Configuring Sequential Messages
Sequential email messages -- where recipients receive a series of two or more emails timed by specific send dates, usually with related messages -- can be set up with some simple campaign and database management. These are autoresponder-type campaigns, where someone signs up to receive a series of email newsletters or other information that you provide.
In your database table, create a field to update, which should be a numeric field with a default value of zero (0.) When someone subscribes to the series, they will start out at 0, and your campaign filter will look for the value of the field to determine which records to include. Upon sending, you would set that field to 1, either by incrementing the field, or specifying 1 as the value. This indicates that the first message in the series was sent. The second campaign in the series would do the same thing, but look for records where the value is already set at 1, the second campaign would then change the value to 2, etc. (See the flow chart in Figure 1.)
This numeric field will be the focus of the filters on the Datasource tab using Campaign Enterprise. If you are just starting your series, nobody should be found in the filter for campaigns 2 through 4, which is fine. As the series moves along however, you will begin to populate the list with those who have started receiving the first messages, subsequently moving along the process until they receive all the messages in the series.
To prevent the recipient from receiving all the campaigns at once, you chain them in reverse order. Then schedule the last campaign (campaign 4 in this example) to be sent out on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on your series schedule. Since the fields will be incremented on sending, you’ll want to chain the campaigns in reverse order, so that the filters will pull the correct records from the database. If you ran the campaigns in forward order, a new subscriber would receive all the emails in the series, one right after the other.