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Email sequence examples and best practices

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Email marketing has a high ROI, and that's why it hasn't lost so many years of popularity. For every dollar spent on an automated email campaign, you can get more than $30.

With email sequences, things are even better: according to Campaign Monitor, they bring more than 300% more income compared to a non-automated series of mailings.

A well-designed email sequence strategy with goals, proper intonation, scheduling, and other details can help increase conversions and sales and drive business growth.

In this article, I'll tell you more about email sequences, what they can do for your business, and provide helpful email sequence examples.

What is an email sequence?

Email sequences are a series of personalized emails that are automatically sent - with a schedule that will be successfully applied to each target audience segment. It has different types - from a welcome sequence of emails to a cold sequence.

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Such campaigns aim to increase conversions, attract new prospects, grow subscribers/target audience, and increase signups and sales.

With the proper email sequence, you can also increase customer retention and engagement, e.g., by sending them a follow-up email after they make a sale to re-engage them.

Example of an Email sequences’ structure:

What makes an effective email sequence?

An email sequence is made effective by choosing high-quality email software that will have a reasonable price and a list of key features, like a user-friendly interface, easy setup of these automatic emails, and ability to add personalization and visuals to emails (video, images, gifs, attachments), the feature to track the effectiveness of campaigns using analytics (check that it is also available in the email software).

To create an effective email sequence, consider the following steps

  • Continuous testing. Experiment with different content to audience segments, change the email order, try email threads or send each email separately.
  • Performance analysis and optimization. Analyzing the data, you will also optimize the email campaign sequence by removing emails that bring zero opens and replies.
  • Add more value to prospects. Determine the problems your product solves. Interview your audience representatives to understand what content they find helpful, thereby validating your hypothesis about what might be valuable to them.

What does an effective email sequence do?

  • Get more revenue. As we said, they generate over 300% more revenue compared to a non-automated email sequence.
  • Such automated mailings help attract prospects because it is possible to send mailings to separate segmented lists of potential customers, enable personalization, and conduct A/B testing to improve the strategy.
  • These automated sequences allow you to build trust with users, educate them step-by-step, and not intrusively use the product.

It also simplifies
communication with leads and customers, is cost-effective, and increases engagement. With advanced email sequence tools, you may get advanced email campaign analytics.

How to create an email sequence?

Email sequences creating: extended recommendations

1) Choose an email sequence software for creating sequences

Firstly, you should choose a platform that will allow you to send email campaigns to your prospects or customers on a regular basis. You should pay attention to the following points:

  • how user-friendly the interface is so that you and your team can launch email campaigns quickly and easily.
  • whether a solution is suitable for your budget so that you can use it regularly and stay within your budget.
  • how good the tool's Customer Support is so that if you have any questions, you can quickly resolve everything and start the email chain without wasting time.
  • whether it has all the functionality you need, such as the ability to test the effectiveness of emails or view analytics on email campaigns.
  • whether the software has additional features for launching email campaign sequences.

The best email sequence tools are GetProspect Cold Email Software,  Respona, Apollo, etc.

For instance, GetProspect has subscriptions for any size of business. The software has regular SPF & DKIM checks. Your email sequence guarantee will go to the inbox.

Here, you can create personalized sequences of email campaigns, run A/B testing campaigns, use tools such as Email Finder, and create segmented lists with potential clients or regular customers.

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You can also use CRM capabilities, connect to other solutions using native integrations, and use Email Verifier. All of these features are available in every plan. You can launch email campaugns with GetProspect starting with a free subscription.

2) An effective email sequence should have a goal

Setting a goal is a key element in creating email sequences. It's important to have a clear vision of why you're going to launch a campaign and keep it in mind when creating every piece of content, from the subject line to the signature.

For example, email sequences can help users get interested and switch from a free to a paid subscription, and email chains created to re-engage prospects can help bring users back to your website.

Your goals should be SMART.


What exactly do you want to achieve?

Maybe, send a chain of emails with a lucrative offer to boost sales?

How will you know if you've reached your goal?

By what metrics will you know your campaign worked?

Did you really take an achievable goal?Does it contribute to your company's revenue growth?Establishing a defined time frame - including a campaign deadline date and due date.
Effective email sequence: Goal Example

The main task for the next 3 months is to increase the conversion rate of new subscribers, namely, to convert a minimum of about 15% of subscribers into paying users.


Launch a series of automated emails of mixed types: Welcome email sequence + Onboarding campaign, and also Sales email sequence.

To accurately measure success, we will track conversion rates and key metrics - the number of opens and the number of clicks.

It is planned to conduct a series of A/B tests at the initial stage to determine the most effective approach to each type of email sequence relative to each segmented list of potential customers.

We’ll keep a close eye on how many of our fresh subscribers leap to paid plans after getting these emails.

3) Make a plan for all email sequences

Determine the type of email chain, spell out how many emails there should be, and then decide what each email will be about and the purpose of each email.

How long should a sequence be?

There can be a different number of emails for each type of chain. It depends on the goals of each campaign. For example, in a welcome email sequence, we recommend selling at the end of the chain, as the first 4-5 emails should establish trust.  Before you start selling, help your new users and give them a chance to understand your product.

Here is an outline of a plan for a welcome email sequence, the main goal of which may be to increase sales.
Email 1. Welcome and introduction

The goal is to establish a trusting relationship with the user.

The content of such an email should be a friendly greeting, including an intro to your company, brand, and services and a brief but informative overview of what to expect.

And, of course, remember the CTA. A soft call to action, such as «Read our detailed terms and conditions» or «Read more about our products here».

Then, spell out the details to the other emails in this email chain.

Topics effective email sequence might include:

  • Email 2 (Follow-up). Key features of your services/products.
  • Email 3 (Follow-up). Customer success stories.
  • Email 4 (Follow-up). More info about the first product.
  • Email 5 (Follow-up). More info about the second product.
  • Email 6 (Follow-up). A promotional offer ( «Welcome bonus», «Upgrade your subscription at a 15% discount. Get more credits on [key features]. The promotion is valid until the end of the month.» )

4) Send genuinely valuable content to the user

It is not enough to write 5 almost identical emails with different CTA buttons and send them to the user. This will look like bots and carry no particular value, and the recipient will not appreciate such a company's approach.

Mona Kirstein, Ph.D., Digital Strategist, Holistic Coach and Consultant at The Wholehearted Path:

«Direct asks and relevant expertise get results. A successful email campaign of mine targeted guest post outreach. Rather than using generic flattery, I highlighted issues with typical approaches, openly addressing the likelihood that recipients get nonstop emails fawning over their “brilliant” articles.

Instead, I was direct in asking for a guest post and highlighted relevant expertise, like my health coaching background, to provide audience value. This transparent technique led to a 37% higher guest post acceptance rate versus my old template pitches.

Carefully selecting recipients and customizing emails pays off. But the number one tip is writing sincerely in your own voice, not following formulas. A touch of humor helps too. Authenticity is key. As I learned, genuinely connecting with recipients gets results, not excessive flattery or copy-pasted templates.»

First of all, to create perfect email sequences, you need to:

Pre-segment your leads so that each prospect list receives a series of emails that can capture their interest.

Divide your audience into segments based on their interests, behaviors, demographics, and previous interactions with your brand. 

For example, for small business owners in the B2B sector, send an offer focused on their business area and prices that will be suitable for such companies. And to owners of larger companies and other areas, send offers and terms and conditions oriented to their businesses.

Besides segmentation, several additional actions can be used to personalize emails:

  • A simple but effective way is to customize your automated campaigns so that each user is addressed by Name. 

Example of an email sequence personalization:

Personalization tips for effective email sequence

  • About personalization of emails for leads. Send promotional offers relevant to each segment of potential customers. Argue why it can be beneficial for them.

  • About personalization of emails for customers. With customers, you can do personalization (e.g., emails with recommendations) based on data about previous purchases, their interests, and general interaction with your product.

  • Don't forget about important dates. Congratulate customers on the month and year of using your product, remember their birthdays and important holidays of the target audience based on the location of each segment.

Example of an email sequence phased personalization:

For example, when creating email sequences to re-engage users, utilizing data on previous customer interactions with your platform is key.

Start your email series by reminding users that they are valuable to you. Be sure to include the recipients' names in the email or subject line.

Include personalized offers based on previous purchases on your platform and the user's interests.

Additionally, you can ask each user to take a short survey.

That way, you'll know the reasons why some customers are less active and understand what you can offer them to keep them interested.

5) Take proper time to write the subject line and pre-header

The subject line & pre-header of emails are some of the most vital parts to pay special attention to.

Since it is this part that will encourage a person to either open your emails or, if the recipient is not interested, ignore it or throw it into spam.

Example of an email sequence compelling subject line:

Example of an email sequence compelling pre-header:

Remember, it's not just about the success of your email sequence and ad campaign, it's about the reputation of your domain and your company.

Your subject line should stand out in a crowded inbox and not be misleading. Clearly convey the main point of the email.

You can also A/B test your emails to see which subject lines among your target audience have a higher open rate.

A/B testing with GetProspect

Create as many versions of your subjects, emails and CTAs in our cold emailing tool as you need. Improve your email marketing success and increase your conversion rates.

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6) Define sequence timetable, frequency, and length

  • Time. The approximate time ranges come from thorough customer analysis. What is their typical daily routine? E.g. many salespeople find that Friday afternoon is a good time to contact C-levels. They are finishing their work and are in a good mood waiting for the weekend. 

Once you get the first opens, you can reset the B2B email sequences timetable based on the time they tend to check your emails.  

  • Frequency. If you have a large market and need to qualify the prospect list faster, you may send up to 3 emails daily to each prospect. While the more common practice is the first follow-up in a day, then in a few days, then in a week, then again in a week. 

Consider the specific characteristics of various regions. I mean, more frequent emails might be acceptable in the USA. While in Japan, they may expect follow-up emails at a 2-week interval.

  • Email sequences length. Define the parameter based on the deal and market size. On the first email, you have a 30% chance of getting a response, and on, for example, the eighth email, your chances decrease to 10%.

Yet, the pre-defined length shouldn’t be set in stone. We recommend testing it and refining it based on what time, frequency, and number of follow-ups are winning in your case. 

7) A/B test all parts of emails

Test all elements of your emails to understand what resonates with your audience, what approach is more effective for each audience segment, and what is more effective for your email strategy.

With your email sequence software, you can test:
  • As we have already mentioned, you can A/B test email subject lines. Test different wording, add emojis to some email variants, and remove them from others. Only by testing can you find out which email subject lines are the best at attracting attention and increasing open rates.
  • Test the content of your emails - from the personalized greeting to the CTA button and phrase to the signature. Experiment with different writing styles, text lengths, and highlighting key messages.
  • Check the visual format of your email sequences. Does your audience like more images and gifs in emails, or do they prefer to receive emails in a «short and to the point» format?
  • Check what time (and day) is the best to send emails. Perhaps your customers and prospects are more active in reading emails in the evening or early Monday morning?

8) Direct the user to an action with a CTA

Always add a call to action, firstly, to ensure that your email campaign brings you the desired result and helps you achieve your goals, and secondly, CTA buttons allow you to measure the effectiveness of your emails by analyzing such indicators as the number of clicks, conversions, and other essential metrics.

Example of an email sequence Call to action button:

Note. According to a study from WorldStream, using one clear CTA in email messages increases clicks by 371% and sales by 1,617%.

Guide the user on the next steps. Give them a choice.

For instance, leave several CTAs, one with an offer to use the product, a favorable offer, and one that directs them to write to your support team if they have additional questions.

This is definitely a good solution if you want to increase customer loyalty.

Note. Adding a CTA button makes them more likely to take action because you've simplified the process and told them exactly what to do next.

Types of email sequences

  • Series of welcome emails

  • Email sequences with onboarding info

  • Lead nurturing emails

  • Sales automated email campaigns

  • Cold email sequence

Email sequence best practices (examples & templates)

Welcome email sequence

To whom the email series is sent: Target people who already have some knowledge of your company, perhaps through a previous contact, newsletter subscription, or previous cold email.

A series of welcome emails allows you to directly reach out to users who have just signed up on your website, chosen a trial version of the product, or are in the platform's test period. 

It's crucial to create positive emotions for the recipients, congratulate them on being with your platform, tell them about the benefits they get, and help them understand how to deal with it and what they can do after registering.

  • In the first email, you can welcome people who have just signed up and provide a brief description of what they will get from the free period.
  • You can also add an email to the welcome email sequence to help customers better understand your product/service. Provide brief info on how to use your platform, add successful cases of customers using your platform.
  • In the third email, you can provide data about your customer support team, where frequently asked questions can be answered. Show your new users that you're there for them whenever they need help.

Next, you can add another email with successful customer cases to this effective email sequence and offer a special offer, or perhaps upgrade to a paid plan that will suit the user better and provide more opportunities.

Note. The content of the email chain can vary depending on your strategy, target audience, and goals.

Below, let's take a look at what the first 2 emails of the sequence might look like.

Example of an email sequence: BuzzSumo – email 1 (Сonversation starter)

Example of an email sequence: BuzzSumo – email 2 (Value Disclosure)

Onboarding email sequences

To whom a series of such emails are sent: New users or customers who have recently signed up or purchased a product/service.

You can move to the onboarding stage even if your welcome email chain consists of only 2 emails. You don't have to move to onboarding after more emails. But you need to test and see how effective it is in your case.

For example, Buzzsumo sends product information and onboarding with the third email. At least they were doing it when I received an email from them ;)

Example of an email sequence: BuzzSumo – email 3 (Feature spotlight)

These emails can be configured as separate onboarding email sequences but can also be part of a welcome sequence.

Email campaigns that teach users how to fully use the platform may include the following sequence:

  • Email 1. Details about product 1 and how it is used, what results users have gotten from it, and helpful blog articles can be added.
  • Email 2. Information about product 1 and cases of using it, what results users got from it, + you can add useful articles from the blog.
  • Email 3. Favorable offer, discussion of further steps on the platform, statistics of actions performed for the month.
  • Email 4. Ask people about their feedback about your platform, offer to take a survey, or invite them to a webinar to engage them in active interaction.
Example of an automated email sequence: onboarding + welcome email of GetProspect users

Example of an automated email sequence: onboarding of GetProspect users

Lead nurturing email sequence

To whom a series of such emails are sent: Potential customers who have shown interest in your company or products but have not yet made a purchase.

Lead nurturing email sequences play a key role in marketing and sales strategies. Each company may have a list of potential customers who are not ready to buy a paid subscription right now, but there is a chance to bring them to the purchase with the help of lead nurturing work.

This work on warming up the interest of potential customers can include email sequences that will help you build trust with leads through regular value-based communications that respond to the needs of potential customers.

Also, with a series of these emails, you can provide more data about your product so that people better understand its value, benefits, and significant functionality.

You will be able to raise awareness of your brand and values among your target leads and share successful stories of your company's development, which will demonstrate the company's stability and growth dynamics.

Examples of lead nurturing marketing sequences
Email 1 from Hubspot

Email 2 from ConvertKit

Sales email sequences (+ follow-up)

To whom the email series is sent: Target people who already have some knowledge of your company, perhaps through a previous contact, newsletter subscription, or previous cold email.

Sales email sequences are a pre-planned series of emails that have one goal at the end - a sale. It can be special holiday offers for potential customers or clients, offers for users who have been with the company for a year, or other reasons.

It can be somewhere around 3 emails. The first email with the offer and the second and third emails - follow-ups - with a reminder about it.

Benefit from a follow-up email sequence:
  • First of all, you can raise the audience's interest in the promotion with such sequences.
  • If the lead/customer missed the previous email, you can remind them of your offer in this way.

. Each additional email increases the chances that a person pay attention to your offer. But add intervals between these emails to avoid the opposite effect.

  • This way, you can evoke a sense of urgency, which may encourage the recipient to take advantage of the offer.
Sales email sequence examples (Black Friday)

Sales follow-up email sequence (Follow-up Black Friday from Thruuu)


Sales follow-up email sequence (example of follow-up Black Friday from GetProspect)

Email sequence template 1

Subject line: Merry Christmas, [Prospect name]. Get your [Favorable offer]

Hi [Prospect name],

Especially for the holiday, we prepared a perfect gift for you - all our paid subscriptions come with a 50% discount.

The promotion is valid until the end of the month, so take advantage of it. 

So you'll be able to get: [what the user will get]

[ Button with CTA – Activate it now].

Have a very Merry Christmas.


Sales email sequence template 2 (follow up)

Subject line: Less than 24 hrs left to get a 50% discount on the paid tariff plan [Favorable offer]

Hi [Prospect name],

This is the last day of the deal. Take advantage of the last chance to get [favorable offer]. 

[Button with CTA –  get my 50% off]

Don't miss out on this great discount - Christmas only comes once a year.

Let me tell you more about the proposal.

  •  Argument in favor of paid subscriptions and great platform features # 1.
  •  Argument in favor of paid subscription and great platform features # 2.

I also recommend reading [you can add a video of a successful case study or webinar that shows how to use a paid plan and get more out of it].

All the best,

Cold email sequence

To whom the email series is sent: to leads who have not even interacted with your brand and product before.

Cold email sequences, unlike sales email chains, can be sent to people who have never even interacted with your brand or product before. 

Since email campaigns are sent to potential customers who may not even be familiar with your company, it's crucial to think through many personalization details to send leads a relevant and unintrusive beneficial offer.

The main goal of this type of email sequence is to establish the first contact and transform a prospect into the lead by introducing your company and product and telling why it will be helpful to the person.

This is a strategic approach that uses a variety of cold email templates to attract leads and move them through the sales process.

  • The first cold email can contain basic data applicable to the specific person. 

For example, in a preliminary with GetProspect, you may find a list of leads who use a similar product to yours. Do this with our filter «Technologies» in the B2B database Search block. 

So, you produce a similar product, but it has more features and is more favorable in terms of price. Tell leads briefly about it.

You don't have to say that you know what potential customers use, just send a suggestion on how to use your product. 

  • Next, set up a follow-up email, let's say after 3 days, which will remind them about your offer. Ask if they received your email.

  • You may send another follow-up email with a case study so that potential customers can learn about the experience of using your product.

Cold email sequence template: first cold email

Subject line: [Lead Company name] + [Name of your company]

Hi [Lead name],

My name is [Name], and I am [Position in the Company] at [Company Name].

Our company helps [𝖭𝖺𝗆𝖾 the business area and possibly the business size] with [Describe what kind of user problems/tasks you may solve].

I'd like to know how you cope with tasks like [Specify the tasks this company needs to perform] in [Company name of the lead], and I'd like to demonstrate how we can assist you.

[1-2 sentences about what your product does]

[List of 3-5 points of what your product/company does]


We can book a call where I will give you a product demo [Link].

Best regards,

[Name] from [Company name]

Cold email sequence template: follow-up

Subject line: Did you get a chance to consider our offer?

Hi [Lead name],

This is [Name] from [Company Name].

A few days ago, I emailed you about our product and how it can benefit your company.

I see you have a busy schedule, and I realize you might have missed it, so I'm contacting you again because this is the offer you definitely don't want to pass up.

I also wanted to add an example of how we work with [Insert brands of similar companies to the potential client's company] to provide this solution.

Here's a link to the case study [Link].

The experience of companies like yours using our product is pretty positive.

We would like you to test it out as well. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

We can book a call where I will give you a product demo [Link].

All the best,

[Name] from [Company name]

Full email sequences schemes

Sales email sequences 

This is a GetProspect sales email sequence structure. We focus our sales efforts on signed-up leads.  We have a large market of potential customers, so we decided it is reasonable to have 3 emails in a sequence. Our content is product-focused because the customer is already product-aware and has probably started using it.

  • A customer signed up
  • Explain what business help we can offer, social proof, and offer to book a demo.

    Booked demo on unsubscribed

    Sequence stops

  • No reaction
  • Assume they probably consider email finder alternatives and offer to book a demo.

    Booked demo on unsubscribed

    Sequence stops

  • No reaction
  • Ask about experience with the tool to date, and whether they‘d like to explore it further on demo. Tell about the special offer.

Cold email sequences  

  • Subject line: PandaDoc post-{{conference_name}}
    Email body: Remind about the meeting at the conference, pitch their product and offer a call.
  • Subject line: Re: PandaDoc post-{{conference_name}}
    Email body: Just remind about the previous message.
  • Subject line: Re: PandaDoc post-{{conference_name}}
    Email body: Share relevant to the recipient case study, ask whether the recipient wants similar success.
  • Subject line: PandaDoc + {{company_name}}
    Email body: Share one more case study (what is important - they paste the link as a text, which is good for deliverability), 2 offers: to read the testimonials for 10 min or have a call for 10 min.

Outreach email sequences 

  • A customer signed up
  • Subject line: UpLead + HubSpot, Salesforce, and more
    Email body: Provide 1 valuable tip on how to use their tool, add a gif of how it works, and link to the feature.
  • Subject line: Why you‘re not closing as much sales as you like
    Email body: Describe the lead‘s problem and how their tool can help. Offer to try a paid plan for free.
  • Subject line: Targeting prospects by the tech they use
    Email body: Offer advice on using one of their features, explain use cases in detail, offer to try the feature. The email itself is a personalization tip (the value for the customer), with the product infused in the advice.
  • Subject line: Subject line: no annual commitment
    Email body: Mention a common pain point related to prices, show reviews, mention the product benefits, offer to use the tool.
  • Subject line: If you‘re not happy with your cold emails, get this
    Email body: Just provide the gated guide on cold email campaigns and ask to share feedback on how the recipient implemented the guide.
  • Subject line: Hey check
    Email body: Offer to extend a free trial after its expiration.

B2B email sequences

The b2b effective email sequence from the Left Productions video-making agency. Since they are targeting creative departments, they use gifs in most emails.

In this case, the company picks the most qualified leads that show buyer intent. Likely, recipients are unaware of your brand. You need more reasons to convince the recipients your product is worth trying. So the email campaign sequence is longer here. The company sends around 6 emails over 2 weeks. 

  • Subject line: Call
    Email body: A pitch tied to why it might be interesting for the recipient.
  • Subject line: Follow-up
    Email body: A short reminder of the benefits the recipient will get, promise to show success cases on the call.
  • Subject line: Follow-up-{company}
    Email body: Share helpful articles for the prospect problem.
  • Subject line: Expanding in the US!
    Email body: Share their US cases and info that they now have an office in the US, probably sent to US prospects.
  • Subject line: Apologies
    Email body: Reasons why the agency might be a fit for the prospect, methods they use, social proof.
  • Subject line: This is my last email
    Email body: Remind about what services they offer. Notify that the prospect will be added to the newsletter with useful tips regarding video advertising.

Summary about effective email sequences

  • Email sequences are a series of personalized emails that are automatically sent - with a schedule that will be successfully applied to each target audience segment.
  • An email sequence is made effective by choosing high-quality email software that will have a reasonable price and a list of key features, like a user-friendly interface, easy setup of these automatic emails, ability to add personalization, and more.
  • Automated  email sequences help companies drive more leads, get more revenue, and improve their email sales and marketing strategy through A/B testing.
  • To create a sequence of emails, you need: choose the best email sequence platform, set a SMART goal, make a plan for each sequence, create valuable for users content, write a catchy subject line and a pre-header, add CTA, and periodically A/B test your sequences.

About author

Dima Shulga

Dmytro Shulha is registered as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of GetProspect in Ukraine. He has more than 10 years of experience in building IT products. 

From 2006 to 2012 Dmytro earned his education as an Engineer’s Degree, Applied Mathematics in National Technical University of Ukraine 'Kyiv Polytechnic Institute'​.