Timing > List size?
If I had a dime for every time someone asked ‘How huge is your list?’, I would have enough to buy hoardings at Times Square, NY or Piccadilly Circus, London (or maybe both..gasp) and put this instead - 'List size doesn’t matter. Timing is everything’.
The value you add to your email list and profits you generate from there depends a lot on the timings of your emails. In this blog we will talk about different times in the journey of a customer when you can should send an email (a.k.a email sequences)
Let me show you an example first.
Suppose you run a website selling hats. I browse through the collection, put that mauve fedora hat in the cart and think I will wait or check more websites before I buy from you.
If you send me a discount code to reconsider buying 10 days after I was at your website, forget the sale, I won’t even remember the website.
And you just wasted your email. And you risk getting unsubscribed.
Hurts? Well, only if I had received the reminder to check the cart and use the discount a day after I was visiting the website. It might have put your website on top of my head and a discount would have swayed me.
This is only one example of how an automated email could have earned the hat website a sale and a happy customer. This is what we mean by email sequence.
Table of Contents
- What is an Email Sequence?
- Difference between Drip Sequence and Email Sequence
- Types of Email Sequences With Examples
- Tracking Email Sequence
- 4 tips for a great email sequence
- How to do all this, without overwhelm?
What is an Email Sequence?
Email Sequence is a series of emails that are sent out automatically on a schedule depending upon the actions of the customer/subscriber. Email Sequences are known by different names such as drip emails, lifecycle emails, email marketing automation, and autoresponders.
Email sequences can be utilized in nurturing your leads, welcoming and engaging your customers, on-boarding, and reminding customers to renew. Unlike email campaigns, all of this is automated.
But automating this takes planning, understanding customer behavior, writing tons of emails for different scenarios, tracking every single conversion. I wouldn’t say it is effortless. But worth your time and effort.
Whatever the size of your list and business, I would recommend implementing email sequences.
You won’t just believe a stranger on the internet. I know. So let me tell you how an email sequence can benefit you.
Difference between Drip Sequence and Email Sequence
Email drip campaigns are static. Meaning, the content, or design doesn't change based on a recipient’s behavior or category. They are predetermined and rules to send these are just scheduled once.
Some examples of email drip campaigns
- Welcome email
- Sales emails during Black Friday or Cyber Monday days
Email automation sequences on the other hand are dynamic. Meaning, the content and changes based on the user's action (abandon cart, non-engagement etc.) Email automation sequences are a reaction to the user's action.
Some examples of email automation sequences:
- Abandon cart emails
- Special access unlock to high-paying customers
- Birthdays and anniversary emails
Email drip campaigns are easier to set up compared to automation as the content in automation keeps changing. Drip campaigns generally don't require much segmentation. Automation sequence on the other hand will be benefited heavily if the segment of the user is well defined.
Helps you scale
You only have to set up email sequences once and then they can work like clockwork. It’s like having an online evangelist or salesperson that keeps running your business even while you sleep.
You have to map our subscriber’s journey only once and then emails will keep them engaged based on how they open emails, how they avail discounts if they took the trial or not if they visited a particular page or not. There are so many variables and if you had to do this one at a time for every subscriber, you would need to have the hands of an octopus.
You are not an octopus. You are human with two hands and one brain.
Email sequences work whether you have 100, 10K, or a million subscribers. So it truly helps you scale your business.
Segmentation leads to quick conversion and value for subscribers
Email sequences’ are designed to turn subscribers into customers. Since these are sent based on their past interactions with your website or emails, you can judge their needs almost precisely. You can segregate based on low, medium and high intent and send messages appropriate for each stage.
Once you send the subscriber exactly what they need to hear, you will turn them into customers.
It also adds immense value to the subscriber as they are guided in the journey on your app and can rely on emails to remind them of renewals or read your valuable emails.
More emails create a greater opportunity to engage with interested customers and close the deal as you are able to address their objections, provide them discounts and re-iterate the benefits in your email sequence.
Once subscribers start engaging with your emails, then it is a matter of nudging them a bit more to close the deal. You also make yourself familiar to them and that psychological activity builds trust.
Trust means…sales and cash flow!
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4 tips for a great email sequence
What’s your goal?
Always think about what’s your goal with an email sequence and does it make sense to have an email sequence or just the one-time campaign? Once you have a goal, that will guide all further decisions. You will know the basis to segment your list, craft your message and choose the frequency.
Personalization makes your email… memorable. It’s an automated email at your backend, but it doesn’t have to feel like that in the customer’s inbox.
From simple to sophisticated, there are many ways to personalize. Basic personalization tactics include using a subscriber’s name in the subject line, while advanced tactics can include changing the content of the email based on a subscriber’s gender, location, or other preferences.
Can personalization also come from how you tell your story? To understand, look at this one favorite example of mine, from Highrise. This is an onboarding email they use:
It’s simple, yet highly personalized.
As told by the founder in his blog post, he would change the content of the highlighted block every single day. That takes a minute or two but makes it instantly feel personal and directly from the founder.
Just providing great content and value in emails is not enough. You have to lead the reader to the next step. The next step is guided with a clear call to action.
What do we mean by clear CTA? It means that:
- It is distinctly visible among the rest of the content.
- It is specific - Uses a precise copy of what will happen when the reader clicks on the button/link.
- It is placed after you have given some context about the emails.
Ignore all these, and do what’s right for you
As a marketer, it’s important to be objective and only implement something if it works for you and not the ‘growth hacker’ who is claiming he knows exactly what works. Basic principles of persuasion, likeability, etc., are the same but you still have to test your email sequences for what works particularly for your audience.
How to do all this, without overwhelm?
In a nutshell, to make email sequences work for you, learn to get the frequency right, be personal, send emails in response to user-activity and include a clear and strong call to action in every email.
That’s a mouthful.
But it can make a lot of difference if you use the right ESP...
SendX has pre-built triggers and actions for a variety of email marketing use cases. Whether you are a blogger, e-commerce or SaaS marketer or run a newsletter, we've got your email sequence needs covered.
You don’t have to add your credit card or go through a lengthy sign-up process to try SendX. It’s free for the first 14-days and then you can choose any affordable plan and continue.
1). What is an email sequence?
An email sequence is a series of emails that are sent out automatically on a schedule depending upon the actions of the customer/subscriber. They are also known by different names such as drip emails, lifecycle emails, email marketing sequences, email marketing automation emails, and autoresponder emails.
2). What are the types of email sequences?
The most common types of email sequences are those listed below:
- Welcome Email Sequence
- Onboarding Email Sequence
- Renewal Email Sequence
- Abandoned Cart Email Sequence
- Re-engagement Email Sequence
- Improved Sales Email Sequence
3). How can I write the best email sequences?
When you write your email sequence you need to keep certain email sequence best practices in mind. You need to:
- Give subscribers what you promised them at the time of subscribing
- Make them interesting to read by adding your personality to it
- Subtly reveal what you do and how it benefits them
- Provide unique insights and teach them something new
- Share other ways for subscribers to connect with you.
4). Why is it important to track my email sequence?
Tracking your email sequence is important for two reasons:
- To compare it with other sources of leads and customer
- To constantly improve your email sequence
5). What are the important metrics used to track my email sequence?
There are 3 important metrics used to track your email sequence. They are User acquisition cost, Conversion rate, and Time to customer conversion.
6). What are the tips to write a great email sequence?
Here are few tips to write a great email sequence:
- Think about what your goal is with an email sequence
- Have good personalization to make the customer not feel that it is coming from an automated system
- Include a clear CTA leading the reader to the next step.