If you are a user of the inbound marketing methodology , surely you already know the importance of automating the most frequent actions to save time and effort and maximize conversion opportunities.
This automation process is specified from workflows or workflows . Knowing how to define and configure them correctly is essential for inbound marketing strategies to work. Do you want to know what inbound marketing workflows are and how to configure yours step by step? Keep reading!
What is an inbound marketing workflow?
In the world of inbound marketing, a workflow or workflow consists of a series of automated actions that are implemented based on the characteristics of a user and their interactions with the channels of a brand.
In this example, users have registered for a course and have to receive an email with the download of the material. Days later they receive more content related to the theme of the course. Or you can even suggest a first contact.
The most common inbound marketing workflow is lead nurturing , which consists of a series of messages that are sent to a potential customer to advance them on the road to conversion. Ideally, this process should go hand in hand with a lead scoring strategy , in which we assign points to the user based on their characteristics and actions and define a series of actions based on the score achieved.
The structure of a workflow can be very varied, but we can establish these common characteristics :
- A workflow starts from a specific action of the user(for example, subscribing to the newsletter or filling in a form on our website).
- This action triggers the sending of a series of messages, for example a series of welcome emails. These actions take place in a specific order and with the time intervals that we have previously defined.
- The contents are personalizedaccording to the characteristics of the user. To do this, before creating the workflow, we must perform a good segmentation of our types of potential customers.
- The workflow is configured and executed through specialized marketing automation tools(in the next section you will see some examples).
Workflows involve some initial setup work, but in return they offer many advantages to companies:
- Saving time and resources in the medium / long term. Communications are sent automatically, which represents great savings in management, especially from a certain volume of users.
- They reduce the risk of human error.
- They increase the chances of conversion. Inbound marketing workflows are designed to send the right content at the right time, so that we can earn the user’s trust to generate conversions and loyalty.
- They simplify content personalization. When we have large databases and many segmentations, resorting to automated systems allows us to reach a much higher level of complexity.
How to create an inbound marketing workflow step by step
1) Define your goals
To plan an inbound marketing workflow, the first thing you have to do is know who you are targeting and what you want to achieve.
The first question can be solved through the creation of one or more buyer personas , a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client that will allow you to fully understand what they need and how you can connect with them.
For the second, you will have to see what your marketing objectives are at a global level and how inbound marketing can help you achieve them. For example, your goal may be to get a certain percentage of your leads to become a customer within three months, or to recover half of the abandoned carts.
2) Create the right content
Inbound marketing workflows feed on content, so this strategy has to go hand in hand with the content marketing plan .
Each workflow will have a series of associated content that will be sent periodically to users. Sometimes the content will be simply an email with an offer, but in others it can be much more complex, such as an ebook or a webinar . In any case, it is necessary to find that each piece of content adapts to the moment in which the potential customer is and their user profile.
3) Choose a marketing automation tool
Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions:
- Hubspot: Hubspot is the star solution in inbound marketing, so it could not be without workflow functionality. You can purchase the trial version for a month and then choose one of the payment methods.
- Marketing Cloud: a Salesforce cloud tool that allows you to create personalized experiences based on the profiles of each user. It is aimed at B2C companies.
- Pardot– Another Salesforce solution for automating and managing leads, but in this case designed for B2B companies.
- Act-on: this marketing automation tool allows you to configure lead nurturing actions, segment your contacts through lists and send offers when a user performs a specific action.
- Marketo: another very popular tool for creating workflows. With it, you can automate lead generation, segmentation, customer retention and ROI measurement.
4) Define the actions of your workflow
Now is the time to get down to business! Each tool has its peculiarities when it comes to configuring actions, but these are the basic possibilities:
- Send an email (or other type of message) to the user.
- Configure a specific time interval between messages.
- Establish bifurcations, that is, make the workflow behave differently based on user actions.
- Send an internal email or SMS to notify the inbound marketing team that a user has reached a certain stage in the sales process.
- Add or remove a contact from a list.
5) Measure the results and analyze them
The workflows of inbound marketing simplify our work, but it is necessary to continuously optimize them to give the best results. So set up regular checks to see how they are working and make any necessary changes.