Manually sending every single email to every single prospect sucks. There’s definitely room for non-scalable conversations and manual email outreach, but having the right automated drip sequences in place can be a game changer.
It can take a lot of time to email leads one by one as they come in—and I mean a lot of time.
Whenever I see a sales team taking the manual-only approach to email outreach and lead nurturing, there’s one problem that keeps coming up:
They don’t reach out enough.
Your sales reps only have so many hours in a day. If they’re tasked with emailing every single contact that comes into your CRM through a free resource, lead magnet or any other lead generation strategy—those hours can disappear fast.
Sure, they’ll send the first “Thanks for downloading!” email and ask the prospect to jump on a call. Most will also send a follow-up email or two over the next few weeks, but that’s it.
And to be frank, that’s just not good enough.
When someone downloads a resource, starts a free trial or takes any action that indicates they’re interested in you—a few emails sent randomly over a few weeks isn’t going to cut it. They’ll forget you even exist.
Luckily, it’s 2020 and we have the ability to set up automated email sequences that deliver over time—and you don’t have to manually trigger anything.
Just write the emails, set up the drip sequence, turn it on and you’re set.
And the truth is, a lot of sales teams aren’t opposed to using automated email sequences. They just haven’t invested the time into (1) figuring out which drip sequences they should be using, and (2) actually writing the emails.
Can you relate?
If so, I’ve got some good news for you—in this post I’m going to share my three favorite drip sequences that I truly believe EVERY inside sales team should be using.
1. The welcome sequence
So you just converted a website visitor into a lead. The ebook download form has been submitted and the contact has been added to your CRM.
First things first...
But it’s not time to pop the bubbly just yet. There’s still plenty of work ahead before you (hopefully) can move that contact into your closed-won group.
- Deliver what they requested and thank them
- Help them understand the value of what they downloaded and include a short call-to-action inviting them to reply if they want to find out more about your product
- Share content that builds credibility for the salesperson and the company
- Share another resource they may be interested in
- Ask them what their #1 pain point is right now (your objective here is to start a conversation that your sales team can run with)
- Share a list of similar resources—you can track which links they click on to better understand what topics and resource types they’re most interested in
Now, before you take this sequence and run, let’s talk about what you are (and aren’t) trying to accomplish here…
You’re not trying to close deals directly with this drip sequence. Before you go into closing mode and have a sales rep or account executive take over, you need to qualify and nurture the lead.
You can include a small call-to-action early on in the sequence in case someone is ready to start talking to you right away, but for the most part you want to share content, resources, templates and any other sales enablement assets you think they’d be interested in.
2. The sales sequence
Alright, so you’ve built up the trust levels and established your credibility, and the contact opened most of the emails you sent during the welcome sequence...
That’s a good sign. You’re off to a positive start, that’s for sure.
But trust and credibility alone don’t pay the bills.
At the end of the day, it’s your team’s job to turn leads into customers—and that’s exactly what this next drip sequence is designed to do.
- Introduce your offer
- Address common hesitations about the offer
- Address frequently asked questions
- Showcase what their life could look like if they took advantage of the offer
- Offer an exclusive subscribers-only promotion (extended trial, 15% off your first three months, free training session, etc.)
- Create urgency that the offer is expiring
Important thing to note here: Just because this drip sequence is sales-focused doesn’t mean you’re always trying to close the deal right away with a “buy” button in your emails.
If your product has a lower ticket price, that might be the route you take. But your goal could also be getting contacts to schedule a call with an account executive, start a free trial of your product, or simply reply to an email.
3. The onboarding sequence
How exactly you roll out this drip sequence depends on your pricing structure. The way I’ve laid it out below is designed for SaaS companies that offer a free trial. The structure might look a bit different if you don’t offer a free trial, but the underlying objective remains the same:
Get your new user or customer comfortable with your product.
Before I get into the specifics here, let’s take a quick look at Dave McClure’s AARRR Framework for SaaS companies:
At this point the user is at the acquisition stage. They’ve signed up and created their account, so congrats on achieving step one. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
Next, you need to help them get to the “Aha!” moment.
Your job now is convincing them to actually start using your product. If they can’t figure out how to solve the problem that led them to sign up in the first place, then good luck keeping them around longer than the trial.
Here’s how you should set up your onboarding sequence:
Immediately after the trial starts:
- Thank them and introduce your onboarding training
- Lesson 1: Help them get their first win (prove your product is helpful ASAP)
- Lesson 2: Introduce the most popular feature and share use cases
- Lesson 3: Introduce a complementary feature with examples of how to use it
- Customer case study #1
A few days before the trial expires:
- Offer an exclusive discounted price to incentivize upgrading (if that's matching your overall pricing strategy)
- Warn them their trial is expiring soon
- Customer case study #2
Final day of the trial:
- Final trial expiration warning
After the trial expires:
- Offer an extended free trial
- The breakup email
Throughout this entire sequence, your goal is to get them using your product. If they’re using it and getting legitimate value from it, your chances of signing them on as a customer at the end of their trial (or sooner) are going to climb.
The key takeaway here is this:
After they start a trial, DO NOT back off.
Far too many sales teams are worried that if they send too many onboarding emails, they’ll annoy new users and cause them to churn.
Let’s flip that around...
If you neglect your trial users and only send them one or two emails over their 14-day trial, chances are they’re going to forget they even signed up for your product, never open it up to see what it’s about, and churn just the same.
Help them get started, help them get value, help them solve the pains that made them sign up in the first place—help them find their “Aha!” moment.
Now to get started
So there you have it—if you’re managing an inside sales team, I strongly recommend setting up these three sequences.
Of course, one of the main reasons why drip sequences are so effective is because you can tailor the experience to each individual contact based on where they are in the buying journey.
- You’ll have more time available because you’re not manually sending every email
- Leads will be given plenty of attention after signing up
- Your sequences will automatically qualify, educate and inspire contacts to take action
The best thing is, if you’re already using Close CRM you can easily set up each drip sequence inside your account with our automated email sequences. And if you’re not using Close, there’s a 14-day free trial with your name on it.