Don’t annoy your subscribers with more sales emails, after they’ve bought from you!

You know what it’s like, you get drip-fed a series of emails from someone who’s pitching you their ‘thing’…

It looks decent, you’re considering it, and then that one email tips the balance – you decide to buy it!

All’s well – you get the ‘thing’, you’re now away getting stuck into your latest purchase and then ‘bang!’ – their next ‘buy my thing’ email arrives!

Wait! What? Why are you asking me to buy this ‘thing’ – I already bought it!😳

Behind the scenes, we all know what’s happening, right? We’re in an email sales sequence, maybe 8-12 emails, sent over a week or so – the ’email marketer’ has it configured so that you get EVERY email, no matter what!

Below, is a screenshot of what an email sequence looks like inside ConvertKit; a sequential list of emails configured to be delivered every day or two…

But when someone buys from email #5 for example (or any other one!), the first thing the email marketer SHOULD do is remove that subscriber from the sequence so they don’t get annoyed by more redundant emails.

(Side case in point – I’ll keep it anonymous so as not to embarrass anyone… I joined a membership 3 or 4 months ago – one that’s generating the owner about $15,000 monthly revenue; and since joining, I’ve been getting sales emails, asking me to become a member! It’s almost enough to make me unsubscribe, but it’s a new group, so I’m giving them some grace.)

How to prevent this happening in ConvertKit

I’ll start this section by adding some conditional context that needs to be considered when designing the solution; it depends on where they’re buying from.

Here’s what I mean…

ConvertKit has a commerce platform called (surprise, surprise!) ‘Commerce‘. If you’re selling your services via ‘Commerce’, it’s simple to pull subscribers from a sales sequence whenever they buy – all the information resides inside one platform.

However, if you’re selling things outside of ConvertKit (which many people do), then we need to ‘tell’ ConvertKit that a sale occurred.

I won’t go into depth in this article about how to do that, but your two options are to integrate ConvertKitwith whichever platform(s) you’re using to sell from, or by updating your subscribers’ profiles manually when they buy (not recommended because you’ll forget!).

When you’re selling via ‘ConvertKit Commerce

When drip-feeding a sales sequence to your subscribers, it’s triggered inside a Visual Automation, so that’s where we can control its behaviour.

Let’s look at an example to see how to do this…

Below is a screenshot of a subsection of a sales automation, showing the email sequence being delivered;

In this scenario, every subscriber will flow through the entire sequence until they’ve been served every email in the sequence; after the final email, they exit the automation.

This is what we DON’T want to happen – otherwise, it’ll be just like me and that membership example above!

How to remove the subscribers who buy

Removing subscribers from an email sequence who buy from us is pretty straightforward.

Inside your sales automation, click the little ‘+‘ icon below your email sequence, and choose ‘Event‘;

Then click on ‘Product purchased‘ button to pop up the list of possible ‘Products’ to choose the relevant one; then click ‘Add event‘.

This will add another node to your automation, showing the ‘Product’ you selected;

Now what will happen, is ConvertKit will monitor your automation, and if any subscriber buys the ‘Product’ you chose, they’ll be taken out of the email sequence, and will complete the automation.

If you have several ‘Products’ that your subscribers could potentially buy from your sales sequence, you can add those in additional nodes, adjacent to the one you already added (see example below);

When selling outside of ConvertKit

The simplest way to let ConvertKit know about a sale that happened outside of its platform is to integrate the two.

Let’s imagine you are selling via Memberpress (I do this – Memberpress is a paid-for WordPress plugin); you want to integrate Memberpress with ConvertKit so that Memberpress can send a message to ConvertKit whenever a subscriber buys something – most commonly done using a ‘Tag‘.

If you control your purchases using this method, then your automation can be controlled using filters and tags together.

Bear with me… I know this seems like a chore!

Okay, so let’s imagine every time someone buys my “1:1 Email Marketing Setup Service“, Memberpress passes a ‘tag‘ back to ConvertKit, saying ‘Ann Smith – subscriber ID 12345‘ just purchased Product ‘ABC‘.

The ‘tag’ is called ‘Purchased 1:1 Email Marketing Setup Service‘.

The ‘tag’ gets applied to Ann Smith’s profile, meaning we now know she bought the service.

Configuring the ‘Email Sequence’ using a filter

In ConvertKit, inside ‘Settings’ of the email sequence, we head to the section entitled ‘Exclude subscribers from this sequence‘;

In the ‘Tags’ drop-down, select the ‘Purchased 1:1 Email Marketing Setup Service‘ tag and click the ‘Update sequence‘ button at the bottom-right (don’t forget to do this or it won’t save!)

Now, whenever the next email from the sequence gets sent out, it will ignore anyone who has this tag applied to their profile.

As you can see, this method is a bit more clunky than the natively integrated ‘Commerce’ platform, but still works perfectly well.

And finally, if you can integrate your selling platform with ConvertKit, your default method needs to be manually – by adding the tag to the subscriber yourself, whenever someone buys from you.

Maybe this manual option isn’t too big a deal if you only sell one or two times per month, but can get a bit unprofessional if you forget to tag people.

⚡️Summary

The simplest way to control email flow for purchasers is to sell your products and services using ConvertKit’s Commerce platform, and then add the relevant ‘Products’ as ‘Events’ to your automation.

Secondly, where possible, integrate any external sales platform with ConvertKit – that way, it always works as expected.

And thirdly, if all else is impossible, update your subscriber purchases manually.

If you’d like to explore more about ConvertKit’s Commerce platform, check out this article here: How to Create and Sell Products Using ConvertKit 

create and sell using ConvertKit

If you haven’t yet joined ConvertKit, here’s the link to get your free account, including a 14-day free trial of all premium features: convertkit.com

The Freelancer’s Guide to Email Marketing gives you everything you need to know to design, launch, and run an effective email marketing system in your business.

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John Bellingham
John Bellingham

Starting out as a software engineer over 30 years ago, I began working for large corporates before realising solopreneurship was my 'thing'. I've had many businesses over the years, which have taught me many lessons.

I now spend my time helping other solopreneurs to implement the strategies and tactics that worked for me, whilst avoiding all my expensive mistakes.

If you're a solopreneur who's either starting or running a business, then connect with me and let's have a chat.

I love Formula 1® so that's always a good conversation starter if you need one! 🏁 🏎

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