HubSpot Email Automation: Workflows vs. Sequences

Brodie Schroeder


Email automation is a powerful tool for nurturing leads and streamlining communication efforts. HubSpot offers two distinct methods to manage this process, Workflows and Sequences. At times it can be confusing figuring out which automation tool is needed, due to their shared similarities. However, each serves a unique purpose, and selecting the right one can significantly impact your marketing and sales success. In this post we'll be diving into the nuances of Workflows and Sequences within HubSpot to help you understand which might be better suited for your needs. Whether you’re looking to engage a large pool of leads or foster personal connections with targeted individuals, it's important you understand these tools’ functionalities, benefits, and optimal use cases. Let’s explore the key differences and strategies between Workflows and Sequences for your email automation tasks.

Understanding When To Use Them

Workflows (primarily used in Marketing Hub) are robust tools designed to automate large-scale actions based on triggers and conditions you set. This includes sending emails, updating contact records, and assigning tasks. They are ideal for managing complex, conditional operations that engage a broad audience. You can use workflows to nurture leads efficiently, automatically sending sequences of emails to individuals who have shown interest in your content (such as those who downloaded a whitepaper). They are also perfect for onboarding new customers by delivering educational content and resources that help them get the most out of your products or services. Sequences focus on one-to-one email interactions and are part of both Sales Hub and Service Hub. This tool allows you and your sales team to send targeted emails to individual contacts, aiming to establish and enhance direct relationships. Each email in a sequence is dispatched based on a pre-determined schedule and is designed to continue until the contact responds or fulfills a specific condition. Sequences are especially effective for personal sales outreach, follow-up communications after initial meetings, and tailored strategies in account-based marketing.

Choosing whether to use Workflows or Sequences depends on your needs. Workflows are best for engaging large groups of contacts with automated, less personalized content, suitable for guiding leads through the marketing funnel. On the other hand, Sequences are great for deepening relationships with specific individuals through personalized, direct communication designed to prompt specific actions.

Best Practices


Start by accurately segmenting your audience to ensure that each segment receives content tailored to its specific needs and interests. Personalization plays a crucial role here, utilizing HubSpot’s data collection capabilities allows you to customize your workflows based on the behaviors and preferences of different user groups. Furthermore, consistently testing various elements like subject lines and calls-to-action through A/B testing is much needed. Keep in mind that over-relying on automation can make your communications feel impersonal and disconnected, potentially alienating your audience. Another common mistake is neglecting lead scoring. Without it, you risk spending resources on unqualified leads instead of prioritizing and tailoring communications to those most likely to engage and convert.


Your emails should be scheduled thoughtfully, with consideration for the best times to send messages based on past engagement data. The frequency of emails should be managed to maintain interest without overwhelming recipients. Customization is key in sequences. Each email should be highly tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the recipient, increasing the likelihood of a positive response. Remember to pay attention to feedback signals such as open rates and reply rates. Ignoring these metrics can lead to strategies that do not effectively engage your audience. Additionally, inadequate personalization can result in communications that feel too generic and fail to make a meaningful connection with recipients.

Integration Capabilities

Integrating HubSpot's Workflows and Sequences with both HubSpot tools and third-party applications significantly boosts their effectiveness. Within HubSpot’s ecosystem, seamless CRM integration updates and synchronizes contact records automatically, giving sales teams timely, relevant information. This integration allows for immediate use of real-time data, enabling precise communication at critical moments. Additionally, connecting Workflows with HubSpot’s CMS or social media platforms automates the delivery of content across channels. It ensures consistent and timely interaction with your audience. The benefits also extend to third-party integrations. For example, linking Sequences with email and calendar services like Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 enhances these tools by automating the scheduling of emails and meetings. This streamlines communication and ensures quick follow-ups. Similarly, integrating customer service software with Workflows can automate support tasks, such as ticket creation and follow-up emails. This leads to faster response times and increased customer satisfaction. Furthermore, HubSpot’s API supports custom integrations, allowing connections to specialized systems like bespoke ERP software or custom analytics platforms. These tailored integrations expand the capabilities of your automation tools to meet specific business needs, providing solutions that align with your operational requirements.

The advantages of these integrations include streamlined operations by reducing manual tasks and allowing different tools to communicate automatically, saving time and minimizing errors. These integrations offer deeper insights into customer behavior and the effectiveness of your campaigns by combining data from various platforms, supporting better decision-making and optimizing your marketing and sales strategies. By leveraging the integration capabilities of Workflows and Sequences, you can create a more efficient, connected, and insightful marketing and sales environment. This not only enhances your automation efforts but also helps manage multiple business operations more effectively.


HubSpot's Workflows and Sequences are much needed tools for effectively automating and personalizing your marketing and sales communications. By strategically utilizing and integrating them with HubSpot’s broader ecosystem, you can enhance your outreach efforts across both large audiences and individual prospects. Implementing best practices while avoiding common pitfalls helps ensure that your marketing campaigns are both efficient and impactful. Ultimately, using Workflows and Sequences thoughtfully can help your business build stronger relationships, drive conversions, and thrive in a competitive environment. Fully embrace these tools to streamline your operations and create more meaningful customer engagements.

Looking To Get Started?

Need assistance in effectively utilizing sequences and workflows? Want to implement your current systems into the HubSpot CRM? Contact us today! Here at Demand Machine, our team specializes in helping businesses like yours thrive with HubSpot.


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