Blog 6 min read

How you set up a marketing automation workflow

Are you one of those people who has a love-hate relationship with marketing automation? Meaning, you know it’s powerful and can increase your revenue, but you think a marketing automation workflow is too complicated and hard to set up. We bet you wish someone would just straight up give you all the steps on how to set up a workflow! Cool, your wish finally became true – just keep reading.

Before setting up a marketing automation workflow

Yes, we know you’re super eager to build a marketing automation workflow but hold on. You’ll thank us for letting you know this beforehand. There are a few things you need to get sorted before you start building.

  • Set the desired outcome. What will you drive the customer to do through the workflow? For example, a visit to the physical store, make a purchase, leave a product review, and so on. This makes it easier for you to plan the different steps.
  • Decide what will trigger the workflow. What does the customer have to do to be enrolled in the workflow? For example, made a certain product purchase, has a birthday, became a member etcetera.
  • Should the customer be able to enroll multiple workflows at the same time? If you are planning on building a lot of workflows now that you (soon) know how to do it? enroll multiple ones and get spammed by your lovely content. 
  • Sketch the workflow on paper or a whiteboard. It’s way easier to visualize the workflow before you actually build it. And it’s easier to erase on a whiteboard than rebuild an existing workflow.

Marketing automation workflows – step by step setup

Here we go. These are 9 steps you can follow to create a kick-ass workflow that will work for you 24/7.

1. Name the marketing automation workflow

Before you think anything else, YES, this is worth having its own step. Name it as detailed as you can, so that you can keep track of the workflows internally. It will save you a lot of confusion and headache when you follow up. Trust us on this one.

2. Set the entering criteria and frequency

The goal of marketing automation is to make it as relevant and personal as possible. So, when you decide on the entering criteria, add more than a customer who bought a specific product. In Voyado, you can use the segmentation tool within the automation and choose who will enter the automation. Set up age, gender, country, and reachability etcetera to make sure you are spot on in your automated communication!

You should also decide if the recipients need to be reachable via email or SMS – to make sure you use the right channel in your automation.

Read more: Top 5 marketing automation trends in 2021

3. Add a promotion and time delay

If you want all customers in a workflow to get a particular promotion, you can create it before you start building. Set a monetary or percentual discount for example and add a validity period. Add it to the workflow so that everyone who enters the workflow gets the promotion automatically.

After that, you can add a time delay (if necessary). It’s a good idea in most cases, except if you enter an onboarding automation for a customer who just became a member. Then you want that customer to get a welcome message as soon as possible! But it’s not necessary to follow up on purchase the moment after it happened. In Voyado, you can add a time delay of hours or days, and also choose time slots and certain days of the week when the customer gets their first message.

4. The first conditional split

Here comes the first road split! Yey! Let’s say you have entering criteria that the customer is either reachable by SMS or by email. Then you just add a condition to make sure which side of the split is reachable by email, and the ones who are not, get an SMS. You can either create the email as you build the workflow or choose one that you created before. For the SMS, you create it right in the same view as you build the workflow. Simple as that.

5. Add randomized split

There are few times in a marketer’s life when you’re certain that the content you’ve created is the right one. That’s why A/B testing is around, right? You can do the same within a workflow and learn which subject line or content gets the most clicks or purchases! Add a randomized split and make necessary changes within one of the versions.

6. Follow up with new conditions and triggers

The fun thing with marketing automation is that you are the puppet master. You are in complete charge of the customer experience! Keep adding new conditions that for example say “opened the email, yes or no”, or “made a purchase, yes or no”. Then you just keep adding follow-up content. How fun is that?!

7. Go live with the marketing automation workflow

When you’re satisfied with your workflow, it’s time to go live. And the customers who meet the entering criteria will get the offer and the communication and be inspired to make many more purchases! When someone has been through all the steps of the automation, you don’t have to do anything.

8. Follow up and monitor

In Voyado, you can go into your active workflow and see how many people are currently enrolled, and where they are on their journey. You will also get detailed numbers that show you opening rate, click rate, purchases etcetera.

9. Make adjustments

No following up without using the findings you get! In Voyado, you can make adjustments in an active workflow without losing customers that are active in the workflow.

Read more: 5 smart ways to power your marketing automation strategy

Examples of marketing automation workflows

You can work with marketing automation in all stages of the customer lifecycle. But here are some examples of workflows that are pretty much essential if you want to optimize your communication.

  • Onboarding workflow – a set of different communication steps where the customer gets welcomed into your loyalty program. Use this golden opportunity to connect and start building a relationship with the customer.
  • Birthday workflow – who doesn’t love gifts on their birthday? Set a trigger for a birthday workflow that wishes your customer a happy birthday and give them a nice offer.
  • Abandoned cart workflow – this is a good one if you want to increase your revenue by 10%. It’s true – an average of 10% of customers who receives this communication goes back to complete their purchase!

Tip: Why you need e-commerce marketing automation


More reading

Browse through all of our blog posts to find more inspiration!

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