DIY email sequence via scheduled unpublish/republish of posts?

I would like to create an email sequence without using Zapier and a secondary list service as suggested here because that seems pretty fragile and the failure modes of that setup look like a mess. Looking at the Ghost and Mailgun APIs, I think it should be doable via a scheduled script:

  • Create email-only posts that are the sequence (let’s say it’s 3 posts, intro-1, intro-2 and intro-3).
  • Label all new signups with “intro-1”.
  • Each day, the script will grab users labelled with ‘intro-x’ and update their label to the next in sequence (eg remove intro-1, add intro-2. If it’s the last label in the sequence, just remove it).
  • Then unpublish my 3 sequence posts, and republish them as email-only to only the users with the appropriate label. As I understand the API, ghost will then re-send the email to this cohort of users.

Alternatively, I could just grab the posts and use Mailgun’s API to send the posts to the users that way.


  • Is there a drawback to publishing/unpublishing posts every day like that, such as it resetting the open/click stats?
  • If I send post content retrieved via the API to Mailgun myself, will it link up to the stats properly?
  • Am I missing a glaring problem with this plan?

Appreciate any thoughts.
(If it matters, I would do this on my own hosted instance of Ghost, not Ghost Pro.)

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Then unpublish my 3 sequence posts, and republish them as email-only to only the users with the appropriate label

Posts can only be emailed once but it could be possible by duplicating the post and publishing that as email-only.

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Thanks for the catch on republishing, I misinterpreted the API notes there.

It’s nice to know that it’s doable, although duplicating does present a new problem of collating the stats and/or managing duplications (I could just collect them after a week or two, delete that duplication and push the stats somewhere else, I guess).

Does Ghost’s internal “send newsletter” integration with Mailgun add extra sauce to the post content when sending, such that sending the post content I get from /content/posts/{id}/ wouldn’t send back tracking data?

Yes, the content is re-rendered to be more compatible with email and links are updated to track member stats.

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Please check out what Outpost and let me know what you think. They have built this integration you speak of, but in a different manner. I am desperate for a solution to avoid Zapier as well. It’s mind boggling to me why ghost doesn’t see this as their number 1 priority, as aI can’t image how many people it prevents from signing up. Like me, I may have to leave if I can’t find a solution. I refuse to use Zapier as I have 11k Subscribers on my other site I am trying to bring over but refuse to use zapier to try and scale my company or rely on them to keep my members synced. Email automation for a membership based model is #1. So I don’t understand the model of membership site with no email automation without zapier. No large company or company serious about growth and their marketing will come to ghost pro until this is resolved. Outpost is my only solution and it’s not perfect, but at least they are trying. I am 45 days in to looking for a solution, and about to ask Outpost how much to build me my own mailgun integration so I have more control of automation inside of mailgun. I know it can be done cause they have already done it. I scratch my head why Ghost says there is no solution when anyone asks from what I can see on the forum. This has to be resolved.

I did briefly look at Outpost, I think they were suggested in the other thread I linked. I disliked that it needs to use their Mailgun account and not mine, I feel like that adds potential issues and unnecessary complexity. I find their sales page offputting, where they’re adding “features” that are already in Ghost, like member management. I also don’t like how opaque they are about how everything clicks together on a technical level, and how their solution works. I respect their target audience is the just-make-it-work people, but the technical details can be the exact reason your newsletter is ending up in the Promotions or Spam folder, so not having them anywhere is a no-sale from me.

I’m pretty frustrated. Ghost is perfect for everything I want, except this one thing which is crucial, and the duplicate-publish-delete solution just feels so clunky to have as a long-term solution. I respect that the Ghost team have their own priorities and vision for the project, and any one feature you choose to develop means you have to forgo something else, but I do wish they’d at least enable a way to “resend” a post to a set audience or something so that roll-you-own sequences could be a bit less kludgy.

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Help me better understand your comment about newsletters in promo or spam , because I saw outpost handling all the marketing side of thing and that one would still send their newsletters through ghost. You sound like you know more than me, so how does one who is on a hosted plan deal with emails like customer retention when they have their account get behind, upgrades to higher tiers , upgrades from free to premium or paid and it all be automated.

I can’t figure out how to keep my email list synced on ghost and a full email marketing suite like AC, SendInBlue, or even our own personal mailgun account if we were to create a separate mailgun account directly with them with out using zapier.

We have to be able to email market our list on an automated level. I just don’t want Zapier. I have a Zapier pro account I use for other things but don’t want to for this.

Can you point me in the right direction? I love SendInBlue due to all their features+ unlimited contacts for free and its got a powerful CRM that’s completely free, and you only pay for emails but come with a free 300 per day, Because my plan is to market my free sub list of 11k people.

How does this community who is on a hosted plan with ghost pro do all the things like offered on outpost. Because I agree with the things you said and that is why I am still looking for a solution.