In a previous blog post titled Why You Can't Afford NOT to Have a Lead Nurturing Campaign, I talked about the importance of capturing leads and staying in front of them. If you've read that post, you might remember that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.
We know that staying in front of our leads is a crucial component of moving them through the sales cycle and eventually converting them into customers. We also know that email is the major tactic that we use for lead nurturing. But keeping up with regular email marketing to your database can be incredibly time consuming, especially if you're sending targeted emails to different lists based on their behaviors. This is where email workflows come into play. Let's examine what an email workflow is and how it can help your business.
What is an email workflow?
An email workflow is a series of automated emails that will be sent (or not) based on a person's behavior on your site or other information you have gathered about your lead (size of their company, location, number of employees, etc). You can trigger specific emails based on specific information allowing you to send the right message to the right person at the right time. And from our inbound marketing knowledge, we know that providing prospective customers with information relevant to them specifically is crucial to helping them decide to work with us.
And the best part? Once you have set up a workflow, you can have a series of emails nurture leads in each group until they are ready to purchase - all without you manually sending each email. That's right, workflow management softwares allow you to define a series of rules that determine what (already developed) email gets sent to who at what time.
For example, let's pretend we have a great ebook that we are promoting through calls-to-action on our website and in blog posts. In order for someone to download that ebook, they have to fill out a form and give us some information. We can set up a simple workflow associated with this ebook download that will help us stay in front of anyone who downloads it that might look something like this:
-Once someone fills out the form and downloads the ebook, they are automatically enrolled in our "ebook download workflow."
-1 day after they fill out the form, we set an email to send that thanks them for downloading the content and giving them the download link again (just in case they weren't able to download it the first time).
-2 days after that we set an email to send that asks if they have any questions about the content they downloaded and providing them with some other relevant content (maybe blog posts that are related to the topic of the ebook.)
-3 days after that we set an email to send that promotes another related content offer we think they might be interested in based on the topic of their previous download.
BAM! Simple workflow based on a set of rules around the fact that they downloaded a free ebook offer. How simple is that? And once you've set those rules the first time, whenever anyone downloads that ebook, they will be enrolled in that workflow and the process will run automatically without you having to do any additional manual email work.
How do they help with lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is based on staying in front of your leads, reminding them you exist and providing them with more information they might be interested in. A workflow does all that work without you having to lift a finger. They're totally automated.
When should I start using workflows?
Like with any type of marketing, there's no set rules or algorithm that dictates exactly when you should start using email workflows. At HIVE, we have a number of things we look for that indicate that it might be time to incorporate these workflows in our marketing. These things include (but aren't limited to):
- A client generating leads but not dealing with those that aren't immediately ready to buy.
- A client doing a lot of email marketing but just sending generic emails to everyone on their list rather than targeted emails
- A client not segmenting their leads by behavior or information provided.
- A client with an entirely manual email marketing and lead follow up process.
Staying in contact with prospective customers who have shown an interest in your company is crucial to your lead nurturing. Automated workflows will help simplify the process and ensure that you are consistently communicating with your leads!
Workflows are a helpful inbound marketing tactic for moving leads through your sales cycle. Ready to learn more about inbound marketing tactics? Check out our FREE Inbound Marketing 101: A Beginner's Guide eBook.