How Workflows Take Marketing Automation to the Next Level

by Sarah Goliger

Date

October 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

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Lead nurturing is a crucial part of any effective marketing strategy. Why? Because if you’re not managing your leads properly, you're wasting your time, marketing resources, and money.

Workflows take lead nurturing to the next level. As one of the most powerful tools available to marketers today, workflows enable you to build stronger relationships with your leads, send higher quality leads to your sales team, and save more of your time as a marketer.

So ... What Are Workflows, Exactly?

A workflow is series of automated actions that you can trigger to occur based on a person’s behaviors or contact information. Workflows go way beyond simple marketing automation, though. With workflows, you can send emails, update contact information, add or remove contacts from lists, and trigger email notifications.

So let’s say an existing lead downloads a piece of content from your site, and now you want to send this lead to your CRM system because it’s "sales ready." Based on what you know about the lead’s history, you want to increase their lead score because now they’re more qualified. With workflows, you can move them from a "lead" to an "opportunity" stage, and you can deliver a personalized call-to-action.

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Your goal here is to waste less time, define the rules you want, and be able to automate it. Workflows make all that possible, and -- better yet -- they make it easy. With workflows, you can trigger actions based on any information you have about your leads, allowing you to send the right message to the right person at the right time. For instance, you can send a series of emails to:

  • Leads who have viewed a certain page on your website
  • Leads from companies with more than X employees
  • Leads from companies in XYZ industry or XYZ location
  • Leads with a specific website history like page views, clicks, downloads, etc.

3 Reasons You Should Be Using Workflows for Your Lead Nurturing

Workflows are one of the most powerful tools available to the modern marketer. Let's take a look at 3 of the reasons you should be using a workflows tool for easier and more effective lead management:

1) Workflows Help You Convert More Leads Into Customers

workflows image 4 resized 600Workflows give you the opportunity to do extremely powerful segmentation. Being able to group your leads based on different properties and behaviors means that you can very closely target your emails and your nurturing process to their specific interests and needs.

Gone are the days of sending one big email to all of your leads and hoping it’s relevant enough for some of them to click through or engage with it. It’s time to start using smarter tools to send your leads what they’re looking for and make them sales ready faster.

According to a report released by Lenskold Group and The Pedowitz Group, 60% of survey respondents who use marketing automation say it has increased the quality of the leads that get passed to sales. Market2Lead also found that leads that go through automated workflows have a 23% shorter sales cycle. Imagine what your sales team could do with 23% more time!

2) You Can Customize the Content and Timing of Your Workflows

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For example, if you have a handful of leads that are much closer to being ready to buy than
others, you can set up a workflow to send them three emails per week instead of one. If your leads who own small businesses respond better to emails sent on the weekends, you can set your workflow for these leads to only trigger emails to send on Saturdays and Sundays, and maybe just in the mornings.

You choose the times you want, and you put those times in the tool -- not your calendar.

3) Using Workflows Saves Time

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And really, what marketer doesn't enjoy having more time back?

When Is the Right Time to Start Using Workflows?

More effective marketing? Saving time? Converting more of my leads to customers? Alright, you’ve got me hooked! But how do I know when it’s the right time to start using workflows in my marketing?

There’s no explicit answer for this, and it’s really up to you when you want to start integrating workflows into your marketing strategy, but we will offer you some indications that it’s time to think about getting started with workflows. If any of these are true of your marketing process, you should consider using a workflow tool (like HubSpot's!) to improve your lead nurturing and make your marketing more effective.

Indications It's Time to Use Workflows:

  • You’re generating leads but ignoring the ones who are not yet ready to buy.
  • Your sales team is unhappy with the quality of the leads you’re sending them.
  • You’re sending the same emails to your entire list.
  • You’re collecting valuable lead information, but not using it for segmentation.
  • You’re not targeting your offers and messaging based on your leads’ needs.
  • You’re sending or following up to all of your emails manually.
  • You’re mass updating contact information manually.
  • You want to convert more leads to customers with better lead nurturing.

So, what do you think? Isn't it about time you start using workflows for better lead nurturing?

Learn more about getting started with workflows in our new ebook, Going Beyond Email: How to Use Workflows for Better Lead Nurturing.

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