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3 Essential Email Workflows All Marketers Should Be Using

Amber Klein
August 5, 2016

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In the past couple of weeks we've talked about the importance of lead nurturing campaigns and why you should be using workflows as a part of your lead nurturing strategy. You've learned that the lack of lead nurturing is the reason that a large portion of leads never become customers and you've learned that automated email workflows can help you stay in front of these people with little manual work required. Chances are that, at this point, you're sold on the fact that you need to have a lead nurturing campaign and that email workflows need to be a part of that. If you're still on the fence, consider these stats: 

So now you know you need to be using automated workflows, but where do you start? What types of workflows should you try first? 

We usually recommend starting small so you can get an idea of how your workflows are functioning and the process that goes into them. Here are three types of workflows that usually work well for all types of businesses:

1. Newsletter and/or Blog Subscription

This is a workflow that is triggered whenever someone signs up for your email newsletter or blog. Use this workflow to, first and foremost, thank your leads for subscribing and remind them of the benefit of subscribing. Then you start sending the emails that you have promised in your lead capture. If they're signing up to be notified when you've posted new blogs, your following emails in the workflow should do just that. 

2. Content Download

This is a workflow that is based around any type of content offer. When a visitor downloads the content offer, you should automatically enter them into a workflow specifically for that content offer. Use the first email to thank them for downloading your content (remember, you're nurturing this lead so it's important to start the relationship off on the right foot!) and maybe including the download link for that offer again, just in case they didn't have a chance to download it or have lost the file. Then include some related content (either another offer, blog posts, videos, podcasts...anything that is relevant to the content they already downloaded and is NOT a sales piece). Follow up emails in this workflow should present leads with additional content that is relevant to the original download. 

EXPERT TIP: Each of your high value content offers should have their own dedicated workflows. This way, you can make sure that you are providing content that is relevant to the original download and help keep your leads engaged by providing them with content they will find valuable.

3. Engaged Lead

This workflow is really the definition of lead nurturing. It's the type of workflow you want to send to leads on your site who are incredibly engaged with your content. This workflow should be triggered when a lead has converted on multiple top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) offers. If a lead has downloaded 3+ of your TOFU content offers, you better bet that lead is more qualified than someone who has downloaded 1-2 offers. They are showing you that they are more qualified by showing interest in different types of content and converting multiple times. With this type of lead, they have identified themselves as qualified so you want to help move them through the sales funnel. Start by sending them emails containing more middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content to start moving them closer to becoming a customer.

Some examples of MOFU content that might help with this: customer testimonials, case studies, free trial offers or product demos.

Bonus Workflow: 
New Customer Welcome

Ok, ok...I know I said I was going to give you 3 workflows to start with but I wanted to include this bonus workflow as a FREEBIE. The reason I'm listing this one separately from the others is that this is not a lead nurturing workflow, rather it's more of a customer nurturing workflow. This is something that fits into the delight stage of the inbound methodology because it's all about staying in front of your customers to make sure that they too are getting information they will find valuable and you are continuing to nurture your relationship with them.

This workflow should be triggered once a lead becomes a customer. This is a great way to kick off your new customer relationship on a positive note. Start with an email that thanks them for their purchase (or visit if your company is service-based, whatever is relevant for your company) and asking them for any feedback (or asking them to write a review). Continue this workflow with emails providing content that is relevant to their original purchase. Your goal here is to keep your customers engaged with your company and continue to nurture your relationship in the hopes of turning them into repeat customers and/or promoters.

EXPERT TIP: If you have multiple products or service offerings, you might want to segment your customer lists based on what they are actually purchasing. For example, if you XXX

There are tons of different types of lead nurturing (and customer nurturing) workflows that you can set up and test to see what works for you. But for those marketers just starting out with email automation, these are the three (and bonus) that we recommend starting with. They use easily identified triggers and will help you learn how to set them up and what types of content is performing best in each of the instances. Most importantly, they will help you nurture your leads without having to put in a lot of manual time and effort!

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