Marketing is full of repetitive but important tasks like posting on social media and sending out email newsletters. These tasks can be really time consuming but they’re also a big part of any marketing strategy.
Fortunately there are a number of software solutions that can automate these activities, like HubSpot’s Marketing Automation Tool. This helps you get these recurring tasks done consistently so you can focus on work that can’t be automated. And the proof is in the pudding: businesses that implement marketing automation raise their sales productivity by an average of 14.5%.
Email workflows are a particularly effective way to automate your marketing efforts. Email workflows are a series of automated emails that are triggered with subscriber behavior or data, like when a contact submits a form on your website, clicks one of your email links or ads, or views a page on your blog.
The emails work together to accomplish a goal, like onboarding new clients or nurturing leads. They also encourage engagement with your existing customers by sharing interesting and relevant information. If nurturing brand loyalty is important in your business (and it should be), HubSpot can help you be thoughtful and intentional with your email automation.
Ready to get started with automation? Here are 10 email workflows to start with:
10 Automated Email Workflows You Should Be Using
1. Welcome Email
Triggered by: subscription to email newsletter or registered on website
Let’s start with the most basic of your automated emails: a welcome email that is triggered when someone creates an account on your site or subscribes to your newsletter. This is a good chance to remind contacts of the value they can get from your blog, encourage them to review their subscription settings, and promote your brand and products. There are many ways to approach this email and it helps to identify which actions you’d like the visitor to take next. Welcome and thank your contacts for subscribing, and then you can let them know about the following:
- Popular, relevant, and/or top-performing content that might interest them
- More information about your business or product, as well as new products and promotions
- Where they can find you on social media
- How they can send questions, contact support, and/or find your FAQ
- Where new customers can find helpful training guides
You should launch a separate series of welcome emails for contacts who have converted into paying customers. HubSpot triggers these emails when the contact’s lifecycle status transitions to “customer”. This is a chance to nurture a positive customer relationship and encourage continued engagement.
2. Topic Workflow
Triggered by: offer download
When you create industry-related content like an ebook or white paper that visitors sign up to download, you can create a series of follow-up emails that promote related content. When a contact views a page or downloads an offer related to the topic, the appropriate workflow will be triggered. You can combine things like ebooks, weekly follow-ups, webinars, and blog posts, and create an email workflow for each topic. You can even use the free version of HubSpot, HubSpot Marketing Free, to trigger these content download workflows.
For example, if a contact downloads your ebook called How to Survive Thanksgiving with Relatives, that download will trigger your “thanksgiving” workflow. This will send other helpful content to that person, like your blog post on how to travel with children or an infographic on safe discussion topics for dinner with difficult people.
3. Lead Nurturing Workflow
Triggered by: top of the funnel conversion events
When visitors download marketing offers (ebooks, webinars, etc), customized workflows can nurture these potential customers by sending them content for the next stop in the funnel. This encourages them to move further down the sales funnel and is a big factor in inbound marketing.
4. Re-Engagement Workflow
Triggered by: inactive account
If it’s been a while since a customer has engaged with your business, it might be time to reconnect with an automated re-engagement email. Set this up to email contacts when they meet certain criteria, such as length of time since their last website visit, email activity, or form submission.
This contact list can be populated based on customers who:
- Have made purchases and haven’t returned for some time
- Created accounts or registered their emails with your website
- Signed up for free trials with little or no follow-up engagement
Re-engagement emails can alert inactive contacts of a sale, provide them with coupon codes, or even just offer some interesting and relevant content that might remind them why they were interested in your business to begin with.
5. Abandoned Cart Workflow
Triggered by: shopping cart abandonment
If you own an ecommerce shop, (or even just shop online yourself), you know that people often place products in their cart and then leave the site without buying anything. If you’ve done this yourself, you may have received an email 10-12 hours later with a subject line like, “It looks like you forgot something!” This is an abandoned cart email.
These emails are highly effective. Approximately 45% of abandoned cart emails are opened, 21% click through to the site, and 50% of those that click through end up purchasing. That means out of 100 abandoned cart emails, you’ll probably get around 5 sales. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but those are 5 sales you would have otherwise lost! And with the email automation, you didn’t have to lift a finger to make those sales.
6. Upsell Workflow
Triggered by: past purchases
You’ve probably received emails after making a purchase, highlighting items you might like based on what you just bought (something like: “You liked this, so check these out!”). Opportunities for upselling or upgrading your existing customers are invaluable, particularly when you offer a variety of products or services.
Integrating your HubSpot account with your Shopify store (or another ecommerce platform) is an easy way to connect your ecommerce activities with your marketing efforts.
HubSpot allows you to keep actively updated lists of contacts who purchase certain products, and send them emails recommending related products/services. For instance, if someone purchases a grill, you might send them an upsell email with grilling accessories afterward.
Any time you leverage data you receive from your customers, you can customize and personalize their experience with helpful suggestions. The more value you give your customers and the more enjoyable their experience with your business is, the more likely they are to return. And selling to established customers is easier than gaining new ones!
7. Product Lifecycle Workflow
Triggered by: subscriptions or purchase of renewable goods
If your product has a limited lifecycle, an automated email can be sent to your customers reminding them when it might be time to repurchase their supply or renew a subscription. Increase the potential for a resale by including a convenient direct link to the product in the reminder.
These lifecycle emails can be used in many situations, including:
- Reordering frequent-use products, like detergents and personal care items
- Repurchasing perishable products with expiration dates
- Renewing annual subscriptions
8. Free Trial Sign-up Workflow
Triggered by: signed up for free trial
People that sign up for free trials are potential customers. Make sure that you have automated emails for these contacts, thanking them and offering any onboarding information that can help them convert into paying customers. If you make this process pleasant and straightforward, you will encourage continued engagement and possible future sales.
9. Engaged Contact Workflow
Triggered by: form submissions, visits, clicks
To reach your most engaged contacts, create an active list using criteria like frequent website visits, form submissions, and clicks on social media posts and emails. These contacts have already shown they enjoy your content, and will be more likely to share it. Creating an engaged contact email workflow for these contacts will encourage sharing of your best content on social media.
10. In-House Sales Rep Notification Workflow
Triggered by: bottom of the funnel conversion events
You can use HubSpot’s attribution reporting tool to identify which of your contacts’ page visits and conversion events suggest the most product interest. Then use workflows to trigger internal emails to your sales team, letting them know about these best possible leads: contacts who have been spending time truly assessing your products and services.