How to send 1:1 sales emails with automation


Use the "Send a 1:1 email" action in your sales engagement automation. Doing so can help you improve customer experiences, connect personal sales messaging to broader marketing strategies, and automate personal touch at scale. 

Take Note

  • 1:1 emails sent through this action come from your connected email account and use your email client. These emails are not sent from ActiveCampaign or our email servers
  • You can use the "Send 1:1 email" action to nurture leads who have not opted into your lists(s). We recommend that your ActiveCampaign plan has a contact limit to cover leads once they opt-in to receive your emails
  • The sending limit is 500 emails a day per connected email account
  • You can insert a deal owner’s signature into the email. To learn more about this option, visit the Add a deal owner’s signature to an automated 1:1 email article
  • 1:1 emails are text-only emails. It is not possible to add images or use the drag-and-drop email designer to create these emails
  • If adding this action to an “Active” automation, make sure to set the automation to “Inactive” first. Once you’re done editing the automation, set it back to “Active” so contacts can continue to enter your automation and proceed through your workflow

About the "Send a 1:1 email" action

  • You can use the "Send a 1:1 email" automation action to send outbound emails with your connected email account
  • To use this action, you need to first connect your email account to Deals and set a preferred email account. If you already connected your email account to deals, you need to disconnect and reconnect your email account in order to use this action
  • This action works with any automation trigger. Note that if you’re using a non-deal-related trigger in your automation, you must select a specific email address as the “From Email” sender. You will not be able to use the %deal_owner_email% option
  • The following triggers work with the %deal_owner_email% option: Deal stage changes, Deal status changes, Deal value changes, Deal owner changes, Deal field changes, and Task is completed with condition Task is related to = Deal
  • As contacts move through this action in your automation, a 1:1 email is sent to them. That email will appear in your email client's sent folder and on deal and contact records

To learn about what you can and cannot do with the 1:1 email action, view the table below:

You can: You cannot:

Send emails to prospective customers who have not opted into your list

Schedule to send within business hours
Set a CC or BCC. Use a comma with a space to separate multiple email addresses. For example,,  Send unlimited emails (500 daily limit per connected account)
Use contact, deal, and account personalization tags in your email Manually add contacts into an automation from the Contact record or Bulk Edit tool

Use Bold, Italics, Underline, Hyperlinks, Bullets, and Numbered Lists in your messaging

Add contacts that are not opted in to receive marketing communications to an automation that contains a marketing email
Customize your signature  
Track opens, clicks, and replies  

Trigger automations to run when a contact opens, clicks, or replies to the 1:1 email

Combine marketing and sales emails in the same automation


Thread Replies  

Use the "Send a 1:1 email" automation action

  1. Connect or reconnect your email account to the Deals CRM. 
  2. Set a preferred email account. This is the default "From" email address that appears on all auotmated 1:1 emails. 
  3. Click the "Automations" tab on the left menu.
  4. Create or select the automation you want to use with this action.
  5. The automation builder will load. Make sure your automation uses a Deal-related trigger. 
  6. Click either the CRM section or the Sending Options section on the right sidebar to expand it.
  7. Drag the "Send a 1:1 email" action to your automation.
  8. A modal window will appear. Click the "From Email" field drop-down menu.
  9. Next, click the "From Email" option you would like to use. You can choose from one of the connected email accounts, or you can select %deal_owner_email%.

      If you choose %deal_owner_email%, we'll use the preferred email address you set on the Deals Settings page. You can configure the preferred email address on the "Settings > Deal" page in your ActiveCampaign account.

  10. Type the name of your email into the field provided. This name is internal only and will not be seen by your contacts. Note that each email name needs to be unique, you can now use the same email name more than once. 
  11. Type your subject line and message into the fields provided. 
  12. Optional: Insert the deal owner’s signature into the message.

    • Click the personalization icon (lightning bolt)

    • Click the “Deals” option

    • Click the “Deal Owner: Signature” option

  13. When writing your message, you can also:
  14. Click "Email Tracking" to expand tracking options. You will see that open and link tracking are set to "On" by default. 

      If you set up a 1:1 email within an automation before engagement tracking was available, you will need to update that automation block to enable tracking.

  15. Click the "Add" button

Personalize your automated 1:1 email (recommended)

You can insert personalization tags into your automated 1:1 emails. Doing so adds specific information from the contact, deal, or account record into your email.

When you insert a tag into your email, we’ll display the tag only. Once the email is sent, contact, deal, or account-related information will replace the tag itself.

For example, you can use a personalization tag for a contact’s first name, deal value, account name, etc.

Using personalization in your sales emails can strengthen your engagement and establish trust with your leads and customers.

Learn more about personalization tags.

To personalize your 1:1 emails:

  1. From the 1:1 email composer, click the personalization option (lightning bolt).
  2. Select the standard object (Contacts, Accounts, Deals) and the field you wish to insert.
  3. When finished, click the “Save” button.

Use AI in your 1:1 emails

Available with connected emails only.

You can use AI in 1:1 emails to help write and enhance your message.

To use this option:

  1. From your 1:1 email, click the AI icon at the bottom right.
    AI Icon.jpg
  2. In the modal, provide a prompt. For example, you can type “A thank you for following up and telling them I’ll reach out to them.” The more specific you can be, the better the results you’ll receive.
  3. Click the “Submit” button.
  4. Click the green check mark to add the suggested text to your 1:1 email, or click the red “X” to discard the suggested text.
  5. If the suggestion is not right:
    • Click the circle arrow icon to retry
    • Click into the “Ask AI to change it” field and choose to make the text longer, shorter, or change the tone. You can also type more specific feedback, like “Make it funny,” into the space provided.
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