Classic and Smart sequence are two types of sequences that are aimed at different use cases,
What are Classic and Smart Sequences? Where should they be used?
Classic Sequences allow users to automatically run a sequence of actions for a record contact on specific days such as Day 1,2,3…,89, 90.
The day specified here is relative to the day any contact enters the sequence. For example - Day 1 is the day a contact enters the sequence and similarly Day 3 is 3rd day of contact in the sequence.
Please note that the Day 3 will be different for contacts entering the sequence on different days. They are suitable for scenarios where the flow of steps follows a single order and can be triggered by user behavior or contact property.
Example use case: Prospecting sequence - An automated sequence that is used to reach out and acquire new prospects using personalized emails that are sent out along a predefined time frame.
A typical prospecting sequence would appear in the following manner:
Here, Days 2, 5, 10, 12, and 15 refer to the day a contact subscribes to the sequence. Example - Day 2 here is 2nd day of contact in the sequence.
Smart Sequences allow users to automatically run the most relevant steps at a regular intervals in the sequence based on the behavior of the audience.
Here, the most relevant step for a contact is the one that matches the conditions of the step. If a contact satisfies conditions for more than one step, then the first step (higher in order of position) will be executed.
Example use case: Customer onboarding sequence - An automated sequence where the sales agent wants to send an email based on what the audience has done or not. This will send the relevant email at the right time.
A typical onboarding sequence would have the following flow:
How are the steps of a sequence executed? How many times will be a step executed?
- All steps will be executed in order. They will be based on the Day chosen and will be executed in chronological order.
- If the filter conditions for the step for a particular day are matched, then the sequence step will be executed.
- If the record does not match the conditions for a particular day, then the step will be skipped and will never be revisited for the entire duration of the sequence.
Example: In the prospecting sequence, an email can be scheduled for day 5 from the day of entry if it matches certain criteria. This means that the email will be sent only on Day 5 of the sequence for the contact. If the contact does not match the criteria, then this step will never be revisited for the entire duration of the sequence.
- In Smart sequences, the steps are not executed in chronological order. The match is done by checking the step condition with a record every single time the sequence is run.
- A step is triggered whenever the necessary conditions are met. Every time the sequence runs, the conditions for all steps will be evaluated and will be executed for those records that match the step condition.
If a contact matches the criteria on one or more steps, then all those steps will be executed on the record.
Example: In the onboarding sequence, the sequence will run at an interval of 3 days. On the day of the sequence, all sequence steps will be matched against the records.
When will a step be skipped? Will it be again executed during the duration of the sequence?
If a step is skipped, it will never be revisited again during the course of the sequence. The subsequent steps, however, will continue to execute.
Let us consider the prospecting sequence,
Now, if your contact does not reply to the Step 1 (email sent on Day 1) by Day 5, then Step 2 will not be executed for the contact for rest of the sequence. It is important to note that Step 2 will not be executed even if the contact matches the condition on Day 10 or day 11 of the sequence.
Smart sequences run on time intervals. Everytime a smart sequence runs, it checks for all steps and the steps will be executed for contact s that match the condition.
If the step condition does not match on the day of the sequence, the step will be skipped and will not execute for those contact s. However, the step will be revisited each time the sequence runs and if matched will run on the contact .
Let us consider the onboarding sequence,
Here, Step 2 will be executed only if the contact does not reply to Step 1. If, however, the contact completes the payment without being sent any reminders, then Step 5 will automatically be executed skipping all the steps in between.
What should I do if I want the subsequent steps to not execute after skipping a step?
Classic Sequence: In case of classic sequences, if you do not want the subsequent steps to be executed, filters can be added to connect the step to action taken on a previous step. This will link subsequent steps to the outcome of the previous steps.
In case of smart sequences, the steps do not execute in any particular order. Hence, you can define the execution of a particular step to the outcome of a previous step.
Will a step be skipped if I exceed email limits?
In a Classic sequence, if the email limit is exceeded on the day a step has to execute, the step will be skipped and will not execute for those contacts. The step will also not be executed for the rest of the sequence.
In a Smart sequence, if the email limit is exceeded on the day a step has to execute, the step will be skipped and will not execute for those contacts. However, the step will be revisited each time the sequence runs and will run on the contact if the conditions are matched.