How do I get the most out of workflows?
Workflows will be your best friend. While you are out of the office, while you sleep, while you are focused on something else, they will be working for you to achieve your goals.
It is the best investment of your time you can ever hope for.
So, the only standing question is "How do I do this right?" and this article will tell you how.
Have a general strategy
You might already have ideas about automation, and you are eager to start. However, our advice is to NOT create your first workflow without having at least the general idea about your overall workflow strategy. Of course, you do not need to create all of the workflows at once, but you want to be able to plan when to incorporate the next workflow and how it could affect the existing workflows.
Here is some workflow ideas you might want to include in your strategy.
You want to create a welcome series of emails to start it right with your new customers or your new subscribers. Tell your new contact the most important facts about your brand, about how your website works, what sort of communication to expect from you and how they could manage it. Send them a survey about their first experience. Keep it friendly and simple.
Have an important event coming up? Workflows will make your life so much easier.
For starters, instead of sending a simple campaign for your invitation, create a form and include it in your workflows, so that even new subscribers are added to the invitation list. Do not forget to send lots of reminders, to ensure maximum attendance.
Next, let's say you have a segment that is particularly dear to your heart or newcomers you want to accommodate. You can split your workflow to offer them promotional pricing for the event ticket. Or, you could offer them a VIP treatment at a discount for a limited period of time.
You can also automate your confirmation emails. And, in the end, with a timer, send out surveys to the attendants to ask if they enjoyed the event. Or maybe even if they are interested in the next one. That could be your base audience for your next invitation - and next workflow, of course.
By using Web Tracking and your database or the API, you can automate sending order confirmations, successful payment notes, invoices, product return receipts, or full and partial payment return emails.
If you want to be GDPR compliant, the best practice is that transactional emails do not include any marketing content. However, using workflows to send your transactional emails allows you to A) send those out quickly and easily B) use our message builders to show off your designs skills in your forms and C) in your header and footer you still plug in a link to your social media and your website. Plus the added value of tracking. The experience for the contacts will be that there is a seamless transition between transactional and non-transactional messages.
For optimal deliverability, it's best to send these kind of emails from a different account than your marketing emails.
Upselling / Cross-selling
Based on Web Tracking and Link Tracking, you will know the products your contacts are interested in. Give them a good suggestion about what they have not discovered yet.
If you are selling toothbrushes, contact lenses, birthday cards, and any other sort of products, that need to be renewed regularly, create a workflow to remind your contact they need another ‘refill’. In your workflow, you can detect customers who responded to your ‘refill’ suggestions more than three times and offer them a subscription of that product. Your workflow can add those customers to a specific segment and send orders on their behalf, directly to your Packaging and Shipping team, with a copy to the customer.
Use workflows to create enticing messages to always take your contact to the next lifecycle stage. Identify interest and create action. Identify customers and create loyal customers. Identify happy customers and create advocacy.
Oldie but a Goldie. Make your contact feel special on their special day and you will have more than a subscriber, you will have a friend to your brand. Lots of brands consider a birthday a special occasion But it does not have to be the ONLY special occasion you share. Besides, it might feel pushy for your contact if you ask for their personal information.
And, they may already receive lots of attention on that day. How about celebrating your friendversary – the date they finished their first purchase or entered your loyalty card program, their first significant interaction with you. Pay that day just as special attention as the birthday and see which occasion works the best for you. You might be surprised.
We miss you
Long time since the last purchase or even any engagement? Your subscribers are not just your fans. You owe them the success of your idea or venture. They engage with you because they believe in you. What have you done for them recently? Have you failed them? Get in touch and show them you care.
We listen to feedback
Use surveys to gather feedback and create a special workflow just for your unhappy customers to see if you can somehow turn things around.
Do not overdo it
Those look like a lot. You really want to avoid that you overwhelm your contacts with too many emails. We do recommend that you have a comprehensive workflow strategy that covers most occasions requiring a message. However, that should not come at the expense of overflowing the mailbox of your contact.
Be strategic. Put contact preferences to good use and with that allow your contact to have a say in what emails they do and what emails they do not want to receive. Use your reports to figure out what triggers your contacts to unsubscribe and counteract it.
Know your triggers
Triggers can be positive or negative, they can be combined with the condition of being simultaneously true or they can be interchangeable as triggers.
Be diligent about your triggers. They can help you identify the real contact base you want to reach or the contacts you do not want to reach. For example, you do not want to send your contacts a regular newsletter if just yesterday you sent them an upselling/cross-selling email. Or, you do not want to send them a message featuring a certain product if you just sent them an order confirmation because they already bought it.
Remember, when you find yourself using the same combination of triggers over and over again, ask yourself if you will save some time if you use a segment instead of triggers.
Keep it complicated
Okay the rule is ‘Keep it simple’. But that refers to making the interaction easy for your contact. You want to keep it effortless for them. When it comes to your strategy, you want to keep it complex. Use multiple workflows at once. Use multiple positive and negative triggers to avoid overlapping audiences.
Have an overview of the entire strategy, so that you do not overwhelm your contacts. Keep an eye on reports to figure out which workflow works the best.
Reward all sorts of engagement – you can use a system of badges, stickers or another loyalty program to achieve that. If the contacts did not engage, use FOMO – tell them what they missed.
They let their discount code expire? Include a quote of a 5-star review from a product they could have got, from a customer who did, and is incredibly happy with their purchase.
Spread the word
Did you know your teams use email too? Include them in your workflows. Has a customer abandoned their cart for the second time in a row? Send an email to your Sales team. Did you receive an unhappy customer feedback review? Customer support should get in touch. Did you receive your extremely happy customer feedback? Let your Support team know. Reward them with recognition. Did your customer subscribe for regular purchases of a product? Email your Packaging and Shipping team directly.
Some things cannot be automated. For everything else, use your workflows.