Have you ever wondered how changes to a live campaign might affect your contacts currently in the sequence? Adjustments sometimes need to be made to campaigns that already have contacts in them. How does Infusionsoft decide whether a new sequence item applies to a contact? Today we clarify what happens to a contact’s position in the sequence as new sequence items are added.
When an item is added and the campaign is published, Infusionsoft will recalculate each contact’s position in the sequence based on past steps accomplished. The recalculation retraces the steps of emails, timers, and other actions from the beginning to determine the contact’s current position.
The rule of thumb for an additions to a sequence is seven days. If the new step will be accomplished in the future, then it will occur at the appropriate time. If, instead, the step was set to happen in the past seven days, then it will proceed immediately. However, when the step was set to happen longer than seven days ago, the action will be skipped and the contact will be pushed along in the sequence.
To make this easier to understand, let’s look at an example.
Our imaginary live campaign is set to deliver two emails: email #1, wait five days, email #2. The sequence is readjusted to include a third email, #1.5, only two days after the first email is sent.
Adam entered the original sequence. He received Email #1. After three days, you decide to add an additional email, Email #1.5. You add the email, adjust the timers, and publish the changes. Infusionsoft recalculates Adam’s position in the campaign and concludes that Email #1.5 should have been sent in the past seven days (yesterday in fact) and sends it out immediately.
Brett entered the original sequence a few days before Adam. He received Email #2 the day before the campaign was changed and republished. His recalculation concludes that Email #1.5 should have been sent four days prior (within the week), so it too is sent immediately even though Email #2 comes after Email #1.5. The thing to note here is that when the sequence continues on to Email #2, Infusionsoft recognizes that the email has already been sent to this contact and does not send Brett Email #2 again. Infusionsoft campaigns are smart enough to avoid sending the same item twice when you make changes to your sequence.
And lastly we have Charles, who received Email #1 a month ago and Email #2 followed appropriately. His recalculation shows Email #1.5 should have been sent weeks ago, so the step is skipped. He does not receive the added email.
These rules apply for any item you add to a campaign sequence, whether at the beginning, middle, or end.
This is something that I deal with quite frequently and I appreciate the detailed explanation. I would like one clarification for the example with Brett if possible. If Bret is sent Email 1.5 and the system then recognizes NOT to resend Email 2, where is he is the sequence? Is he re-positioned and simply NOT sent Email 2, or does he remain in his current position? In this scenario there is another timer AFTER Email 2 and possibly an Email #3 … I’m trying to determine what happens to that clients position in the campaign after he/she gets the email that was added after publishing and clients flow through the process. Thanks in advance!!! – Dawn
Everything is recalculated based on the new sequence items. Any existing scheduled sequence items will be re-scheduled based on the new timing of the sequence even if they have already been sent. The email won’t be sent a second time, but it is still taken into account when calculating the timing of events.
For this example, it means the sequence is extended by 2 days, so you have to be in the sequence at least 7 days before you get all three emails.
It can be a little confusing, which is why it is so important to do your best to nail down a campaign’s sequence of events before going live.
Thanks Jacob for these really helpful tips. Specially this concept was unknown for me and the way you explained is much appreciate.
Thanks for the insight into how this works. Is the 7-day window configurable, or is that something that is set internally by Infusionsoft?
In the example of Brett, is there any way to keep him from getting email #1.5, since he’s already received email #2?
I’m not aware of a way to configure the 7 day window.
A possible way to keep Brett from getting Email #1.5 would be to duplicate the sequence instead of editing it. You then change the campaign so new contacts go to the new sequence, and nobody goes to the old sequence. People that are already in the old sequence continue as normal, while new people enter the new sequence and get the new emails. This still isn’t ideal, but at least you’d prevent an email being sent out of order.
Big thanks for this tip. Your posts are always useful without the fluff.