Before going into an in-depth article about HubSpot Workflows vs HubSpot Sequences, here is the core difference:
Workflows cover in-depth automation options based on triggers, actions, delays, conditions, and goal tracking. While Sequences mainly serves a very specific need of sending semi-automated series of sales emails.
The chart explains the differences here:
|Professional and Enterprise Plans
||Sales or Service Professional or Higher Plans Only
|Focused on Marketing Emails
||Focused on Sales Emails
|Multiple actions like marketing emails, SMSs, data updates, notifications, etc.
||Only have Sales Emails, Task creation, and LinkedIn Inmail as action
||Manual Enrollment (Unless Sales Enterprise)
|Multiple goal conversion and impression criteria
||Meeting booking and reply as only conversion criteria
|Workflows can be associated with marketing campaigns in Hubspot
||Sequences can’t be associated with campaigns
|No limitation on actions
||Only 5 Email actions can be added
|No major limitation applies to enrollment
||Limitations apply to the number of enrollments based on Hubspot subscription and email provider
Let's dive in-depth into each concept!
How does HubSpot Workflow work?
The HubSpot Workflow is a series of automated actions that are performed when triggered based on set rules. In workflows both triggers and actions have a significant variety making it one of the core tool of HubSpot.
To understand a workflow, we need to see how a HubSpot Workflow work. Let’s explain this with a help of an example.
HubSpot Workflows works on a trigger and action basis. A trigger is what gives the workflow a signal to perform a designated action. For example, if you want to send a welcome email (Action) to your visitor when they submit a form (Trigger) on your website, you can set up a workflow with form submission as a trigger and marketing email send action.
How does Sequence Work?
A HubSpot sequence helps you to send series of sales emails or create tasks for bottom of the funnel leads.
Let’s say, a lead booked a meeting but didn't show up. Marketing emails aren't the best option for them, so, instead of sending marketing emails through HubSpot workflow, you will use Sequences to send a series of emails by creating templates with the goal of getting another meeting or reply. These emails will be then sent through sequences at set intervals and once the contact will reply to the email they will be automatically unenrolled from the sequence.
Deliverability of these sales emails are also being managed by Email Service Provider instead of HubSpot, and most importantly, you can use these sequences for non-subscribers, non-opted-In, or even non-marketing contacts.
Common Difference between Workflows and Sequences
Let's discuss all differences in a much more detailed manner!
You can access the sequences tool if you have a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise user or Service Hub Professional or Enterprise user with a connected personal inbox such as IMAP, Office 365, or G Suite.
While the workflow tool is available in professional subscriptions with a set of restrictions at the trigger or action level based on the subscription and Hub. Check more details about the pricing and available options on the HubSpot Pricing page.
Type of Emails
The main communication option in the workflows is marketing emails while sequences are used to send sales emails.
Workflows are usually used to send emails to contacts that are top-of-the-funnel while sequences are used to send emails to contacts that are bottom-of-the-funnel.
Workflows provide a wide range of available actions such as sending marketing emails or SMSs, data updates, record creation, task creation, notifications, etc.
While Sequences are quite limited and only have sales emails, task creation, and LinkedIn InMail as action.
In workflows, a contact can be enrolled automatically when it meets set criteria such as submitting a form or update on a contact property or a deal creation. A contact or list of contacts can be enrolled in workflows manually as well.
On the other hand, in sequences, you can enroll a contact manually only, either individually or in bulk. HubSpot Introduced an option of automated enrollment via workflows for HubSpot Sales Enterprise Customers Only.
In workflows, there is more flexibility in terms of how you want a workflow to function. For instance, in workflows, you can set if/else conditions if you want an alternative action to be performed if an object does not meet a certain criterion at some stage.
While in sequences, no such flexibility is given and all steps are to be followed for all contacts unless unenrolled.
In workflows, you are able to un-enroll contacts automatically through various conditions by using goal criteria or impression lists.
While in sequences the only way a contact will be unenrolled will be if he books a meeting, replies to the email, or is manually unenrolled
Performance and Reporting
In workflows, various types of goals can be used in reporting to measure performance.
While in sequences meeting booking rate and reply rate can only be used in reporting to measure performance.
Limitations on actions:
HubSpot workflows have no limits on how many actions can be added to a workflow.
Whereas in sequences you can only have 5 email actions that can be performed.
Limitation on enrollment:
HubSpot workflow doesn’t have any major limitations in terms of enrollment. You can enroll as many contacts as you want.
While in HubSpot Sequences, you can enroll a limited number of contacts based on the level of HubSpot subscription you have purchased and the email service provider you are using as those tools are meant to be used only for bottom-of-the-funnel leads.
The appropriate tool for each situation
The most important question that you might be having right now is how will you know when to use HubSpot workflows and when to use Sequences.
There are certain situations when Workflow is better for example:
- If you are targeting top-of-the-funnel leads and your goal is to nurture them
- If you are sending image-rich emails or stylized emails
- If you want an action to be triggered automatically
- If a salesperson hasn’t been assigned to contact and you want to assign on a round-robin basis
- If you are looking to update a specific property based on the trigger criteria
- If you want to create a deal when a contact matches certain criteria.
Situations in which a sequence is better to use are:
- You want to create one to one relationship between your sales representative and the bottom-of-the-funnel lead
- If the content of the email is highly custom-made for a specific contact then you need to use sequence so you can make minor adjustments before enrolling each contact making it a semi-automated approach
Still, got confusion about HubSpot Workflows and HubSpot Sequences? No worries.
You can set up a Consultation call with a HubSpot Certified Consultant and clear your queries for free!