A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Email Sequences That Drive Conversions

ByNupur Mittal


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You can't expect to build a loyal customer base by sending only one email, i.e., a welcome email after the user sign-up. You need to send a series of emails to nurture them, keep them engaged, and convert them into paying customers.

But you can't write a gazillion emails and send them to each subscriber as that would be tiresome, won't it? That's where the automated email sequence comes in. By automating email flow, you can save time and get a higher return on your investment.

We have written this guide to help you understand the nitty-gritty of setting up different types of email sequences. Let's begin.

Table of contents

What is an email sequence?

An email sequence is a series of emails one can send automatically using automation software to their subscribers to nurture or achieve a specific goal. These emails are triggered by certain predefined criteria, which can be either time-based or event-based.

Time-based sequence emails Event-based email sequences
These emails are sent at predefined intervals set by you. For example
- Anniversary or birthday emails.
- Lead nurturing email after a specific interval over time.
- Informative emails when the user's free trial is ending.
Trigger-based emails are sent when users take a specific action defined by you. For example, sending transaction receipts when users buy products from your site.
Some other trigger-based emails are:
- Click a link in the email.
- Not logging in to your software platform for a certain time.
- Clicking on all of your previous CTAs etc.
- Fill out a form on the website.

You can create email sequences to achieve your email marketing objectives. Some of them can be:

  • To nurture leads into paying customers.

  • Re-engage with inactive users.

  • Keep users updated with new information.

  • Build brand awareness and loyalty.

What are the benefits of an email sequence?

Here are the 3 benefits that will compel you to prepare your email sequence today:

• Scale your business

You can scale your business with a one-time effort by reaching out to your email subscribers as sequences work on automation. All you need to do is map users' journeys, define criteria to trigger emails, and you are good to go.

• Understand your user's journey

Mapping your user's journey is fundamental to setting up effective sequence emails. In the process, you dive deep into the user's pain points, develop ideas to solve them, and engage with them more personally. The more aware you are of the user's journey, the more relevant and personalized email you can send, and more users will feel happy with your brand.

• Retain customers and build a loyal customer base

Email sequence helps you retain your existing customers by sending them post-purchase emails such as loyalty emails, gamification, etc. You can set up re-engagement emails to send them content to keep them engaged and turn them into loyal customers. The stronger your customer base, the more leads you can generate through referral recommendations and thus scale your business.

To avail of these benefits, you must set up the right email sequence across different user journey stages. That's what we will be discussing next.

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8 types of email sequences you can set up

Here are the 8 types of email sequences you can set up to nurture, engage and convert leads into paying customers:

1. Welcome/Onboarding emails sequence

The welcome or onboarding email series includes emails sent to new subscribers and users. These initial emails are crucial to enriching customer experience and reducing churn rate in the long run.

The more powerful your onboarding is, the more likely users will become loyal customers and the less likely they will churn.

Van Giesler, an email marketing strategist and copywriter, defines onboarding using her dinner party analogy. She says,
when you go over to dinner at someone's place, they don't shove the dinner on your face. They walk in, greet, show you around, and make you feel comfortable at their home. Then, before dinner, you are served appetizers accompanied by the conversation, and then after that dinner.

So, onboarding your new subscribers works the same way. Onboarding is your chance to accompany them with your product or services, resolve their issues (if any), highlight your product's pro benefits, and ensure they have a great experience.

Onboarding email sequence example:

📧 Recommended emails: 5 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 1-2 weeks (space it on based on your product’s complexity)

Email 1: Talk about the next steps to set up their account and what they can expect from future emails.

Email 2: (Optional): Discuss steps to set up the account.

Email 3: Send emails for every successful action users to take, be it setting up their account, verifying their email, etc.

Email 4: Send testimonials and case studies to compel them to upgrade.

Email 5: Send them a final reminder to try the product, or check your resources.

See the full breakdown of this self-serve onboarding series

2. Lead nurturing email sequence

This email series is created to nurture your gathered leads using different tools and sources. This series aims to warm the cold leads, build trust and nudge them to convert.

You can also use this series to qualify leads based on your lead scoring criteria. For example, if a lead is engaging with your email and taking action, as mentioned, this reflects their intent to buy, So you can move them to qualified leads and nurture them using different series.

Cold lead nurturing emails series example:

📧 Recommended emails: 4 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 2-3 weeks

Email 1: Share useful resources such as ebooks, blog post links, webinars, et., based on their past interaction with you.

Email 2: Follow up with them to get their feedback on the resources you shared and ask them what else they would prefer.

Email 3: Share customer success stories and case studies to enforce trust and place yourself as an authoritative source.

Email 4: Nudge users to try out your product by giving exciting and relevant deals

Lead nurture email series.png

Get the inside scoop into this SaaS lead nurturing sequence

3. Event/Webinar promotion email sequence

If you have an upcoming event, such as a webinar, you can set up an event email sequence to promote and get more registration and awareness. The main goal of such emails is to get more registration and keep registered users updated about the same.

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Event promotion email sequence template:

📧 Recommended emails: 5 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 1 weeks

Email 1: Send a registration acknowledgment email as soon as someone registers for the webinar.

Email 2: Send a reminder email (mention the number of days to go)

Email 3: Send another reminder email when the webinar approaches the due date.

Email 4: Send a reminder email a few hours before the webinar

Email 5: Send a reminder email post-5-10minutes of the event.

SaaS webinar registration drip email sequence

Learn more about webinar registration email sequence

4. Lead magnet email sequence

When a visitor signs up for the lead magnet, it shows that they might be interested in your product or your industry. It offers you a great opportunity to engage with them and turn them into potential customers.

You need to set up a lead magnet email sequence to do that effectively. With this sequence, you can thank them for showing interest in the lead magnets and nurture them towards conversions.

Lead magnet email sequence example:

📧 Recommended emails: 3-4 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 4-5 days

Email 1: Share the resource within seconds of their demand to avoid friction.

Email 2: Send them a feedback email to collect reviews about the resource.

Email 3: Share relevant resources based on the lead magnet they demanded.

Email 4: Nudge them towards booking a demo call with your team of experts.

Lead magnet email flow

Get the full breakdown of lead magnet email sequence

5. Re-engagement email sequence

The purpose of the re-engagement email sequence is to win them back.

Here are two things you need to answer first.

  1. How long does a subscriber need to be unengaged to send them re-engagement emails?

  2. How many emails after you decide to stop sending them re-engagement emails and unsubscribe them from your email list?

The answer to these questions is, again - it depends on your industry, target audience, email campaigns, and marketing goals.

A study done by the Active campaign gave mixed results, but overall you should wait 30-60 days to send re-engagement emails. And experts at Active campaigns think you should send at least 3 re-engagement emails before removing users from your email list.

Re-engagement email sequence email example:

📧 Recommended emails: 2-3 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 1 week

Email 1: Share an enticing and relevant offer that compels them to open and see the email.

Email 2: Send a follow-up email if users didn't open the first email. You can ask for their feedback to send more relevant offers.

Email 3: Send this email id. They have opened the first email but haven't taken action. Create FOMO and urgency using countdown timers, limited deal offers, etc.

Re-engagement series.png

Learn more about idle-win back/re-engagement email sequence

6. Upsell/Cross-sell email sequence

Retaining customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. The more you retain your customer via upselling and cross-selling them, the more loyal they'll become. And a loyal customer can bring in sales without any additional cost.

So, you can retain customers by creating an upsell/cross-sell series.

Upsell/cross-sell email sequence example:

📧 Recommended emails: 4 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 2 weeks

Email 1: Show related and premium products related to their purchase.

Email 2: Give discounts and special offers to nudge them to buy.

Email 3: Share social proof such as customer reviews, case studies, etc., to boost credibility.

Email 4: Send a final nudge to get them to convert.

Upsell-cross-sell email flow

Retain more customers with this upsell/cross-sell email sequence

7. Feedback email sequence

Customer feedback is non-negotiable if you want to survive in the long run. The better you understand your customer and their pain points, the better you can serve them.

But, not every customer would be willing to share their feedback. That's why you need a feedback email flow to nudge them to share their views.

Feedback email sequence template:

📧 Recommended emails: 3 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 1 week

Email 1: Send a personalized email asking for the product, event, customer service feedback, etc.

Email 2: If they don't share feedback, nudge them by giving relevant incentives.

Email 3: Send an appreciation email if they've shared the feedback.

Fintech customer feedback email drip sequence

Collect user insights using our SaaS feedback email series

8. The abandoned cart recovery sequence

There are many reasons user abandon their cart:

  • Your payment process doesn't look secure.

  • There are so many steps to checkout.

  • The total cart amount exceeded the user's budget as they couldn't find any coupons.

  • They were browsing for fun.

Whatever their reason is, you must engage with these users to generate sales or at least try to if they genuinely want to buy. You can lose $4 trillion of revenue to abandoned acts, as per Business Insider. But, take a deep breath. You can recover this loss using abandoned cart sequences.

Abandoned cart recovery sequence example:

📧 Recommended emails: 3-4 emails

⌛ Optimum flow time: 4 days

Email 1: Send an abandoned cart email within a few hours of abandonment.

Email 2: Remind them about the items in their cart

Email 3: If they still don't take action, send a compelling offer like free shipping or 105 off until a certain timeline.

Email 4: Create FOMO and urgency by telling them items in their cart are going out of stock fast.

Ecommerce abandoned cart email drip series

Get the inside scoop of ecommerce cart recovery email sequence

How to build an email sequence with Mailmodo: 5 easy steps

In Mailmodo, you can create an email sequence through our Journey Builder feature. We will take you step-by-step on creating journeys and tracking their performance.

Step 1: Decide the sequence type, the number of emails, and the email template

  • Begin with deciding the kinds of email sequences you want to create.

  • Then, you must decide how many emails will be in this sequence. For instance, you may have 5 emails in your onboarding email sequence.

  • After deciding that, you need to choose templates to begin with. You can either choose a pre-made template or create a new one.

  • Then, click on Create a journey.

Step 2: Build your email sequence in Mailmodo's Journey Builder

  • As you enter the dashboard, you will see a Start option on the screen and fill out the following details: Sender name, recipient address, and reply-to email address.

  • Then drag and drop the Send campaign option.

  • Once you do that, then choose the campaigns for the sequence. Here, you can choose from the existing campaigns or create a new campaign.

You must create an email from scratch if you've selected to create a new campaign. Again, you can choose existing templates or create a new one.

  • After that, write the subject line and preheader text, and give it a campaign name for your reference.

Step 3: Specify conditions to trigger emails

Once you have finalized or created the email campaign, you need to specify trigger conditions to automate the flow. You can apply three conditions:

Opened: Yes or no

Clicked: Yes or no

Submitted: Yes or no

1. Opened

Apply this condition and configure the wait time. Wait time is the time gap between when the users opened or did not open the email and then sent the next email in a series.

You can also use different campaigns depending on whether AMP or HTML email has been opened by selecting different ports for AMP and HTML in the Configure Conditions.

2. Clicked

If users click a link in the email, you can send them the next email in the series after a certain delay specified by you. If you want to track clicks on all the links in the email, you can specify that too - Click on Add link condition. Now, you can send emails based on specific links clicked by users.

3. Submitted

If you send a form or poll and need submission, you can use this condition the same way as opened and clicked. 'Add Submit Condition' creates some conditions/logic on the data received from the submitted form. Different labels ( P1, P2, etc.) are assigned to the conditions, and related campaigns can be launched below.

Other conditions you can use are

4. Delay

To delay sending an email in the series.

5. Webhook

To integrate with other software such as Calendly for meeting bookings and Shopify for cart abandonment series.

Step 4: Launching the email sequence

  • After you have prepared the email series, click on the Publish button in the right corner of the page. It means your journey is saved, but it's not active.

  • Click on the Start journey option to make your email sequence live.

  • Then, add a list of contacts you want to send the sequence. You can:

  • Send it your existing list.

  • Upload a new list in CSV format.

  • Trigger through API description.

  • Then, you will be redirected to a selected contact list with personalized parameters for the email heading. Here you can define parameters such as the user's first name.

  • After that, click on Start journey in the bottom right corner. Then you will see a statement that the recipient list has been queued for journey execution.

Step 5: Tracking performance of email series

Once your journey is live, go to the journey's dashboard and see two options - Summary and Activity log.

  • The summary section will get overall journey stats and individual campaigns.

  • Activity log records the journey activity: date, trigger method used, total users in the journey, users in progress (at any stage within the journey), and no. of steps completed/failed.

You can also choose to cancel or pause the journey by clicking on the buttons in the top right corner.

Best practices to build an email sequence that converts

To get the most out-of-sequence emails, we recommend following these five tips:

• Get insights from your sales team

Take inputs and insights from the sales team as they are directly connected with your brand and customers. You can get to know your prospect's journey better during each stage and then integrate these learnings into your email series to move prospects in different pipeline stages.

• Segment your email list

Segment your email list to send highly targeted emails. You can create users segments based on different criteria, such as

  • Demographic data: Age, gender, occupation, family size, etc.

  • Geographical data: Country, city, pin code, etc.

  • Psychographic data: Habits, values, lifestyles, etc.

  • Behavioral data: It includes how users interact and engage with your website, emails, and products. It also includes the user's lifecycle stage - new, inactive, repeat customers, etc.

Another behavior base model you can use is the RFM model - Recency, Frequency, and Monetary.

Recency: The time interval between the user's last purchase interaction.

Frequency: How frequently users purchase, open, click on emails, etc.

Monetary: How much money do users spend?

• Send personalized emails

Segmentation is the stepping stone to creating personalized emails that appeal to individual emails. Segment's State of personalization 2021 shows that 69% of consumers appreciate personalization as long as it's based on data they've shared with a business directly.

Hence, personalization is your chance to showcase and build connections with users.

• Maintain adequate intervals in email series

You mustn't overwhelm users with too many and too frequent emails. Doing so will only push subscribers away from your emails, no matter how compelling your subject line is. So, ensure that you send emails at intervals to give users time to absorb the previously sent email.

• Use team members' names in the email

Introducing your team and mentioning their name in the email sign-off can help make your email look more trustworthy and credible. It will also encourage users to reply to emails as they will contact a human being, not some machine.

• Always test your emails

Preview your emails to give users a better experience and avoid rendering or deliverability issues. You should also a/b test your emails by making variations of a single email and sending it to segments of your audience to decide which one performs better.

• Track your performance consistently

Without tracking the performance of your email sequence, your hard work, time, and efforts will go in vain. So to do that, track the right metrics such as click-through, conversions, etc.

Monitoring your email performance by conducting an email marketing audit will help you understand which campaign is performing and which isn't. You can then work on improving the performance to nail your future campaigns.


An email sequence is a powerful strategy to help you understand your customer's journey, nurture them and compel them to convert.

To level up your email series, check out our collection of email flows across different industries. You'll get the best pre-made email sequence templates you can use immediately.

What should you do next?

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