Workflow automation in marketing
Workflow automation can improve almost any business process, but some of the most direct benefits to your bottom line happen when you automate your marketing.
For starters, workflow automation lets you deliver the level of personalization that today’s customers demand. According to Dynamic Yield, more than 60% of North American consumers say they’re more likely to engage with an email that’s personalized to their interests. And 80% prefer to buy from brands that personalize customer experiences.
Effective personalization is difficult when you do everything manually. Someone has to check the email list for new subscribers and send out welcome messages to those who’ve recently joined. If you have customers who’ve dropped off your radar, someone has to find their emails and schedule a “we miss you” promotional message.
Automation frees you from manual tasks like these so you can focus more on strategy, analysis, and planning. Instead of spending most of your time executing campaigns, you can work on optimizing the audience experience and determining which messages get the best results.
Audience segmentation is the practice of dividing your audience into subgroups, each with a particular set of shared characteristics. For example, a retail clothing brand could create segments of 20-to-35-year-olds, fitness enthusiasts, or 20-to-35-year-old fitness enthusiasts. The brand could then create personalized marketing campaigns that are relevant to each group.
Automation can allow you to segment contacts without any manual effort. The process is more efficient and accurate because the software won’t forget about a segment.
One of the most useful automation methods in marketing is the drip campaign. A drip campaign lets you set up specific messages to go out in a set sequence, based on an event or an audience member’s interaction.
Here’s how it works. A contact interacts with your brand in some way, such as:
- Signing up for your mailing list
- Placing an online order
- Contacting your customer care department
- Not buying for a while
This action triggers the first email in the drip campaign to go out automatically. Ideally, the email will include personalization with the contact’s name and a reference to the action they took. Their response (or nonresponse) to that initial email triggers the next step in the process.
Say the campaign is a promotional one for a class of products that the person browsed, and the first email offers savings on that product. If they view the email but don’t buy, they might get a similar promotional offer in a month. If they don’t open the email, they might get a “we miss you” email in 8 weeks. If they buy, they go into another drip campaign altogether.
The beauty of this process is that it’s all automated. No one has to spend time deciding whether to follow up with a contact or which message to send. No one even has to schedule an email send—it all happens based on a trigger.
Targeting shopper behavior
Automation also lets you follow up with people who would otherwise escape your reach. Consider remarketing ads and emails, for example.
A remarketing ad is a message that you send to a customer who browsed your site or looked at a particular product but decided not to add it to a cart. Later on, the person gets an ad or follow-up email for that product, possibly with a promotional offer.
You can also use automation to set up abandoned cart emails. Approximately 69% of all online shoppers abandon their carts before they check out, but you can recapture some of those lost orders by reaching out as soon as the cart is abandoned.
Mailchimp users see about 34 times more orders per recipient with cart abandonment emails than with bulk emails that aren’t personalized. You design a message that matches your brand and set it to send whenever someone abandons a cart.
Again, automation does most of the work. You just tell the system what actions you want to target and with what messages.
Why it works
Automated workflows free up time for your team. You can send messages that are more personalized with less effort. Mailchimp makes it even easier by tracking the results of those messages, so you can go into your dashboard and see what’s working best. You’ve got more time to do that when you spend less time scheduling and sending emails.
Also, because automation lets you set up and market to specific audience segments, you can build better relationships with your contacts. Your audiences come to view your messages as relevant and valuable, so they’re more likely to click on them and ultimately convert.