support center

Email sequences

Email sequences are only available to Pro and Business users. You can upgrade your team members under Settings > Billing.

What is an email sequence?

An email sequence is a series of emails to be sent, one by one, in specified time gaps to specific subscribers. The sequence will run until the subscriber sends an email to an account that is synchronized with Close.io (This includes but isn't limited to replying to an email in the sequence.)

An email sequence consists of:

  • Name: A title to describe the email sequence
  • Sequence steps: One or more emails that are sent as a part of the email sequence.
  • Email sequence options: Settings for email sequence level (what time of day emails should be sent, etc.)

Contacts that are subscribed to an email sequence will receive the sequence steps until they are paused or removed from the email sequence. Later we’ll explain how a contact can get added or removed from an email sequence.

When should I use an email sequence vs a bulk email?

Both email sequences and bulk emails let you send email to multiple recipients at once in Close.io. Bulk emails are great for one time announcements and events. Email sequences are best used when: 1. trying to start a new conversation (e.g. when first reaching out to a lead), or 2. following up on existing conversation (e.g. trying to schedule a demo). Remember– email sequences automatically pause for any contact who sends an email to an account that is synchronized with Close.io (such as replying to an email in the sequence) .

Like bulk emails, email sequences will be sent through your email account. This can lead to a higher than typical email volume, so you should make sure your account is able to send a large number of emails. For example, Gmail accounts are often limited to sending 500 emails per day, and may not be suitable for email sequence sending. If you’re running into account limits, you can have Close.io use a separate email service/server to send email.

How do I create an email sequence?

Every sequence needs a name, at least one step, and a sending schedule. The name of the sequence must be unique across your company—you can’t use the same sequence name in two sequences.

 

What is an email sequence step?

An email sequence can have one or more sequence steps. Each step consists of:

  • Email template: email sequences use the same shared templates you already create and use in Close.io
  • Sending delay: Emails can be sent between 1 and 365 days apart.
  • Sending as new thread option: After the first email in an email sequence, subsequent steps can either be sent as replies in the same email thread, or they can start new email threads.

What email templates can I use in an email sequence step?

You can use any existing shared email template in your email sequence. You can also create a new shared email template from the step itself. Since sequences are shared within your company, they can only use shared email templates.

Any changes you make to an email template will take effect immediately — any future emails sent with that template in a sequence, on a lead page, in a bulk email, or anywhere else you use the template will reflect updated template content.

What is the sending schedule?

A sending schedule is a series of open sending windows, during which emails will send. Each email sequence has a sending schedule.

Emails will send at random times within the sending window, to most accurately mimic human sending behavior (and increase the email open and response rates).

If a contact is added to a sequence during an open sending window, and there is no delay, the first email will send within a few minutes. If a contact is added to an email sequence outside of its sending window, the email will send at a random time in the first day of the sending window.

For example, if you select the Monday—Friday, Any time sending schedule, and add a contact to the sequence on Sunday, the contact will receive the first email in the sequence on Monday, assuming there is no delay specified for the first step.

Because email sending times are randomly distributed throughout the sending window, it is possible for the delay between steps to be longer (or shorter) than 24 hours * the number of days selected for the sending delay. For example, if there are two steps with a delay of one day in between, it would be possible (though unlikely) that the first email could be send at 11 PM and the following step could be sent at 1 AM the next day — a delay of only two hours. If it is important to avoid this possibility, consider selecting the Monday—Friday, 9am-4pm sending schedule.

  First step (without a delay) First step (with a delay)
Adding a contact during a sending window First email will send immediately First step will be sent at a random time in the next sending window after the delay
Adding a contact outside a sending window First step will send at a random time in the next sending window First step will be sent at a random time in the next sending window after the delay (counting from the day the contact is added)

What timezone does the sending schedule use?
When selecting the sending schedule, you also select the timezone to be used for the email sequence. By default, the UTC timezone is used. We do not currently support per contact timezones for email sequences.

How do I subscribe contacts to an email sequence?

Contacts can be added one at a time from the lead page:

Contacts can also be added in bulk from a search result or smart view:

How do I pause the email sequence for one contact?

To pause an email sequence for a single contact, click on the sequence name on the contact record and select pause in the dialog box.


What happens if I get an OOO (out of office) or autoresponder reply?

When we detect that a reply to a sequence step email is from an automatic responder (such as an out of office reply), we will not pause the sequence. Autoresponders are not counted as replies in email sending reports, either. For more information, see the article on how we manage autoresponder replies.


How do I deactivate an email sequence for all current recipients?

To deactivate an email sequence for everyone currently subscribed to it, you can change the email sequence state to deactivated in the email sequence overview page.

Why did my email sequence pause for a particular contact?

Any email received from a contact will pause all email sequences for that contact. If the contact sends an email from one of their listed addresses, it will pause all email sequences for that contact, even if they emailed you from an address that was not subscribed to any email sequences.

Example: a contact has two email addresses, tom@example.com and thomas@example.com. If the contact is receiving two email sequences at tom@example.com, and then sends an unrelated email from thomas@example.com, both email sequences going to tom@example.com will be immediately paused. You can resume the email sequence for the contact from the activity feed or from the contact itself.

An email sequence will also pause for a contact if an email sequence email is replied to by any email, even if it's not saved in an existing contact.

Example: a contact is subscribed to a sequence with the email address jsmith@example.com. That contact receives the email and replies from a different email address john@example.com. In this case the sequence will still be paused for the original contact.

What happens if an email can’t send?

Sometimes an email in a sequence can’t be sent. This can happen if you delete the email account that the sequence uses for sending, or if there is a problem with your email credentials (like the login or password).

When this happens, the sequence will automatically pause for any contacts that should have received an email but couldn’t because of the error. After correcting the issue, you can resume the sequence for each contact. When you resume, the correct step will be sent in the next available sending window.

Can I send the same sequence to more than one email address on a single contact?

No, sequences will send per contact and not per email address. You can, however, send more than one sequence to a contact.

For example, in this screenshot, the contact is receiving the sequence “Book a Demo” at one email address, and the sequence “Demo Sequence #2” at another address.