Understanding Date Sequences

Learn about the different types of date-based sequences and how they affect your sequence timing.

Choosing the right kind of sequence is critical! After a sequence has been launched, it is not possible to change it from a step sequence to a date sequence or from one type of date sequence to another.  Step scheduling and the sequence completion status of a sequence are both inextricably rooted in the type of sequence you've created. You can always clone a sequence, make changes, and then launch a new version. However, once launched, these aspects of a sequence are locked. Therefore, when creating a campaign it is important to make sure you've considered the options described in this article.

Types of Date Sequences

In addition to step sequences (which run campaign steps in succession starting at the point when an account is subscribed), Fuse also gives you the power to create a sequence whose step timing is relative to a specific calendar date, or to a date field found in your accounts. Within each of these categories, you can also choose to run the sequence once or to repeat it annually.

This gives you a total of 4 different timing options for your date-based sequence:

  • Specific Date - Run Once
    This option runs only once in relation to the specific month, day, and year you choose. This mode also provides an option to specify the year in which it must run, or to select "any year."  Selecting "any year," tells Fuse that any step for which the relevant timing has already passed during the current calendar year should be scheduled for the next calendar year instead. In other words, it will make sure that every step runs at least once, and only once, at the first available opportunity that matches the step timing you've defined, regardless of whether that falls in the current calendar year or in the future.

  • Specific Date - Run Annually
    This option runs every year in relation to the specific month and day you choose.

  • Account Date - Run Exactly Once
    Step timing is unique for each subscriber and it is relative to the account-based date field you select. The "Run Exactly Once" option schedules itself to run just once in relation to the current value in your selected account date field.  If the value in the account's relevant date field is altered before the sequence has run for them, the steps will be rescheduled to correlate with the changed date. However, after the sequence has run once for any given account, it will not run for that account again.  Also, if the relevant date of any step has already passed at the time when the account is subscribed, that step will be skipped (e.g. - if the sequence is set to run exactly once based on the "customer since" date, and there is a step set to run exactly on that date, accounts with "customer since" dates in the past will never be sent that step).

  • Account Date - Run Annually and Reschedule if Date Changes
    Step timing is unique for each subscriber and is relative to the account-based date field you select. This option schedules its steps to run at the next available opportunity in relation to the month and day in the account date field you've selected. If the last step in the sequence is reached, it will automatically reschedule all steps to run again in relation to the same date the following year. Also, if the value in the account's relevant date field is altered, the sequence will reschedule its steps to correlate with that changed date.