📨 How to create and send Sequence campaigns

Learn how to send lead nurturing or follow-up drip campaigns and sync email engagement data directly to your CRM.

Updated over a week ago

What are Sequence campaigns?

Outfunnel allows you to create automated drip and multi-stage lead nurturing campaigns that integrate seamlessly with your CRM. We call these types of email campaigns, Sequences. If you are looking to send single email campaigns, see here.

Some examples of when our email sequences feature would be useful:

  • Following up after deals are won (or lost)

  • Reaching out once deals reach a certain stage of a sales funnel

  • Creating a lead nurturing campaign that runs until the prospect replies

You can use these triggered email sequences to engage segments defined in your CRM and stop the campaign automatically when the prospect opens, clicks, and/or replies.

Once you send out an email all of your email engagement data, like opens, clicks, and replies, will be synced to your CRM and linked to the contact, organization, and open deals.

Before you send out your first campaign

Before diving right in and creating your first email sequence campaign, there are a couple of things you need to do.

1. Define your campaign’s recipients

2. Authenticate your domain (optional, but highly recommended)
If you want to keep your emails out of your recipients’ spam folders, we highly recommend verifying your domain. This way, email providers and clients can be confident the message was sent by us with your permission. Learn more about authenticating your domain.

3. Set up reply tracking
This helps to fully understand the success of your campaigns. Learn more

How to send out a sequence campaign

Step 1: Go to Outfunnel > Campaigns and click on the Create new sequence button.

Step 2: Give your sequence a name and choose your recipients based on the Pipedrive filter; Copper contact tag, contact type, or lead status; Hubspot CRM list; Outfunnel segment)and choose the recipients (Pipedrive person filter; Copper contact tag, contact type or lead status; HubSpot CRM List; Outfunnel segment)

Step 3: Now it’s time to start adding those email messages to your sequence. Click Add an email. Then fill in the basics and use the rich text editor to compose the email. You can format text, add images and links, and personalize your message. Some things to keep in mind:

  • From email: the email that displays as the email sender

💡From email needs to match the domain you registered for Outfunnel with. If you’d like to use a different domain, please contact support. Please note that each account currently supports a single domain.

  • From name: the name that displays as the email sender

  • Subject line: we recommend keeping it short and sweet

  • Preheader: this bit of text appears next to or below the subject line when viewed in the email client.

  • Keep images below 600px and under 500kb in size. Outfunnel does not currently compress the images in the composer when you add them to the email so we recommend using a tool like https://tinyjpg.com/ to compress the images in advance so that they are under 100kb (the smaller the image, the faster it loads in the inbox)

  • Email personalization. We recommend personalizing the email with your CRM's Person and Organization fields and also adding fallback values in case a value is missing. Learn more about email personalization

  • Designed emails. If you'd like to send emails with more elaborate designs, you can import any email template into Outfunnel. First, create a template and then select the HTML editor from the Template dropdown. Learn more about using custom design/HTML in Outfunnel.

  • Unsubscribe URL. Outfunnel will automatically add an unsubscribe link to the footer of every email – a legal requirement in many parts of the world (plus, it’s just good practice). You won’t be able to send a campaign without it but you can edit the design. Any contacts that unsubscribe are automatically removed from the list of people you can send emails to via Outfunnel, even if they match the target segment. Learn more about unsubscribes.

  • Test emails. You can also send yourself (or a colleague) a test email if you press “Send test email”. When you choose to use live data in the test email, Outfunnel will use the information from the first recipient from the target list.

💡 Note that not all merge fields render in test emails. See here for more info.

Step 4: Next, to add another message to your sequence, click Back to sequence then click Add an email. Once again, enter the basic info and add your content, as we just covered above.

Step 5: Now you’ll want to add a delay to each of your messages. Enter the number of days and hours you would like to delay your messages in their respective fields.

The first email delay is based on when a person matches the segment you’ve defined above. All the subsequent delays are from the previous message. Please note that the delays are also subject to the sending schedule that you can customize.

Outfunnel checks it every hour, so setting a “0” delay for the first message will, in practice, result in a delay of 1 to 60 minutes. Delays for all the following emails are exact.

💡 More granular delay. You can also insert fractions of hours. In order to do this, you just need to divide the number of minutes you want by 60 and insert the result. For example 15 minutes / 60 minutes = 0,25 hours. So for a 15-minute delay, you'd need to input 0,25 in the hours.

💡 Paused sequences. Pausing a campaign does not change the sending time for queued emails. When a sequence is resumed all queued emails with a sending time in the past will be sent immediately. If a sending time is more than 30 days in the past the email will be removed from the queue.

💡 Change queued emails send date. After the sequence is activated, you'll be able to see the queued emails on the "Queue" tab of the campaign.

In this menu, you can now select the desired email that you want to reschedule and click on "Change scheduled to send date".

A calendar will pop up so you can choose the new send date. It is not yet possible to change the time so, by default, all emails will be rescheduled to be sent on the selected day at 8 AM of your account timezone (you can check your account timezone here). If you have a sending schedule set up, the emails will still obey the sending schedule.

Note: Since all emails are automatically scheduled to be sent at 8 AM in your chosen timezone, choosing the present day may trigger the immediate send of the email if it's already past 8 AM.

Step 6: Now, it’s time to review your sequence campaign’s settings, by clicking Settings at the bottom of the page.

  • Choose how Outfunnel records email engagement in your CRM

  • Choose whether you’d like the sequence to go out to only new people that will start matching the segment OR everyone currently part of the segment and any new contacts added in the future.

  • In case you plan to add new emails to the sequence and would like these emails to go out to all the contacts who have already completed the sequence, choose the option to send the emails to "All contacts, including those who have completed the sequence"

  • Choose to stop the campaign when a prospect opens, clicks, and/or replies. More info

  • And lastly, you can see the default sending schedule and edit it if necessary. Read more about creating a sending schedule here.

Looking good?

Go ahead and click that big, green Activate sequence button, then confirm that you definitely want to go live, by clicking OK in the confirmation box.

How to get insights on email campaign performance

  • Basic information about the number of emails sent, open rate, and click rate is visible in the Campaigns page for all sent campaigns.

  • For reply tracking, please set up email forwarding. Read more.

  • By clicking on the name of a campaign or the “More options” icon (the one with three dots) you’ll get access to more detailed stats, including bounces and unsubscribes. Information about email engagement will also be automatically recorded in your CRM (see below).

  • To see the queued emails, click on "Queue".

Tips, observations, and useful definitions

💡 Check out our single email campaigns feature if you’re not looking to create an automated email sequence.

💡 Threaded emails. Outfunnel does not yet offer a native threading functionality but if you use the same subject line then most email providers will thread the email automatically.

💡 Deleting a filter/list/segment from the CRM. Once you delete a filter/list/segment from the CRM that is targeted for a sequence, the sequence stops sending.

💡 The recipient list is auto-updated. Outfunnel checks the target segment (once per hour for Pipedrive and HubSpot; real-time for Copper) to validate whether each contact should keep receiving the campaign. Once a contact doesn’t match a segment anymore (because data had been changed in the CRM), they will be removed from the sequence.

💡 For maximum deliverability, warm up your emails with Outfunnel. If you’re sending campaigns to several thousand or tens of thousands of contacts at a time, we’d suggest starting with a few smaller campaigns first. For example:

  • With a list of 10,000 contacts, send a campaign to 250 people on week 1, 500 people on week 2, 750 people on week 3, 1300 people on week 4, etc.
    Learn more about IP warming and how you can improve email deliverability.

💡 If you use Outfunnel to send emails, you can also automatically get the benefits of our web visitor tracking feature as well as lead scoring software. This way you’ll see what leads are interested in your website, and have this recorded in your CRM as well – giving your sales pitch that extra edge.

💡 Read more about running successful drip email campaigns or sign up for our B2B email marketing crash course to level up your automated marketing efforts.

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