This is a comparison that often confuses users – when to use Workflows versus using Sequences.
Weâ€™ve discussed this in previous shows (listen to episode 110 for a good overview) but itâ€™s worth revisiting.
BTW shoutout to Sera at HubSpot who reminded me about this when we caught up recently.
As she noted, weâ€™re all busy, and thus automating (appropriately) where possible is a path to growth.
So, given we want to automate as much as possible, where do Workflows and Sequences fit in?
Hereâ€™s the quick rule of thumb:
- Workflows = Marketing = 1 to many
- Sequences = Sales = 1 to 1
Workflows are predominantly a marketing function, whereby you communicate (eg with email) in a 1 to many approach (eg email nurture sequence to a segment of your database).
Sequences are predominantly a sales function, communicating in a 1 to 1 manner, using a connected Inbox.
The confusion typically arises when a new HubSpot user discovers they can bulk enroll contacts into a Sequence. Ie essentially turning it into a 1 to many approach (and thus similar to Workflows). At that point they question which to use – after all, they just want to automate a series of emails to a segment of their databaseâ€¦
So, I understand the confusion.
At which point we drill into some of the additional features of each.
Hereâ€™s some scenarios for each:
- For automating email sending to a large segment (eg 1000s of contacts) youâ€™re almost always going to be using Workflows
- For using smart content (and the advanced personalisation options it provides), you need to use Workflows – since they use emails built using the full email editor.
- Sequences have a much simpler editing interface and any personalisation is managed on a case by case basis when reviewing the emails to be sent to recipients
- For sending highly personalised/customised messages to a small size list (eg 100s) then Sequences are a good option, because you are prompted to review for each contact you send to
- If you want the series of emails to stop if a recipient replies, Sequences have this built in
Further reading from HubSpot is here.
Ian and I chat about this in detail in episode 242 of HubShots.