5 Inbound Marketing Workflows You Should Be Using Right Now

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November 9, 2016
Daniel Vaczi Daniel Vaczi

Automated workflows are an integral asset to any marketing team. Whether it’s automating email follow ups, updating customer information, or notifying internal personnel of user interactions, it’s hard to imagine living without them.inbound-marketing-workflows.pngWith HubSpot on the verge of launching a brand new workflow interface that strives to improve usability by making visualizing branching logic a snap along with improving your ability to share workflows with stakeholders, we thought it would be good to share the roadmap for a few of our favorite workflows.


1. Follow Up Emails

Form submissions present a prime opportunity to get an email in front of new contacts. The likelihood of opening an email at this time skyrockets since they they’ve just provided you with an email address and requested some sort of information or documentation.

"HubSpot has a built in option with their forms to send an automatic follow-up email but they are very generic. Instead, opt to kick off a new workflow with a custom built email. Include a similar message to your thank you page along with an opportunity to download whatever content offering they signed up for or additional information about the service they opted in to."

From there, set a delay for an appropriate amount of time for them to consume whatever content or service they signed up for. Then, schedule a follow up email inquiring about their satisfaction and be sure (this is the key part) to include an offering for the next step in the buyer’s journey. 

2. Contact Property Updates

Workflows can be a great tool for updating contact properties in your CRM database. One that we use quite often is updating buyer personas based on the job title recorded in form submissions. Ideally, you have your buyer personas narrowed down to 4-5 of the most common personalities you deal with on a regular basis. However, your “Job Title” or “Job Role” option in form submissions could include upwards of ten different titles. Setup a workflow that will update buyer personas based on the job title they provide.

Another useful contact property workflow can be updating lifecycle stages. For instance, if someone visits your website and downloads a middle of the funnel eBook, you can set a workflow that will trigger based on the form submission and will simply update their lifecycle stage to Marketing Qualified Lead (or whatever the appropriate stage is based on that content offering).

3. Event Workflow

Have a big lunch and learn or a rep training at the factory or maybe a promo event coming up soon? Workflows are a great tool for getting the most out of every event you host! Be sure to include things like, reminders to invitees who haven’t signed up yet, thank you emails to registrants, reminders the day of the event to minimize no-shows, and a post-event email thanking them for coming along with relevant content offerings.

Want to kick it up a notch? Set up an email to trigger a few days before the event with bonus information for attendees. Things like parking instructions, lodging suggestions for overnight events, nearby restaurants, and other events going on in the city that your clientele might enjoy. After the event, send out an email thanking them for coming and give them a chance to fill out a survey so you can improve on the next event you host.

4. Nudging Prospects Through the Buyer’s Journey

So you have a blog that’s generating traffic to your site and better yet, people are actually subscribing to it! That is great news and a huge building block for your content marketing strategy. So, now that you have all these blog subscribers and powerful insights into their interests, it’s safe to assume you’re using this information to put relevant content offerings into their inbox right? Right? No? Alright then, let’s take a look at a simple workflow to get that content you spent so much time on in front of your new blog subscribers. 

Start by creating a workflow that’s triggered by a visitor subscribing to your blog. About a week (or whatever you’re comfortable with, but give it as least a few days) after a visitor has subscribed to your blog, trigger an email that sends out one of your top of the funnel content pieces. Remember, at this stage of the Buyer’s Journey, you want to focus on content that is educational rather than promotional. If your content game is really on point, you can have the workflow send them a content piece specific to the topic of the blog they converted on.

Action_Selector.pngIf your subscriber engages with the content piece you sent, mission accomplished! Set your workflow to mark their Lifecycle Stage to Lead. If they don’t engage, wait another week or so, and follow up with a new piece of content. If possible, try something on a different medium. If you started off with a webinar, try an e-book this time or if you started off with a whitepaper, try a how-to infographic. If they do convert, mark them as leads and kick off the next part of your engagement strategy. If they don’t, time to move on, no need hassling someone that’s not ready to engage yet. Hopefully, your world class blogs will keep them coming back for more and you can get them converted sometime down the road.

5. Reminders for Cyclical Buyers

Many businesses out there today have the benefit of cyclical purchasing. Workflows are a perfect avenue for encouraging them to come back for more when the time comes. This is especially useful if you work in a highly competitive industry where customers could potentially go to a competitor instead of you for their replacement purchases.

Let’s say your company sells air conditioning filters. As we all know, home air filters are supposed to be replaced every three months (and I’m sure a responsible person such as yourself strictly adheres to this guideline). So, to get started, create a workflow that automatically enrolls customers upon purchase. Then, about two and a half months after purchase, set up an email reminder informing your customer it’s about time to replace their filter (make sure to use an attention grabbing headline to encourage open rates!). If they engage and purchase the filter, job well done! Be sure to have them enrolled in that customer nurturing workflow you have set up.

If they don’t convert, set a one to two-week delay and trigger another reminder that their filter is ready for replacement. Anything beyond that at this stage could become an annoyance and we certainly don’t want that. However, one more email about five and half months after purchase, when the last filter is set to expire, could bring back some customers you missed in the last cycle.

While these are some of our most used workflows, the sky is truly the limit with this expansive tool. Don’t be bashful about exploring workflow automations and finding the perfect order of events for your application. Be sure to check out HubSpot’s new visual workflow editor as it’s released in the coming weeks and let us know what cool new tricks you find!