Email marketing workflows save you time and money and win you more customers.
By automating email workflows, you can give subscribers a more personal, more valuable experience.
But what do we mean when we talk about email marketing workflows?🤔
Here are a few ways of looking at them:
- Email workflows are automated series of messages that are triggered by user behavior or data
- They’re ways of getting the right messages to the right people at the right time
- They set out the framework of your customer journey
If you aren’t using automated email marketing workflows, then you’re not making the most of your subscribers.
That’s because you design your email workflows to react to user interactions in a tailored way. For example:
- When a new user subscribes, a workflow sends them a welcome message
- If somebody makes a purchase, a workflow sends an order confirmation along with ideas for future purchases
- If someone is not opening your messages, a workflow can trigger re-engagement emails
Here’s a simple example of a welcome email workflow:
- Each rectangle is a pre-prepared email
- Each triangle is one answer to a logical test applied to every recipient at a certain time
This welcome series has four possible end-points after a week, depending on what each recipient did.
This is what distinguishes a workflow from a “drip campaign“.
In a drip campaign, emails are sent out one after another at specific time intervals. Because a drip campaign does not adapt to the recipients’ reactions, it has only one endpoint.
Email marketing workflows can be very simple or very complex, but in this blog, we’re going to keep things nice and simple.
We’ll start by looking at why you would want to automate your emails like this, and then we’ll go through some easy best practice tips.
However, if you’re interested in email automation in specific business areas, check out this earlier blog.
Click on the links below to jump ahead!
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1. Email Marketing Workflows: Why Automate?
💥Because automated email series get 70.5% more opens and 152% more clickthrough than ordinary marketing emails 😲
Even when all the emails and the workflow logic are pre-written, to recipients, the series of messages look like a one-to-one conversation. This is crucial for deepening engagement, which in turn is vital for driving actions.
- 79% of marketing-qualified leads do not convert, because they are not nurtured by continuing engagement.
- Nurtured leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle.
- It is almost always cheaper to develop existing customers than to win new ones. It is widely believed that 80% of revenue comes from existing customers for most companies.
- You can use workflows to offer related products to buyers. Studies have shown that product recommendations drive as much as 30% of eCommerce revenue.
As well as nurturing leads over a period of time, email marketing workflows allow you to jump on opportunities as soon as they appear:
- People who receive welcome emails show 33% more engagement with brands than those who do not
- Indeed, 74% of people expect to receive welcome emails and 50% always open them
- In eCommerce, 90% of new leads go cold within an hour
Now imagine trying to do all of that manually! 😱
Automating email workflows lets you avoid the inefficiency of a one-size-fits-all approach AND the unmanageability of completely personalized service.
Plus, many automation platforms allow you to use more than one channel in your workflows. For example, if your emails are not being opened, you could reach out with an SMS message.
In summary, the advantages of automating email marketing workflows include:
- Saving time
- Multichannel options
- Lead nurturing
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2. Best Practice Advice for Email Marketing Workflows
In the rest of this blog, we will look at how to make the most of simple workflows.
👉#1 Best Types of Email Marketing Workflow
We’ve already talked about the benefits of a welcome series. Welcome emails are also really helpful for getting double opt-in permissions for further marketing. 😁Here are a few other types of common but highly effective workflows:
- Onboarding drip campaign: take new users gradually through the features of your product over a period of time
- Recommended purchases: if somebody has bought a scarf from your store, they may also be ready to buy a hat and gloves!
- Unsubscriber re-engagement: When somebody unsubscribes from your list, a confirmation email is an opportunity to remind them of why they signed up in the first place, or to offer than an incentive to stay (such as a discount cod
- Feedback requests: You can learn a lot from your subscribers by automating emails that ask them to give their views on your service
You can also use email marketing workflows internally. For example, by automatically passing leads that have reached a certain point on to your sales reps.
👉#2 Workflow Trigger Ideas
Most automation software will let you choose from a wide range of triggers.
These can include:
- A click on a Call To Action: this is the ideal positive engagement with your email. It shows that the reader has found something in your message worth following up. Make sure you track their journey on your website too to collect more data!
- A Purchase: you should always automate your order confirmations and delivery notes. Depending on the purchase, you could (i) suggest additional products, (ii) schedule a servicing reminder or an end-of-subscription renewal request, (iii) begin an onboarding drip series, etc.
- A Change To Preferences: When a subscriber does this, it’s important to reclassify them in your automation
- No Activity for a While: If a subscriber has no engagement with you for a long period, avoid losing them by setting up a re-engagement campaign to lure them back
- Did Not Open: A great tip is to schedule a resend of your last message with a different subject line to people who did not open the original one. Maybe they missed it, or maybe the first title put them off.
Those are just a few of the options, to say nothing of those we’ve already discussed like new subscriptions and unsubscribes.
👉 #3 Final Tips
💥 Be careful not to send too many messages to the same people. If you are running several workflows at once, you need to set up rules to stop too much crossover.
💥 Make all your emails adhere to a clear template. That will increase recognition and brand familiarity.
💥 Show your subscribers you value them. Open rates are 24% higher when your subject line suggests exclusivity…
💥 Ensure your messages that react to reader actions go out within 24 hours, or else the cause-and-effect association is lost
So that’s our guide to email marketing workflows.
Workflows can be very effective and ought to play a part in your email marketing strategy.
But don’t forget the importance of email design, sign-up forms, reporting, and segmentation. All of these things are just as important!