scenario which will schedule this email to always go out 1 week after the start of the sequence (assuming in this case that the date is a weekday). It is important to note that this is always the offset from the start of the sequence and not the offset from the previous step.
Clicking "Save" will display the new step and its logical place in the sequence along with the timing for that step. These steps can be dragged around in this sequence if required should you wish to move a step to a different place in the sequence.
You will notice that all the workflow and reactions have copied across leaving you only the task of updating the content of the email. As this is a chaser email we will likely just alter the subject and main content of the email and keep all workflow and reactions as they are.
Remember to "Save" this step so that your updates to the chaser email are saved.
Step 3 - Create our final step
To create the 3rd and final step we will repeat the process for the last step and click the (+) button underneath step 2 and clone the details from step 2 to create step 3. Remember to set the "Offset from Sequence Start" correctly, in this case we will set this to "2 weeks after" which is 2 weeks from the start of the sequence and therefore 1 week after the previous step.
As this is our final step we will want to update the subject and content of the email but also more importantly the workflow, as we will want to update this prospect to a "Dead Lead" when finished.
We will remove the reminder and adjust the workflow to ensure the contact type is set to "Dead Lead" and also set their "Marketing Material" to "Opted Out" so that no further marketing emails are sent to this contact.
Once complete, save the step and then save the sequence template using the "Save Template" button at the very top of the page.
Step 4 - Starting a Sequence for a contact
There are 2 key ways you can start a sequence for one or more contacts
- Open a contact record and use the "Start Sequence" option on either the Action Menu or the Sequences list
- Go to the contacts list and select one or more contacts, then use the "Start Sequence for the selected Contacts" option
- If you have a filtered list of contacts than span over multiple pages you can select any one contact on the list, then use the "Start a Sequence for Everyone listed" which will enrol everyone across all pages into a sequence (in this example, all 280 contacts listed will be enrolled)
Once any of these options are selected, you will be asked to confirm which sequence to enrol the contact(s) into and also confirm the date and time the sequence should start.
The "Send From" option on the page above provides you with 2 options to send from.
- My Own Mail Account - Sending from your own mail server is ideal for smaller sequence emails where you want to send more personalised emails to only a select few recipients per day. Emails will be sent using your own mail server using your own email account, and therefore we will be unable to process any replies and assess positive or negative sentiment if these conditions are being used in your Sequence Template.
- The TrackerRMS Sequencer - Sending from the TrackerRMS Sequencer is ideal for sales based sequencing as it allows you to send as many emails as you wish without breaching your mail server send restrictions. The email will be sent by our @tracker-sequencer.com domain however the name and reply to details will still be yours, much like our campaigner. We will also receive any replies to your emails on your behalf allowing us to assess the positive or negative sentiment if these conditions are being used in your Sequence Template. Emails sent back to this address are still forwarded to you and logged within Tracker so you will not miss any replies.
On selecting the preferences and clicking "Ok", the sequence is started and can be seen in the Sequences list within the contact record.
The columns are customizable in this list as with others within Tracker and show the current status of any sequence that this contact is enrolled into. It also shows the status, and key dates for the sequence. Clicking the icon to the right of the list will load the details of the sequence into the Timeline window where you can see which steps have been run and what step is scheduled to run next.
The next step to run is shown as a faded step with the "Due on dd Mmm yy" date visible so that you can tell when the next step is due and what step that will be.
For steps that have completed, you will be able to see precisely when it was sent, when it was opened, and if any link in the email is clicked, which link that was and when it was clicked. If the email bounces or the recipient opts out of the sequence, these details are also recorded in the Timeline.
If a sequence is stopped due to a stop rule, this will also show in the Timeline, detailing the cause or rule that stopped it, as in the example below.
Cannot see Sequences in your contact record?
Don't worry! This is a new record block that can be added to your Layout wherever you want so to find out how to do this, please review this article.
Step 5 - Review all Sequences in flight
If you want to see all sequences in flight and who is enrolled in each, there is a new "Sequences" page within the "Campaigns" menu.
This will display the names of all sequences in use and the number of queued, running and completed sequences scheduled for each.
Clicking the blue icon to the right will load the details of the sequence into the preview pane on the right.
From here you can review the steps that currently make up the sequence and links to edit the template in the sequence editor (covered at the very top of this article), view the results of the sequence for each person enrolled, or view the headline statistics in a pie chart.
The Results button opens a more detailed view of the Sequence where you will see further details including:
- A summary of all reactions including Opened, Unopened, Clicked Through, Bounced and Unsubscribed
- Statistics of each reaction, in the middle section, can be used to filter one or more results in the list of people
- An engagement chart showing the chronological time frame of engagement (when people engaged)
- A list of people that related to the filters set with key dates for the sequence being viewed
- The Timeline for that person and for the chosen sequence
Step 6 - Stopping Sequences
At any point during a sequence, you can stop one or all sequences against a person by ticking the check box next to their name and using the "Stop Selected Sequences" option in the Action menu.
To stop all sequences for a given person, open their record and use the "Stop All Sequences" button located above the Sequences list.