Now more than ever before, the marketing world best suits workhorses: those individuals willing to grind relentlessly, feverishly juggling tasks in an effort to eke out as much promotional potency as possible.
You can easily imagine the peril of a marketer from a time gone by being transported into the modern-day – their workload retaining everything they did then and heaping on a vast digital landscape of complexity and confusion.
Having opened on a negative note, though, let me look at the other side of the coin: the power of today’s technology to support us in our work. Confusing it may be, but the online world offers myriad resources, tools, and systems that we can use to save time, money, and energy.
A smart marketer who takes advantage of this can resoundingly outperform old-fashioned marketers while actually putting in less work.
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Central to this marketing revolution has been the advent of broad automation. Through using programmed sequences, we can breeze through repetitive tasks (even at scale), freeing ourselves to focus on the tasks that genuinely require manual intervention. To do this, we need email workflows: sets of actions that can be deployed in response to specific events.
To give you an idea of how this works, I’m going to identify 4 common marketing email workflows that are suitable for automation. Let’s get to it:
Registered user welcome
Picking up a new user registration for your website is a crucial point, whether it’s an eCommerce account creation or a sign-up to some kind of marketing newsletter. You need to make the most of it, and that process should start immediately with a welcoming email – and there’s very rarely a good reason to handle it manually.
Instead, you can trigger a welcome email to be sent out at a certain point following a registration (perhaps an hour or so to allow some separation and increase the impact). It can mostly be generic, detailing what you offer and why you’re excited to offer them value, but you can also include some personalization elements (for instance, their name – if handled tastefully – and any interests they flagged up while registering).
HubSpot has a good selection of welcome emails to give you some inspiration, so use them as templates when creating your own if you’re unsure how best to proceed.
Social media distribution
Content production is a core part of the modern marketer’s workload because the appetite for digital content is never satisfied – even as unread content piles up everywhere, surfers are forever looking out for fresh updates. Yet the window for getting content seen and shared is fairly small. Any given piece only gets one chance to make a first impression, after all.
So how do you get content noticed? Well, social media is the key. You need to use widespread social media mentions to bring in as much traffic as possible, but that process is unbearably slow when done post by post (and platform by platform). That’s why it makes sense to have a social media sharing workflow that can be applied to every completed piece of content.
This workflow can cover everything from optimizing imagery to suit target social media channels to rolling out the posts at the most opportune times. You can then use something like Meet Edgar to maximize the value of your posts by recycling them.
Inactive account pursuit
Marketing to existing customers is one of the ways to make money because you know they’re inclined to view you positively and see your business as a convenient seller. And while it’s inevitable that you’ll lose some customers, you should make every effort to keep customers around – not only by listening to feedback but also by chasing up inactive accounts.
If your eCommerce system shows that someone who was a regular customer hasn’t placed an order in a couple of months, for instance, you should chase them up. Configuring some kind of prompt with a personalized offer of some kind (e.g. 20% off a product they’ve looked at several times) could get great results.
It isn’t too hard to manage it these days: enterprise eCommerce solutions often have native automation options and triggers, so you need to only set the parameters and let your workflow run without needing to get other systems involved.
Marketing feedback request
Most effective marketing isn’t done through one-off efforts. It’s achieved through steady iteration, with all aspects of a campaign being tweaked over time. This is mostly driven by digital analytics, but they don’t provide all the necessary context – for that, you need to speak to the marketing audience, requesting some direct feedback on what they make of your marketing.
The workflow for this will involve sending out a feedback request form that feeds back into a database, but the timing is critical. Send it out too soon, and the recipient will have nothing useful to contribute – send it out too late, and they’ll have already concluded that you don’t much care about their user experience.
I recommend going with a set amount of time that fits with your marketing schedule. If you’ve been sending email newsletters for around a month, that might be a good point for reaching out. (And remember: you can go back to the same users for more feedback down the line.)
These examples only offer a preview of what you can achieve using automated marketing workflows because there are so many elements of modern-day marketing that are suitable for being overhauled in this manner. If you’re not using automation already, it’s time to make it a part of your strategy.