How to Craft the Perfect Sales Email Sequence

April 12, 2024 by
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Are you looking for a way to boost your sales and secure more new customers? A sales email sequence is a series of emails designed to engage potential customers, guide them through the decision-making process, and provide valuable information, all with the ultimate goal of making a sale. This is an integral part of any sales campaign, and a well-crafted sequence can provide massive benefits. 

If you are looking for a guide on crafting the perfect sales email sequence, you have come to the right place! In this post, we will break down all the steps to creating one and review some of the different types of email sequences you should know about. Let’s get into it!

Main Takeaways

  • Before setting up a sales email sequence, define your objective and what you want to achieve.
  • Planning the number of emails to send, formatting the content, and mapping out the timing is key to building a well-structured sequence.
  • The content of your email sequence should be customized and crafted to fit your potential customer or client.
  • Before fully implementing your sequence, test different elements such as subject lines or sending times.

How to Create a Perfect Sales Email Sequence

Creating a perfect sales email sequence is all about connecting with your audience. There are several different types of email sequences (which we will cover below), but they all follow a similar objective: engage with and reach potential customers and clients. Below is a step-by-step guide for crafting an effective campaign and building your sales pipeline.

Step 1: Define Your Email Marketing Sequence’s Objective

Grab a pen and paper! The first step is more of a brainstorming exercise to help you narrow down your objective. Before actually setting up your sales email sequence, you should clarify what you aim to achieve with it. This goal will shape your entire strategy. Each objective requires a different approach, from welcoming new subscribers to trying to win back inactive customers. 

For example, you might send a welcome email sequence to introduce your brand and set expectations, while a re-engagement sequence tries to revive interest in your products or services. 

This step will ensure that your objective matches your overall business goals, such as increasing sales, boosting engagement, or promoting a new product launch.

Step 2: Identify and Set Up Triggers

Triggers are specific actions taken by your audience that start an email sequence. Common triggers include signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or abandoning a shopping cart. 

You can then set up automated email sequences to be sent out when a trigger event occurs. By setting up these triggers, you ensure that your emails are responsive to your audience’s actions, making them more personalized and effective. 

For example, if a customer abandons their cart, you can send an email within 24 hours to remind them of what they left behind, possibly offering a discount to encourage them to complete their purchase.

Step 3: Design the Structure of Your Email Sequence

Planning the number of emails in your sequence and their timing is like outlining chapters in a book. It’s about deciding how you want to tell your sales “story.” 

A well-structured email sequence gradually builds interest and guides potential customers toward a decision. For an abandoned cart sequence, you might start with a gentle reminder, followed by a more persuasive message with a discount, and conclude with a final offer. 

Of course, how you structure your sequence highly depends on your goals and your relationship with your audience. It’s also important to space your emails appropriately to avoid overwhelming your subscribers.

Step 4: Create Engaging Content for Each Email

The content of your emails is where you truly connect with your audience. So, it goes without saying that you want the content to be engaging and enticing to recipients. 

Start with a compelling subject line that encourages recipients to open the email. 

Then, craft a message that speaks directly to their needs, challenges, or interests. Use clear and concise language, and always include a call to action (CTA) that guides them to what to do next. 

Personalizing your emails by including the recipient’s name or referencing their recent actions is also good practice.

Step 5: Choose the Right Email Marketing Software

The tools you use can make or break your email sequence. 

Choose an email marketing software that supports automation, personalization, and analytics. Additionally, this software should allow you to segment your audience based on their behavior or demographic information.

A/B testing is another feature often included in marketing software that can be highly beneficial; this lets you compare different versions of your emails to see which performs better. Good software will also provide detailed analytics to track opens, clicks, and conversions, helping you refine your strategy over time.

Step 6: Test and Optimize Phase

Have you created your content and put the strategy in place? Excellent! But hold your horses—you aren’t quite ready to roll out the email sequence. Before fully implementing it, test different elements to see what works best. This could involve experimenting with different email content, subject lines, or sending times. 

Start with a small segment of your audience to minimize risk. Use the insights gained from these tests to optimize your emails for better performance. 

Remember, what works for one prospect might not work for another, so continuous testing and optimization are key to maintaining an effective email sequence.

Step 7: Launch, Monitor, and Tweak

After launching your sequence, keep a close eye on its performance. Monitor key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. 

These indicators will tell you how well your emails resonate with your audience and where there’s room for improvement. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments based on this data. 

Congratulations! After this step, you have successfully rolled out the perfect sales email sequence.

What Factors Make Your Sales Email Sequence Effective

Now you know what it takes to make an email sequence, but what exactly is needed to make sure it is effective? Here’s a simple guide based on insights from various experts in the field.

1. Highlight the Benefits Over Features

When crafting your sales emails, focus on how your product or service directly benefits the recipient. Avoid making it about the specifications or technical aspects of what you’re offering; instead, surround the focal point around how it makes the recipient’s life easier and more enjoyable or solves a specific problem they’re facing. 

For example, instead of saying, “Our software has the latest encryption technology,” say, “Our software keeps your data safe and secure, giving you peace of mind.” 

2. Use Social Proof and Name Drop

People often look to others’ behaviors and choices when making decisions. Mentioning a well-known company in their industry that uses your product grabs their attention and adds a layer of trust and credibility to your offering. 

This could be in the form of a brief case study, a testimonial, or even aggregate performance metrics (“Companies like X see a 50% reduction in downtime with our solution”). 

Remember, the goal is to show that others have succeeded with your product, suggesting that they can, too.

3. Keep It Interesting

You should always assume that your potential customers’ inboxes are constantly flooded with other sales emails. So, your email has to stand out in a crowded inbox. Encourage the recipient to continue reading by starting with a compelling opening sentence or question that piques curiosity.

That said, remember that the aim is to engage them enough to keep reading, not just to entertain them. 

For example, you might start with a surprising statistic related to their industry or a bold statement that challenges common perceptions. When appropriate, you can also use light humor to warm up the tone and make your brand more relatable.

4. Clear and Compelling Call to Action (CTA)

Every email should guide the reader to a clear next step. The CTA should be impossible to miss and easy to act on. 

Use action-oriented language and consider the design of your email—make sure the CTA stands out visually, perhaps with a button or a link in a contrasting color. 

If there’s a sense of urgency (e.g., a limited-time offer), highlight that to encourage immediate action.

5. Craft Captivating Subject Lines

Do NOT snooze on the subject line. The subject line is the recipient’s first impression and often determines whether an email is even opened to begin with. It should be relevant and specific, and it should create a sense of curiosity or urgency.

Another way to increase the open rates of your sales email is to include the recipient’s name, business name, or a reference to their industry in the subject line.

Test different subject lines with segments of your audience can help you understand what resonates best with your customer base.

6. Understand and Address Your Audience

Effective communication begins with understanding who you’re talking to. This means knowing their industry, their role within their organization, their daily challenges, and what they value most. 

This personal knowledge of your customer allows you to edit your message to address their needs and interests directly.

Do your homework and read up on the recipients. It may seem like a menial task, but it really can show your respect for their time.

7. Use Psychology in Your Approach

Most sales teams won’t have a background in psychology, but you can still use psychological triggers in your email sequence to influence the decision-making of your recipients. 

For instance, making a deal seem like it’s just for a few select people can inspire a feeling of exclusivity, which can make your customers feel like they’re part of an elite group.

8. Apply Copywriting Frameworks

Frameworks like AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) can provide a structure for your emails.

Imagine telling a friend about a cool new gadget you just discovered. First, you grab their attention by mentioning something unique about the gadget. Then, you pique their interest by explaining what the gadget does and why it’s so cool. As you describe its features and benefits, your friend starts to want one too—that’s the desire.

Finally, you tell them where they can buy it or suggest looking it up online, which is the action part. AIDA is like a roadmap for guiding someone from hearing about something for the first time to deciding they want to buy it.

Different Types of Sales Email Sequences

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for sales email sequences. This is because there are many different things you may be trying to achieve with the sequence. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of email sequences.

Email Sequence TypePurpose
Welcome/Onboarding Email SequenceIntroduces your brand to new subscribers or users, aiming to make a strong first impression and build trust without a sales focus.
Lead Nurturing Email SequenceWarms up cold leads with valuable content, customer success stories, and guidance toward making a purchase.
Abandoned Cart Email SequenceTargets customers who added items to their cart but didn’t buy anything.
Event/Webinar Promotion Email SequencePromotes upcoming events or webinars to create anticipation and encourage registrations.
Post-Purchase Follow-Up Email SequenceImproves customer satisfaction and loyalty by thanking recent customers, requesting feedback, and suggesting related products.
Re-Engagement Email SequenceRekindles the interest of inactive subscribers with personalized messages, reminders of benefits, and incentives to re-engage with the brand.
Training Email SequenceEducates new subscribers or customers on getting the most value from your product or service.
Renewal Email SequenceTargets users nearing the end of their SaaS or subscription plan with offers for upgrades or additional features to increase revenue.

Common Sales Email Sequence Mistakes

You should now have a pretty solid grasp on how to start and optimize your email sequence, but what are some common mistakes sales teams make?

1. Writing Emails That Are Too Long

People often don’t have the patience or time to read lengthy emails. Keep your emails brief and to the point. Aim for around 100-150 words and get straight to the point. This ensures your message is clear and concise.

2. Failing to Personalize the Email

Sending a copy-and-paste template without taking the time to customize it is not a good strategy. Most recipients won’t even open the email if it seems like a generic sales email. Address the recipient by name, reference their company, or mention a recent event they participated in to make the message feel more personal.

3. Not Including a Clear Call-to-Action

Without a clear next step, recipients may be unsure how to proceed after reading your email. End every email with a simple, direct call-to-action, such as asking for a meeting or a response to a specific question.

4. Overloading Recipients with Too Many Emails

Avoid bombarding your recipients with emails, as this can easily lead to them unsubscribing. Space out your emails, ideally waiting 2-3 days between sends, to keep your audience engaged without overwhelming them.

5. Neglecting to Follow Up

The absence of follow-up emails is a huge mistake many sales teams make. You’d be surprised how many opportunities are missed out on simply because the team failed to follow up. Implement a solid follow-up strategy that includes a few reminders spaced out over time, but always remain respectful of the recipient’s inbox.

6. Not Providing Value in Your Emails

Emails that only push for sales without offering anything beneficial can turn off potential customers. Share useful information, insights, or offers that add value to the recipient’s day or business operations.

7. Not Using Context in Emails

Recipients may receive many emails daily and may not remember the context of your previous messages. Include a brief recap of your last communication or how this email relates to your ongoing conversation to maintain clarity.

8. Relying Solely on Generic Email Templates

Avoid using the same uninspired templates for every message. This can make your emails feel impersonal. While templates can save time, customize each one to fit the recipient and the message you’re sending to keep things fresh and engaging.

9. Making Emails Feel Too Automated

An email that feels like it was generated by a robot can be off-putting. Use automation tools wisely, ensuring that each message retains a personal touch and feels like it’s coming from a human.

10. Sending Emails at Inappropriate Times

An email sent at the wrong time can easily be overlooked. Surprisingly, there are “good” and “bad” times to send a sales email. Research and use data to understand the best times to send emails to your specific audience.

11. Directing Emails to the Wrong Recipient

Misdirected emails waste your time and can annoy potential leads. Carefully review your contact list to ensure that your emails are going to the right person with the interest and authority to engage with your message.

12. Revealing Too Much Information Upfront

While you should provide value in your emails, don’t give away all the details upfront. This can overwhelm the recipient or leave no reason for further discussion. Start with a compelling hook or question, and gradually reveal more information in your next emails to build interest and engagement.

Difference Between an Email Sequence and an Email Drip Campaign

When we talk about email sequences and email drip campaigns, it might seem like we’re talking about the same thing, but there are some key differences.

Email Sequence

An email sequence is like setting up a row of dominoes. You line them up (plan your emails) and then knock the first one over (send the first email). Each email is sent based on a schedule you’ve decided in advance. 

The goal is to guide your recipients through a specific journey, like welcoming them after they sign up, guiding them through using your product, or following up after a purchase. 

The sequence can change based on the recipient’s actions, such as opening an email or clicking a link, triggering a different set of emails tailored to their actions. It’s about moving them step by step toward a goal, like making a purchase or signing up for a webinar​​​​.

Email Drip Campaign

On the other hand, email drip campaigns are like a slow, steady drip of a faucet. These emails are also sent out automatically, but the focus is on providing information over time based on certain triggers, like signing up for a list or leaving items in a shopping cart.

The idea is to keep feeding the recipient useful content, reminders, or promotions to encourage them to take action, like buying a product or returning to your website. Drip campaigns are great for keeping your brand in the minds of your customers and gently nudging them toward making a decision without overwhelming them with too much information at once. 

They rely heavily on automation software to segment customers and send trigger-based emails, optimizing campaigns to improve the ROI of marketing efforts​​.

Examples of Good Sales Email Sequences

Looking for some templates that are proven to provide results? Here are five examples of good sales email sequences that will effectively maintain engagement with your audience.

1. Provide More Information 24 Hours After Initial Consultation

Subject Line: “Here’s What You Need to Know Next!”

Body Text:

Hello [Name],

Thank you for chatting with us yesterday. We hope the consultation provided valuable insights into how we can assist you. To help you further understand how our [Product/Service] can meet your needs, we’ve compiled some additional information and resources.

[Include a brief overview of the product/service benefits, any relevant case studies, or testimonials that directly relate to the customer’s needs.]

If you have any more questions or if there’s something specific you’d like to discuss, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help!


[Your Name]

2. Follow-Up for Feedback 1 Week After Product Demo

Subject Line: “Your Thoughts on [Product/Service] Demo?”

Body Text:

Hi [Name],

I hope you’re doing well! Last week, we showed you what [Product/Service] can do. What did you think?

We value your opinion and would love to hear any feedback or questions you might have. Your insights are crucial to us in ensuring that our solution meets your expectations and needs.

Let’s chat soon!

Best wishes,

[Your Name]

3. Offer Exclusive Discount 3 Days After Second Follow-Up

Subject Line: “Special Offer Just for You!”

Body Text:

Dear [Name],

We truly appreciate your interest in [Product/Service] and believe it can make a difference for you. As a token of our appreciation, we’re offering you an exclusive discount available for the next 7 days.

[Include details of the offer and how they can avail it.]

Don’t miss this chance to avail [specific benefit of the product/service]. Let us know if you have any questions or need further information.


[Your Name]

4. Share Success Stories 2 Weeks After Initial Contact

Subject Line: “See How Others Are Succeeding with [Product/Service]!”

Body Text:

Hello [Name],

Since our last conversation, we thought you might enjoy seeing how others are benefiting from [Product/Service]. Here are a few success stories from our customers:

[Insert 2-3 short case studies or testimonials highlighting the benefits.]

Let these stories inspire what’s possible for you. We’re here to support your journey every step of the way.


[Your Name]

5. Last Chance Email 1 Week Before Offer Expires

Subject Line: “Don’t Miss Out: Your Exclusive Offer Ends Soon!”

Body Text:

Hi [Name],

Just a friendly reminder that your exclusive offer for [Product/Service] ends in just a week. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on this opportunity to [benefit of the offer].

[Recap the offer details and instructions on how to avail it.]

If you have any questions or need assistance, we’re just an email away. We’re excited to see how [Product/Service] can help you [achieve a specific goal].

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should Your Sales Email Sequences Last?

Your email sequence’s length isn’t one-size-fits-all. It should fit your goals and your audience’s needs. For welcoming new subscribers, a few emails might be enough. But for a 30-day product trial, the sequence could stretch over the entire trial period.

How Many Emails Should be in a Sales Sequence?

A good starting point is around 5 emails in a sequence, which has shown great results, with over 60% open rates on average and up to 10% reply rates for some. But this number isn’t set in stone. It varies depending on what you’re aiming to achieve with your email sequence. 

How Many Days Should a Sales Sequence Last?

The timing of your sales sequence should be according to the sales cycle and the nature of your product or service. Quick introductions might need just a few days, while more complex B2B relationships could benefit from a sequence spread over 30-45 days.


About The Author

Mike Yon

Mike is the Co-Owner of Growth List.

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