Sequences

Use sequences

Last updated: February 21, 2019

Applies to:

Sales Hub Starter, Professional, Enterprise
Service Hub Starter, Professional, Enterprise

With the sequences tool, you can send a series of targeted, timed email templates to nurture a prospect over time. When contacts reply to the email or a book a meeting, they will automatically unenroll from the sequence. 

Sequences use a mix of personalized, well-timed emails and follow-up task reminders to automate your communication with your leads. If you want to automate multiple different actions and business processes for a list of contacts, learn more about using workflows.

Please note: the sequences tool is only available for Sales Hub StarterProfessional, or Enterprise users or Service Hub StarterProfessional, or Enterprise users with a connected cloud-based email inbox using G Suite or Office 365, or a connected inbox using IMAP. You cannot use a shared inbox that is connected to conversations to send sequences.

Create and edit sequences

Set up your sequence

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Automation > Sequences.
  • Click Create Sequence.
  • In the left panel, select Start from scratch or select a pre-made sequence template. Then click Create sequence
  • In the sequence editor, click the pencil icon edit and enter a name for your sequence. 
  • Click the plus icon + to add a step. 
  • In the Add email template or task pane, you can add an email template or a task to your sequence.
    • To add an email template, on the Email template tab:
      1. Click the Select a template dropdown menu to filter your email templates, or use the search bar to search for a specific template. 
      2. Select the radio button next to the template you want to use in your sequence, then click Add
      3. Or, click + Create template. In the pop-out window, set up your email template, then click Save template to add it to your sequence. sequences-add-email-template
    • To add a task, on the Tasks pane:
      1. Select the radio button next to the task you want to add to your sequence, then click Add
      2. Or, click + Create custom task. In the pop-out window, set up your task, then click Done.  
  • Next, customize the sequence step delays. On each step after the first action, use the dropdown menus to set a number of days or weeks that should pass before the next step executes. If you want a task to execute immediately after an email is sent, select Don't delay this stepsequences-edit-sequence-step-delay-

Please note: the tasks in sequences are designed to remind you to take an action and do not impact sequence enrollment. Contacts will continue through the sequence and receive any following emails based on the delays you've set regardless of whether or not you complete the task. 

  • Add steps until your sequence is complete. Each sequence is limited to five email templates, although you can add as many task reminders as needed.
  • Next, click the Settings tab:
    • By default, sequence emails are only sent on weekdays. If you want emails to send on Saturday and Sunday, clear the Send follow-up emails on weekdays only checkbox. Learn more about sequence email send times
    • If you want each email in the sequence to thread together in the recipient's inbox, select the Thread follow-up emails as replies checkbox. Learn more about sequence email threads
    • Customize the timing of each email send in the sequence:
      • Select Send follow-ups within a time range, then use the dropdown menus to set a time range for each follow-up email to execute in the sequence. 
      • If you're a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise user, select Send follow-up emails at recommended send times to send follow-up emails at a time with the highest open rate for that day. This time is determined by HubSpot. sequences-settings-page

Edit your sequence

  • To re-order the steps in the sequence, click the arrows in the top corner. sequences-reorder-sequence-steps%20
  • If needed, you can edit the email template or task directly from the sequence.
    • Click the pencil icon edit in the top-right corner of your task or template. sequences-edit-a-sequence-step
    • Edit the email template, then click Update existing template to add your edits to the current template, or click Save as new template to create a new template. 
    • Edit the task's name and type, or assign the task to a different queue. Click Done
  • Click delete delete to remove a step from your sequence. 

Please note: you can edit your sequence templates for contacts that are currently active in a sequence. Learn more about how changes to an active sequence can impact your contacts

  • When you have finished editing your sequence steps and are ready to enroll your contacts, click Save

Enroll a contact in your sequence

Learn how to enroll your contacts in a sequence from their contact record, the sequence summary page, or your email inbox. When enrolling contacts in a sequence, make sure you are following email sending best practices.  

Please note: users can initiate up to 150 sequence enrollments per day. This count resets at midnight UTC. In creating this limit, HubSpot took into account the sending limit for G Suite (formerly Google Apps), which limits users to 2,000 email sends per day. HubSpot set the limit to 150 sequences initiated per day to ensure that no user hits their sending limit in G Suite. HubSpot will not be able to increase the limit of sequence enrollments.

Enroll a contact from their contact record

You can enroll contacts in a sequence from their contact record. A connected inbox is required to send emails from a contact record in the CRM.

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
  • Click the name of the contact you want to enroll.
  • In the left panel, click the Email icon  email.
  • At the bottom right in the email composer window, click Sequencessequences-select-sequence-from-new-record
  • In the dialog box, hover over the sequence you want to enroll the contact in and click Select
  • On the next screen, set up your sequence settings and personalize the templates. You can edit the email body and also insert snippets and documentsIf you're a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise user, you can use sales email recommendations and surface insights about your contact to help tailor your email content. Click the Get suggestions alert to review the recommendations. enroll-contact-get-suggestions
  • On the top menu, click the Start at dropdown menu and select which step should execute first in the sequence.
  • If you don't want the first email in the sequence to send immediately, click the dropdown menu above the first email and select Send first email at a specific time, then use the dropdown menus to pick a date and time for the send. sequences-send-follow-ups-dropdown-menu-1
  • In the upper right, click the Follow-up options dropdown menu and decide when each subsequent email should send: 
    • Send follow-ups at manually set time: specify a specific time for each email in your sequence. You will then need to manually assign a send time to each sequence email using the dropdown menus above the sequence steps.  
    • Send follow-ups within a time range: use the dropdown menus to set a time range for each follow-up email to execute in the sequence. 
    • Send follow-ups at recommended send times (Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise only): follow-up emails will be sent at a time with the highest open rate for that day. This time is determined by HubSpot. 
  • Click Applysequences-advanced-settings-follow-up-sends
  • If you have multiple inboxes connected to HubSpot, click the From dropdown menu at the bottom of the Enroll sequence dialog box and select which email you want your sequences to be sent from. sequence-enroll-modal-select-secondary-address
  • When you're ready to enroll the contact, click Start sequence

Please note: if you have templates that contain curly brackets anywhere in your sequence, when you attempt to enroll a contact in the sequence, you'll experience a continual loading screen. If this happens, remove any curly brackets from your template and then re-enroll the contact.

Enroll a contact from the sequence summary page

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Automation > Sequences.
  • Click the name of the sequence you'd like to send.
  • Click Enroll.

sequences-enroll-button

  • Search for the contact you want to enroll and select the checkbox next to their name. 
  • Then click Next

sequences-select-contacts-next

  • On the next screen, set up your sequence settings and personalize the templates. You can edit the email body and also insert snippets and documents using the two icons in the button right-hand corner of a template. If you're a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise user, you can use sales email recommendations and surface insights about your contact to help tailor your email content. Click the Get suggestions alert to review the suggestions. enroll-contact-get-suggestions
  • On the top menu, click the Start at dropdown menu and select which step should execute first in the sequence.
  • If you don't want the first email in the sequence to send immediately, click the dropdown menu above the first email and select Send first email at a specific time, then use the dropdown menus to pick a date and time for the send. sequences-send-follow-ups-dropdown-menu-1
  • In the upper right, click the Follow-up options dropdown menu and decide when each subsequent email should send:
    • Send follow-ups at manually set time: specify a specific time for each email in your sequence. You will then need to manually assign a send time to each sequence email using the dropdown menus above the sequence steps.  
    • Send follow-ups within a time range: use the dropdown menus to set a time range for each follow-up email to execute in the sequence. 
    • Send follow-ups at recommended send times: follow-up emails will be sent at a time with the highest open rate for that day. This time is determined by HubSpot. sequences-advanced-settings-follow-up-sends
  • Click Apply
  • If you have multiple inboxes connected to HubSpot, click the From dropdown menu at the bottom of the Enroll sequence dialog box and select which email you want your sequences to be sent from. sequence-enroll-modal-select-secondary-address
  • When you're ready to enroll the contact, click Start sequence.  

If you are a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise user and you need to enroll multiple contacts in a sequence, learn more about using sequence queues.

Enroll a contact from your email inbox

Enroll contacts in sequences from your inbox using the HubSpot Sales Chrome extension or one of the add-ins: 

After enrolling your contacts, learn how to monitor and edit your active sequences. You can also analyze your sequence's performance over time to ensure you're seeing a successful number of replies and meetings booked. 

Sequence email sending best practices

When enrolling your contacts in a sequence, keep email sending best practices in mind. At this time, HubSpot will not restrict your sequence sending capabilities if your sequence bounce rate is high, but there are some general best practices to follow when reaching out to your prospects using sequences:

  • Create saved filters of unengaged contacts and to identify which contacts are not likely to engage with your sequence emails. 
  • Remove contacts that have hard bounced from your account. 
  • Don't send to contacts who have asked you not to contact them. 
  • Make sure your contacts' email addresses come from verified sources, and that these contacts have opted in to receiving email communication from you. 
  • Use personalization tokens in your sales email templates to increase engagement.