In sales, when you reach out to connect with someone, the standard practice in Outreach is to place them in a sequence. This gives you the best chance of receiving an initial response.
Once the prospect responds to one of your sequence emails, they will be automatically removed from the sequence. At this point, you will need to respond to the prospect's email from your inbox. This is where Follow-Up Sequences step in. Before you hit send on that email from your inbox (Gmail or Outlook), you can attach a Follow-Up Sequence to the email. This will ensure that if your prospect does not respond to your email, they will be automatically added to the Follow-Up Sequence.
As an Outreach best practice, we recommend you attach a Follow-Up Sequence to every email you send from your inbox that requires a response.
Building Follow-Up Sequences
Check out our Sequence Blueprints for some pre-built, best-in-class Follow-Up sequences.
Auto vs. Manual Email
There are two types of emails that you can have in a sequence: auto and manual.
Auto email: Emails will automatically send at the predesignated time, either a specific time and day or an interval of time after the first touch point. There is no action required for the emails to send.
Manual email: An email that, at a predesignated time, either a specific time and day or interval of time after the first touch point, will be queued as a task in Outreach for delivery. Manual emails will not be sent until you manually send the email. The prospect will remain at this step in the sequence until you make any necessary edits and send the email.
In both instances, if there is a reply, the person is automatically kicked out of the sequence.
Understanding which type of email step to use is significant in designing your sequence. For example, maybe you want the email to automatically send no matter what, based on your workflow? Then an auto email is right for you.
Sample Reply Emails
The language should be simple and generic, since you're just checking in. When creating your follow-up sequence, your emails should always be a "Reply" type, found on top of the email compose window when adding an email sequence step. This will automatically create a thread, attaching the email you deliver from your inbox to the sequence reply email (more below).
These 3 templates are examples of verbiage that we use to "check in" during the follow up sequence:
Using a Follow-Up Sequence (Gmail)
Follow-up sequences should last about 10-15 days in order to give the contact time to respond. We typically end the sequence with a generic task deciding what to do next.
To add a prospect to a follow-up sequence, open the prospect message you're replying to in your inbox. After completing your email response, click on the Sequence button on the top of the compose window.
- Select the Sequence you would like to use. Feel free to select "Preview Steps" if you'd like to familiarize yourself with the Steps in the Sequence. Then, select the Sequence you would like to use.
- Next, choose who you would like to be the primary prospect (if there are multiple recipients). The primary prospect is the individual that will be used by Outreach to fill out variables, associte with reporting, and determines which lead/contact activities will sync to your CRM on behalf of.
- Check to make sure none of the prospects are in other sequences or are not opted out. If they are, depending on the setting of these sequences, there is a chance your follow-up sequence will fail.
- Finally, if you'd like to customize when the Follow-Up Sequence will start, you can simply select the clock icon, and find the right time for the sequence to begin. Keep in mind, the sequence will only begin if there is no response to the email you are about to send.
- Select "Set Follow-Up" and then send your email by selecting "Send Now"