Best Practices For Creating Automated Email Workflows
Reaching out to customers at the right time so that they are led to a purchase is the ultimate marketing goal. You observe that customers are engaging with your brand but, aren’t making a purchase. The best way to direct them to make a purchase is by connecting with them at each touchpoint and encouraging them to make a purchase in a mild and unobtrusive way. Not all of your communication with customers should talk about a sale. Pushing the customer too much never helps, sometimes the customer just needs to know if you really care. But, it’s true that all marketing campaigns are a step towards a sale.
So, while you are connecting with customers at various touchpoints in their journey through the sales funnel, an automated email workflow can make the task easier. So, we look at email workflows in detail- what they mean to marketers, their benefits and varied ways to set up automated email workflows.
What is automated email workflow?
Whenever you get in touch with customers or connect with them at different stages a sequence of steps are created. These steps form the email workflow and when they are automated to define different business scenarios, they are called as automated email workflows. At times customers sit idle and don’t engage with your brand, such customers need to be nudged at each contact point and when you use automated email workflow, this task becomes easier.
Email workflows engage customers at different touchpoints through a sequence of actions that are automated. When this sequence of action is automated it saves the marketer’s time. According to Gartner Research by the year 2020, customers will manage 85% of relations with marketers in the absence of human conversation.
Different kinds of workflows are campaigns that encourage a recurring purchase, reviving the customer’s interest in the brand, recovering abandoned shopping carts, etc.
Workflow automation cannot be synonymous to triggered emails. It is much more than just responding to the customers’ actions. It results in lead nurturing through pre-defined steps that take the customers through a pre-determined path.
Lead nurturing encourages customers to make a purchase. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa 79% of marketing leads never get converted to sales. Lack of lead nurturing is a common cause of poor performance. The marketer who responds to the customers at the right time lead the customers to a purchase. InsideSales.com study reveals that 35-50% of sales go to the marketer that responds first.
What are the aspects that need to be considered while creating an automated email workflow to result in lead nurturing and ultimately a sale?
1. Objective of different workflows:
When you create an email workflow, begin with defining the goal of the entire task. There can be many workflows and each of them will have an independent goal.
The initial goal of any marketer is having the customer trust in the brand.
This email workflow will focus on creating an impression of reliability by clearly defining why you have reached out to customers. Provide a link that takes the customers to the blog that explains the company’s business, the brand essence, the vision, and offerings. The blog is a part of the website so if the workflow is executed correctly the customer will surely surf the website to know more about the brand.
Subscriptions and downloads:
Once the customers feel comfortable with the brand, you can request customers to download whitepapers, case studies, ebooks, etc. This helps customers to understand what value your brand can create in their lives. At this stage you don’t sell, you build trust.
Solve a challenge:
Now, customers trust that your organization can add value to their life and solve their challenges. They’ve been on your website a couple of times thus, converting into a qualified lead. Now, be specific about how you can help them thus, asking them to sign up for a demo or call you.
Ask for subscription:
Let customers know that this is your concluding email in the series and request them to subscribe to the blog or maybe the newsletter. You can ask them to subscribe to regular updates about the brand’s offerings. Now you have clearly defined objectives for the email workflow that you’ve created.
2. Content for each touchpoint:
Each workflow connects with customers at different touchpoints. So, the content meant for each email will be distinct. The content should clearly represent the objective of the workflow. Written in a simple and clear manner the content shouldn’t mislead customers.
The content should motivate customers to gradually lead to the conclusive end. For the content to be impactful it should represent the goal of the workflow.
Not only the context and the subject need to be appropriate – in response to the action taken by the consumer, it also needs to be in the language appealing to the prospective customers. The content should satiate the curiosity of customers, it should answer the questions they have in mind and solve a life question or challenge.
You should be able to know, identify and determine the profile of the customers who are in all possibility going to make a purchase. Define the profile of these customers in terms of demographics, psychographics, educational qualification, like/dislikes, etc.
Once you know the profile of the customer, choose an apt design, subject line and the content that seems to be created distinctly for the customer. It should lead to a personalized experience.
While doing this, your observation of the journey of customers while they engage with your brand is going to serve you with useful information. Observe, at which touchpoints they have engaged? Which links they have clicked? What is the type of engagement on social media? This is a true wealth of information that you can use.
Based on each customer’s journey, you can design unique emails that can elicit a response and a purchase.
4. Creating a distinct workflow:
You have to choose the number of emails that you wish to set up in a workflow, which should not be too complex. The timing of sending each of these emails in the defined workflow is important. It all should be in response to the actions the customer has taken. When customers are most likely to make a purchase its best to send an email that has a discount coupon. This would further encourage the customer to make a purchase.
If customers have abandoned the cart, send an email immediately reminding them that they have shortlisted some products. When someone subscribes to your blog or newsletter send a welcoming email. If customers haven’t made a purchase then send a re-engagement email by saying that the brand misses them.
The entire workflow should be designed to be in response to the customer’s actions. Thus, each workflow in that sense is distinct.