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7 Email Sequences Breakdown: Best Practices & Tactics

In the ever-shifting tapestry of digital communication, email plays a vital role in connecting with audiences.

Using email sequences effectively can significantly impact many areas, such as improving sales, building customer relationships, and attracting potential customers.

This guide offers a deep dive into email sequences, shedding light on their role and sharing cutting-edge practices. We will explore seven essential email sequences, each serving a distinct function.

Eager to refine your email marketing techniques?

Keep reading for actionable insights and strategies 👇

What is an email sequence?

At its essence, an email sequence is a series of strategically timed and tailored emails automatically sent to your audience based on specific triggers. These sequences are carefully crafted and guide recipients on a well-planned journey.

Whether it’s welcoming new subscribers, nurturing prospective clients, reactivating dormant users, or driving sales, each email in the sequence is integral. 

The magic of email sequences lies in their automated nature, ensuring continuous, personalised touchpoints with your audience. By scheduling them across email lead generation software, you minimise manual labour!

The end result?

Using email sequences effectively strengthens your relationship with your audience and boosts their engagement.

Email sequence examples

1. Welcome email

A welcome email is an integral part of any successful email marketing sequence. It’s your first interaction with a new subscriber and sets the groundwork for your future relationship.

Effective welcome emails celebrate the new connection and guide subscribers on their next steps through the email funnel. Consistency in tone and design is vital to align these emails with your brand.

Example of a welcome email from Cognism

Good Morning,

Welcome to Cognism! I am excited to have you join us and looking forward to working with you all to generate additional revenue through our patented technology and award-winning teams.

My name is (first name), and I will be your dedicated Customer Success Manager. My primary goal right now is to understand your business in more detail and then to get you onboarded. We have designed and tailored your onboarding journey, which will typically take place over two sessions:

Stakeholder Onboarding: An introduction to Cognism and a chance for your CSM to help you define clear goals and objectives in using the platform. This call typically lasts 30 minutes.

End-User Training: In this session, your CSM will demonstrate how to build customer personas and generate data lists.

Can you please confirm when you can get everyone together for the initial call? I have availability for (time).

The link below will direct you to a pre-boarding questionnaire. It would be great if you could fill this out before our first call so that I can prepare a few things beforehand.

In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions.

We look forward to working with you and driving your success with Cognism!

Best regards,

2. Onboarding completion email

Onboarding completion emails help transition new users from onboarding to full engagement with your product or service. 

These emails are crucial in your customer engagement sequences, playing a significant role in reinforcing the value of your product. They lay the groundwork for a long-lasting, productive relationship.

The onboarding completion email should celebrate this milestone and offer ongoing support and resources, making the customer feel valued and well-supported.

Example of an onboarding completion email from Cognism

Hi there!

I heard you recently completed your onboarding with us – congratulations!

I’m Cognism’s VP of Customer Experience, and at this point of your journey, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate you and personally welcome you to Cognism.

I hope you’re feeling pumped to start leveraging our products. Your Customer Success Manager, (name), and our support team are at your disposal throughout your journey to success; likewise, please also feel free to contact me.

We’ve got some brilliant customer success stories for you to read if you’re keen to learn what your peers are doing, and we’re confident that we’ll demonstrate the same value throughout our partnership.

Thank you for putting your trust in us, and I look forward to hearing about your success!

Wishing you all the best on your journey with us,

4. Re-engagement email

The purpose of re-engagement emails is to re-attract subscribers whose engagement has dropped. To do this, they must contain compelling content, such as insightful discussions and expert opinions.

In these emails, we prioritise delivering value. For example, by sharing engaging stories from our podcasts or insights from industry experts, we aim to enrich our subscribers’ knowledge and understanding. This approach isn’t about promoting our brand, but about providing helpful information that reignites subscribers’ interest and invites them to engage with content that matters to them.

Example of a re-engagement email from Cognism

Hey (first name),

Since we last spoke, we’ve done some pretty cool stuff.

Our VP of Sales and VP of Sales Development started a podcast…

Every week, they chat with a different sales leader on how AND why outdated sales tactics should be left in the past.

We recently sat down with Jen Allen from Lavender. She emphasised that sales leaders should be encouraging their team to spend MORE time learning about their ICP.

Instead of them focusing on making MORE dials and writing MORE emails.

In case you’re interested, listen to the full episode here.

Speak soon! 

Cognism

5. Lead nurturing email

Lead nurturing emails are essential for developing a lasting connection with your audience.

Unlike initial welcome emails, these sequences provide ongoing engagement, gradually building a deeper relationship with subscribers.

The objective here is to guide your audience through the customer journey, presenting them with innovative and informative content while establishing your brand’s expertise in your industry.

Example of a lead nurturing email from Cognism

You know, first impressions count for everything.

We should say something smart.

Something classy.

Something like…

HIYA

Nailed it.

Let’s get to the point: thanks for signing up for our webinar!

If you haven’t found the exact answer to your challenge, you’re in luck: we’ve got resources for EVERYTHING. Like these essentials.

Demand Marketing: The Essentials

TRY THAT.

Oh, and we’re best friends now.

👋 TTYL

The Cognism Team

6. Event email

An effective event email engages and inspires. It’s not just about delivering information - it’s about creating a narrative that connects with the audience, making them feel a part of something special

The best event invite emails create a real buzz about the event and position it as one not to be missed!

Example of an event email from Cognism

Hey [First name]

It’s Morgan Ingram here.

ChatGPT is not a genie - you’re not going to start booking tons of meetings because of it 🧞

Instead, think about how it’ll make you more efficient. For example ⬇️

👉🏾 Input your most successful emails into ChatGPT and ask it to analyse the emails from the perspective of your target persona.

👉🏾 Then ask it to assume the role of the persona and ask for feedback on how it would respond to the email and how it would fix it.

If you want more tips like this, I got you - I’ll be hosting a live ChatGPT prospecting workshop with Jed Mahrle.

Here are the details 👇

⏰Tuesday 21st November 10:30 AM EST | 3:30 PM GMT

🤝Co-hosted by me and Jed Mahrle, Founder of Practical Prospecting

Sign up below if I’ve tempted you ⬇️

See you there? 😎

Morgan

7. Breakup email

Breakup emails are like a friendly nudge when someone gives your emails the cold shoulder.

The idea? 

To spark interest again, or at least part on good terms, leaving the door open for a future hello.

The secret of a successful breakup email is its tone. It’s about being light and friendly, acknowledging the silence without sounding too serious. It’s like saying, “Hey, we’ve missed you around here!” while showing them a sneak peek of what they’ve been missing out on.

Our breakup emails at Cognism blend light humour and a straightforward message: “We’ve noticed you’ve been quiet, but here’s something cool you might like.” It’s a clever way to re-engage subscribers or leave them with a positive last impression.

Example of a breakup email from Cognism

HIYA.

We know it didn’t quite work out between us in the past…

And that’s really no big deal... 💔

*sobs into pillow*

Anyway, we thought we’d say hello again, and let you know what’s been happening since you’ve been gone... 👀

What is Cognism up to, anyway? 🤔

OK, so maybe you’re not following us yet.

That’s cool 😢

No shade, we’re always trying to take our content to the next level.

Follow LiamAlice and Fran for all things B2B marketing, and get regular playbooks to help you market the way buyers buy in 2023.

If you’re more interested in company profiles, we’ve got those too👇

Tips for building an effective email sequence

Email sequences are an integral part of your B2B marketing arsenal. 

However, you have to get your email sequence right. If it’s poorly written, boring or fails to communicate the necessary information, it won’t produce the results you want.

Here are seven tips on how to build an email sequence that delights your audience and makes them take action.

1. Focus on benefits, not features

Remember that whoever you send your cold email sequence to, no matter what they do or where they are, they don’t have much time. If they open your email, they want to know what’s in it for them, fast.

That means you can’t waste time telling them how great your company is. Your recipient doesn’t want to know how long you’ve been in business or any other accomplishments.

Get to the point. Identify your target’s pain points and talk about how your product solves them. Focus on your product’s benefits and how it will improve the prospect’s life for the better!

2. Drop names

Nothing makes a buyer sit up more than thinking a competitor has an advantage over them.

If a company in your prospect’s industry is using your product and getting results, tell them. Don’t be afraid to drop their names.

Another top tip - use statistics from your customer case studies when writing marketing emails. Show how your products are benefitting your clients in the real world. It’s all social proof, which creates FOMO (fear of missing out!) for your prospect. Just make sure the clients you mention are in the same sector or industry.

Another benefit of this approach is that it shows your prospect that you’ve done your research. It helps to position you as an expert.

3. Don’t be boring

Possibly the most critical piece of advice here: make sure your email is interesting!

If your prospect is bored after the first paragraph, they won’t bother reading the second one. You need to grab their attention straight away.

Don’t be afraid to use humour in your B2B email sequence. You can also be provocative. A conversational style usually comes over well.

Try to judge your audience. The ideal tone of voice will differ depending on the seniority of the client. Using slang, emojis and text speak probably won’t work on company CEOs.

4. Have a Call To Action

Your email sequence will have an overarching goal. It could be to book a meeting or demo, renewing a contract, or virtually anything else. 

However, you should have a goal for every email in your sequence, especially transactional emails. Think about something you want your recipient to do after they’ve read it.

The only way to get your prospect to take action is to tell them what to do. This is your Call To Action, or CTA. Here are 3 CTA tips:

  • If you’re offering something for free (e.g. trial, scoping), mention it in your CTA.
  • If your offer is time-sensitive, tell them. Create some urgency!
  • Make your CTA very clear. Don’t have more than one CTA in an email.

5. Your subject line can make or break your email

The first thing your recipient will see when your email lands in their inbox is the subject line. When they see this, they’ll make an instant decision on whether your email is worth reading or not.

Make sure your subject line is as good as it can be. Here are Cognism’s best practices:

  • Keep it short – 50 characters max.
  • Make sure the subject line matches the content and tone of the email. Be honest!
  • Use personalisation if you can.

6. Always be testing

Your email automation software will collect response data on your emails, such as open rates, click-through rates and reading time. Study this data and use it to improve your email sequences.

A/B test different messages to find out what resonates best with your target audience. You can also experiment with what days and times you send emails. Boosting responses, even by a small amount, can make a big difference.

7. Bring it all together

The success of an email campaign is a combination of everything:

  • The sequence.
  • The subject lines.
  • The target audience.
  • Their position in the buyers’ cycle.

There are many moving parts to a successful email sequence. It takes time to get it right. Persistence and resilience are essential.

Email sequences FAQs

1. What is the purpose of using email sequences?

Email sequences act as a structured set of emails, sent automatically, to guide potential customers through the sales funnel. They aim to build rapport, impart valuable information, and gently persuade the recipient towards a purchase or another desired action. 

Automating this process allows businesses to communicate consistently with their audience, saving time and resources while maximising impact.

2. How can I set up an email sequence?

To set up an email sequence:

  1. Start by selecting a suitable email marketing platform, prioritising features like automation, user-friendly templates, and tracking capabilities.
  2. Once you’ve chosen a platform, determine your goals and target audience.
  3. Develop your emails with engaging content that resonates with your audience, and schedule them at optimal times for the highest engagement.

3. How do I write effective B2B email sequences?

Effective B2B email sequences require a mix of professionalism and personalisation. Understanding the needs and challenges of your audience is crucial!

Your messages should tackle their specific challenges, offer solutions and showcase your expertise. Use fun, concise language and add a call-to-action that guides the recipient on the next steps.

4. What is the typical number of emails in a sequence?

The typical number of emails in a sequence depends on the campaign’s objective. 5-7 emails over 1-4 weeks is a rough benchmark.

Monitoring engagement and tailoring the number of emails based on your audience’s response is vital.

5. How do email triggers work within a sequence?

Email triggers are actions the recipient takes that instigate the following email in a sequence. These can include opening an email, clicking a link, or not engaging with a previous email. 

Triggers help personalise the journey for each recipient, ensuring they receive relevant content based on their interactions.

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