The key element of configuring an email drip marketing campaign is the definition of which message to send to which customers or prospects, with additional emphasis on the question of which message follows another.
In the language of LISTSERV Maestro, this means simply the definition of which mail job (or collection of mail jobs) is the predecessor (or "Source Job") of another job (i.e. the "Follow-Up Job").
Normally, when you work on the list of jobs in a certain mail job folder, your first point-of-contact is the "Jobs in Folder" tab. This view of a collection of jobs by definition shows all jobs that reside in the selected folder (assuming that the list is not filtered, see here). While it is certainly possible to visualize the relation between source and follow-up jobs by only working on this tab, the "Sequence Info" tab is specifically designed to illustrate the source/follow-up relation as it is present in the list of jobs.
Source / Follow-Up Relations
Maestro automatically views jobs as belonging to a message sequence if they are related in any of the following ways:
Based on Reaction on a Previous Job
If a mail job uses the recipients type "Determine Recipients Based on the Reaction on a Previous Job", then the recipients wizard asks you to select a source job to base the follow-up recipients on. This defines a relation between exactly one source job and one follow-up job.
Subscriber Filter Condition
If a mail job uses the recipients type "Send to Recipients in the Subscriber Warehouse" with "Advanced Subscriber Selection" enabled, then the filtering condition on "Subscriber Activity" can be configured to look at one or more previous jobs (either by merely checking if a subscriber was recipient of the given job or if the subscriber performed a certain tracked activity). This defines a relation between one follow-up job and multiple source jobs.
If the delivery settings of a mail job cause delivery in the form of an auto-repeat sequence of job copies, then Maestro automatically views each repeated copy as being a follow-up to the job that it was copied from, i.e. the sequence of jobs created this way is automatically also a message sequence. For each job in the repeat sequence, this defines a source/follow-up relation between exactly one source job and one follow-up job.
A/B Split With Sampling
A/B split jobs with sampling are defined as a collection of splitting variant jobs followed by a main variant job (see here for details). Maestro automatically views the main variant job as being a successor job to each of the sampling variant jobs, i.e. this defines a relation between one follow-up job and multiple source jobs.
Custom Sequence Link
The possible relationships described above are all detected automatically and do not need any manual configuration. While this already may cover most cases of actual drip marketing campaigns, there may be scenarios that you wish to set up with recipients definitions and/or delivery settings that do not fall into any of the above cases and Maestro would therefore not assign them to the same message sequence automatically.
Finding a given job as follow-up of a source job in a message sequence means that Maestro enforces that a follow-up job is never delivered before any of its source jobs, i.e. messages in a sequence are also correctly delivered in sequence, which is vital for email drip marketing campaigns.
To manually assign two (or more) jobs to a message sequence, you first select the desired jobs in the job list. With the selection active, open the "New" menu and choose "Sequence Links between Selected Jobs" (or, alternatively, open the right-click context menu and choose "Create Sequence Links between Selected Jobs"). Read the instructions on the screen before proceeding, then click the OK button to apply. For each job you selected before opening the dialog, this defines a custom sequence link (and therefore a source/follow-up relation) between exactly one source job and one follow-up job.
Viewing the Message Sequence
As a consequence of the many possible methods to associate source jobs with follow-up jobs in Maestro, the relations between the jobs in a message sequence can go way beyond a simple linear sequence: A source job can have any number of follow-up jobs and also be preceded by any number of second-level source jobs.
On the "Sequence Info" tab, the list of jobs is augmented by extra margins to the left and right. These margins are used to show arrows to indicate which jobs are immediate predecessors (i.e. are listed as source jobs to the selected job) and immediate successors (i.e. are listed as follow-up jobs). The left margin is dedicated to visualize the direction from the follow-up job to its source jobs whereas the right margin shows the direction from a source job to its follow-up jobs. (On both margins, the arrows point from the source job to the follow-up job.) This means that by selecting one job after the other, you quickly get a visual understanding of the structure of the message sequence.