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Marketing Automation
10 min

9 Email Marketing Automation Workflows (With Examples)

Do email marketing automation workflows actually work? 

Nod if you too have asked yourself this question 5x every day. 

Instead of boring you with refurbished statistics that make rounds in nearly every email marketing blog, we will demonstrate why–and more importantly–how email workflows work using real-life examples. Let’s get right to it.

1. User Onboarding Workflow for Setting the Right Expectations

User onboarding campaigns are ideal for marketers who have leads signing up for the services but don’t seem to be returning post sign-up.

The goal: To keep the users motivated so that they stick around long enough to see and extract real value out of your product. 

The solution: A well-conceived user onboarding flow can help. Here’s how this workflow works:

Step 1: Identify the goals of your onboarding email campaign by figuring out your product’s ‘Aha moments’.

Step 2: Brainstorm about the varying kinds of obstacles that are preventing users from reach the aforementioned goals.

Step 3: Use the problem areas identified to write compelling and relatable content for your email marketing campaign.

Step 4: Make sure to include strong value propositions into your content and ensure that the copy is user-benefit-oriented.

Pro tip: All onboarding campaigns that enter the “legendary” status focus on providing solutions to the various challenges that the users might be facing.

Here’s an example of a user-onboarding flow by Tokopedia to get your creative juices flowing:

an example of a user-onboarding flow by Tokopedia

The challenge: 60% of customers that installed Tokopedia’s app uninstalled it within the first month, leading to a high rate of user churn. 

The solution: There was a need to create a 1:1 personalized experience for new app users to engage and encourage them to make the first purchase. So Tokopedia implemented an integrated customer onboarding strategy by:

Step 1: Identifying the various stages in the customer onboarding journey where they could send the right messages to eliminate ambiguity in communication, and leveraging MoEngage Omnichannel Flows to create a series of integrated cross-channel campaigns.

Step 2: Targeting users through various channels, including push notifications, emails, SMS, and retargeting with personalized messages.

Step 3: Leveraging a robust onboarding workflow to guide customers from installation to first purchase and grow the number of active shoppers on their app.

The results:

At the end of the day, for your user onboarding campaign to work, you will need to strategize on what your customer journey looks like and then draw out a strategic, logical, and compelling onboarding email campaign that could include multiple channels.

2. Welcome Workflow for Kickstarting Communication on the Right Foot

Welcome emails are kind of a given for 74% of new subscribers at least. Now, when would you use a welcome workflow?

The goal: Let’s say you want to welcome a new blog subscriber who has just joined your email list. The welcome email blog subscriber workflow should be triggered when a user subscribes to your email list or specific VIP programs. 

The solution: You can send a series of emails, starting with a welcome email which should:

  • Highlight what the new reader can expect from your brand.
  • Introduce them to your brand, mission, goals, and products/services.
  • Thank the subscriber for joining your list.
  • Share links back to your blog content so they can engage further with your brand.
  • Talk about how often they can expect an email from your brand.
  • Incentivize readers to check out your products/services.

Here’s a great example of a welcome email by Buffer:

Here’s another welcome email by Barilla that sets the right expectations and empowers the user to personalize the experience to the extent possible:

welcome email by Barilla

 

Pro tip: Once you send a welcome email, make sure to send more emails consecutively highlighting the most popular posts on the blog, high-converting posts, etc., to help email subscribers move through the funnel and become customers. 

3. User Engagement Workflow for Driving Conversions

The process of driving conversions can be a tough nail to track. Here’s an interesting use case of Early Salary.

The problem: The brand, a FinTech startup, and an app-based loan provider, was observing high drop-offs at the following stages—bank statement submission, KYC submission, and loan approval. This was also affecting the conversion rates.

The solution: Upon analysis, it was discovered that the email campaigns that EarlySalary was driving had two problems:

  • Bad email domain reputation was causing emails to land in spam
  • Email engagement was pretty poor 

MoEngage helped improve email deliverability by:

  • Performing an in-depth analysis to identify problem areas, which included auditing the brand’s email program – from email infrastructure, branding, and segmentation to overall strategy and content.
  • The email campaign had a poor domain reputation which was having a negative impact on performance. As a result, most emails were landing in the spam folder.
Bonus material: Here’s a helpful guide on how to engage in email marketing using Gmail tabs.
  • So, MoEngage helped identify the right templates that were working for the brand in terms of look and feel as well as the right balance of image and text content.
  • Plus, it focused on increased personalization by driving crisp, creative, and engaging subject lines to improve open rates and CTRs.

The results:

  • Improvement in email deliverability by 90%
  • Increase in conversions by 5%
  • Decrease in user drop-off by 5%
  • Increase in loan cycle conversions by 5%
  • Improvement in inbox placement by 100%

4. Re-Engagement Workflow for Lost Users

The power of re-engagement emails cannot be emphasized enough. Take, for example, Swiggy’s email marketing campaign that set new records, boasting achievements to the likes of:

  • 7% Click Through Rate on a user base of millions–as opposed to the industry average of 1-1.5%
  • Open rate of 25%
  • 95% primary inboxing due to AI-based delivery
  • 1.5x increase in user engagement

Here’s a quick snapshot of the campaign:

The goal: To build a sense of curiosity amongst its user base.

The solution: Here’s how the brand managed to re-engage users:

  • The email was embedded with a CTA (Call to Action) that directed users to the Swiggy app where they could access their unused coupons.
  • The details of the offer/coupon were not revealed in the email subject line or content –creating a sense of curiosity. Instead, the brand used phrases like — “Ooh! You’ve got coupons!” in the subject line to set the right expectation.

Here’s another email subject line that Swiggy used to pique the reader’s interest.

  • The users had to open the Swiggy app to check the offers, bringing them one step closer to conversion.

Image Source

 

Pro tip: This campaign worked wonders because the brand used email marketing automation to drive data segmentation and in-depth data analysis. Additionally, the email creative was crisp, the content was intriguing, and it used personalized CTA to encourage users to check their coupons.

5. Customer Happiness Workflow for Segmenting Users and Gathering Real-Time Feedback

This type of workflow works best for a brand that routinely administers regular Net Promoter surveys. In other words, you can use your Net Promoter Scores as a property to trigger the customer happiness workflow.

Here’s how this process works:

Step 1: Determine what your ideal customer happiness score looks like.

Step 2: Use it as a benchmark for your dynamic list of happy customers.

Step 3: Trigger a workflow for customers with “happy” scores. Make sure to reward them with freebies, exclusive content, free demo, enticing offers, loyalty programs, discounts, deals, and so on, as Shopify demonstrates below:

Step 4: Don’t forget your “unhappy” customers. Trigger a different workflow for them that encourages them to voice their concerns and includes content/offers aimed at helping to improve their happiness.

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Pro tip: Try and segment your unhappy user base by categorizing them into ‘reasons’ as to why they’re unhappy. This real-time data can then be used to roll out a more targeted workflow, complete with increased personalization.

6. Thank You Workflow for Rewarding Highly-Loyal Customers

As a brand, there really aren’t enough opportunities to thank your customers. You can thank them for participating in an event, subscribing to your email list, making a purchase, and so on. 

The goal: If you wish to build a stronger connect with your user base, thank you email workflows are the way to go. 

The solution: Take a look at Warby Parker’s “Thank You” email that gets multiple things right.

  • It thanks users for being valued customers.
  • It encourages customers to complete a survey and provide their valuable feedback.
  • It incentivizes the feedback process by rewarding customers with an Amazon coupon and, more importantly, puts an end date to complete the survey.

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Here’s another example of a Holiday-themed Thank You email that shows appreciation to the customers for their support.

 

Holiday-themed-Thank-You-email

Image Source

 

Pro tip: You can show your appreciation with a simple thank you workflow. Just think about when you would like to roll out your campaign–post-purchase or as part of an ongoing campaign, or at all times (even that works).

7. Up-Selling and Cross-Selling Workflow to Increase Order Value

For marketers looking to boost the average order value, this workflow is ideal. Take a look at Vimeo’s up-selling email marketing campaign, which rolls out the following welcome email once the user sign-ups for an account and starts using a Vimeo Pro paid account.

This welcome email is then followed by an upsell email, which encourages the user to upgrade their account and leverage more features and storage.

The brand takes its up-selling campaign to the next level by sending emails with respect to more features and benefits offered by the brand.

Similarly, for cross-selling, you can offer relevant suggestions about additional product purchases to your customer base.

Pro tip: Whether you’re upselling or cross-selling, you will need to strike a healthy balance when sending out emails, or you may run the risk of annoying your customers.

8. Event-Based Workflow for Re-Engaging Users

eCommerce retailers often face the brunt of abandoned carts. Research claims that the average cart abandonment rate stands at 69.80%. To counteract this, you can use an event-based re-engagement workflow as Lifestyle did.

The problems:

  • Despite having more than 1 million Lifestyle app installs, the current active app user base was only 15K.
  • Most users were dormant/inactive, or they would drop off after searching for products or adding items to the cart.

The solution: Implement a purchase funnel-based engagement strategy to boost user engagement and send targeted, personalized communication at every step of the purchase funnel.

An Example of an Event-Based Flow Campaign by Lifestyle

Here’s how MoEngage helped the brand reduce boost user engagement and reduce drop-offs:

Step 1: Analyze user drop-offs at each stage of pre-purchase.

Step 2: Identify the right target audience and segment based on factors such as price-sensitive customers, loyal customers, and lost customers.

Step 3: Look at different stages of in-app usage such as “App Open”, “Product View”, “Checkout,” etc.

Step 4: Using automated marketing software, trigger smart communication across multiple channels such as email, push notification, and SMS.

For instance, here’s an example of an abandoned cart in-app notification:

abandoned cart in-app notification by lifestyle

Here’s another example of re-engagement using email, which contains content such as look-books and ongoing trends to motivate users back on the app:

The results:

  • Improvement in the conversion time from 2 days to 15 minutes
  • 4X increase in conversions from the “Add To Cart” to the “Payment Complete” stage
  • 20% decrease in shopping cart abandonment rate
  • 30% improved retention rate, owing to real-time smart communication and segmentation

The learning: Email workflows should be triggered based on a subscriber’s data or behavior.

9. Transactional Workflow for Keeping Customers in the Know

Where would you use the transactional workflow? If there’s any exchange of product/service, this would be your go-to email workflow. Most eCommerce marketers already have a stellar transactional workflow in place.

Take Etsy’s use case:

Image Source

This email from Etsy allows the brand to keep the conversation going with the customer after they’ve made a purchase. The end-goal of transactional emails is to keep customers “in-the-know” by including important touch-points of the transaction made such as:

  • Order receipt details
  • List of products purchased
  • Product cost
  • Tracking information
  • Information about the seller 
  • Personalized product recommendations based on the purchase
  • Information about new product/service launches
  • Company contact information and social media page redirects

You get the drift, right?

Conclusion

Email marketing is growing strong today. As long as brands have a highly engaged email list, they should be good to go. Another piece of advice that always works with email workflows is that as marketers, you’ve got to keep the momentum going with the right messaging that’s sent at the right time to the right target audience. 

Email workflows, as you can imagine, help save marketers valuable time and lighten the team’s workload. At the same time, they can boost user happiness and keep your customers coming back for more. 

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