How to use 1:1 email threading in Automations


With ActiveCampaign, you can send multiple 1:1 emails in an automation and have them appear as one consistent email thread in the contact’s inbox. Threading allows you to reduce clutter and confusion in the contact’s inbox while delivering clear and consistent messaging to create a better customer experience and improve your engagement.

Take Note

How it works

Once you create a 1:1 email in an automation using the “Send 1:1 email” action, you can choose to thread other 1:1 emails created in the same automation. Threading makes automated 1:1 emails look like they are from the same conversation in the contact’s inbox rather than a new email each time.

For example, an automation with multiple threaded 1:1 emails can look like this:


  1. Day 1 - First email sent
  2. Day 2 - Second email sent, as part of the same thread
  3. Day 3 - Third email sent, as part of the same thread

Once sent, these emails will show as one email with several responses in the contact’s inbox. The contact can click into the email to view the full conversation or thread of emails. Here is a view from a Gmail inbox with threading:


Here is a view once you click into the email with all three messages threaded:


If the automation is created with individual 1:1 emails that are not threaded, the emails will show as three separate emails. The contact will have to find these emails to view the conversation rather than have it in one spot.

Here is an example of how the same three 1:1 emails will show as three separate emails in a Gmail inbox without threading:


How to use automated 1:1 email threading

  1. In a new or existing automation, drag or click the “Send a 1:1 email” action to your automation to create your first 1:1 email.
  2. Configure the 1:1 email with the following options:
    • Add Cc/Bcc
    • Email name
    • From Email
    • Subject
    • Message
    • Choose Email Tracking options with the Bar Graph icon
  3. Click “Save.”
  4. Drag or click the “Send a 1:1 email” action to create a second 1:1 email in your automation.
  5. To thread this 1:1 email, toggle the “Send as a reply to previous email” to green.


  6. A “Reply To” field will appear. If you only have one 1:1 email in your automation, it will automatically be selected. If you have more than one 1:1 email to choose from, click the dropdown and choose the 1:1 email you want this second 1:1 email to thread to.


    The Subject will update to the same subject as the email you’ve chosen to thread to.

    Note: You may modify the Subject so it is different from the threaded email. However, this may impact how the emails may appear grouped in the recipient’s inbox, depending on the email service provider.


      You can only thread 1:1 emails from the same automation.

  7. Finish configuring the second 1:1 email using the options from Step 2
  8. Click “Save.”
  9. The second “Send 1:1 email” action will note that it is “Sending as a reply to,” confirming that threading is set up.


  10. Repeat steps 4-10 to add additional 1:1 emails to your thread.

Note: these are the basic steps to help you set up 1:1 email threading in an automation. You may want to add additional automation actions between the “Send 1:1 Email” actions, including “Wait” or “If/Else,” so the following 1:1 emails are not sent immediately after the first and depending on your desired outcome.

1:1 email threading Automation recipes

Below are a few pre-built automation recipes to help get you started with 1:1 email threading in automations. Learn how to import recipes from the ActiveCampaign marketplace.

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