Welcome to the community, @Jen_NYCP! Unfortunately Airtable doesn’t offer conditional options on single select fields at this time. Even if it did, it probably wouldn’t be able to do what you want because the setup would require that Airtable records have some knowledge of other records in the same table, which is currently not the case.
There are ways to work around that, however, including this solution for adding a type of conditional logic to item selection, which could possibly be reworked to achieve what you want. However, it’s a pretty complex workaround for this situation, and frankly I wouldn’t recommend it.
From your experience so far, do you always follow those four steps in order, and follow them consistently with each interaction? I’m asking because I wonder if some automation could be added to the mix if it’s consistent.
For example, instead of entering notes about these email interactions directly into Airtable, you could add them via a third-party form tool like Jotform or Typeform. The form submission would be sent through either Zapier or Integromat, which could check to see how many prior emails had been sent to that address, and tag the submission appropriately. If a recipient is contacted for the first time, the interaction record is automatically tagged as “1st Contact.” The second time the form is submitted, the new record is tagged “1st Follow Up,” and so on. That way you wouldn’t need to look up the step each time. But again, this will only work if you’re following a consistent pattern with the interactions.
Will that work for you?