How to Utilize HubSpot’s Sequences for the Best Follow Up

Prospecting is extremely difficult and when it comes to making a sale, consistency and follow-up is key. In fact, “it takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect” [source]. If you give up after too few attempts or if you aren’t consistent in your follow-up, it can cost you. This is where HubSpot sequences come in. Sequences are an invaluable tool within the CRM platform that allow you to automate your outreach and follow-up process. They take the guesswork out of what to say and when to follow up, making your sales process a breeze. 

Utilizing HubSpot as our CRM has been a game changer for both The Media Captain, and our in-house beauty brand, Park Perfection. Our efficiency and organization has improved beyond belief and the software has really helped us scale our sales efforts. A huge part of that has been the ability to utilize HubSpot’s sequences tool.

Learn More: Why Your Small Business Should Use HubSpot for Sales
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What are HubSpot Sequences?

According to HubSpot, with their sequences tool, you can send a series of targeted, timed email templates to nurture contacts over time. You can also automatically create tasks to remind you to follow up with your contacts. When contacts reply to the email or book a meeting, they will automatically unenroll from the sequence.

You can set up a sequence for each member of your sales team, creating templates and tasks, which removes all of the guesswork for them. Every email will be in your words and each phone call and follow-up will be scheduled at the right time for your business. You’ll be able to rest easy and feel confident knowing that your team is reaching out to your prospects at the right time with messaging that’s been put together by you.

Learn More: Email Marketing Advice for eCommerce

This has been a game changer for both The Media Captain and Park Perfection. Instead of having to rely on our sales team to put together the perfect messaging, we create templates to do this for them. We never have to question whether outreach and follow-up is happening at the right time, because we’ve scheduled it exactly the way we want. We know what is being said to who and when, which eases so much stress as a business owner.

You can do the following within your sequences:

  • Send an automated email
  • Create a task to send an email yourself
  • Create a task to call a contact
  • Create a task for another action item

When I’m using sequences, for the most part I use automated emails and tasks for phone calls. You can decide how you want to space out each task. For example, on day one, you can have a task to call your prospect. 5 days later, you can send them an automated email. 3 days after that, you can set a task to follow up to your email with another phone call. 

The automated emails will be sent out automatically (hence the name!). When it’s time to complete any of the other tasks that aren’t automated, an event will appear within your tasks and you’ll get a notification to remind you. Like I said, sequences take the guesswork out of your follow up process.

Want to learn more about setting up HubSpot and getting started with sequences: Contact The Media Captain!

What’s the Difference Between a HubSpot Sequence and Workflow?

The main difference between the two is the subscription level required to use each of them. HubSpot Sequences come with a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription, or a Service Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription with a connected personal inbox. HubSpot Workflows, on the other hand, come with a Marketing Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription. So, you’ll have to have a higher subscription level to have access to workflows. Don’t worry though – sequences will change your life!

Outside of the subscription plan, the key difference is that HubSpot sequences are meant to be used for one on one communication. These look like personal emails sent from you to your contact and they’re tied to your inbox. This means that if a contact responds to any stage in the sequence, they will be unenrolled. HubSpot workflows on the other hand, are more like marketing emails. They look more templated like an email marketing campaign and are often sent to large lists of contacts. They also aren’t connected to your inbox, so contacts can’t be unenrolled if they reply.

“Workflows can also be used to trigger contact property changes, tasks for your sales or marketing team members, and more. Though email automation is the primary use for HubSpot workflows, you can also use them to assign leads who take specific action to a corresponding contact list, trigger tasks for your team to reach out to those leads, and more.” [source]

For purposes of our businesses, we’ve primarily used sequences, as we want personalized one-on-one communication and for contacts to be unenrolled once they reply.

Why You Should Use HubSpot Sequences

Take the guesswork out of follow-up

With sequences, there’s no guessing when it comes to your follow-up. Not only is every step laid out along the way, each message and communication touch-point is pre-written. All of the templates can be created in advance so you know that when your sales team is sending an email, the message is coming directly from you. This is the best! 

You can plan every email, every phone call, and every other follow up in advance and not only know exactly when these touch points will happen, but how many there will be. If you want to make sure your sales team is reaching out to each prospect 8 different times, with 4 phone calls and 4 emails, you can set up that exact scenario.

Automate your sales outreach

Consistency and follow-up is key when it comes to sales. As much as we may think we’ll remember to call or email a prospect on a certain day, when you have a whole list of prospects that you’re working on, things can fall through the cracks. HubSpot’s sequences ensures that every step of your sales process is automated so that nothing does fall through the cracks.

Incorporate emails and tasks

It’s great to be able to incorporate both emails and other tasks to your sequence. Sometimes an email will make the most sense and sometimes you’ll want to call your prospect. Having options to set up every step of your outreach makes your prospecting and follow up extremely easy.

Add personalization to your follow up

Within sequences, you can add personalization like first name, company name, the date you last spoke to them, and more. Your prospect will never know that you weren’t sending out each email to them personally and that all of your communication was automated.

Reporting and statistics

Within HubSpot, you’re able to see the open rate, reply rate, click rate and meeting rate for each of your sequences. This gives you extremely valuable insight into which links your prospects are finding most interesting, how many people are opening the email, and more. 

We even get notifications when someone opens or clicks an email. We know they’re engaging with our brand at that time and we’ll oftentimes will follow up with them via a phone call, as we know we’re top of mind.

How We’ve Used HubSpot Sequences

Reaching out to new brands for DermWarehouse

We currently sell over 100 skincare and beauty brands on our site and we’re always looking to add new partners. For years, all of this outreach was done manually, making it really hard to stay organized and keep track of where we were at in the process with each brand. 

We’ve recently set up a sequence to help with our new brand outreach. We start out with our initial outreach sequence, where we introduce ourselves and then have several email follow-ups if we don’t hear back. 

If someone doesn’t get back to us after our first three emails, we wait 90 days and follow up again. Maybe a partnership didn’t make sense initially but things may change a few months later.

We also have another sequence for  brands that tell us they’re not interested in our first sequence. Here, we’ll circle back with the brands after 6 months. A lot can change in that timeframe so we want to always check back to see if anything has happened and see if there’s a potential to work together.

Sales for Park Perfection & The Media Captain

Our most important efforts with HubSpot’s sequences have been for our sales initiatives for both Park Perfection and The Media Captain. For both sales processes, we send out boxes to our prospects. For Park Perfection, we include samples of our product. For The Media Captain, we include a coffee mug and marketing materials about our agency. 

The sequences we’ve put together for both companies have a lot of overlap. The first step is a task to complete an initial qualifying call to check that we have the correct name and address to send the packages to. This step is important, as we don’t want the packages going to the wrong place or the wrong person.

Once we qualify the prospect, our packages are sent out and the next step of the sequence happens after 10 days, which would give plenty of time for their mail to arrive. 

After that, we switch off between phone calls and emails for the remainder of the sequence. The goal is to connect with the business owner to get their experience with the products for Park Perfection and then to see if they are in need of marketing or development services for TMC.

PR & reporter outreach for DermWarehouse & Park Perfection

Another big initiative of ours for both Park Perfection and DermWarehouse is regarding public relations and reporter outreach. For DermWarehouse, we are frequently reaching out to media contacts to offer skin care quotes from Dr. Parks. For Park Perfection, we reach out to reporters to see if they’re interested in trying our product in the hopes of getting a write up. Utilizing sequences has made this outreach so much easier and more organized. 

In Closing

  • HubSpot sequences are an amazing tool to automate your sales outreach and follow up.
  • Utilizing sequences makes the sales process more organized and efficient, plus it allows you to control every step in the process for your team.
  • Sequences give you the ability to personalize your emails to each recipient and incorporate both emails and tasks into your process, making it extremely easy for your team.
  • Utilizing sequences has taken our sales and outreach process to the next level, and I know it will do the same for your business. 

Stefanie Parks

Stefanie is the Co-Founder of The Media Captain. She's currently the CEO of DermWarehouse, The Media Captain's in-house eCommerce brand. Stefanie is an expert on all things eCommerce. She's grown DermWarehouse to beyond $5 million in annual revenue and has a customer base beyond 250,000. Stefanie provides helps with eCommerce strategy development for The Media Captain. She's a frequent contributor onto the TMC blog.

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