How Date-Based Flows Queue Recipients

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Overview

When you have a date-based flow, it’s helpful to know how profiles enter these flows and what happens when a date is added or changed. For instance, what happens if someone is about to enter the flow, but the date is suddenly changed or deleted altogether? This article runs through what happens for date property-triggered flows when dates are added, updated, or deleted from a profile.

How Profiles Qualify for Date-Based Flows

Klaviyo checks if someone qualifies for a flow daily via a check that runs a full day in advance. In addition, Klaviyo will check if someone qualifies for a flow whenever a date is added or updated on a profile. During this time, Klaviyo determines if a profile should enter a flow based on whether that date falls within the flow’s full timeline. A person will only be added to a flow if the day, month, and year fall within a flow’s timeline, so if a date is in the future (e.g., 12/1/2025), they won’t be added to a flow before that time.

The Date Falls Within a Flow’s Timeline

If the date falls within the timeline of the flow, Klaviyo will pull the profile into the flow and insert them at the appropriate point based on the timing established within the series, as illustrated in the example below.

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Say you have a wedding flow that starts nine months before someone's wedding. Every month leading up to their wedding date, you share content and products that may interest the bride or groom.

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If on February 1, you receive Jane Smith’s wedding date, and it's 7 months away. Klaviyo will automatically insert Jane at the Wait until 7 Months before person's Wedding point in time. She will immediately be queued to receive the appropriate content; here, the “What to do 7 months before the wedding” email.

The Date Falls Outside the Flow’s Timeline

If the date falls outside the timeline of a flow, or is deleted entirely, the profile will not be added to the flow at this time.

For instance, say you have a birthday flow that sends out a message on the actual date and then ends. In this case, the timeline for the entire flow is one day.

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If on February 1, Sarah Smith submits a form that lets you know that her birthday is June 1; Sarah will not enter the birthday flow immediately. Instead, she will only enter into the flow on her actual birthday in June.

What Happens When a Date Is Added for a Same-Day Send

When a date is added on the same day that a message is scheduled to go out, the subscriber will get the message only if they added it before the message’s send time.

For instance, if you have a birthday flow with an email that goes out at 12 p.m. in the recipient’s local time. Person A adds their birthday at 10 a.m. Since this is before the email is scheduled to go out, person A will get the message.

As for person B, they add their birthday at 1 p.m. — an hour after the email sent out. In this case, person B won’t receive the email that was already sent. However, person B will continue in the flow if: 

  1. There are more messages or steps in the flow
  2. The messages or steps are scheduled for later than when they added the birthday (e.g., if another email is scheduled to go out a week later) 

What Happens When a Date Is Updated in the Middle of a Flow

Before every action in a flow (e.g., before every email or SMS that goes out), Klaviyo verifies that the date used to trigger the flow is still the same. This means that if someone is in a date-based flow but changes the date such that it falls outside the flow’s timeline, they will not be sent any further messages.

For instance, say that Jane from the example above is in the middle of a wedding flow.

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Originally, her wedding date is 5/1/2021 and she just passed the “Wait until 7 Months before person's Wedding” point and received the associated message. If she changes her date to 6/1/2023, she will exit the flow and not receive the subsequent messages at this time.

Klaviyo will also automatically re-queue the person based on the updated date. This is particularly helpful for appointment-focused flows — if someone's appointment is rescheduled, all messages are automatically rescheduled around the new date.

For the case above, Jane will automatically re-enter the flow from the beginning when her new wedding date approaches. This may mean she receives the same messages twice; however, this is a good thing, as the content will be personalized to where she is currently in wedding planning and she won’t need to comb through her emails for the previous messages.

Additional Resources

Learn more about date-based flows: 

 

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