What is marketing automation workflow? | See how it improves your business

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An email means electronic mail is the most flexible and universal messaging medium that continues to adapt to an evolving marketing place. Here is are stats concerning emails:

  • Among US adults, 72% prefer to communicate with companies via email;
  • Radicati (a tech market research firm) estimates that the global email user base is 2.6 billion, of which Facebook has about two-thirds;
  • Adobe found that people spent 17 percent more time with their inboxes in 2021 than in the previous year [2020];
  • VentureBeat says that to ensure the right people see the right content at the right time, email is the best, hands down;
  • Conversions have a 77 percent chance of rising for companies that adopt email automation.

For these stated reasons, email marketing automation deserves a key role in marketing automation workflow strategy. When businesses nurture leads with triggered messaging, such a business will likely see an increase in average order value and a decrease in customer drop-offs.

What is a workflow? - Workflow

What is a workflow?

A workflow is a series or sequence of tasks that need to be completed to achieve a specific goal. The tasks can vary in size and complexity and span various channels and departments. However, some workflows are very structured, whereas some are not. Every time data is moved from one task to another, a workflow is created. Workflow happens throughout the workplace.

With the advancement of technology, companies are now incorporating marketing automation tools into their workflows to increase efficiency.

Marketing automation uses software to automate various marketing activities, including audience segmentation, developing and managing email campaigns, and tracking and analyzing results.

In marketing automation, workflow is used to describe the framework of a customer journey and the touchpoints where the automated interactions come in. Someone visits your website and signs up for the opt-in forms. It could be downloading a free eBook or signing up for a free demo. Whatever the case, they are looking for more information about your product or service.

You get their email address, and using the marketing automation workflow, you can set up an email sequence. When they first download it, you can automatically send a welcome email sequence followed by other emails to nurture your leads further.

A marketing automation workflow assists advance leads down your sale funnel by nurturing and engaging with all your leads. You can systematically create a marketing workflow.

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An example of a marketing automation workflow

1. Getting Started With Marketing Automation

When you send out a welcome automation email sequence, you get the chance to introduce your business. You get to explain to them more about your product and service. With the marketing automation tool, you don’t have to manually send the hit button when someone signs up for the form; the welcome email is automatically triggered.

2. Create a Contact Database in Your CRM

For your marketing strategy to be effective, it’s crucial to segment your audience on various factors. These factors include location, age, gender, buying interest, past records, etc. Depending on your prospects’ actions, they are sent down to a different marketing workflow. For instance, a prospect who downloaded the eBook is still trying to learn more about your product. At the same time, a person who requests a free demo might be in the decision stage of buying.

3. Nurture Leads on Autopilot

Once you have collected their email address and segmented your audience, you must create a marketing automation workflow for lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is educating and keeping your leads engaged in building strong relationships with potential customers. You can share case studies, resource materials, and other relevant information that will help them further push down the sales funnel.

4. Re-Engaging Your Email Lists

If someone has not done anything with you, say haven’t opened an email or visited your website, you are meant to send them something automatically. Generally, companies set a 60-days time frame for triggering automatic emails if your prospects or lead take no action.

5. Marketing Automation for New Customers

You can set up a marketing automation workflow for your new customers. When they purchase your products, you first need to confirm their order and thank them. Depending on your product or service, you might need to schedule a call or send demo videos. You can easily incorporate steps into your workflow, whatever the following requirement.

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Some Automated Email Workflows That Every Business, including E-commerce stores, should set up and optimize to keep qualified leads engaged:

– Welcome Email

When your audience or customers sign up for emails, they will likely read them. So, it makes sense that a welcome email sent immediately after signup will receive high engagement rates. A study shows that welcome emails received almost four times as many opens and five times as many clicks as regular promotional emails. Welcome emails generate, on average, 320% more revenue per email than standard promotional emails.

How to use Welcome Email:

  1. Tell the reader what to expect;
  2. Show them how to learn about what they are interested in;
  3. Direct them to further information about your business;
  4. Provide them with social channels for further engagement;
  5. Show them your personality to humanize your business and earn their trust;
  6. Ask a question or direct them to a survey to learn more about them.

A welcome email has numerous uses. To help you decide on your welcome email content, think about what you want to accomplish next in your overall business objectives.

For instance, if you have a long sale cycle, you could direct recipients to product info, related content, or an FAQ- anything that will increase their confidence in making a purchase. If your sales cycle is short, show the reader new products, promotions, or exciting content, quickly turning them into paying customers. For example, Social Animal, a content curation tool, sends out an elementary welcome email reminding users of what they can do with Social Animal’s content analysis. In addition, they also provide a personalized way to reach out to a co-founder for help.

– Download emails

This type of email works well when the recipient has opted-in for a valuable resource or lead magnet that you offer. Based on the topic, you can tag the reader by interest and then send a series of emails to demonstrate your appreciation and enhance the customer experience-both essential for your success.

This email marketing automation workflow should include;

  • A thank you and confirmation immediately after the opt-in for the download.
  • You could also send selected tips, tactics, and related resources a few days later.
  • A request for feedback several days after that.

See also: How to generate more sales leads for your small business | strategies that work!

– Free trial sign-up emails

For companies that run SaaS, i.e., software as a service, a free trial sign-up email is an essential touchpoint with your potential customers. Those who sign up for a free trial of your product are good leads. After all, they have decided to give your product a go over your competitors. So, if you are not converting them, then there’s an issue.

When users sign up, an automated email is sent to them.

In most cases, the problem is that onboarding a user is overlooked or poorly done. So, users don’t find success with the product and fail to progress to being customers. On signing up for a free trial, most customers expect to receive an email and assistance with the product. So, your welcome email is likely to be well-received even if you have in-app aid as well.

Some features of a good free trial email:

  • Get users excited about the step they’ve already taken;
  • Emphasize the importance of taking the next step;
  • Show them how to use your product effectively via videos, guides, images, etc.;
  • Identify and address possible objections at this stage of the free trial journey;
  • Segment users based on actions already taken;
  • Include your call to action to take the next step.

If users haven’t taken certain critical steps to get started, then you can;

  • Remind the recipient that they forgot to get started;
  • Simplify the getting-started process with a few bullet points;
  • Address the problem that made them sign up in the first place;
  • Tell them how long it takes to get started and the level of ease;
  • Include a call to action.

emails on smartphone

– Re-engagement emails

Most businesses have a list of email addresses of those who have disengaged because they haven’t used their product, made a purchase in a while, or left email unopened. These are people who are familiar with your brand and so warmer than complete strangers. You can re-engage with prompts to return them to your site. According to Salesforce, 63% of marketers say that re-engagement campaigns are ‘very effective.’

Re-engagement emails work best when they do two things:

  • Remind subscribers why they signed up for the email in the first place;
  • Offer subscribers a tangible incentive to engage more actively with your brand.

An automated re-engagement email can be sent to customers who:

  • Have created an account or registered their email with your website;
  • Have made purchases but haven’t returned in a while;
  • Have signed up for a free trial of your software but haven’t been back to explore the program.

– Abandoned cart emails

Abandoned cart emails are money makers simply because they reach the right person at the right time with the right message. But the strategy doesn’t apply exclusively to e-commerce stores. The same happens to Saas software as service companies as well. A percentage of people will abandon their purchase, so it makes sense to have a system to follow up with lost leads. To recover lost leads, you have to get the user’s email address when they sign up for a free trial or add items to their cart.

Furthermore, to maximize conversions with your abandoned-cart email reminders, you can:

  • Offer discounts for the product in the reminder message;
  • Use a curiosity-piquing subject line like ‘Did you forget something’;
  • Let users  know that supply is low or that an additional helpful offer is available for a limited time;
  • Add an authentic, positive user review.

– Replenishment emails

Replenishment emails work very well if you sell products with a limited lifecycle or require regular services, such as filing tax returns or dental appointments. These are opportunities to connect with customers and give them a friendly reminder. Once the lifecycle of your product is complete, an automated email can remind customers to restock their product or, in the case of a service, to sign up for another appointment.

Replenishment emails can be useful in situations like:

  • An annual subscription to a sports team or a magazine;
  • For regular services like dental appointments or car servicing;
  • Reordering consumable products like laundry detergent.

– Lead nurturing/Behavioral triggered outreach

Lead nurturing is a crucial part of email marketing automation workflows. Lead nurturing saves time and helps grow your customer base. Automation based on user actions or behaviors can make your messaging relevant and engaging.

How lead nurturing/behavioral triggered outreach helps:

  • Keeps customers engaged throughout their research and shopping process;
  • Provides prospects will all relevant information to make a purchase;
  • Automatically qualifies leads and moves them towards the bottom of the funnel.

Depending on your customer’s action on your site, you can send relevant automated emails at the right time. For example, let’s say you run a sportswear e-commerce store and a customer looked at content around the time of a marathon. You can trigger an email based on their visits to specific URLs on your site. Knowing that they want to learn more about preparing for a marathon, you can send an automated email with related content and products. As the relationship grows, your brand will be foremost in their minds when they are ready to buy. Linkedln, for example, sends out this type of email.

– Onboarding

When a user creates a website account/free trial account, there are usually several steps to complete their profile and get to the point where they see value in using their product. While it seems to be a logical series of steps, it is often quite complex given the numerous demands on a user’s attention. Here is where onboarding emails can help with creating a better onboarding experience. It allows you to;

  • Increase user engagement and retention by highlighting the best features of your product/app, as well as how users can get the most out of their account;
  • Identify low-engagement users and those who have not correctly set up their accounts for other outreach campaigns. For example, UberConference, an online conferencing tool, sends a getting started email after a new user signs up for their service.

– Lead scoring

Lead scoring can be time-consuming because it requires ensuring that your customers are the right fit and are interested in what you have to offer. It is also one of the most effective ways to track leads and conversions because it allows for;

  • Better targeting of your marketing to the leads who are most likely to convert;
  • Can be added to many of the examples of marketing automation workflows mentioned here;
  • Lead scoring can be used to segment lists for email marketing campaigns.

– Upsell workflow

It is much easier to persuade past customers to buy again than it is to find new customers. Marketing automation workflows for messages containing related products can be sent to your customers based on past purchases. They often have something along the following lines;

I see you liked (insert excellent product). What about [insert related product or what other people who bought an amazing product also bought)

This strategy works well for Amazon and helps continue their relationship with their customers. It is also a profitable way to leverage data from your customers and tailor their purchasing experience. The e-commerce company – eBay uses a similar strategy.

– Post-purchase follow up

Following up after a sale lets the customer know that you appreciate having their business and care about their satisfaction. For online purchases, following up is a great way to reach out with relevance and increase your customer reviews. Below is what a tremendous post-purchase follow-up email should include;

Ask for a review outright and make it easy to leave one. A UGC marketing tool can be a significant help with this;

  • At the bottom of the email, display a few similar products to those purchased or go well with them;
  • Thank your customer again for their purchase;
  • Include information like product care, product-use cases, or a product FAQ.

– Educational content

Marketing automation workflows aren’t mainly about marketing sales. Engagement and education are also crucial for nurturing and building trust with your audience. When your audience is educated, you help them understand the benefits of a solution. The chances are that your audience can find the information they need elsewhere, but you help make them more knowledgeable and develop brand loyalty when it comes from you. Email marketing automation workflows help create personalized experiences for every customer, making their overall buying journey relevant and engaging.

– Churn reduction

A significant issue for SaaS companies is churn. Consider the stats below:

  • The very best SAAS companies keep monthly revenue churn at around 0.58 percent. That’s about 7% revenue churn a year.
  • According to Totango, more than two-thirds of SAAS companies experience annual churn rates of 5% or higher.
  • A serial entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, David Skok, says that if your Net Revenue Churn is high (above 2 percent per month), something is wrong with your business and will become a significant drag on growth.

– Sales notification

The best time to get in touch with a lead is when your marketing qualifies them. If they are not contacted while interested, they may lose interest or find another provider. Email automation can be harnessed to alert a sales rep that a lead has been qualified. Some email marketing systems will allow you to tag leads based on behaviors such as downloads, content consumed, or visited web pages. The rep has sufficient context to begin a conversation with the lead.

– Customer success workflow

Immediately, you have onboarded a customer; your strategy needs to focus on keeping them engaged. According to Gallup- a management consulting company, active customers bring a 23 percent increase in profitability, wallet share,  revenue, and relationship growth compared to their disengaged peers.

Keeping track of key customer success metrics provides you with a prime workflow opportunity. So to engage your lead/customers, here are a few ideas for when you can reach out:

  • They achieve their first success;
  • A support ticket is closed-ask about their experience;
  • They request pricing or look at changing plans-ask a question to help them;
  • They request a kick-off/strategy call or product demo;
  • On completing a survey
  • After a webinar/workshop;
  • Cancel their account-ask about their experience with the product;
  • Visit the cancel page.

Statistics show that as you keep your customers engaged by delivering a positive and profitable experience completed by relevant email marketing, many of your customers will become advocates for your company.

The above-listed email automation examples are a few ways this technology can grow your business. However, these marketing automation workflows need to be part of a more comprehensive marketing strategy and shouldn’t operate in isolation.

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