Doing Sales Sequences Right


It won't surprise you that I woke up today with emails in my inbox from some company whose form I filled out a few days ago. It likely won't surprise you either that in that same inbox were emails from vendors whose forms I filled out months ago. Short sales sequences and long sales sequences are both the “norm” today.

One of these emails, however, was different than the others.

We've all been the recipients of automated sales sequences. Most of them annoy us.

Sales Sequences That Don't Work

Think back to the last one that bothered you.

See if all of this was true:

  • They were trying to stay “present” in my inbox.
  • They were “open” to meeting up shortly to talk more.
  • They were formatted to look like normal emails.
  • They wondered if I had any questions.

Of course there are also those special final notices that warn that if I don't respond, they're going to stop sending me email (false promise!).

These are sales sequences that don't work.

Sales Sequences That Work

But what about the ones that do work?

See if any of this is true:

  • Each one layered on the last. Actual thought to the sequence.
  • Each one recognized an actual pain / problem.
  • Each one tried to add a connection, a resource, or context.
  • Each one felt more like a conversation than an email.

They work because they don't feel as automated, even if they are. They don't feel as cold, even though they're sent by strangers.

What's the Difference?

I think there are three differences worth mentioning.

The first is that no email sent is a waste of time. They don't say, “Just checking in to see when you'd like to chat.” That's a fast recipe for going in the trash and getting all the rest of your emails tossed in the same way.

The goal of each email is clear. The value is verifiable. You may or may not love it, but you won't hate it. Because it's not wasting your time.

The second is that each email is targeted. I've told you, more than once, about the power of micro-segments. The same is true when you're crafting emails for sales sequences. You don't want to use examples that don't make sense to me. You want to leverage case studies that match my experience so that I can understand the value immediately.

The third is that they're not all the same. The one I got in my inbox this morning, which caused me to think about all of this, had sent me an email about a key feature, another came with a testimonial about a customer like me, and today's was a case study in my space. The variety keeps me opening and reading. The value keeps me from throwing them away.

So here's my two questions for you:

  • Are you sending email sequences that help warm up customers?
  • If so, are you sending sequences that work, or that don't?

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