Email marketing is an effective tool to create personalized connections and keep in contact with your most loyal customers.
Marketers often employ email marketing in drip campaigns as a lead nurturing tool to push leads closer to conversion. HubSpot is one of the best email marketing tools available, pulling in personalized data from your CRM to optimize email reach outs and track customer data more efficiently.
However, it can be difficult for the most experienced professionals to keep up with the demand and volume of drip campaigns, especially among multiple touch points.
Thankfully, HubSpot’s Sequences tool allows marketers and sales teams to align around automated email campaigns. Rather than automating sales emails in one platform (like Outreach) and marketing emails in another, you can automate marketing and sales communications all from HubSpot! Meaning that you have access to reporting in one, consolidated place and have a truly 360-degree view of your leads and customers.
What Are HubSpot Sequences?
HubSpot Sequences are an automated tool that sends email templates to HubSpot contacts directly from your internal team members. Think of Sequences as an automated extension of your Gmail your Outlook inbox. Sequences are designed to nurture leads into taking action, such as booking a meeting or replying to an email. Once a contact responds to a Sequence, they will be automatically unenrolled from a Sequence. So, your sales and account management teams are in full control of the communications while giving your marketing and analytics teams access to all of the reporting metrics. And, most importantly, your leads and customers are not overwhelmed with email communications as they are unenrolled from the email series once they’ve taken the desired action!
Users can customize Sequences with an email template that is unique to the content that Sequence is delivering. For example, your sales team might create a Sequence with a welcome email or qualifying message that entices a contact to book a demo with your business or reply with a meeting time.
In addition, HubSpot’s Sequences enable teams to automate reminders via tasks, calls, and even LinkedIn messages to further optimize the timing of the sales process.
However, unlike HubSpot’s Workflows, Sequences are only sent to contacts using an actual email for one of your internal team members. And, Sequences are only used for one on one emails—like sales and account management communications. Sequences are not meant to replace your marketing emails or to be used as a workaround for emailing unsubscribed contacts. Sequences are meant to replace the copy + paste that your sales and account management teams currently do for the emails they send over and over again to leads and customers.
Ultimately, HubSpot’s Sequences are designed to speed up sales processes by delivering content that results in a meeting or a response.
However, many users can confuse Sequences with Workflows and what situations are more appropriate for each use.
HubSpot Sequences vs Workflows: Key Differences
- Designed to automate sales and account management communications
- Limited send volume per day (check limits by HubSpot plan here)
- Unenrolls contacts after a desired action
- Contacts can be enrolled in bulk (50 at a time) or via HubSpot Workflows (daily limit applies)
- Emails are for one-to-one usage and should not be used for marketing purposes
- Templates can be customized before using a Sequence
- Designed for marketing and process automation
- Contacts are automatically enrolled after an action (ex., filling out a lead form)
- Marketing emails can be sent in bulk using segmented contact lists
- Templates are often more dynamic and may feature multimedia
- Contacts are not unenrolled until the Workflow goal is met or the Workflow completes
How to Create a Sequence in HubSpot
Now that we understand the different uses of HubSpot’s Sequences, let’s explore how to create a Sequence. To create a Sequence in HubSpot, click the following:
Automation > Sequences > Create Sequence > Start from Scratch or Template > Create Sequence > Name Sequence > + Icon > Action > Add an action to your Sequence
Actions may include: Automated Email, Create New Email Template, Create a Task (Under Email, Call, or To-Do tab).
Once created, you can begin implementing Sequences into your sales process and enroll contacts in your Sequences to start reaching out.
How to Enroll Contacts in a Sequence
Contacts > Contacts > click Contact Name > Email (left hand panel) > Sequences (right hand pop up box) > Select Sequence > Start At Dropdown (Click which step to send an email)
- Time zone drop-down (Select a time zone)
- Send now drop-down (Specify date and time of email)
- Send email in Drop Down (Select how many days until the next email)
Now that we have the basic framework set up to get started with HubSpot’s Sequences let’s examine five HubSpot Sequences' best practices for your business.
5 Best Practices for Managing HubSpot Sequences
Build Sequences for Each Stage of Buyer’s Journey
To provide the best experience possible, it’s recommended to create Sequence emails for each stage of the buyer’s journey so that you can nurture leads quickly and effectively.
An example of this would be a welcome email Sequence designed to reach out to cold contacts in the Awareness Stage of the buyer’s journey. If you receive a response, you could follow up with another Sequence for a demo service or free consultation in the Consideration phase and a Sequence with a pricing contract in the Decision phase.
Customize your Sequences based on your existing pipeline and sales funnel. Most importantly, find the right template for each stage of the buyer’s journey to improve your reply rate and make your messaging consistent. Sequences provide engagement reporting to help you optimize your Sales outreach and improve your copy.
Add Tasks to Sequences
Most sales teams don’t want to leave their outreach processes totally on autopilot. That’s why HubSpot allows users to add tasks to Sequences to improve follow-up and ensure contacts are not lost in your funnel. For example, users could delay Sequence execution and follow-up tasks so that sales reps can follow up with leads through email or direct call after an appropriate time so that leads are not lost.
Users can highlight a task as a priority by navigating to Sequences > Actions > Priority (drop-down) > Queue > fill out the task title, populate the notes field, and add an email template.
Personalize Templates to Increase Response
To improve reply rates, personalize email templates with basic and detailed information that speaks to that contact’s goals, objectives, and buyer persona.
Test out personalizing the following fields to see what works best for your audience.
Recommended products/services that meet those goals
Personalized content recommendations
You can also personalize emails by adding a personalized opening paragraph and information about your company that makes it appear more human.
Monitor Sequence Enrollment and Engagement
While HubSpot doesn’t provide an A/B test tool for templates yet, you can still view which Sequences perform best to determine where there are leaks in your funnel and improvements can be made.
Overview > Automation > Sequences > Dropdown to filter results
On this screen, you’ll be able to analyze the following metrics: Enrollments, Clicked Link, Opened Emails, Replied to Email, Scheduled Meeting, Email Bounced.
Users can also review the individual performance of Sequences under the Manage tab. Click on the Sequence name and then filter data to see the metrics for each Sequence, including enrollment rate, open rate, click rate, reply rate, meeting rate, unsubscribe rate, and bounce rate.
Additionally, users will also be able to monitor a HubSpot lead status if they’re enrolled in a Sequence.
Use Sequences Strategically
Finally, it’s vital to use Sequences strategically to avoid inundating contacts with too many emails or losing contacts in your funnel. One of the biggest mistakes we uncover during a HubSpot audit is teams using Sequences ineffectively, which results in lost leads.
Generally, Sequences should be no more than three emails, and follow-up Sequences should be spaced out enough to avoid overwhelming or annoying contacts.
Similarly, some contacts or companies may require immediate follow-up with a hand-written email to nurture a lead instead of enrolling them in a Sequence.
While automation with Sequences certainly streamlines many sales processes and improves response, your team needs to be dynamic enough to use Sequences strategically to your advantage and avoid losing leads inside your funnel.
HubSpot Sequences are an excellent tool for creating personalized emails that trigger responses that eventually lead to conversions.
With automated tools like Sequences and Workflows, users can focus on personalization and create email templates that elicit the best responses.
Furthermore, Sequences are incredibly easy to build and manage so that your team can get started automating emails with HubSpot’s Sequences in no time.
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