Marketing automation is a hot trend in marketing right now. And why not? Marketing automation aims to streamline, automate, and create efficient business workflows to boost productivity, increase revenue, and also measure the efficiency of marketing strategies.
While businesses across all parallels of the industry are now tempted to adopt marketing automation, they must first address the most critical issue — which operations they should automate.
The challenge of identifying the tasks that need automation is real, especially when considering the creation of detailed workflows to drive a company’s marketing strategy. Once you figure out the areas that need automation, you will not only save a substantial amount of valuable employee time, but you will also be able to guide your leads better throughout their customer journey.
In this post, we’ll talk about some of the most pivotal marketing automation workflows that you should incorporate into your business design. Also, we’ll enlighten you on how to create marketing automation workflows that will take your business operations to the next level.
So, let’s get started!
When you adopt marketing automation, you must be ready to manage a large volume of leads. And for that to happen seamlessly, you need to create and incorporate the right workflows in place.
Email lists take the #1 position in automated workflows. In this workflow, you’ll have to group new subscribers (leads) into different segments according to the actions they use to interact with your brand. For instance, you should group all the leads who sign up for the company newsletter in one email list category and create a separate group for the leads who request quotes or purchase from you, and so on.
After you have placed your leads in their respective email lists, the next course of action is to design the welcome workflow. A welcome workflow is nothing but a welcome message for your leads to signify the start of a new relationship with your brand. You can design email list-specific welcome workflows to engage your new contacts and introduce them to your brand values, USP, and products/services.
Once the email lists and welcome workflows are set in place, now it’s time to design a dynamic automated list of contacts who actually engage or interact with your brand regularly. HubSpot calls this list the “smart list.” You can create a smart list by using various triggers. For example, clicks on your emails or social media posts, number of form submissions, and visits to your website are some important triggers. Based on these triggers, you can create an email workflow that will leverage this list to encourage evangelists to interact with your content and share them on the different marketing channels.
All of your leads will not convert into loyal customers immediately after their first interaction with your brand. It takes time and nurturing. As a marketer, you are responsible for guiding them further into the buying process (customer journey).
It is a well-established fact that not all leads are worth pursuing. This is why it is crucial to create a lead qualification workflow to check if a lead meets your set requirements (age, location, job title, budget, interests, etc.). This will allow you to fine-tune your leads and identify the ones that are worth your effort and time.
Every website has certain focus pages and events that attract more customer attention and more conversions than others. You must identify these pages and events using an attribution reporting tool (HubSpot has a fantastic one!). Usually, these triggers are about us page, pricing page, product page, testimonials page, etc., basically, the pivotal pages that customers/prospective customers view while evaluating your brand and making purchases.
Once you’ve figured out what the special triggers are, you can set up an internal email notification to notify your sales reps about these high-value triggers. Make sure to provide your reps all the relevant information about individual leads so that they can draft personalized marketing and promotion messages for them and send them out at the right time.
Lead scoring is a technique wherein numerical values are assigned to your leads based on the information that you’ve collected on them. Lead scoring aims to help you see how far along is each lead in their buying process. Accordingly, you can prioritize the most valuable leads and engage them with highly customized messages and marketing campaigns to drive them deeper into the buying cycle.
You can create lead scoring workflows that will automatically update the scores as users take the desired action (visit, register, purchase, etc.), thereby signifying their interest to purchase from you.
As we said earlier, lead segmentation is an important aspect of targeted marketing. To segment leads under various categories, you must create appropriate tags and include specific characteristics in each tag, such as “first-time buyer,” “repeat buyer,” “unresolved ticket,” and so on. However, every time a new lead comes on board, you shouldn’t have to assign them to segmented email lists manually. So, design a tag assignment workflow that can automatically assign new contacts to the relevant email lists and also tweak their segmentation tags as they progress along their customer journey.
Behavioral targeting is a marketing approach wherein you send targeted messages to your leads or customers according to the actions they take on your website or the way they respond to your marketing campaigns. Essentially the user behavior will dictate your behavioral targeting workflow. For example, you can create a workflow to trigger geo-targeted mobile ads. You could also create a dynamic email nurture drip campaign that responds according to a lead’s engagement with your site, or set up automatic sales outreach emails that trigger when a prospect downloads your content.
As new technologies and trends make their way into the marketing domain, customer journeys become more and more complicated. This means that marketers need to rethink their customer engagement strategies and develop innovative techniques to encourage their customers to stay loyal to their brand.
While it’s true that all leads will not interact with your brand, does that mean you should let go of the prospects that haven’t interacted with your company in a while? Definitely not. You should re-engage them and steer them toward your brand. By designing a re-engagement workflow, you could do so by sending them exclusive offers, discounts, and coupons to re-ignite their interest in your brand. The triggers for sending a re-engagement message could be various factors, including last website visit, form submission, email click, and purchase, to name a few.
Seasonal offers and discounts make a great opportunity to steer your target audience towards you. While you don’t need to worry much about personalization for seasonal messages, you must remember that the importance of seasonal events varies from person to person. For instance, Christmas will hold little importance to a non-catholic person, and Christmas offers will perform best in Christian dominated locations. This is why it is imperative to gain relevant personal info about your customers, so you can target them with personalized messages and offers in the right seasons.
You can design seasonal message workflows for different buyer segments and email lists. These workflows will then automatically send appropriate messages and promotional offers to customers in the various marketing and holiday seasons.
Another fantastic way to keep your target audience engaged and happy is to reward them for their loyalty. You can create reward workflows to offer digital rewards, coupons, freebies, tokens, etc., to users as they continue to show interest in your brand. Also, you can set several milestones or touchpoints (as per the customer journey) and tune these workflows to automatically send out specific rewards to users when they reach a particular milestone. In this way, you can ensure that your customers will keep coming back to you time and again.
e-Commerce companies are well-versed with the phenomenon of cart abandonment. Often, visitors and users browse your site and add items to their cart, but at the end moment (checkout and payment), they abandon their shopping cart and leave the site.
A cart abandonment workflow can help you combat this issue. When a user adds items to their online shopping cart but eventually gets ready to leave your site without making the purchase, this workflow can trigger a pop-up to ask whether they surely want to leave the site. Furthermore, you can also set email triggers to remind users of the items they left behind and offer a special coupon code to motivate them to purchase from you.
Once you convert visitors into leads and then further convert them into customers, your aim should be to convert them to loyal customers (repeat buyers). This is where customer retention enters the picture.
One of the most important truths of marketing is — customer-brand communication must never stop. So, even if you have converted your leads into customers, you must continue to communicate with them to sell your other products/services. The idea is to upsell your products. By using dynamic lists of contacts who make repeat purchases of a particular product, you can automate workflows to upsell or upgrade those contacts to premium customers. These workflows will automatically send messages and emails to such contacts with relevant product recommendations (based on their past purchase history, interests, etc.).
The modern-day customer does not want to wait long for replies when they reach out to customer support. Today, customers want instant service. So, when your customers reach out to you regarding a technical issue, or product complaint, or a request, you don’t want to leave them hanging. This is where you implement auto-response workflows designed to interact with your customers through different communication channels like chatbots, live chats, web forms, etc. To make the process easier, you can create customer IDs for different tickets and tag their status as “resolved,” “unresolved,” “in process,” and so on. These tags will allow you to keep track of the active tickets and the resolved ones.
Stats show that nearly 93% of online buyers claim that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. What does this mean? It means that positive customer reviews and testimonials are marks of your credibility as a brand. Thus, you must create an online profile containing positive reviews of your products/services on platforms like Google Reviews. Naturally, this should be an automated workflow that is triggered when customers purchase from you. However, it is important to send feedback requests a few days or a week after a customer purchases from you.
By now, you must have gotten an accurate idea about the different types of automation workflows that you can incorporate in your marketing plans. While these are a few tried and tested tips for marketing automation, you need not implement all of them together. The key to creating a successful marketing automation strategy lies in determining what are the specific automation needs of your business and then choosing the ones that are most relevant for you.
Digital Marketing Manager at SoftwareSupp
Content Marketing Manager at SoftwareSupp