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Email workflows
Ashley GrantNov 30, 2023 3:29:46 AM8 min read

What are Email Workflows, and How do they Work?

Email marketers face an inbox avalanche every day. Your subscribers receive a barrage of messages—newsletters, promotions, transactional notifications, and more as well! Just keeping up with email can feel like a full-time job for your customers!

But what if you could optimize your email strategy to cut through the noise? Enter email workflows—automated sequences that streamline communications and engage your audience. With workflows, you can transform chaotic inboxes into organized systems to attract and delight subscribers rather than annoy them.

In this post, we’ll decode how to plan effective workflows that boost productivity and create personalized experiences. You’ll become an automation pro! With the right email workflows, you can strategically connect with customers and make your emails stand out. Get ready  to help tame your customer’s inboxes!

Table of Contents

What Are Email Workflows?

First, the basics. Email workflows are a pre-set series of messages triggered by specific actions. For example, you abandon a cart on an ecommerce site. An automated email might follow up to offer a discount incentivizing you to complete the purchase.

Workflows typically rely on three key elements:

1. Triggers

These are the actions that kick off a workflow, like a new subscriber signup, a missed payment, or a support ticket creation.

2. Actions

The emails and other tasks that happen in response to a trigger. For example, sending a customized welcome message to a new subscriber.

3. Automation

Email services use rules and sequences you define to trigger actions and send workflow emails without manual effort.

With these building blocks, workflows streamline communication through timely, relevant messaging. They provide a way to consistently nurture relationships, engage audiences, and drive conversions.

The Benefits of Letting Workflows Do the Work

Implementing effective email workflows offers some stellar advantages. Let's explore the perks.

Improve Efficiency

First, you can improve efficiency by automating repetitive tasks. Why manually send the same follow-ups when you can orchestrate sequences once and reap rewards forever? Workflows handle those mundane but necessary tasks on autopilot.

Deeper Level of Personalization

There’s something magical about hyper-personalized communication. With segmentation and custom fields, you can tailor messages and create 1:1 experiences that demonstrate understanding of each subscriber's needs.

Consistent Communication

Another pro is consistency. Workflows always send updates at just the right times with your brand's voice. No more worrying about dropped balls or missed messages. Automation guarantees reliable execution.

In summary, well-planned email workflows boost productivity, foster connections through relevant messaging, and keep communication flowing seamlessly. Who doesn't want that trifecta? Put automation to work for you and watch those benefits unfold!

Crafting Your Own Email Workflows

Ready to build workflows that wow? We’ve got you covered with some helpful ideas for creating and implementing effective email automation sequences.

First, you need the right email marketing platform. Choose one with robust workflow builders, segmentation options, and automation tools like SendX. Most offer drag-and-drop workflow designers for easy visual creation.

Next, design templates for common scenarios like welcome series, abandoned carts, subscriber re-engagement, and more. At this stage you can also map out things like:

  • Trigger actions - what will cause an email to go out?
  • Follow-up schedules - how often will a follow up correspondence be sent?

Having these messages at the ready will help you stay top of mind when it comes time for pitching custom offers to your audience.

Now customize! Draw from your subscriber data to segment audiences.

If you’re not tailoring content with personalized fields like first name, you’re missing out on some huge opportunities for really connecting with your audience.

You can even set conditional logic to send different follow-ups based on behaviors. The possibilities are endless!

Finally, test and refine your workflows over time. Use A/B testing to experiment with different triggers, sequences and content for optimization. With a methodology for building great workflows, unleashing effective automation is a breeze!

Email Workflow Ideas to Inspire You

Crafting email workflows from scratch can seem daunting. That's why it helps to model successful examples! Let's explore proven workflow types to spark ideas.

Onboarding Series

Welcome series are vital for onboarding new subscribers. Send an immediate welcome message, then follow up with tips and offers to drive engagement. Personalize these emails to build a connection.

You can create onboarding workflows to help activate newly created accounts as well. Send a series of helpful tips and training content to smoothly ramp up users and activate self-service.

Abandoned Cart

For eCommerce businesses, you can set up abandoned cart workflows. If someone doesn't complete a purchase, remind them of their items and offer a discount code as incentive. This brings back sales that would be otherwise lost.

Win Them Back Series

Win-back workflows re-engage inactive subscribers with personalized content. Offer promotions and ask for feedback about their experience. Regaining loyalty pays off.

This barely scratches the surface of the types of email workflows you could create in your business! But, now you at least have a few ideas to build on.

Research and model proven workflows, then customize with your brand voice and subscriber needs. Who said you can't teach an old email new tricks?

Getting Actionable Insights from Email Workflow Analytics

Once you’ve built your email workflows, then what?

Now let's make sure they're optimized for impact! Measuring and analyzing performance is crucial. Why? Well, the old adage what gets measured, gets improved is actually a true statement.

You can get started by by tracking key metrics such as:

-  open rate

- click through rate

- conversion rate, and

- unsubscribe rate (though we admit no one likes this metric!)

Look at your numbers for each workflow as well as across your account as a whole.

We recommend that you drill into subscriber segments too. See which groups engage best with different workflows. Use this intel to fine-tune your audience targeting.

Tools like Google Analytics can be integrated to provide a more full picture of traffic sources, engagement times, and conversions generated by workflows. And, when you use a platform like SendX these complicated numbers can be transformed into tangible action items.

Finally, run A/B tests. We can’t stress the importance of A/B testing enough. It’s a powerful way to find out what email workflows will get the most traction. You can try subject line variations, different follow-up cadences, content offers, and anything else.

Then double down on what proves most effective based on the data.

With the right analytics approach, you gain actionable insight to continuously improve your automation and results. We think that's worth celebrating!

Integrations to Enhance Your Workflows

Don't silo your email automation. Integration with other tools maximizes its power. Here are some smart ways to connect workflows:

- First, sync your email platform to your CRM containing subscriber profiles. Personalize workflows using CRM data like interests and activity history.

- ECommerce integrations let you trigger cart abandonment flows when transactions are interrupted on your website. Recover more revenue!

- Connecting analytics tools like Google Analytics provides a complete view of conversions driven by workflows. Spot opportunities and refine messaging.

- Intelligent forms can add subscribers directly into targeted workflows like gated content offers. Instant personalization from the first email.

Workflows are powerful alone but unstoppable when integrated with your martech stack! Build a data-driven ecosystem to fuel truly tailored experiences.

Best Practices for Success with Your Email Workflows

Looking to level up your workflow game? Let's talk about best practices to make your automation shine.

  1. First, meticulous segmentation and targeting is crucial. Customize journeys for subscriber groups based on interests, behavior, demographics, and more. Relevance rules results.
  1. Always be testing! Yes! It’s that important that we’re sharing this a third time in this post. Run A/B experiments to find the most effective triggers, content, timing, and design for each audience. Remember, your optimization should be ongoing.
  1. Don't forget about legal requirements and subscriber trust too. Ensure opt-in consent, provide unsubscribe links, and keep data privacy top of mind in all communications.

A few other pro tips: write great subject lines, focus on mobile-friendly design, send at optimal times, personalize content. Master the fundamentals for email domination!  

The Future of Email Workflows - Stay With the Times

The future looks bright and automated! Here's a mere glimpse at some of the amazing innovations already changing the workflow landscape.

  • AI and machine learning provide a new level of subscriber understanding to hyper-personalize sequences. The robots are here to help!
  • Look for workflow builders to become more visual and intuitive. Also expect expanded ability to customize experiences without coding chops.
  • More integrations will seamlessly share data and coordinate workflows across channels like messaging, ads and websites. True omnichannel automation!

One thing's for certain - email workflows will only get smarter. Brands embracing next-gen capabilities have a head start engaging their audiences. Are you ready?

Streamline Communication with SendX

At the end of the day, effective email workflows are crucial for modern communication. They allow you to engage audiences in a personalized, relevant and consistent way that would be impossible through manual efforts alone.

The benefits range from improved efficiency to driving more conversions and everything in between. Workflows streamline your messaging while also fostering meaningful connections with each subscriber.

The key is taking the time to strategically map out your workflow approach. Choose the right email marketing platform, analyze data to optimize performance, integrate workflows into your martech stack, and continually refine through testing.

Make subscriber relationships the heart of your automation strategy. With this foundation, you’ll be equipped to create unique journeys tailored to your brand and audience needs.

Ready to get started with workflows that wow? Our intuitive drag-and-drop workflow builder makes it easy to create targeted automation sequences in minutes. Sign up for a free SendX account today.

Make Your Email Marketing Profitable