Sales automation can feel intimidating.
If you’re used to powering your sales department with hand-written emails and well-practiced sales calls, switching to automation might seem unnecessary. After all, if your team of sales agents still converts cold leads, why try to implement something new?
Because sales teams that don’t use automated email sequences are missing out on huge sales opportunities.
Research shows that 30% of automated emails convert. If you don’t have auto-email sequences in your sales strategy, that’s a big chunk of change to lose.
Let’s dive in to understand how automated email sequences work, what they should look like, and how to overcome implementation challenges.
Understanding Automated Email Sequences
Automated email sequences are your secret weapon in sales. They supercharge your business development efforts by helping you personalize your sales outreach at scale.
An automated email sequence is a series of emails you schedule to send to prospects automatically based on predefined triggers or schedules.
The Role of Automated Email Sequences in Sales Outreach
Automated email drip campaigns play a pivotal role in elevating your sales game. They power consistent communication with your prospects, helping nurture customer relationships.
If you are a BDR, you know too well that consistency is key.
These sequences ensure that no lead slips through the cracks, no follow-up email is missed, and every prospect receives the attention they deserve. Plus, an automated email marketing sequence enables you to personalize your messaging at scale.
Each prospect feels like they’re receiving a tailored message, not a generic one-size-fits-all pitch.
This personal touch resonates with prospects and increases the likelihood of engagement.
On a day-to-day level, email automation frees up time. As a BDR, your time is precious. Automating the sales nurturing process helps you free up valuable hours to focus on high-impact tasks.
You might use that time to concentrate on connecting with warm leads or fine-tuning your outreach strategy, for example.
Cold Emails and Automated Sequences
Cold emails are your first chance with new customers—so it’s a make or break. But trying to handle that task manually is almost impossible.
It’s not just the stress of sending personalized emails to every person in a realistic time frame. You also rely on guesswork to determine what customers want to hear.
Automated email sequences act as tailored warm-ups before your big pitch. They introduce your values, establish rapport, and pave the way for brand engagement.
But, most importantly, they do this at scale.
Automated email sequences segment and target cold leads based on behavioral data.
This way, you can establish a consistent, personalized relationship with potential customers without having to upsize your sales team.
The best part?
When customers trigger an automated email sequence, you’ll see higher engagement rates. This is because your automated emails respond directly to their action.
5 Simple (But Powerful) Automated Email Sequences
There are opportunities for sales email sequences at all stages of the buyer journey.
Here are a few email sequence examples of where you can automate outreach efforts to boost engagement.
The onboarding sequence introduces new prospects or customers to your brand, products, or services.
This sequence is for welcoming new subscribers, trial users, or first-time buyers.
You need to make a great first impression and guide customers through the initial steps of their journey.
Start with a warm welcome email, followed by educational content that highlights key features or benefits. Encourage action with well-placed calls to action (CTAs), such as signing up for a webinar or exploring your product.
You’ll be surprised at how effective these emails are.
Welcome emails have an average conversion rate of 50%.
A typical onboarding email sequence might look like this:
- Within an hour after the customer engages, express gratitude and introduce your brand’s mission
- Two days later, send a feature email highlighting the benefits of your product
- Three days later, offer an exclusive piece of content, sharing insider tips and industry reports
Re-engagement emails help re-capture cold or inactive leads.
They’re about reigniting interest to pull prospects further down the sales funnel.
This kind of email sequence is crucial to converting subscribers into buyers.
To do this, first, send a personalized engagement email.
Quickly follow up with valuable content or offers and gradually increase the urgency to take action.
Your re-engagement sequence might look like:
- A personalized triggered email that goes to customers who have been inactive for 60 days
- A second email a week later that shares valuable content related to their segment’s pain point
- A third email 10 days later with a time-sensitive discount or promotion
The abandoned cart email sequence targets users who added items to their cart but didn’t complete the purchase.
It’s all about recovering potential sales, and it’s highly effective.
Nearly 40% of people convert from abandoned cart emails.
Start with a friendly reminder of the abandoned cart, followed by persuasive emails highlighting the products’ value.
Finally, offer discounts and promotions to complete the purchase. Add a time limit to deals to create urgency.
Cart abandonment email sequences typically look like:
- A friendly reminder, an hour after abandonment, with a clear CTA
- A benefits and features email two days later with a limited-time discount
- A “last chance” email three days later to warn the buyer that their discount expires soon
A launch email series is about creating excitement and anticipation for a new product, line, or promotion. Its purpose is to generate buzz and drive sales.
The sequence starts with a teaser announcement, builds anticipation with sneak peeks, and ends with a compelling launch email with all the details.
A launch email sequence might include:
- A teaser email a week before product launch
- Daily sneak-peek emails with images, features, and behind-the-scenes footage
- A grand launch announcement with a limited-time offer
Post-purchase email series are nurture sequences to foster customer loyalty. They trigger after a customer purchases something to encourage repeat business.
Follow-up email sequences often start with a thank-you email, move on to gather feedback, and then finish with suggestions for future purchases and offers for ongoing support.
While confirmation emails might seem like standard practice, these sequences also offer an extra opportunity to sell further products.
When you consider that more than 55% of people open confirmation emails, you realize the room you have to encourage future purchases.
Your post-purchase sequence should look something like this:
- A thank you email to confirm the order details
- A feedback request 2–3 days later
- An email with product recommendations five days later, with the potential for a discount code
Linking Automated Email Sequences to CRM
Integrate your automated email sequences with your CRM platform to build and maintain new customer relationships.
It’s easier to track email performance, monitor prospect engagement, refine lead scoring, and optimize email strategies as leads move through the funnel. Integrating your CRM makes the transition from cold email contacts to qualified leads effortless.
It allows for real-time tracking of email interactions so you can nurture leads swiftly and appropriately. Plus, you keep track of engagement and segment over time, so you can spot patterns that signify hot leads and target this audience when the time is right.
Challenges and Best Practices
Automating cold email sequences can help relieve the pressure of real-time contact. But, it does come with a few challenges.
To deliver the most effective email campaigns, bear these factors in mind:
Not only do 71% of consumers expect personalized buying experiences, but 76% get frustrated when they’re not personalized.
While email software can often help you segment your audience to receive targeted emails, the fine-tuned in-email personalization is up to you.
Make sure you craft personalized templates with dynamic content fields so you address recipients by name and mention other important details in precise terms.
Timing is everything.
For example, everyone knows not to send promotional emails on Monday mornings as they get lost in the pile-up from the weekend.
To determine the best time to send your audience emails, track their open rates. Test emails on different days and note the times your audience responds best.
No matter how personalized or well-timed your emails are, if they’re not engaging, they won’t work.
Include compelling subject lines, valuable content, and clear CTAs to boost engagement.
Notice ads on sites anymore? Probably not. This is because they’re so common we get ad-blindness, where our mind blocks them out.
If you clutter someone’s inbox with promotional email sequences, they’ll simply ignore them.
If you’re always emailing, it won’t seem important or urgent, and the constant interruption causes your audience to switch off.
Test email frequency caps and provide options for subscribers to control email preferences.
Automated email sequences let you target segmented audiences with personalized precision at scale.
Where manual cold sales outreach requires a dedicated team of sales agents, automated email sequences reach higher volumes of leads without manual input.