Turn Email Subscribers Into Customers

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Right message, right person, right time

There are as many puzzle pieces to email marketing and automation as people on the planet earth.

While I may go down many rabbit holes, I’m here to help you, so you don’t have to.

You don’t need to know everything, but I’m sharing everything you need to be successful.

I shared the first of three building blocks when building email automation called analytics.

Today, I want to talk about the second block, called audience.

The audience is your subscribers (duh).

However, subscribers are grouped (i.e., segmented): new, old, customers, cold, past customers, members, and whatever other kinds of subscribers you have.

Audience blocks are filters for your audience.

Use these filters to keep subscribers out of sequences that aren’t right for them, especially at the start of an automation.

You’ll also want to use these to drive a subscriber into the different stages at the end of automations.

You have the answer to the question “Where are the new subscribers coming from?

Let’s say you found that most subscribers were coming from 2 out of the five lead magnets.

And lucky for you, these two lead magnets are pulled right from the course you sell.

It makes perfect sense for anyone coming in from one of those two lead magnets to get pitched the entire course.

However, if they already have the course, you don’t want to pitch it to them again.

After understanding the concept of audience segmentation, let’s see how this works in practice with ConvertKit.

Using Conditions in ConvertKit Visual Automation

For example, in ConvertKit, you can create audience blocks to manage your segments effectively.

This allows you to guide subscribers through different stages of your automation based on their specific needs and interactions.


  1. A new subscriber comes onto your list.
  2. You deliver the lead magnet to the new subscriber.
  3. Then, check to see if the person has purchased your course. If not, then move on to step 4. But if they have, you’ll want them to exit the automation and carry on their way.
  4. Since they haven’t bought your course, you’ll want to see if the custom field “lead_magnet_origin” equals one of the lead magnets. If so, then send them the pitch sequence. If not, have them exit and on their way.

In ConvertKit, this would be the audience block that’s in step 3:

Creator Quick Start is my course, but swap that name for whatever you are selling.

In ConvertKit, this would the audience block that’s in step 4:

Since it’s checking the same custom field for multiple values, you’ll want to use an advanced filter and select Matching “ANY” of the following:

Stacking these on one another is typical so that the “No” branch from the purchase condition leads into the advanced filter checking the custom field.

You can see how this makes the automation flexible to move subscribers from one sequence to the next, depending on the subscriber’s path.

Keeping this simple makes for a more effective flow.

Next, we’ll dive into the last block, called activities.

Adjust your strategy based on the positive and negative activities of your subscribers. Handle buyers vs non-buyers differently, and in this article you’ll …

Then, you’ll have all the makings for simple, efficient, and effective automations that send the right message to the right person at the right time.

Do you have all your lead magnets flowing into the same sequence after?

If it’s a welcome, then that’s fine.

But if it’s a nurture sequence or your regular broadcasts, consider flowing some of them when it makes sense into a pitch sequence.


I received a reply by Ryan about audience specifically about the order of operations (lightly edited for clarity and anonymity).

Great article, but I have a question…why do you not do it the opposite way?
Do the #4 advanced filter then continue down to the #3 filter. If the subscriber bought the course, they are sent to an alternate product pitch. If the subscriber has not bought the course, continue the sale pitch.

Just trying to figure out why you used the opposite order. There is probably a great reason just not sure why that would be the preferred way.

The key is flexibility and clarity in your automation strategy. It’s not just about the order of operations but also maintaining clean, easy-to-understand data.

In ConvertKit, displaying numbers on automation nodes helps. By filtering out existing customers before they enter a sales sequence, we ensure that the data reflects only potential new customers. This approach keeps the data clean and straightforward.

Philosophically, I believe each automation should serve a single purpose and handle all logic related to that purpose. Most people will combine the lead magnet and sales sequence into a single automation. In this case, you’ll have clean data using the order I described.

Typically, I recommend separating lead magnet and sales automations. In the lead magnet automation, check if a subscriber should enter the sales sequence for a relevant product. Then, in a separate sales automation, filter out existing customers first. This ensures any data in the sales sequence is as accurate as possible, representing only non-customers.

So, while the order might vary, the goal is to have clean, actionable data guiding the right message to the right person at the right time.

Ryan’s question about the order of operations brings us to an important point: how we respond to our subscribers’ actions.