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7 Effective Tips for Building an Email Sequence that Works

Email marketing fell out of favor when social media came along. Marketers started to dismiss its value and made the move to social media. Now, email marketing is bigger and more important than ever.

Once you have a customer’s email address, you have immediate access to their inbox. That inbox is as good as marketing real estate gets. You can send email after email at no cost, giving you plenty of opportunities to generate profit through effective CTAs.

The main challenge of email marketing is relevance. If your email communications aren’t relevant to the recipient, they’re simply a waste of time for all involved.

The solution is better email sequences. Here’s what you need to know:

Email Sequences: A Quick Guide

Before we look at the seven tips for building better email sequences, let’s take a quick look at what these are.

Email sequencing is simply the practice of sending an automated email to reflect where a specific customer is on their buyer’s journey. As those customers make their way through the sales funnel, specific and targeted emails are triggered automatically and delivered to that prospect’s valuable inbox.

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There are seven types of vital email sequences. These include:

  • Lead nurturing
  • Conversions
  • Engagement
  • Onboarding
  • Re-engagement/Abandoned shopping cart
  • Follow-ups after a sale
  • Renewals

There are also some pre-and post-purchase email sequences to have at your disposal, including:

  • Welcome emails to new potential customers
  • Back in stock messages
  • Thank you for purchasing emails

If you’re already using these email sequences, then you’re ahead of the game. It takes time to build a thorough email sequence that hits the mark every time an action is triggered. However, once you have everything in place, it becomes a simple matter of implementing the following tips to ensure that your email sequencing works more effectively.

7 Tips for Building a Better Email Sequence

Follow these tips, and your email sequences will have significantly more impact. Get them right, and those emails can quickly become the key to more sales, better customer loyalty, the development of brand ambassadors, and company growth.

1. Focus on the Evergreen

There are many benefits to email automation in 2021. Once you have your email messages in place, your first step to improving them is to ensure that those emails can be sent automatically at any time and remain relevant.

Evergreen content is essential if you want your emails to be enticing enough to open. Don’t include email content that’s date or season-specific when optimizing your email sequences. While those time-specific emails have value for newsletter subscribers, they should not form part of your email sequencing.

Instead, create email content that won’t expire. That way, your customers will receive timeless messages when they’re most amenable to them, and you won’t waste time adding and removing content from your sequence templates. There are plenty of writing tools for digital marketers that you can make use of to enhance your email copy.

2. Always Personalize

A personalized email is always more likely to be opened and read – today, that means more than simply automatically adding the recipient’s name to the opening line. Instead, focus on where that customer is on the buyer’s journey and personalize that information.

That means ensuring that you have taken the time to develop a target consumer profile and are aware of the value of analytics when monitoring your sales funnels. Fortunately, personalizing emails based on buyer journeys is easier than ever. Most email providers will have some form of personalization tools that you can use.

Tailor your messages and your CTAs based on your understanding of your customers’ pain points at every stage of the sales funnel. Then personalize your email messages using names and personal information alongside sales funnel-relevant CTAs.

3. Know Your Email Marketing Goals

Just like all marketing, your email sequencing strategy needs to have clear and measurable goals. Without specific aims defined in advance, you’ll have fewer ways to determine how effective your triggered emails are.

This can vary by industry, and a VoIP phone provider will have different goals and strategies from a small ecommerce business selling jam. For example, technology brands will tend to require more follow-up email sequences and a small ecommerce store will likely send more abandoned shopping cart emails.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that the more expensive your product, the longer and more detailed your email sequence messages will usually be. Identify your goals, and then ensure that your email messages are optimized to meet those goals.

4. Using Multiple Email Sequences

The buyer’s journey is just that: a journey. Sending out a single email throughout the entire buyer journey might have a positive effect, but it can be dramatically improved by combining and delivering multiple messages at the right time.

The goal needs to be to establish an interwoven mix of messages that reflect different stages of the sales funnel. Delivering a simple conversion email at the right time is vital, but you can also include additional sequence content to add further impact to those emails.

By introducing your most potent marketing messages at the right time, you greatly enhance your ability to move that customer along to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. Use multiple sequences at once, and you might even jump straight to a sale.

This approach needs to be taken slowly. Get used to strategies like email retargeting before moving on to combining multiple email sequences at once.

5. Align Emails and Your Website

Your website is one of the best tools at your disposal when it comes to working out how effective your email sequences are. Every email marketing message needs some form of CTA, and by using your website analytics, you can watch in real-time how well those CTAs are working.

If your email sequence has been triggered because of an abandoned shopping cart, a personalized email highlighting the benefits of that product should have a link to a page focused on those benefits. That landing page will then have its own CTA, such as making a purchase.

By watching where customers travel from their email message to a web page, you can assess the effectiveness of your email content and CTAs. Using the right email software can make this much easier to track and measure.

6. Aligning Your Sales Team

Business comms continue to grow more advanced, and the future of these will rely on unified communications platforms. What does UCaaS stand for? UCaaS refers to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). This type of software allows businesses to align all their communications from a single point. This means no more toggling between apps. Everything you need to communicate effectively is in one place.

Just as your communications will be aligned, so too must your departments. If your email marketers are not working in alignment with your sales team, then there’s no doubting the fact that you’re losing sales.

Using your sales team to complement and reinforce the messages you send out during your email sequences is more important than ever. While the marketing team can focus on creating the best campaigns, executing them, and then monitoring the results, the sales team should be tracking each triggered email sequence.

By doing so, they can take over at critical points in the buyer’s journey. Utilizing the core skills of these two different teams and playing to their strengths is one of the best ways to build an email sequence strategy that works.

7. Cross-sell and Upsell on Post-Purchase Emails

You’ve likely seen this type of marketing strategy before. Once you’ve made a purchase, the company sends you an automated thank you email. Often here, though, businesses miss a trick.

If that thank you email is opened, then you have the chance to make another sale. That customer has already shown trust by buying from you. They may also be willing to purchase a related product, especially if you give them a reason to do so (such as discounts or special offers).

Whether you’re selling a hosted IP PBX service or something more tangible, taking advantage of those after-sales email messages is essential.

Email Sequences: The Must-Have Marketing and Sales Tool with Real Impact

Emails are still one of the most popular and commonly used forms of communication in the business world.

Developing an email marketing strategy is now considered one of the most critical steps for a marketing team to develop. Unfortunately, email sequences and their value are often overlooked. That’s largely because consumers and businesses alike can end up being overloaded with their unopened emails.

The key to building an email sequence strategy that works is to ensure that you create the messages that resonate, don’t overdo your communications, and make the best use of your sales team and your CTAs.

When developed well, email sequences are one of the single most powerful digital marketing tactics. Start designing yours today, and they could be the key to making more sales than you ever dreamed possible.

About the author


John Allen

John Allen is the Director of SEO for 8x8, a leading hosted VoIP phone system with integrated contact center, voice, video, and chat functionality. John is a marketing professional with over 14 years experience in the field, and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, and a myriad of services. This is his LinkedIn.