Introduction – Time is of the essence
The number one resource for digital marketing is always the same – time. If businesses had unlimited time to nurture their leads (assuming the leads are of high quality and businesses know their job well), they would eventually close them into paying customers without worrying about deadlines or meeting sales quotas.
While HubSpot workflows don’t have the power to stop time, they have the power to decrease the time you spent on segmentation, routine marketing activities, lead nurturing, managing your leads and contacts, and sending out corresponding emails to the right group of leads at any given time.
This sounds a bit magical, so let me explain in details.
What is a workflow?
A workflow is a series of automated actions set by you that trigger differently, based on the behavior of a specific user (which is also set by you). The good thing about workflows is that they go beyond simple marketing automation like sending a thank you email whenever a lead downloads an ebook, or having an in-line thank you message after a lead submits a form.
Here is a sketch that shows an in-depth workflow’s logic and behavioral patterns:
Why use Hubspot workflows?
Workflows allow you to personalize your approach to leads (up to offering a personalized approach to each and every lead if you choose to do so), while saving time for your sales team.
Imagine an existing lead downloads her third eBook from your website, and now you want to classify that lead as “sales ready” and hand her over to sales.
Based on the information you have about the lead, you create personalized emails and messages, and send relevant information to nurture the lead even further, so she will be “hot” when your sales team gets in touch. This means that the lead stage changes from “MQL” to “SQL”. Lead scoring can help you with the latter. You’re welcome to learn about how to use lead scoring in marketing automation.
Surely you can do all of this manually, using a simple spreadsheet (or even pen and paper really), and you will still get it done without spending money on marketing automation.
Now imagine that you have 20 such leads, and also 10 lead types that performed other, different activities and require completely different content, level of personalization, messaging, etc. That makes spreadsheets look pretty bad, right?
The goal with workflows is to spend less time on routine activities, set the criteria you want and automate it to work exactly as you want it to. With workflows, you can take all your lead data (data you gathered from forms, social media, direct communication or any other source) and put it to good use, by being able to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
You can create a series of emails, and customize a workflow to send them out when a lead:
- Visits a certain website page
- That visited the certain page has a company with more than 50 employees
- Is from industry X and is located in Y
- Has viewed you resources page X number of times, downloaded Y eBooks and opened Z emails
- The list is literally endless. It’s all a matter of how much personalization you want to put in and classify your leads accordingly.
How exactly will workflows help you stay on top of your marketing game?
The main strength of workflows is that they are completely customizable and there is no right or wrong way to set them up. If you are in a sensitive industry (healthcare, for instance), you can choose to really go deep into small details when nurturing, or in case you are in ecommerce, you can just create workflows to continuously offer different products to leads, without wasting even a second to make it happen.
Workflows allow super-effective segmentation, giving you the chance to close more leads in the same amount of time
With the ability to send a personalized message to pretty much any lead at any given time, you get the chance to segment your audience effectively, and capitalize on every bit of lead intelligence you have. This allows to have a super-effective, to the point lead nurturing process and send out emails to people that are both short, extremely specific and relevant to their business challenge, while having all of this happen automatically. As a result, you will dramatically increase the number of your leads as well as their quality.
To give you an idea on how much you can acquire, consider this case study by HubSpot, which states that one of their clients doubled the amount of leads and almost tripled their landing page conversions. Workflows have been a big part of this, since they helped achieve almost 7% CTR, which is very high , and also increased the number of their converting MQLs to 7.2%.
Full customization – content and timing
Customized content is good, but you also need to think of the best times to send out nurturing emails. For instance, if you have leads that are much closer to buying your product or service than others, you can set your workflows to send out multiple emails to those leads during the week instead of just one, and also choose the best time to do so.
This is extremely convenient not only because different people are more inclined to open an email on different hours , but also due to the fact that your business might have leads in different time zones. Don’t waste opportunities simply because you can’t send out nurturing content at 4am in the morning manually. You can learn what the best times for sending email are in this post about email marketing benchmarks.
Workflows allow you to fully utilize your marketing potential
Typically, a business performs marketing activities, which give a bunch of data about a certain lead, which, in most cases, is simply not used. This leads to poor nurturing, poor lead quality, waste of time and resources, missing on opportunities, less personalized messages and ultimately, much less ROI than you would otherwise have. Workflows are ideal if you:
- Are still manually sending out nurturing emails to prospects
- Are still manually updating contact information
- Have lead data that you never fully utilize
- Need more personalization
- Want higher lead quality
- Want to increase the number of your leads and conversions
Conclusion – Workflows as a business owner’s best marketing tool
Workflows are the most advanced marketing tool available to businesses today. They help save time, improve personalization, lead quality and quantity, close more leads in less time, and improve ROI. What else could a business owner ask for?
If you’d like to learn more about how to grow your business using marketing automation, I invite you to download our free “Key beneficial aspects of marketing automation and how to use them” eBook.
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Uri is the co-author of the Amazon no.1 Bestseller "The Smart Marketer's Guide to Google AdWords". He has been programming since he can remember himself. He lives by excels and numbers, rides bikes, loves dogs and a keen self-educator. Uri has a degree in finance and has been a google partner since 2013.