New tools to automate workflows for digital marketers are being developed at lightning speed, making marketing technology (Martech) a space that requires proper research to find the most optimal solutions.
It’s hard to keep a business running with only manual work. You can try, but your competitors are likely equipped with the latest tools to woo your potential clients.
This article will show you eight ways to implement and advance your workflow automation, whether you’re a B2B, SaaS, or any other type of digital marketer.
How marketing automation works
To understand marketing automation, we have first to discuss two new terms: trigger and response. These events are inseparable, and there is no workflow automation without them.
- The trigger is the action leads perform when they want to connect with your brand. An excellent example is when a lead submits a form on your website.
- The response action may include automated email sequences, social media comments, lead tagging, text messages, etc. What’s unique about this response is that it requires no human intervention. The action is performed automatically across multiple channels, and that’s what leads us to workflow automation.
The question that arises is a thoughtful one: what other workflows can be automated, and what tools can help in this process?
Top ways to automate workflows for digital marketers
Digital marketers are the first to benefit from workflow automation, but they’re not the only ones. Automation also helps customer service teams that can automatically receive customer requests, along with sales reps who can receive fresh leads without confusion. Knowing its importance, let’s jump into the eight ways we can automate workflows.
1. Welcome new leads
Welcoming emails are essential when onboarding new leads. Thanks to workflow automation, you can send an email automatically as soon as your leads visit your website. Essentially, what happens is that you capture their email addresses with a pop-up form asking them to sign up for your newsletter and then proceed with a warm welcome.
These informative emails are sent to potential customers whenever they enter their email addresses by creating an account, signing up for a newsletter or freebie, or buying a product. It’s surprising that welcome emails have an open rate of 82%, drastically high compared to the average email open rate of 21%. So make these welcome emails as memorable as possible to compel subscribers to open and read the upcoming ones.
2. Nurture current leads
After onboarding your new leads with welcome emails now is the moment to move towards strengthening and nurturing your relationship with them. Statistics say that automating the lead nurturing process can increase qualified leads by 451%.
Lead nurturing is nothing but the process of showing your leads step by step how your offer works, what it includes, and the problems it solves, along with responding to all the questions they might have. Lead nurturing can be automated by scheduling a series of informative emails using automation services like HubSpot. With time, you can curate more personalized resources by asking leads, through polls or surveys, about the type of content they’d like to receive.
3. Perform lead qualification processes
The quality of your leads decides the speed at which your business grows, and a faster qualification process means more qualified leads for your team. It turns out we can automate the lead qualification part and the entire process, from processing the leads to separately categorizing the weak leads from the qualified ones.
An automated lead qualification workflow saves time and makes finding new leads easier, but it’s not only about getting leads into the qualification process. Sophisticated parts of the process can be automated, which helps us identify leads who match our ideal demographics and label leads according to the phase of the buyer’s journey they’re in.
Automation tools such as HubSpot, SALESmanago, and Acquire take the manual work of the lead qualification process off your hands while conducting lead scoring and collecting the data you need to reach these leads. HubSpot keeps track of your leads’ details, including their engagement and browsing history, so you’ll spend little time finalizing the lead qualification process.
4. Re-engage an inactive lead
Not all leads respond to your first campaigns. Many turn into inactive leads that can turn into buying customers later. But to ensure they do, you must remind them of your brand and its value. An automated workflow built with email sequencing tools can send emails appropriately only to those inactive leads.
The first step to start re-engagement is defining inactive leads. Salesforce defines inactive leads as people who haven’t used or purchased your product within 30 days. You can pick this or your segment of time to qualify a lead as inactive.
Compared to new leads, you already have information about their initial interests. You can automate an email series, events, and even social media campaigns to engage with inactive leads. Live sessions and webinars can be helpful to present your inactive customers with your products in a new light.
Research shows that successful reactivation campaigns include keywords such as “we miss you” and comprise more than one email. For example, this reactivation campaign from Gap targeted inactive customers with a discount and offered them the option to customize their email settings. Usually, users change their preferences over time, and reminding them that you have much more to offer is a great strategy to win them back.
Here is an example of a reactivation email from BuzzFeed.
5. Stop traffic from exiting a website page
Once your visitors enter your website, the main goal should be to keep them as long as possible until they complete an action, such as signing up for a newsletter or freebie, purchasing a product, or reading a new piece of content. This can be turned into an automated workflow by designing a pop-up that appears after a certain period and directs visitors to a new piece of content or announces discounts.
These are called re-engagement pop-ups, and they can be programmed to show up after users reach a certain section of the page or after a few seconds of browsing your site. After setting them up, they require zero manual work and will increase your conversion rates significantly. Also, pop-up messages can be used to stop visitors from bouncing off the page before taking action.
You can set different live chat windows depending on the page (homepage, products page, etc.) and make them interactive to draw the attention of your visitors. Most usher a sense of urgency using announcements like “Check out the latest XYZ before leaving. It expires this week.”
6. Send automated responses to online forms
Forms are the most straightforward triggers for setting up an automated workflow. Once a potential client fills out a form, you receive their email address. Now you have a good reason to send a sequence of emails, starting with a thank-you or a downloadable copy of the information they submitted on the form, as well as additional information on the next step or when an agent could get back to them.
Statistics show that responding quickly to a potential customer who has shown interest within 30 minutes guarantees you 21 times more chances of qualifying for this lead. Besides email sequences, you could try to speak with your lead through a Windows messaging app to respond even faster.
7. Generate feedback
Potential customers who are ready to buy will often first seek out public reviews for reassurance of the value of your products or services. That’s why having good reviews and collecting customer feedback are essential for your brand image and revenue growth.
Where do automated workflows fit in here? By implementing an automated workflow, you can send the customers who just interacted with your brand a feedback request. You can set up an automated review request that’s received after they contact your customer service team (which can remain internally private). Another good moment to send an automated review request is after they make a purchase.
Here is an example of an automated review request by copy.ai.
8. Utilize reminder emails
Automated workflows can also be implemented when sending emails to remind customers about a discount that’s due to expire or upcoming events such as a live session or webinar. You can automate sequenced emails that are sent one hour prior to the event, when the event starts, and even after it finishes. This will keep customers alerted about the chance to join.
Reminder emails can significantly increase the number of attendees at your events and, subsequently your conversion rates. The best part about it is that these workflows can be automated with most email marketing tools, like Mailchimp or GetResponse.
Here is an example of a reminder email from Upwork.
It would be impossible to set up an automated workflow without a set of smart tools. Even though the industry is inundated with thousands of tools, we’ve picked the three most essential ones you can explore immediately.
- Keap. An ideal platform for digital marketers, Keap helps you automate your entire marketing arsenal. This awesome tool helps you send emails based on customer behavior and conditional logic. It provides multiple templates for call bookings, deal follow-ups, appointment reminders, etc. It comes with pricing plans starting from $129/month.
- HubSpot. You’ve probably heard of HubSpot already thanks to its powerful content marketing. That’s what it’s primarily known for as an inbound marketing tool that helps organizations of any size automate workflows, such as welcome email sequences, follow-ups, event confirmation emails, and lead nurturing, while integrating with marketing tools like Facebook Ads, Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey, and others. Its plans start at an affordable price of $45/month.
- Customer.io. This powerful tool can be integrated easily with your application or website and performs actions based on predefined rules you can set. It simplifies personalized messages and offers plenty of other features, such as conversion tracking, A/B testing, and in-context conversations, with plans starting at $150/month.
Choosing the proper tools shouldn’t be hard, even though you might have to do some testing. With a bit of research, you can find out which tools better fit your specific needs.
Workflow automation has become mandatory for businesses that want to scale at a faster pace. It helps you nurture new leads with little to no manual work and score more sales in a manageable way.
The cases we’ve mentioned are only a few, and you can combine them to automate other repetitive parts of your business processes.
With plentiful resources online, you can successfully automate workflows that drive results.