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So you've gathered a solid bunch of contacts to nurture in your marketing automation platform. Are your contacts going with the flow, or are you stuck and leaving them just sitting in your marketing database?

Automated email workflows help you nurture and engage your leads at various touch points with the right content and at the right time, all according to your lead's buying stage.

Email automation can not only help you convert your prospects into customers, they can help you continue to remarket to your existing customers and further encourage them to make additional purchases. Also, with the right workflow, you are able to nudge seemingly dormant leads who you've not heard for a while, and get them excited for your products with special discount rates etc.

Set your different email workflows up right, and you will be tapping on some real sales opportunities, with less effort but more results.

This post will help you get the most out of your contact database with various automated email workflows your business can use to engage different types of contacts from all angles possible.  

Great Email Workflows Local SMEs Should Adopt For Customer Engagement

1. Topic Workflows Create workflows for each topic targeting different industries.

Your workflow triggers should be content offer downloads such as an eBook or when your contact views a page related to that topic. You start by creating a landing page for your downloadable content.  

When your contact downloads a content offer of that topic, he or she will be added to an email list, this action should initiate a workflow to be automatically triggered, sending that contact useful, relevant content such as other blog posts, another eBook addressing more depth of the same topic or other useful tips.

2. Blog Subscriber or On-boarding Workflow

Each time there’s a new blog subscriber for your blog. Send them a welcome email and tell them the benefits of their subscription. Similarly, when a user creates an account on your website, send them a follow up email with on-boarding help.

Increase user engagement with your new leads to retain them on your website or with your brand with useful content, great service and technical navigation support.

3. Lead Nurturing Workflow

Lead nurturing workflows help keep your customers engaged throughout their research and pre-buying consideration phase. They should contain emails that provide prospects all the relevant information they need to make a purchase. Your lead nurturing workflow should help you automatically qualify leads and usher them down the sales funnel till they are at a buying decision.

For example, if a contact has downloaded a top of the funnel content, they are probably open to another top of a funnel content or a little more-middle of the funnel content. Your lead nurturing workflow has a primary aim of helping to advance these contacts down to the bottom of the funnel where they are Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), ready to be contacted by your sales reps.

4. Re-engagement Workflow

Have a bunch of contacts that are appearing inactive, seemingly stuck in a stage of your funnel? If a contact is showing no signs of activity, an automated re-engagement workflow will give a gentle nudge by triggering an email. The email should contain an offer that your dormant lead will be interested in, something that will surely catch their attention eg. an exclusive discount coupon.

Re-engagement email workflows should focus on rekindling the relationship you once had with your subscribers or previous customers. The emails you send them should be highly personalised with dynamic content, as mentioned above.

Always remember, inactive leads are not the end of the lead journey, they are great opportunities for you to plan out a great re-engagement program and workflow to get them right back into the cycle.

5. Event Workflow

Many SMEs host live events, to boost their brand’s presence, gaining some thought leadership in the industry. Webinars are particularly popular these days. Use email workflows to automate your messages to event registrants before, throughout and long after the event.

Your event workflow should deliver important or interesting information your registrations would like to know leading up to the event. After the event, continue to nurture your attendees’ list with more rewarding content or a personal follow up.

6. Abandoned Shopping Cart Workflow

When a potential buyer adds an item to their shopping cart but leaves your site without completing the purchase, you can trigger an automated workflow to gather feedback and find out more on why they didn’t complete the purchase. You can also further send them an email with a special promotional code or other discount incentives to motivate them to complete the transaction or of a similar, better related product recommendation.

This recommendation can be automated to be according to what they wanted to buy but didn’t, or what they wanted to find but couldn’t the first time round. Statistics show that a follow up email to people who abandoned carts is a very effective way to win back some conversions. For example, abandoned cart emails have twice the average open rate of regular emails.

7. Upcoming Purchase or Subscription Renewal Workflow

Does your business deal with products that customers typically purchase on a cycle period? You can import these contacts into a workflow that gets triggered whenever they make a purchase.

For example, if your business deals with dietary supplements, that are bought every 3 months, you can trigger a reminder email by the 2nd month to remind them that their supply is about to run out. Include special offers and discounts for them to embark on a new cyclical purchase. If your business deal with classes that runs by subscriptions, you can trigger a workflow with special offers and new class updates along with their subscription renewal reminders to fully engage with your customers and keep them for a long time.

8. Upsell or Cross-sell Workflow

It is foolish if you stop contacting customers right after they make a purchase, most especially, if you’re selling a large range of products or varied connected services. You can use an upsell or cross-sell workflow to re-engage existing customers for added on sales. Chances that if they have decided to buy from you, they would also want to look around for other products or top up other needed services.

According to the Gartner group, 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers. Create specialised list of segmented contacts who have made past purchases and with marketing automation’s dynamic content personalisation feature, target and recommend other products or services in tantalising packages.

9. Customer Retention Workflow

When customers display behaviours of inactivity, trigger an email to incite a response. If they have tried to unsubscribe from your email list, send them a survey to ask them why and what can you to help with a dissatisfaction on their part. These emails should be light, humorous as you do not want to offend a customer on the not so friendly site of your business.

In your email, send a survey to ask how you can better serve them, these insights are valuable to your business and its reputation. You can additionally offer a “service recovery” benefit to get them to opt back in.

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