No matter whether you call them workflows, drip campaigns or sales funnels, these digital marketing techniques are all essentially the same; strategic, sequential email automations that allow you to nurture and engage with your existing contact list.
Your company’s contact list is worth its weight in gold. In fact, it could very well be the most valuable business asset. Developing an automated email workflow strategy is a passive way to generate revenue, increase customer loyalty, warm existing leads and reduce operating costs. With such a huge potential for ROI, it’s important to devote time and resources to flesh it out.
Why Automated Email Marketing Workflows Work
Automated email workflows, when created correctly, are effective and reliable for every industry. Email marketing is direct, customizable, and won’t suffer interruptions due to system outages and failures that are common in other marketing outlets such as social media and Google AdSense.
While social media can be a major player in your digital marketing strategy, third-party platforms like Facebook and Twitter have the power to alter algorithms, change analytics and charge fees for user data as they see fit, which can disrupt the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. But your email contacts list is your own — you can segment your audience, re-target leads and analyze data to inform future marketing efforts.
Email marketing automation is also powerful — it’s 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. And according to the Direct Marketing Association it generates $38 for every $1 spent, delivering a staggering 3,800% ROI.
As long as your contact list is representative of your target customers and has been built through audience opt-it (the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act explicitly prohibits adding or transferring email addresses to lists that the recipients haven’t signed up for and attaches a hefty fine for each email in violation) your list will work for you, not against you. Because your contacts have opted into your company’s email list, they are expecting to hear from you. And as long as you create relevant, interesting content, emails sent on a regular basis will be well-received.
5 Types of Automated Email Marketing Workflows to Try
Wondering what kind of automated email marketing workflows you should set up? Below we explore a couple of basic examples that are a great starting point for email workflow novices.
New Subscriber Welcome
Setting up a new subscriber welcome email is a great place to start as you get comfortable with automated email workflows. When someone creates an account or signs up to receive your newsletter or blog through a submission form on your website, set up an automated thank you email to welcome them. From there, the possibilities are almost endless. If you’re having trouble deciding what to include in your new subscriber welcome email, consider your sales cycle or buyers journey — what is the next step you’d like them to take? Aside from welcoming new contacts, remind them what they’ll be getting, direct them to your social media channels or promote any offers you may be running.
Value Offer Download
This type of email automation workflow is triggered when an industry-related value offer or lead magnet (eBook, video, worksheet, etc.) is downloaded from your website. Based on the topic (you’ll want to create a separate workflow for each lead magnet) you can send a series of follow-up emails offering corresponding information, products, services or offers.
Soap Opera Sequence
While television soap operas may be a thing of the past, the cliffhanger endings that defined them can be effective in email automation marketing. Using the soap opera sequence format of at least three consecutive emails, create a workflow that puts your origin story to work for you. In the initial email, introduce your story and set the stage for high-drama. For email number two, create a connection with the audience by telling them your back story — how you hit the proverbial wall. In the third email, lead readers along your epiphany bridge and to the breakthrough, capping it off with a clear call to action for an offer or service.
Online retailers have a lot of options when it comes to setting up e-commerce workflow automation, but here are two of the more common formats:
- Abandoned Cart
Did you know that almost 70% of online shoppers who put items in their carts end up abandoning them? Set up an email automation that is triggered shortly after a potential customer leaves your site without making a purchase and include an offer. Whether it’s free shipping, a discount code or special gift, the offer needs to incentivize them to return to your site and complete their purchase.
Chances are you sell more than one product or service. And we know that it is far cheaper to engage a past customer than to acquire a new one. So automating upsell workflows that periodically encourage your past customers to upgrade or buy again makes a lot of sense. You can also use past customer data to offer complementary products and services depending on what has been previously viewed, placed in the shopping cart or purchased.
If your contact list is sitting idle, you’re missing out on the opportunity to nurture leads through your sales cycle. Plus, having automated systems in place that keeps you in touch with your contacts, stoking the relationship until they are ready to pull the trigger, frees you up to work towards overall business goals.
Interested in learning more about automated email workflows or digital marketing? Contact us to learn about ways we can help your brand prosper.