I found myself wondering, what is a sequence? Well, after a little research and reading through the incredibly helpful tutorial the Kartra team kindly provided, I discovered that a sequence is a string of events that, once triggered, execute on autopilot. They’re kind of like the automations we talked about last time, only much more comprehensive.
As I dug a little deeper, I learned that sequences are a part of your “funnel.” Your what?
My whole life, I thought funnels were those wide-brimmed doodads that tapered off to let me pour different colored sand in an arts and crafts project. My educated guess: this is not what the marketing gods are referencing.
A funnel is actually a catch phrase that references your customer’s (buying) journey. Marketing funnels cover everything from the first time a customer becomes aware of your product (maybe through an ad, social media or word of mouth), to how your customer moves through your website and through the process of buying your product. It even includes how you communicate with them after their purchase to keep them satisfied and coming back for more.
Like the little sand doodad I described above, your marketing funnel will start out wide, catching a lot of potential leads, and narrow down your prospects as they progress toward purchasing from you.
As a solopreneur, it’s practically impossible for me to engage with all prospects on a personal level with content that is relevant to their stage in my funnel. After all, I’m only one person.
That’s where sequences come in. A sequence automates a stream of pre-created communications — informative emails, invitations to consume free content, invites to a webinar, and ultimately purchase follow-ups — that send the right message at the right time to each prospect based on their actions and the interest they’re expressing.
Once I’ve spent some time setting my sequence up, the Kartra system will do all this for me automatically, while I get to sit back and spend more time in my art studio. Pretty neat, huh?
Setting Up a Sequence:
To get to Kartra’s sequences, navigate to “My Communications” in the main navigation, click “Communications” and tap “Sequences” below it.
Once in, just tap the green “+” button to begin.
Note: Your entire funnel does NOT need to be in one sequence. I found it easier to make a sequence for when people filled in my opt-in form, another for when they purchased a product, etc. You can then link sequences to other sequences using an if-and-then automation, making it simple to move your leads through your entire funnel.
A handy screen will come up with a tutorial that familiarizes you with Kartra’s Sequences section. I found this incredibly useful for acquainting myself with what the sequence builder does as well as how to navigate the builder itself.
Sequences can be short and simple or longer and more complex, depending on how you want to engage your customers. For my needs, I chose to stick with relatively simple and not create any sub-sequences.
Establish your starting rule:
For any sequence you make, you will have to create a “starting rule,” or an action that has to occur to trigger the sequence.
For me, my starting rule was that a customer must purchase one of the paintings I have listed on my site. However, for you, it could be that someone opts-in on a form, gets tagged through one of your automations, visits a page, etc.
Set your course of action:
Once I set my starting point, it was important for me to decide what action I wanted to do next. Art is an incredibly personal and somewhat expensive purchase, so I concluded a thank-you email is warranted.
However, not all my art pieces are the same, and I didn’t want the same message going out for each. Right now I have seven pieces listed in my shop. Three are a part of my “lip series,” three are a part of my “animal series,” and one is a miscellaneous plane painting that doesn’t fit in either category. So, I decided to create three different variations of my “thank you” email that I customized to the painting series a customer purchased.
I dragged the “Send email” action over but noticed that I couldn’t link more than one up with the previous action, which was a challenge, as I had three emails I needed to send based on one action (purchasing a painting).
Then, I noticed the “Split” item just a few lines below “Send email.” Interesting. I dropped the split action onto my page, and a pop-up opened up. It had me create a few rules. I chose not to have a delay after someone purchases and send the email immediately (any day of the week). My conditions: they had purchased one of my lip paintings.
Note: You have a maximum of five conditions for each action in your sequence.
Once I filled it out, I linked my “Split” up with my “Starting Rule” by dragging the bottom grey circle on “Starting Action” to the top grey circle on “Split.” It instantly turned yellow to show they were connected.
You may notice that the above GIF has a “True” and “False” section. Basically, I created a rule and, if it’s true (a customer bought a lip painting), they will automatically advance to the next step in the sequence: getting a thank-you email. The email action uses the same builder as the email builder we covered last time, so it was a quick process.
I customized my email to have the customer’s name, along with paintings in the series. Once done, I saved the email as a template, so I can quickly create my other emails with a few simple swaps of content.
Before I moved to my other works, I wanted one more step in my sequence for the lip paintings.
Art is a physical product, so I decided it was best to check in 20 days after a customer bought it and see if it was delivered all right and looking stellar in their home. I encourage my customers to send me pictures of their art on their wall so that I can share that out on my social channels. In my follow-up email I also made a small plug to shop for other pieces like it, to keep my customers engaged.
This is what my sequence looks like so far:
Note: When you first add something new to your sequence, like an email, it will show up as white with “inactive” stamped in red over it. To activate, hover over the three dots in the upper right corner (the main body of the action should turn blue). A bar will appear on the side with four options: activate, edit, clone and delete. Click activate to activate your new action in your sequence.
Build out a robust sequence:
You may be wondering…what about the “False” side of your split?
Don’t worry; I’m getting to it.
The “False” side means that someone did NOT take the action in question. In my case, the person did NOT purchase one of my lips paintings. I added a new split underneath the “False” side of the first split with the new condition saying they purchased one of my animal paintings.
And I began to repeat the process. I cloned my previous emails and just swapped out my lip painting products for my animal painting products (in both the rules and the emails).
And again, under false, I created one more split, this time for my plane painting. And like the two that came before, I had two emails — an immediate thank you and a follow up about three weeks later.
My final sequence came out to look like this:
Set it, forget it and save more time:
Of course, as I add products to Kartra, I will edit my original sequence to include them, as well as remove products as they’re sold (sadly for me, an original painting can only be original if there’s one of it).
Sequences may seem intimidating at first, but play with them, and you’ll find just how much time a set-and-forget workflow can save you. Customize it in a way that works best for your business, and before you know it, you’ll always want this robust tool by your side.
So far, I’ve discovered how to set up my online marketplace, send out broadcasts and even automate pieces of my funnel. But Kartra still has so much to explore. Continue with me as I delve into all of Kartra’s capabilities in The Beginner’s Guide to Kartra.
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