3 Automation Workflow Ideas

Last modified: January 2, 2022
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Every subscriber wants relevant, personal email messages in their inboxes. In fact, most demand it. Subscribers are 50% more likely to open an email that’s personalized and 58% more likely to click a link when the email is relevant to their interests and lifestyle.

Personalization is clearly vital, but how can you pull it off? How can you create and send personalized emails to every subscriber? While personalization may seem complicated, you can implement it relatively easily using email marketing automation.

By adding automation to your marketing toolbox, you can create email campaigns that are automatically delivered to subscribers based on their preferences, actions, or behaviors.

To help marketers use email marketing automation in a sensible, engaging way, here are three automated workflows you can use as inspiration.

1. Automate a welcome series

The perfect time to make a good impression is when a new subscriber joins your list. That’s because subscribers are most engaged with your brand in the first 48 hours of joining your list.

The first thing you should do is automate a welcome email. You can pre-create a welcome email in your account that’s automatically sent to any subscriber who joins your list. The act of joining the list serves as a trigger.

When a subscriber joins the list for a magazine, for example, they receive this automated welcome email moments after joining.

Using email marketing automation to deliver a welcome email is fairly simple, and a good way to get started in the automation world.

While it’s a good start, you don’t have to stop there. You can continue to use email marketing automation to onboard customers or readers. The onboarding process introduces a customer to your product or content and serves as the basis of your new relationship.

Following the welcome email, magazine continues the automated journey with a newsletter two days later. The trigger, in this case, is a predetermined amount of time.

The newsletter might have a 2-3-line welcome letter from the editor and a list of four of their best articles.

If you’re not a publisher, you can tweak this workflow to fit your onboarding process. The first email should still welcome new customers, but the second email might showcase your best products or give subscribers a discount on their first purchase.

The idea is to create a series of two or three emails that make your new subscribers feel welcome while educating them about your product or service.

2. Send email based on subscribers’ actions

Subscribers respond to emails that align with their interests.

If the subscriber clicks on the book in the email again and adds it to a shopping cart, but still doesn’t make a purchase, that action could trigger an abandoned cart email. The next day, the subscriber gets a reminder email about the book along with a final promotional offer.

This is actually what Amazon does to us for years (if you are shopping from Amazon) and we cannot resist those emails.

3. Design an email course or class

Ready to send engaging emails on a regular basis?

For example, subscribers who signed up for Weekly Meal Plan are sent a daily email with directions to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take a look at the email on day three of the meal plan.

These emails are all created ahead of time and scheduled to deliver on a specific time and date using email marketing automation.

However, you can add to this automated journey by asking this segment of subscribers via email if they’re interested in another guided course, The Healthy Eating Challenge.

Since the content is related, there’s a good chance subscribers will be interested. If subscribers say yes, they’re added to a new segment that will now receive regular emails that help subscribers make wise meal choices.

Tips to create automated journeys

If you’re ready to use email marketing automation to set up workflows, here are a few tips:

Get creative with starting points

Automated journeys are as unique as your subscribers. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Pick from one of the starting points below and design a series of emails that subscribers will love. Starting points include:

  • Subscriber joins a list
  • Subscriber enters a segment
  • Subscriber leaves a segment
  • A date
  • An anniversary
  • Subscriber activity

Give subscribers room to breathe

Automated journeys are great, but you don’t want to overwhelm subscribers either. You can build breaks into your journeys. They’re called delays. It’s best to give subscribers some time to open and engage with your email before sending another. Remember, the point of automation isn’t to send more emails; it’s to send more relevant ones.

Segment your automation

Automation works best when you use it in conjunction with segmentation. By creating specific campaigns for smaller groups, you’re making a stronger connection because the content is more targeted.

Watch your metrics

As with any email marketing tactic, it’s best to monitor your metrics when you’re using email marketing automation. Keep an eye on your engagement rates, specifically your open, click, and conversion rates.

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