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Reply Management with Unibox
What is a Sequence?
Leadfwd Sequences are a series of automated and manual touch points that take a prospect or customer on a step-by-step engagement journey. Sequences replicate and automate your daily sales activities to ensure a consistent outreach strategy for every prospect, every time.
Sequences enable sales teams to create and execute their sales process in a consistent way, every time for every account. They help sales professionals stay organized, productive and ultimately allow you to reach more accounts in less time with less effort. By returning time to sales teams, they can focus more on closing deals and less on opening deals -- while their Sequences operate in the background 24/7/365.
Are Sequences only for Lead Generation?
Not at all! Sequences can add value to every stage of your sales lifecycle:
Demand Creation: Build pipeline for future quarters by targeting key accounts and stakeholders that aren’t necessarily in-market to drive future awareness & activation.
Demand Capture: Reach key accounts and stakeholders that are demonstrating interest and intent. These can be inbound leads (sync form submissions to Leadfwd), active visitors on your website (identified by Leadfwd) or third-party intent data such as Bombora.
Convert Pipeline: Engage your existing open opportunities & active pipeline to accelerate revenue and ensure deals don't fall between the cracks.
Recycle and Reactivate: Re-engage accounts and stakeholders that were lost opportunities, aged/pending opportunities or canceled customer accounts and attempt to reactivate them in your pipeline.
How does a Sequence work?
Sequences run on autopilot, executing outreach actions that are triggered step-by-step on a dynamic schedule that optimizes timing and frequency. Sequences are entirely customizable and can be purpose-built with any number of action steps, in any order, at any frequency and velocity.
Sequences are useful for many outreach goals, including: cold outreach, inbound lead nurturing, expanding existing customers (upsell) or recruiting.
Prospects can be enrolled into a Sequence using several methods:
- Add Individually (one-by-one)
- Add a List
- Add a List Segment
- Add By Tag Assignment
- Add by Automation Workflow
- Add by CRM
- Add by Webhook or Zapier
- Add via Sidebar (LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, Gmail, Outlook 365, Hubspot, Pipedrive and more)
Prospects will progress through a sequence, step-by-step, until they meet the goal of a sequence or until they reach the end of the sequence. Generally, the goal of any sequence is to generate a response and conversation with your prospect.
Sequences replicate manual daily sales processes and automates or organizes the right touch points, at the right time, so sales reps never forget to follow up and always know what's next. Sequences return several hours each week to sales teams, enabling them to focus on close sales.
Email Marketing vs. Sales Engagement
Email is still the 'killer app' and plays a signification role in both marketing campaigns and sales outreach. The approach and delivery of email as an outreach channel with a Sales Engagement Platform, like Leadfwd Sequences, is much different than traditional email marketing. It's important to understand the key differences in order to make the most of your Sequences.
Human-like Sending Patterns using AI
Email Marketing platforms can delivery thousands of email messages every minute and the focus is heavily focused on reaching larger volumes of contacts, quickly. It's also clear to recipients that messaging received in the form of newsletters, promotions and other marketing material is being sent by a company and not a person.
Sales Engagement with Sequences works in reverse. While Sequences are powered by AI and automation the ultimate goal is give the impression to the recipient that the email has been sent by a human. To help create that impression, emails powered by Sequences work in a few different ways:
- Emails are sent through actual mailboxes, like a business Gmail or Outlook 365 account. Why? Because that's how a human would send email. This approach provides better deliverability optimization and gives a more authentic touch to the email, since it's not being sent by Mailchimp or Constant Contact. Yes, you can expect that your recipients can easily tell a marketing message from an authentic direct message. Most email clients communicate this in their message interfaces.
- Since emails are sent through actual mailboxes, it also means that this isn't a 'batch and blast' sending methodology. Volume isn't the name of the game. Personalization and targeting the right prospects is what it's all about.
- Human's can't send thousands or hundreds of emails every minute. Leadfwd Sequences deploy AI to create a 'human-like' approach to sending emails. This includes never using concurrent connections, emails are sent one at a time. Random delays are also automatically added in between each send, to create a human-like sending pattern.
Conversational, text-drive messaging
Save the fancy HTML layouts for the marketing messaging. Email formatting for Sequences should be free of fancy formatting, images, tables, etc. Emails should appear exactly as if it was composed and sent directly to a prospect or customer from your email client. Simple text helps boost the authentic 'feel' while also improving deliverability. While they're visually appealing, HTML layouts, images and hyperlinks all draw more scrutiny from spam filters. Reaching the inbox and staying out of the SPAM folder is job #1.
- Opt-out links do not appear in 1:1 emails sent by humans and they're optional for emails sent through Sequences. When compliance allows, disable an unsubscribe option and allow our AI reply detection to automatically opt-out recipients that reply with a 'Do not contact' request.
- Personalize your messages automatically with personalization merge tags or hyper-personalize for each recipient using Icebreakers.
- For Gmail and Outlook 365 mailboxes, take advantage of 'threading' to combine all of your automated emails into a single conversation/string in your recipients mailbox. This enables users to maintain context across the entire journey, by allowing recipients to see the full history of your outreach and value proposition in a single view.
Open and Click Tracking
Open rate tracking is probably the industry standard metric that is used to measure the success of email campaigns. Along with click-thru tracking to measure link popularity and content consumption. The technology behind open rate tracking has been around for decades and while it has evolved somewhat, it is still pretty much the same. It involves an invisible tracking pixel (image) that's included in every email that loads a remote script, each time the image tag is loaded in the message. Once upon a time this was a fairly reliable approach, but the times have changed.
- Spam filters are well aware of these tracking pixels and they can't be easily disguised. Tracking opens will 'dock' points with spam filters.
- Privacy. People don't want to be tracked and platforms (Apple with iOS, for example) are making it increasingly difficult or unreliable for marketers.
- Security bots that scan messages and trigger those open tracking pixels creating a false open, that wasn't really performed by your recipient. False positives have been an issue for marketers for a few years and platforms struggle to identify and filter them out. The challenge has only become more difficult as more email messages are scrutinized and more service providers are routing all mailbox activities through proxies.
- Adding hyperlinks to your email will also create more overhead and the potential for a closer look by spam filters, especially when you include complex links that are configured for link tracking. Some of the risk can be mitigated by using a CNAME to personalize your links with the same domain that you're sending your email from and this is the recommended practice. When possible avoid adding more than one or two hyperlinks, but to maximize deliverability the best bet is zero. Balance that against your goals and objectives.
Emails sent using Sequences can be optionally configured to not track opens and to not track clicks.
Reply and Sentiment Detection
A key feature to Sales Engagement is the ability to detect replies to emails sent through a Sequence. Besides the obvious reporting benefits of understanding how different emails and Sequences generate responses, there is a practical benefit that helps close the loop on the 'human-like' methodology. That benefit is the ability to end automated outreach immediately when a prospect replies, so that the human sales rep can take over the conversation.
Replies that are detected will also be processed through a NLP framework to determine the sentiment of the response (Positive or Negative). The sentiment can be leveraged to measure effectiveness of specific messages and also to help provide a high-level view of what's working and what's not across the entire platform. Additionally, reply detection and sentiment can be leveraged by Automation workflow to trigger specific actions when replies are received, such as pushing interested prospects to your CRM automatically.
Sequences are assembled into individual steps that define how and when a prospect is touched. Leadfwd Sequences offer multiple step types for users to leverage for outreach, including: Email, SMS, Manual Tasks, LinkedIn Auto-Tasks, Voicemail Drops, Reminders, CRM Tasks, Assign CRM Owner, Webhooks and Enroll or Unenroll in a Sequence.