As business owners, particularly in eCommerce, getting your email list up to scratch is crucial. Your ROI will be higher if you can focus your attention on getting your message to your target audience. If you’re aware of the power of having a well-defined email workflow but are lost when it comes to how you should set one up, then read on. Because if you can get this one right, then through the magic of email automation, your message can be delivered to the right people at the right time and be working to bring you those vital leads and sales 24/7.

What is an email workflow exactly?

Perhaps you’ve already got an email list, or you might be regularly sending out some kind of update. If so, you’re already halfway towards setting up your email workflow – but let’s take it a step further…

An email workflow is a way to automate a set of emails based on a section of your list. That could be new sign-ups, people within a particular demographic, your local area, those who have a birthday coming up, or a whole myriad of other things!

It could also be based on your audience’s behaviour or personality. For example, you might decide to set up an email workflow for new sign-ups. 

You could schedule a ‘welcome’ email, targeted on their particular needs, to let them know what you can offer on sign-up. You might then follow that on with an offer that’s personal to them. 

The purpose of an email workflow

There are so many benefits of setting up an email workflow – it goes far beyond simply keeping in touch. Think of it as an exercise in relationship building. Drip-feeding your message to your customers from the outset not only keeps you at the front of their minds but also allows them to get to know you and become familiar with your brand.

Don’t think that you have to wait for new sign-ups to start, though. You can implement email workflows at any time. Have a look at your current list and see what jumps out. Are you currently sending the same emails to your entire list but find that opens and click-throughs are low? Perhaps there are sections of your lists that need something different.  

This type of email workflow might be for you if:

  • You send regular newsletters, but they’re not hitting the mark
  • You never get the opportunity to share your products or offers with those who are most likely to need them
  • You have got into the habit of replying to general emails individually, and it’s just getting too time-consuming
  • You’re missing out on targeting sections of your list at the right time – such as birthdays, cart abandonment, sign-up follow-ups, and event anniversaries

Who can integrate an email workflow into their marketing?

Whatever kind of business, whatever the industry, you can integrate an email workflow into your marketing.

I’ve already suggested the welcome emails for new sign-ups. But you could do so much more, specific to you. How about:

  • For florists, a set of emails sent on the anniversary of the customers wedding day
  • For makers, designers, or manufacturers, emails giving a sneak peek leading up to a new product launch based on something they purchased from you
  • Baby products, a ‘happy birthday’ offer or discount for baby
  • Events planners, news of similar events within their area, along with a timely offer just for them

You get the idea – I’m sure you can think of a million more based on your own business.

Tips on how to create an email workflow

  1. Decide on a suitable emailing software. A few that come to mind are Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber…there are many others. Do some research to see what suits you best. Most offer a free package for getting started, but you will need to subscribe as your list grows and get some of the advanced services.
  2. Make sure that you know what your end goal is. Is it more sales? To share knowledge? To grow your following? Be clear on this to know what your message should be and who it needs to target.
  3. How many emails should you send? Theoretically, this might be one, a ‘welcome message’. But to make an impact, you should be thinking of building those relationships. That means writing a set of emails that run coherently and, most importantly, appealing to the people you are targeting.
  4. Decide on how to structure the sequence. For example, the first email will be followed up with 2 separate touch points – one for those who open and one for those who don’t. Sending your email message based on user actions lets you control what you say to them.
  5. Decide if you’ll use an incentive to get them to subscribe to your list. An example could be sending your first email based on a free PDF or lead magnet. That first message will include the document and a thank you message. The follow on might consist of a further message asking if they enjoyed reading the document. For those who didn’t open the original email, you might want to send a reminder with a link to it.

There are so many options – have fun with it!

If you’d like to learn more about content creation, email marketing, or blogging for your business, hop over to my blog where you can find loads of articles to help you.