Manage Subscribers in an Automation

This feature is only available on paid accounts and requires Author user level or higher.

After you start an activity-based automation, you may want to add or remove subscribers, or give your subscribers more control over which automation emails they receive.

In this article, you’ll learn how to view subscribers in an automation queue, change an automation’s recipients, and add a merge tag to your campaigns or automated emails so subscribers can choose to join or leave a automation.

Before You Start

  • Join and Leave Automation merge tags and the ability to add or remove subscribers from an automation are only available for activity-based automations. Unlike date-based automations, activity-based automations are triggered by the actions of a subscriber, such as when they join a list or purchase a product. 

  • To add a subscriber to a date-based automations, they need to have data in the date field used to trigger the automation. To remove a subscriber from a date-based automation, you’ll need to delete the date data from their subscriber profile.

  • After a subscriber completes an activity-based automation, we continue to hold them in the automation queue. Although this means someone can only move through a certain automation once, it also means they’ll receive any  new emails you add to the end of the automation.

View Subscriber Queue

When a subscriber meets the trigger criteria in an active automation, they’ll appear in the sending queue of each email as they move through the automation. After a subscriber gets one email in the automation, they’ll move into the next email queue. 

To view the subscriber queue, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Automation page.

  2. Click Edit next to the automation you want to work with.

  3. Navigate to the Emails step.

  4. Find an email on the timeline, and click the Queue link.
    click queue

In the pop-up modal, you’ll see all the subscribers in the queue, as well as the date and time they’ll receive the email.

subscribers in queue

Add Subscribers to an Automation

You may need to add subscribers to an automation if your trigger specifications disqualify certain members of your list, but you still want them to receive the automation. For example, you want existing subscribers to receive an automation, but your trigger is list signup.

You can add subscribers to any activity-based automation, except ones that are in a draft state. Subscribers who have been removed from an automation, or have removed themselves from an automation, can’t be added back.

To add a subscriber to your automation, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Automation page.

  2. Find the automation you want to work with, and click Edit.

  3. Navigate to the Emails step.

  1. Click the drop-down menu next to Edit Workflow Settings, and choose Add Subscribers to Workflow.
    add subscribers to automation
  2. Choose to add your entire list, add subscribers from a saved segment, or subscribers who match certain conditions. Screen that shows options with radio buttons. Options include Entire List, Subscriber is member of saved segment, and Subscribers match the following conditions.
  3. Click Refresh count to see the number of subscribers who will be added to your automation based on your selection. Click the subscriber count to see a list of those subscribers, to make sure it contains who you want to add.
  4. Click Add Subscribers To Workflow.
    add subscribers to workflow

Subscribers will be added to the first email’s queue, and will move through the automation.

To add a single subscriber, choose Subscribers match the following conditions, set the drop-down menus to Email address | is, and type in the email address.

Remove Subscriber from an Automation

If you no longer want a subscriber to be in an activity-based automation, you can remove them. After a subscriber is removed from an automation, they can’t be added back.

To remove a subscriber from your automation, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Automation page.

  2. Find the automation you want to work with, and click Edit.

  3. Navigate to the Emails step.

  1. Click the drop-down menu next to Edit Workflow Settings, and choose Remove Subscribers from Workflow.
    click remove subscribers
  2. Choose to remove all subscribers in your automation, subscribers in a saved segment, or subscribers who match certain conditions. Screen that shows options with radio buttons. Options are All subscribers in workflow, Subscriber is membe of saved segment, and Subscribers match the following conditions.

  3. Click Refresh count to see the number of subscribers who will be removed from your automation based on your selection. Click the subscriber count to see a list of those subscribers, to make sure it contains who you want to remove.
  4. Click Remove Subscribers From Workflow.
    Cursor clicks link that says Or remove subscribers from workflow.

To add a single subscriber, choose Subscribers match the following conditions, set the drop-down menus to Email address | is, and type in the email address.

Add Leave Automation Merge Tag

Sometimes a subscriber may lose interest in an automation and want to leave without unsubscribing from your whole list. Add a merge tag to campaigns or automated emails to create a link for subscribers to remove themselves from an automation. After a subscriber leaves an automation, they can’t be added back to the automation.


To add a Leave Automation merge tag to your automated email, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Emails step for the automation you want to work with.
  2. Add an email to your automation, or click Pause & Edit if you want to work on an active automated email. This will pause your email until you make your edits and resume it.
  3. Click Edit Email.
  4. In the Email Designer, navigate to the Design step.
  5. Click the text content block where you want to add the merge tag.
  6. Add the text you want to link, like “Remove me from this email series.”
  7. Highlight the text, and click the Link icon.
    Screen of toolbar in a Text content block, with cursor clicking the Link icon.
  8. In the Insert or Edit Link modal, paste or type in this merge tag in the Web Address (URL) field.
    *|AUTOMATION:WORKFLOWREMOVEURL|*
  9. Click Insert.
  10. Click Save & Close.
  11. Click Save and Return to Workflow.
  12. Click the drop-down menu to the right of the Edit Email button, and click Resume.

You may want to review the Automation Landing Page in the Form Builder. This is the page subscribers will arrive on when they click the removal link in your email.

Add Join Automation Merge Tag

If you manage several automations, you may want to promote them to other interested subscribers. Add a Join Automation merge tag for each automation you want to promote in regular campaigns or automated emails.

Subscribers can only join automations if they are on the list associated with the automation. Before you add the merge tag to your campaign or automated email, you'll need to make a note of the unique automation IDs for the automations you want to include. Each merge tag can contain only one automation ID, but you can include as many Join Automation merge tags as you want.

Find Automation ID

To find the automation ID, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Automation page.
  2. Find the automation you want to work with, and click Edit.
  3. In the URL for the page, find the number after id= and write it down.
    Screen of a URL bar in a web browser window, with the URL for the automation with the ID number highlighted.

Add Join Automation Merge Tag

To add a join automation merge tag to an automation email, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Emails step for the automation you want to work with.
  2. Add an email to your automation, or click Pause & Edit if you want to work on an active automation email. This will pause your email until you make your edits and resume it.
  3. Click Edit Email.
  4. In the Email Designer, navigate to the Design step.
  5. Click the text content block where you want to add the merge tag.
  6. Add text that you want to link, like "Add me to this email series."
  7. Highlight the text, and click the Link icon.
    Screen of toolbar in a Text content block, with cursor clicking the Link icon.
  8. In the Insert or Edit Link modal, paste or type in this merge tag in the Web Address (URL) field.
    *|AUTOMATION:WORKFLOWADDURL(campaign_id)|*
  9. Replace campaign_id with the automation ID you wrote down, and click Insert.
    Insert and Edit Link Modal with the example merge tag pasted into the Web Address field, and the cursor clicking Insert.
  10. Repeat steps 5–9 to add Join Automation merge tags for any additional automations you want to include.
  11. Click Save & Close.
  12. Click Save and Return to Workflow.
  13. Click the drop-down menu to the right of the Edit Email button, and click Resume.

Join Automation merge tags also work in regular campaigns. Navigate to the Design step in the Campaign Builder, and follow steps 4-10 previously mentioned to add the merge tag to your regular campaign.

You may also want to review the Automation Landing Page in the Form Builder. This is the page subscribers will arrive on when they click the removal link in your email.

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