To Email or Sequence, That is the Question

Whenever a business sends out communications, it is usually touched by marketing for review whether that involves brand consistency or the tone of the messaging. But then comes the big question, is this going to be a marketing email, or a personal email from a sales or customer success rep. That is where the line begins to blur and the question comes up, whether to email or sequence.

What is Meant by Email Nurturing

Email nurturing helps establish a rapport with your contacts through automated email messages showcasing the value of your solutions relative to their stage in their journey. It is a key component to any complete marketing plan as it educates your audience about your brand and encourages them to take action. These actions are, in many instances, a conversion taken whether that is completing a web form or taking a specific action such as downloading a file for a known contact. One downside to the email nurturing email is that it is typically not very personal. While it may have touches of being personal, such as including a contact’s name or business name, it is typically sent from a generic email address and it’s tone leans more one-to-many as opposed to one-to-one.

Advantages of Email Nurturing

When it comes to email nurturing, it does hold some advantages. First, because the tone is more generic and doesn’t have the level of personalization that often accompanies sequenced emails, it is often quicker to deploy these or make updates. In addition, the workflows that accompany a marketing nurture email flow more like a tree diagram with branches that are based on a contact’s actions throughout the process flow. As an example, a contact responding or downloading an asset may not result in the contact being removed from the workflow, but it could be used to personalize their experience.

What is Meant by Sequencing

In contrast to email nurturing, a sales sequence is a series of defined steps that takes place on the sales side of the equation to help convert a lead into a marketable prospect. Sales sequences also are not solely comprised of emails and could include other actions such as calls, viewing a LinkedIn profile, sending a LinkedIn mail message, or any other related action. Also unlike a marketing email, a sales sequence email is more personal coming from an individual as opposed to a generic email address, and have tone that matches this personal touch.

Advantages of Email Sequencing

With email sequencing the number one advantage is that they are more personal in nature. Even though they may start out as a template, they are often personalized by a sales rep before they are sent out. Also, unlike email nurturing workflows that may have branches throughout, the sales email sequence will typically have a goal that, once reached, will result in the contact being removed from the sequence. As a result, the contact moves from an automated feeling workflow to a more natural email discussion with the business development representative or account executive.

Which Email Choice is Right for My Business

While both email marketing and email sequencing have their own distinct and unique advantages, when used alone each becomes only a fraction of a complete outreach process. Therefore the result is not about whether one or the other is right, but rather what is the right mix to reach your intended audience with the right messaging, at the right time, when they are ready to convert.