Cold email outreach is one of the most effective ways sales teams use to communicate with their prospects and get to know them better.
Existing research and reports have confirmed the effectiveness/success rate of cold email campaigns, hence, it is safe to say, every success-driven sales team needs one to grow and hit their sales targets.
Although you would often find many sales reps put in their best efforts to craft successful emails with all the important elements such as personalization, a catchy and straightforward Call to Action (CTA), and an effective value proposition to make it worth the prospect’s time.
However, so much more goes into email success than just sending one good email. A report by Statista states that 347.3 billion emails are sent and received daily in 2023. With this and the busy schedules that most professionals have to deal with every day, it is pretty understandable that you fail to get a response, open, or click-through in your first email – which explains why email sequences are important.
It is never enough to feel too relaxed after sending your first email, you must creatively develop a follow-up email sequence that can help you capture your prospect’s attention and increase the chances of your email success.
In this article, we have provided you with all you should know about creating and sending sales email sequences that can bring you results.
A sales email sequence is defined as a series of sales emails that are created and sent automatically at specific intervals to a prospect or customer with the use of automation software. usually, email sequences are sent due to some predetermined criteria such as lack of response from first emails, low open and CTR rate, etc.
The most common primary goal of creating an email sequence is to get a response from a prospect, customer, or email recipient. Other secondary reasons for email sequence are to increase the email clickthrough rate (CTR), increase website traffic, enhance the recipient’s interaction with the email, and ultimately drive sales conversion.
In most cases, sales email sequences are not complete without the use of sales automation software and the use of strategic messaging and content offers. To achieve your desired results, it is best advised that you align the messaging and content with your underlying reason for sending the prospects your emails in the first place.
For example, if the underlying reason for cold emailing your prospect or customer in the first place is to get them to pay for your service or upgrade the existing service, you must ensure your email sequence content and offers accurately reflect this to increase your chances of success.
There is no specific fixed length for an email sequence.
The length of your sales email sequence depends largely on your key factors such as your buyer persona, the prospect’s stage in the buyer journey, your average sales cycle length, and importantly, the goal of sending your email sequence.
For example, if your reason for creating an email sequence is to nurture prospects, build relationships with and drive them to take action, such an email sequence must do the following
Here are some of the top benefits of creating and sending sales email sequences to your prospects/customers.
An email sequence contains a series of emails sent to prospects with the aim of building a strong mutually beneficial relationship with the prospects and customers.
Usually, when you send your first email to your recipient, who in most cases you might have no prior relationship or connection with, you craft email sequences to achieve the relationship.
As emphasized earlier, email sequences can help you build trust with your prospects by continuously sharing valuable information with your recipients about your product benefits and social proofs to strengthen the prospect/email recipients’ trust in them.
With the content and nature of messages sent to prospects in the email sequence – social proofs, product/service benefits content, and other brands’ promotional content.
Email sequence can help you foster loyalty from your prospects and customers to increase the chances of making sales.
Every success-driven sales rep understands that a lot more goes into sales success than just one-time sales. To increase your company’s revenue, you need to get the customer to repeat sales and retain them for as long as you can.
For this, you can set up an email sequence for existing customers to increase their retention and repeat purchases.
Creating and sending email sequences makes lead nurturing a lot easier, as it helps you build successful relationships with your prospects by sending them relevant content and reminders at different intervals.
In addition to this, it can also help you increase your upselling/cross-selling opportunities with the series of emails.
Email sequence allows you to send your email recipients your best and most relevant content at your own pace and convenience to educate them about your product/service and move them towards buying the product/service.
The use of automated sales email sequences can help you pitch your product/service benefits to your prospects and encourage sales of your product/service at all times, even when you are not available 24/7.
Since it’s a series of emails that you send at different intervals with different content and messages, email sequence helps you boost sales.
Here are the main characteristics of an effective sales email sequence,
The first goal of an email sequence is not to sell a product or service but to build sustainable relationships with them. As an important step in sales prospecting, you should not send sales messages right to your prospect’s inbox from the first email.
Irrespective of how appealing you make your product/service offer is, it will be almost impossible to get them to make any purchase decision, let alone make payment for it. The idea of sending email sequences is to provide your prospects with step-by-step information and a guide that they don’t know about your product or service.
The reality of cold email sequence is that you are sending emails to prospects who might not even be aware of who you are, or maybe aware and interested in your product/service but are not ready to make a purchase at the time.
To improve this situation, you can create an email sequence to provide your prospect with all the relevant information that can help you move them from the unawareness stage to the awareness stage. Essentially, the email sequence builds up to the potential purchase by nurturing the prospects with follow-up emails.
Contrary to the popular belief that being direct and straightforward when sending cold emails helps to save prospects time and drive them to take an action, using this approach for your cold email sequence will only do you more harm than good.
The ultimate goal of sending a sales sequence is not to drive sales immediately but to establish a relationship with the prospects. The best way to achieve this is to build a successful rapport with your prospect.
An excellent cold email sequence provides prospects with valuable content that creates a connection with your prospect and educates them about your product or service before proposing sales with them.
It takes a lot of hard work to convert prospects to paying customers.
A cold email sequence requires several steps that can help you convert your prospect to a customer and requires you to build a structured follow-up email sequence to provide information to your prospects and classify your email content to achieve your business goal.
The sales cold email sequence should be structured in a manner that follows various stages of the sales process. To simplify your job as a sales rep, create a plan that takes the prospects through the buyer’s journey.
There are different types of email sequences with different purposes. They include;
A nurturing email sequence is used to introduce yourself to the prospect. With the understanding that your prospect might not be readily available to make a purchase when they subscribe to your newsletter.
With a nurturing email sequence, you can groom your prospect by providing value to them with social proof and solving their objections.
An engagement email sequence is used to build a relationship with your prospect and get them interested in your offer and keep you at the top of their minds. This email sequence is created with the sole aim of keeping your prospect engaged with you and your product/service.
You can check the email open and click rate to find out the recipients that are engaging more with you and move them up a new stage in the sales cycle.
The ultimate goal of sending a conversion email sequence is to get the prospect to convert (take a purchase decision/action) such as book a demo, schedule a meeting or make payment. Usually, these emails have a well-crafted call to action that prompts the email recipients to take action.
A follow-up email sequence contains a series of purpose-driven emails to get the prospect to make respond to the initial email, open the email or click on the links in the email.
With the understanding that most emails are ignored not because of a lack of interest but due to the busy schedules of the recipients or the absence of the right elements. Follow-up email sequences are used to reconnect with the prospect and get them to take action.
A reminder email sequence as the name implies is used to send reminders to a prospect after they have failed to stay true to their promise.
For example, if your prospect responded to your email stating their interest to book a demo but suddenly ghost you after the email, you could send a series of reminder emails at different intervals to remind them of the demo they booked or meeting scheduled in the previous email.
A re-engagement email sequence in most cases is a last resort to get a response from a prospect or contact that has gone cold or has become uninterested over a particular period.
Like the follow-up email sequence, the re-engagement sequence aims to get the recipients to open the emails and perform specific sales actions. If sending these emails and don’t evoke a response from the prospect, this is a sign that the individual has no interest in your emails or product/service. Then it might be time to remove the prospect from your database to keep your mailing list healthy.
Now that you know the types of email sequences and their benefits, here are the common email mistakes to not do in your cold email.
With the report that over 300 billion emails are sent and received on a daily basis, it is counterproductive if you are sending generic email templates to your prospects.
There’s the possibility that the prospect could have gotten that email from others and this reduces their trust in you as a credible brand – which causes them to ignore you.
Lengthy emails with too many paragraphs can get in the way of email success and push your email into the trash folders.
There’s a high possibility that your prospect is busy with work, and other tasks, writing them long emails can make them uninterested in your email and in the worst case, trash and blacklist your email
A red flag in your email sequence success is focusing too much on yourself or your product or service at the expense of your prospect. You need to understand the essence of sending your prospect a cold email, which is to nurture them with relevant information and content that grooms them till they are ready to become a paying customer.
Instead of focusing on yourself, you should focus more on showing your prospect how your solution helps them solve their pain points.
A call to action is a prompt and a guide to get your prospects to take an action. In most cases, the success of your email sequence depends largely on your call to action (CTA) as it helps you steer your prospect in the right direction after reading your email – that is it tells them what to do after reading the email.
Another important element that most people forget to add to the email is the email signature. An email signature gives you a professional look and makes you appear more trustworthy and forgetting to add one to your email can give room for doubts.
To create and send cold email outreach that increases conversions, there are several tips and steps to take to achieve this. It is important that you know that you keep in mind that your focus should be on building long-lasting relationships with your prospects and not being too salesy.
Here is a list of tips to consider when crafting effective cold emails that convert.
It is no news that the success of cold email sequence campaigns lies in the power of personalization – your ability to tailor the content and messaging of your email to fit the specific needs of your prospects.
When you use a personalized subject line and other forms of personalized email sequences, it makes the prospect feel special and receptive to your email.
It is a basic human feeling for you to feel appreciated. It is not wrong or illegal to appreciate or say nice about your prospects. However, keep in mind not to go overboard with this.
Adding a little appreciation can help you build lasting bonds with the prospects, and be sure not to fake the words because your prospects can always find out if you are lying or faking the comments.
It is basic human nature for people to get interested in those similar to them. If after conducting your research, you notice some striking similarity be it in career, educational background, goals, etc., in your prospect, you should highlight this in the email.
There is a high possibility that the prospect will get drawn to you after this.
In present-day marketing, people want to be given proof and testimonials of others that have used the promoted product/service and have good things to say about it.
If you have customer testimonials from top-level executives in your industry, leverage this by including them in your email to give you more credibility and make you look professional.
By now, you should already understand the importance and value of adding a call to action in your email. To increase your email success rate and response rate, consider including a CTA that is relevant, catchy, and not too aggressive or salesy in nature.
Consider using calls to action like – ‘Learn More’ instead of ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Book a Demo’ to gain the prospect’s attention and get them to be curious about the more goodies you have to offer.
Now that you know what a cold email sequence is, the situations in which you can use one, and its expected length, let’s take a look at how to create an email sequence that converts.
It is a basic rule in sales and marketing, that you, first of all, determine your email sequence target audience. It is not enough to have a vague definition of your target audience or generalize them, for example, ” B2B companies,” “Manufacturing firms,” or “General managers.”
To identify your target audience, you need to determine the needs and problems that your product/service solves with a clear understanding of the value and benefits your product/service users can benefit from. After this, you need to consider the eligibility of the identified target audience to buy the product or use its solution to the fullest.
Then you must also consider whether the target audience is actively looking for a solution to the problem or a similar product/service that they are currently using. When you bring all this together, you will find your target audience. Check out some interesting follow-up email samples.
Usually, most email sequences, including the ones created in a sales context, have a bigger goal of gaining new paying customers/businesses. However, the chances of achieving success with this lie in creating the right context for delivering the right message at the right time.
Setting out and understanding the underlying reason for your email sequence will help you structure your email logic, effectively craft converting emails, and measure the success of the sequence.
For example, if you have decided to create a follow-up email sequence to drive the prospect to book a demo or schedule a meeting, the measure of success in this scenario would be the prospect booking a demo or a meeting with you as desired. Once you are able to achieve this desired goal, that can be a clear indication of email sequence success.
Since sales automation software doesn’t have its own mind to work alone without instruction, we have to tell it when and how to work – which is where enrollment criteria come in.
Usually, when you set up an email sequence, you also need to specify the specific conditions that must be met for the automation to trigger (automate email sequence to a particular audience). Although it’s possible to manually enroll the emails using CRM or email marketing software.
Alternatively, there are more advanced criteria that you can use if your automation software allows it. Examples of triggers include:
There is no specific or fixed number of emails required or stipulated guidelines on the duration of the email sequence. The duration and frequency of emails are determined by the average sales cycle for the buyer persona.
For example, if the average cycle for the buyer’s persona is 28 days, and you wish to have two touchpoints per week. This would make it a total of eight (8) emails for the sales cycle of 28 days. It’s now up to you to create a strategy that allows you to create and send those eight (8) within the stipulated period to achieve the desired goal.
Once you understand the purpose of your email, your target audience, and the expected duration and frequency, the next important step is to begin writing the emails.
Here are some of our resources to help you out:
With the clear understanding that the emails will be sent to different people across various geographical locations, ensure that the content of your email is universal and relevant to every one of your prospects and accurately fits into their criteria.
In addition to this, include personalization in your email and ensure that all emails have a clear purpose. Try not to deviate from the ultimate goal.
Once you are done writing your emails, the next step is to integrate them into email software.
For sales emails, consider keeping things simple so as to make it look like a sales rep sent the messages/emails directly from their inbox. While for marketing emails, you can enhance their eye-catching, visually appealing designs, and branding.
Irrespective of the approach you end up using, just make sure that you copy the email copy into the email builder or automation software, to allow you to tell it what to send and when to do so.
This is the stage where you provide step-by-step instructions for your automation software, telling it how you want it to execute your tasks. These tasks should include:
1. Specify the enrollment criteria you decide on
2. Designate which actions to perform and when
3. Set up the amount of time that should elapse between each action and what to do when specific scenarios happen.
You must understand that your automation will do or undo what you have not instructed it to do, for this reason, you must not take anything for granted or leave stones unturned when setting up your email automation.
If possible, test the email sequence before launching the email to see if it works the way you expect it to. You can achieve this by setting the automation live and enrolling yourself as a contact or alternatively, you can send test emails.
The idea behind testing your email sequence is to ensure that the email looks good across various devices and check how the personalization works.
In order to help you better understand how a practical (real-life) email sequence works, here are some of the steps to take to send an email sequence.
The first credible step to sending your email sequence is searching for your prospects from every available source – news, publications, social media, professional websites, or social mentions software.
Consider using tools like Google Alerts and Feebly to monitor web mentions and searches for your potential customers.
While Google Alerts enable you to create specific keywords you want to be notified for, Feebly is used when monitoring news topics and enables users to reorganize and research topics relevant to them.
Once you are able to successfully find a prospect, the next actionable step is to send the first email congratulating them on their latest achievement.
This email in most cases serves as the intro or welcome email congratulating the prospect and sharing the reason for contacting them in the email. You can also include a calendar link as the call to action. Below is an example of this,
It is not new that the ability to add value to your email can increase its response and clickthrough rate. Being able to add value to your prospect’s life, can boost your credibility and strengthen your relationships.
Leverage personalization by adding the prospect’s name and other important information in the email with other helpful, relevant content in the email. Here’s a good example to learn from;
If after sending the follow-up email, you still fail to get a response from the prospect, then it’s time to send the “Trying to Connect” email to get their attention and call them back to the previous emails you have sent them.
Below is a practical example of this email;
If after all your effort to get a response from your prospect fails, there is a likelihood that they are interested in the email, are not ready to buy, or have no use for your product/service.
Whatever the case may be, it’s best that you send them the final follow-up email that could prompt a response from them – a ‘Permission to close file’ email. Below is a practical example of this:
The idea of sending this email is to create a fear of missing out (FOMO) effect and to drive an action from the prospect. Once you are able to get a response from the prospect, the next last step is to measure your email.
Measuring your email performance will help you discover what templates are best performing and which ones need to be improved. Look out for email measuring tools to help you achieve this.
Below are some of the best sales email sequence software that salespeople are using to automate emails in 2023.
Sloovi Outreach is an all-in-one CRM platform that enables your sales teams to smash sales targets, reduce costs, and improve sales productivity by tracking your daily sales workflow, creating customized and intuitive reports, scheduling more meetings, and prioritizing leads with dynamic Smart Views.
Sloovi Cold Outreach Automation enables you to send personalized, scalable, and automated sales outreach emails to prospects and customers.
Saleshandy is an email sequence software that allows users to create successful email sequences and fully automate the prospect’s nurturing, lead qualification, book meetings, and ultimately close deals faster.
It helps to personalize emails, prevent spam, schedule campaigns, and help deliver emails directly to prospects’ inboxes.
Yesware helps you schedule emails for a much later stage. Users can track email and create engagement reports to track progress with a prospect as well as use available email templates and template reports.
GMass is an email sequence software that enables users easily schedule emails, send out mass emails and access the mail merge feature. It provides automatic follow-ups, email scheduling, and advanced campaign reports.
Woodpecker enables users to send cold email campaigns and follow-up emails automatically. It also allows you access to a human-like integration that enables you to send personalized email campaigns with reply detection.
It provides real-time email verification, detailed campaign reports, A/B testing, and open-and-click rates.
Lemlist is an email sequence software developed for startups and sales and marketing teams to enable them to create and send automated emails in multiple stages based on some predefined conditions.
It provides email warm-up, A/B testing, and detailed report of email sequences and supports integration with Google Sheets, Salesforce, and Hubspot.
Snov.io is an email sequence software for sales and marketing teams. It enables them to find prospects’ email addresses, send drip email campaigns and automate follow-up email sequences.
It provides automated email sequences, email scheduling, tracking, and A/B testing.
Mailshake has linked-based triggers that enable users to track who clicked the links and automate follow-up emails with auto-responders.
It offers email writing assistance with AI, detailed reports of email campaigns, integrate with the CRM platform and has the mail merge feature.
Klenty is a sales prospecting automation tool that enables users to send automated follow-ups to emails. It allows you to find prospects, outreach, and support integrations with CRMs like HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.
Outreach.io is a multi-channel sales sequence software that allows sales reps to automate emails or send them manually. It also provides email sequence performance reports to help sales reps make data-driven decisions.
Aside from investing in a good sales engagement platform that aligns with your sales processes, you must also consider using the following ways to add value to your email sequence and move prospects down the funnel a lot faster.
A sales cold email sequence is usually very effective in converting prospects to paying customers. As explained above, there are several types of email sequences from nurturing to engagement emails that can be used to send follow-up email sequences to prospects.
A lot goes into play when crafting a converting email sequence, but the job can be achieved faster and more accurately with the help of powerful cold email software like Sloovi Outreach.
Get started with Sloovi Outreach