How to Use Email Sequences for Business

October 21, 2021

Email marketing has always been one of the most powerful ROI drivers in digital marketing, and it is gaining momentum now. For example, McKinsey & Company calculated that email campaigns acquire new customers 40 times better than social networks! In this guide, you will learn how to market your business with email sequences as a main emailing method.

What Are Email Sequences?

First things first. Let’s clarify what email sequences are and what is their purpose in digital marketing campaigns. An email sequence is obviously a series of messages, but what makes it different from any other email thread? Email sequences are pre-arranged and mailed in set time intervals, on the trigger basis, or both.

It means that you can either schedule emails in a sequence to reach out to users at the best time of day or when they perform a certain action on your website. Time-based sequences are also called auto-responders and can be automatically delivered to users in pre-determined intervals, depending on the result you need. Triggered sequences start immediately after a user does a target action, such as reaching a certain number of log-ins or clicking a key link.

In most cases, combining time-based and triggered sequences is the most effective way to gain due coverage and ROI.

Why Use Them for Business?

The main purpose of automated email sequences is to make marketers’ lives easier and set them free from sending targeted email threads to people manually. It would be a nightmare and take all the time in the world! Email sequences do the necessary job much more effectively and need humans only to adjust them.

When you combine time-based and triggered sequences, you can ensure that users receive emails when the chance of opening and reading them is the highest. Sequences drive all kinds of email marketing campaigns and can help achieve a variety of goals.

For example, the very popular use of a combo sequence is called an abandoned cart reminder. It’s a triggered personalized email campaign that includes emails sent through time intervals to remind users of their unfinished shopping. You don’t need to do anything to return them and make a purchase, while a sequence will surely return those who left their carts full for any reason.

Sequences let your business reach new users, conquer their attention, and build trust without involving any continuous effort from the marketing team. Emails that reach the inboxes at the right time look very natural and make users think that they interact with a real person on the other end. It’s an opportunity to literally create crowds of brand advocates without ever meeting them in person. Entrepreneurs of the past would kill for such an opportunity!

Main Types of Sequences

Below is a list of email sequence types that companies use most often. Not all of them may work for your purposes, but you will need several of them for sure anyway.

  1. Nurture sequence – it is used to introduce and familiarize new subscribers to your brand. Don’t forget to sweeten them with cool lead magnets!
  2. Engagement sequence – once the nurture emails do their job, engagement messages come to strengthen the relationship and pave the way to conversion opportunities.
  3. Conversion sequence – as the name says, this sequence is needed to ask users to make a purchase or complete any other target action after you nurture and engage them.
  4. Onboarding sequence – the purpose of this sequence is to help new customers better understand the product they got and learn to use it to the full. This series is crucial for any SaaS business, for example.
  5. Abandoned cart reminder series – there are numerous reasons for users to forget to cash out their carts on your website. Your job is to help them not to forget about it. Some will not notice your notifications, but most will be grateful for a reminder and boost your email campaign ROI.
  6. Renewal sequence – a part of your subscriber list will always start becoming inert for thousands of reasons. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to try one more time, though! A short time-based renewal sequence of 2-3 messages is a great way to return a part of the disengaged user base and figure out who needs to be deleted from the list forever.
  7. Event sequence – this series is focused on encouraging users to visit live or online events by telling them all the details, persuading users to sign up, reminding them about the time and place, and following up after the event airs. Both time and trigger-based sequences are necessary here.
  8. Follow-up sequence – this type is similar to onboarding emails, but it’s used to reach out not to new users but to users that have already interacted with your product or website in a certain way. It can encourage users to do or purchase something else as well as reinforce brand awareness.

Email Software Provider Essential Features

Not all email software is equal, so you should know what to look for when choosing the right provider for your types of sequences. Here are the features you need:

  • Segmentation – automatically divides users into groups by their behavior patterns;
  • Automatic sequence switching – it’s important that users receive the right emails at the right time. You don’t know who, what, and when, so the automation has to stop and start email sequences depending on the dynamic user behavior;
  • Customizable templates – your emails must be visually appealing, but you usually don’t have the time to design them. A bunch of well-designed templates is a must-have today;
  • Broadcast messaging –sometimes all users need to receive one-off messages that don’t belong to any sequence nor follow any action.
  • API – it’s important to be able to integrate your email solution into a CRM, Zapier, or anything else.

Time to Start

There’s no time to hesitate as all your competitors are already sending thousands of email sequences daily to conquer their slice of the market. Fortunately, you can join the race any time and win if you adjust your campaigns well. What types of email sequences will you start with? What for? You can reply in the comments and help your colleagues by sharing this piece.


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