Email automation can be one of the most important and effective marketing and sales strategies for a company. It enables you to send multiple messages—often called drip campaigns—to a specific audience in a specific order as part of a plan to nurture quality leads or keep customers engaged.
With HubSpot, you can automate emails using two tools—Workflows and Sequences. Both tools equip you to send contacts a series of emails, but they are designed for different purposes. For example, HubSpot Workflows are a marketing tool, whereas HubSpot Sequences are a sales tool.
Workflows and Sequences cater to different organizational goals. So let’s walk through these powerful email automation tools to help you boost your conversions.
Workflows vs Sequences
The two email automation tools’ specialized purposes are similar, but also very different.
HubSpot Workflows can be used for both sales and marketing automation. You can use them to perform many HubSpot automation tasks beyond bulk messaging.
With HubSpot Workflows, you can nurture warm, lukewarm, and cold leads, as well as reintroduce your company to former customers, referral sources, and influencers. Properly developed, Workflows, which are released automatically based on a schedule you set, are highly informative and designed to help your audience make informed purchase decisions. They can be set up to send to large groups of contacts or to individuals who meet certain criteria in a certain time frame.
HubSpot Sequences are most effective for “one-to-one” sales communications. A Sequence is comprised of up to five personalized sales emails that are “dripped”, interspersed by Tasks to call or interact with your contacts in other ways, according to a schedule you set. They can save your sales team a tremendous amount of effort and time otherwise spent manually reaching out to contacts.
Whether you enroll two or 202 prospects in a HubSpot Sequence, they provide an efficient way to share information. Customer Success teams also use find Sequences to be an efficient way to send onboarding messages to new customers.
Workflows vs Sequences—Key Differences
There are some notable differences between the two types of email automation. These include:
Types of Emails
One of the most basic differences between HubSpot Workflows and HubSpot Sequences is the types of emails sent. For example, HubSpot Sequences are used to send sales emails (they look similar to emails you send from Gmail or Outlook) using a connected personal inbox. Sequence emails use Templates, as once you enroll a Contact in a Sequence, you cannot change the copy in any of the emails. By comparison, HubSpot Workflows are used to send marketing emails from the company, from any email address set up as a user in your HubSpot account.
HubSpot Workflow emails can be triggered automatically based on specific actions set by the user. For example, you can set a trigger, such as a contact downloading an eBook from a previously sent Workflow email. As soon as a contact downloads the eBook, the next email will automatically be released.
Emails sent using HubSpot Sequences require manual intervention (enrolling) to trigger the release of emails in the Sequence.
Access to HubSpot Sequences is possible with a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription or a Service Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription with a connected personal inbox.
Access to HubSpot Workflows is possible with a Marketing Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription.
In the case of HubSpot Workflows, you have the option to automatically or manually enroll contacts. You can enroll contacts by setting certain triggers for them to meet. Alternatively, you can manually enroll a contact into a Workflow.
You can, however, only manually enroll contacts in HubSpot Sequences unless you have Marketing Enterprise, which provides automation between Workflows and Sequences. One powerful feature is that if a contact in a Sequence replies to an email in the Sequence, or books a meeting, the contact is automatically removed from the Sequence. This is key; once you are directly communicating with a prospect, the last thing you want is for them to receive a Template-based email.
As mentioned above, sales emails sent using HubSpot Sequences can track a contact’s response and automatically remove them from the enrollment list. However, this is not the case with marketing emails sent using Workflows.
In the case of marketing emails, direct replies cannot be tracked. So, if a contact responds to an email in a HubSpot Workflow, the responses only reach the inbox of the sender of the email campaign.
Both types of emails provide open and click rate data. Since HubSpot Workflows are a marketing tool, they provide greater metrics than Sequences.
Method of Sending Emails
HubSpot Workflow emails can only be sent using HubSpot’s Marketing Emails tool—similar to sending email campaigns using an Email Service Provider like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. HubSpot Sequence emails are sent from either the HubSpot user’s Gmail/Outlook inbox or from within the CRM from the user.
Developing Sequences and Workflows in HubSpot are an integral part of our HubSpot offerings. If you’d like to learn more about creating effective nurturing campaigns using these HubSpot features, please contact us.