Email marketing is a highly effective tactic to reach current and potential customers. The average return on investment (ROI) of email marketing is $42 for every dollar spent. Customers spend a large portion of their day in their inboxes and it’s a great way to directly connect with them.
With that in mind, marketers need to understand that customers get countless emails each day that they deem irrelevant. The emails are filled with content that doesn’t connect with or mean anything to them. Successful email sequences will give your leads information they find valuable, turning the casual email reader into a customer for life.
This guide will go over how to create email sequences that generate leads. We’ll also go over our top three email sequences that you can implement into your digital marketing campaigns.
What’s Email Marketing?
Email marketing is used to promote services or products while nurturing relationships with potential clients or customers. Any type of email a company sends out can be considered email marketing, except for direct answers to questions or order confirmations.
Examples of email marketing include:
- Company updates
- Promotions of sales
- General messages
This tactic allows companies to keep their clients and customers informed about what’s going on with their business. They’re able to tailor their messaging specifically to their email audience. You have to seek a balance of how many and what kind of emails you send out so you don’t end up spamming your customers.
What’s an Email Sequence?
Email sequences are a series of emails that are automatically sent to specific individuals that are segmented out in your database. A sequence can be time or trigger-based.
Trigger-based means that emails are issued when certain actions are completed, such as:
- Subscribing to your mailing list
- Browsing behavior
- Buying a product or service
- Downloading or reading content
- Shopping cart abandonment
Time-based email sequences are also referred to as email autoresponders. Emails are sent out at different time intervals, including:
- 30 days after a customer buys an item
- Right after they opt-in
- On their subscription anniversary
Email sequences are completely automated. You set them up once and they’re good to go. The type of email sequence you set up depends on its purpose and what you hope the customer does at the end of it.
There are also two different types of categories that email sequences fall in:
- Marketing Email Sequences: Emails sent to nurture your leads that include content
- Sales Email Sequences: Cold emails that are tailored to generate sales calls and leads
Depending upon whether the email sequence is trigger-or time-based, and what type of customer you’re targeting, you can craft sequences that are perfectly tailored to their needs.
What’s a Drip Campaign?
When learning about email sequences, you’ll see the term “drip campaign” used often. The two terms are virtually interchangeable.
An effective automated drip campaign can help your business:
- Nurture your leads
- Re-engage lost customers
- Increase sales
- Communicate on a regular basis with your customers
With a triggered email campaign, you can send out personalized messages to your email subscribers on a larger scale.
The first email that’s in your drip sequence needs to be catchy, but not like something that belongs in a person’s junk folder. Every piece of content you send to your email database needs to be relevant to them. Take the time to create a quality email sequence for your audience.
The Benefits of an Email Sequence
Email sequencing increases the efficiency of you and your marketing team. You don’t have to spend time throughout the day sending individual emails to your customers. With the emails already set up, they automatically go to interested parties without you having to lift a finger.
You’ll also see better results with the emails you send out. You’re not sending emails out into a void, only for them to get deleted before they’re opened. When the messaging is tailored to specific individuals and actions, you increase actions taken in response to your call-to-action.
When you streamline your workflow with email sequences, you’ll also see a reduction in errors. The emails are set up to go out to customers at different points in their sales journey. They won’t receive emails that don’t apply to them.
How to Create Templates for Your Email Sequences
The email sequences you create depend on who you’re sending them to and what your goals are.
Are you sending it to a customer that buys from you frequently? Is it a customer that makes a few large purchases each year? Or is a new, potential customer, that signed up for your email list?
The content of your email and subject line are important. You want people to engage with your email, not automatically delete it. Within your email, you need to get straight to the point with a captivating subject line.
Once you’ve determined who your audience is and what action you want them to complete, you can use that as a basis for creating your email sequence.
Some things you should include in your emails are:
- Relevant and catchy subject lines
- Personalized intro lines that breaks the ice with you and your lead
- An eye-catching image that is also relevant to the body content of the email
- Body content that tells the customer upfront all the details they need to know
- Call to action at the end
Including the above elements in your email will ensure that you’re crafting messaging that your customer is interested in reading. You want to show them the benefit of reading your email right at the top, so they continue scrolling through to your message.
Best Practices for an Email Sequence
When you start creating and drafting your email sequences, keep in mind that you should space them out. It’ll require testing on your part to see how long a sequence needs to be and what’s the best length of time between each email. You don’t want to send too many emails too close together and appear spammy, but you don’t want to space them out so much that the customer loses interest.
A reliable email marketing company can review the open rates of the emails that are sent out. If there’s a drop-off of customers opening an email when you’re only halfway through the sequence, you’re likely sending too many emails. If the open and click-through rates are high, but conversion is low, your content might need to be reworked.
You’ll also want to use language in your emails that speak to your customers. Determining who your ideal customer is will help you draft content that appeals to them.
Our Top Three Recommended Email Sequences
There are a variety of email sequences you can send out. We’ve narrowed the list down to our top three favorites.
1. Lead Nurturing or Welcome Email Sequence
This email series is designed for sending out to a subscriber at the initial stage when they engage with your lead magnet. A lead magnet is a free service or time that’s given to customers in exchange for their contact information.
Lead magnets include:
- Free consultations
- White papers
- Trial subscriptions
- Downloadable file
Lead magnets are used by marketers to create a sales lead. The goal of a lead magnet is to convert the lead into a paying customer.
The first email in this type of sequence should be the item that was promised to them. You want to establish and build a brand for your lead, as they may be unfamiliar with what you offer. This is a good opportunity to introduce them to your company.
In the first sentence of the email, remind them that you’re sending them something for free in exchange for them signing up to receive an email. You can then list the benefits they’ll receive for being one of your email subscribers.
After the welcome email, you can send out other emails that include other content you offer or various materials that showcase your experience. Don’t assume that your lead is ready to make a purchase.
The term “nurture” is in the name of this sequence for a reason. You want to nurture them along the sales journey without being overly pushy. You don’t want them to get turned off immediately and unsubscribe.
In the lead nurture or welcome email series, it’s recommended to send out four to six emails. You want to build trust with your contact. That number of emails gives you plenty of time to show them that you’re an expert and how they can benefit from the call-to-action you include at the end of your final email.
Lead Nurture / Welcome Email Sequence Template
Use the below template as a starting point for creating your welcome email sequence.
Email #1: The Introduction Email
Like we talked about before, this sets the stage with you and your potential lead. You’ll deliver the lead magnet to them and let them know what they can expect from you next. Additionally, you can use your introductory email for the following purposes:
- Giving potential customers useful information
- Introducing them to the story of your brand
- Asking them what information they’d like to see
If you do this portion right, your subscriber will look forward to the next email in your sequence.
Email #2: The Problem Solver
Your leads have a problem. The service you provide or the product you sell solves that problem. No one will want to buy what you’re offering if they don’t think that it’ll actually work for them.
That’s where this email comes in. It illustrates to them that there’s an answer to the problem they’re facing. It makes them more aware of the solution to their problem, rather than being focused on the problem itself.
Consider the following things when drafting your second email:
- What is the problem that my lead needs to have solved?
- What actions do they need to take to solve it?
- What is it that they think they need to do to solve it, but they don’t really need to?
Come up with the answers to those questions. That’ll give you what you need to draft an effective email.
Email #3: Your Reader’s Problems Aren’t Their Fault
This email needs to convince your reader that whatever problem they’re facing, it isn’t their fault. It will bring them a lot of relief if you can convince them of that. You’ll also need to showcase what opportunities you have to solve their problem.
With this email, you’ll introduce the service or product you offer that will solve their problem. It’ll let them know what the specific solution to their problem is. At this point, you won’t be going in for a hard sell.
Email #4: The Benefits You Offer
The fourth email is where you convince your readers that what you offer can help them. You need to illustrate how your product or service can change their life.
You can implement the tactic of “future pacing” with this email. Future pacing is when you use the words in your email to get your customer to imagine themselves in the future. In the future, your customer is succeeding, experiencing the amazing outcomes your product or service can provide.
Illustrate the benefits your customer will get at different points in the future. Get them to imagine themselves using your service or product.
Emails #5 and #6: Sell Your Service or Product
This is the point in the sequence where you close on the sale. Sales from an email funnel typically happen at the end. You need to create a sense of urgency to get your leads to turn into paying customers.
You can break up the final two emails like this:
- Email #5 (Benefits/Features plus Urgency): You can create a greater sense of urgency by adding in a countdown timer or letting them know what their life would be like without your product.
- Email #6 (Last Reminder and Testimonials): This is a shorter email where you let them know it’s their last chance to access what you’re offering, including testimonials, to show them social proof.
If your lead doesn’t end up buying your product, it’s likely that they weren’t really interested in what you were offering. They also might not believe that what you’re offering could help them.
However, for readers that were on the fence about buying your service or product, these final emails may entice them to pull out their credit cards.
2. Shopping Cart Abandonment Sequences
Around 69% of online shopping carts get abandoned by customers. People take the time and effort to find a product or service and add it to their cart, only to never complete the purchase. There are a variety of reasons a customer could do this:
- There are too many steps for them to complete in the checkout process
- The way you accept payments doesn’t seem secure
- The total of their shopping cart is too expensive
- The customer was browsing and putting items in their cart for fun
- They got distracted
- They changed their minds
Regardless of what their reason is, you want to get your customers back and complete the sale. With a shopping cart abandonment email, you’ll want to use around three emails to get their attention.
Within those three emails, you can use a variety of tactics:
- Fun personality
- Coupon codes
- Social proof
- Loss aversion
- Product shots
- Sending the emails at different times
Sending out multiple emails increases the chance that your customer will buy your product. Not every person reacts to the same type of messaging. By drafting emails that convey different things, you’ll increase your chances of connecting with someone.
Email #1: The 60-Minute Email
Your customer left their cart behind, either because they went to compare prices, or for a variety of other reasons. The faster you get them to re-engage with their shopping cart, the better.
Why is it called the “60-Minute Email?” Because you send it 60 minutes after they abandoned their shopping cart.
Include the following items in the 60-minute email:
- A reminder that their shopping cart is waiting for them
- High-quality images of the product
- A call-to-action
You don’t need to include a lot of things in this first email. You don’t need to add in coupons or related products. There’s plenty of time for that in the subsequent emails if this doesn’t get them to act.
One thing you could highlight in this email is the benefits of your service or product. Get them to feel the pain of what it feels like missing out on the benefits of it. The power of loss aversion is strong.
Email #2: The Next Day Email
Issue this email 24-hours after your customer abandoned their shopping cart. They could have missed the 60-minute email you sent the day before.
Consider the following things when drafting this email:
- Did they open your email but not close the sale with their shopping cart?
- Did they even open the first email?
If they didn’t open your first email, you can experiment with resending the first email, but with another version of your subject line. If they did open it and didn’t convert, you have some more freedom with the body content of your email. You should treat non-openers and openers differently.
Include the following with emails to openers:
- Highlights of different features and benefits
- Social proof, such as testimonials
- A guarantee that reduces their risk
A refund guarantee and social proof will help seal the deal with any customers that were on the fence. If the first email wasn’t enough to get them to convert, this second email will help increase your chances.
Email #3: A Few Days Later Email
If your customer still hasn’t converted after a few days, you have one final trick that you can utilize. After this point, if they received three abandoned shopping cart emails and still didn’t convert, they’re likely not interested.
A 10% to 15% off coupon could be enough to entice a customer to make a purchase. You want to hold this until the end of your email sequence. You don’t want to set a precedence that you’ll start sending coupons in the first or second email after someone abandons their cart.
You can also create a sense of urgency in this email. Let them know this is the final time you’ll be contacting them and they’ll lose out on this discount if they don’t act fast.
3. Onboarding Email Sequences
Now that you’ve welcomed your leads, it’s time to onboard them. Your goal is to give them relevant information to keep them engaged so they’ll buy a product or service from you.
The goals of an onboarding email sequence include:
- Buying a product
- Starting a trial
- Booking an appointment or meeting
Onboarding emails should be personalized and showcase the benefits of what you’re offering to them. You need to highlight the value of your products or services. They’re interested in what you’re offering to solve a problem for them.
One way to show how your product or service helps people is by showing them social proof. This includes product testimonials or customer stories. By highlighting success stories, you’ll show them exactly how your products work in real life.
You can be more creative in the selling process during your onboarding emails. With the welcome email sequence we talked about, you’re trying to be more subtle. Offer a discount or coupon to first-time purchases to push your leads to convert.
Some other things you can accomplish with an onboarding email sequence include:
- Sharing a limited-time discount code for new email subscribers
- Getting them to interact with your social media accounts
- Share a video or a blog post that gives them helpful tips
You can also use an onboarding email sequence to get previous customers to re-engage with your brand. You can start this sequence when they’ve started a certain action on your website, but never completed it.
If you’re launching a new product or service, send your subscribers an email so they can learn about it. Offer them a pre-order incentive.
No matter what your goal is, an onboarding email sequence is a great way to engage old and new customers.
Connect With Bear Fox Marketing
Knowing how to build an audience and connect with them effectively with email sequences can be difficult. There are a variety of aspects to consider. Email sequences are a great email marketing strategy to increase your sales and grow your customer base. Bear Fox Marketing is here to help with your email marketing needs. Contact us today for a consultation.