You probably have thousands of contacts sitting in your database, but these contacts are meaningless unless you have a plan for how to convert them into customers. How can you begin to nurture them through the funnel?
Workflows, of course!
Marketing automation workflows are the real secret to efficiently and effectively nurturing leads. You probably already understand the power of well-executed marketing automation tactics, but which specific workflows are the real game changers? Which workflows should you be implementing to improve lead quality and increase your marketing productivity?
I chatted with our demand generation team and we created the following list of workflows that we think all B2B marketers should be implementing. All marketing automation platforms should allow you to execute some version of these workflows – check out our Marketing Automation Glossary to clear up any terminology barriers.
To make prioritization easier (and because demand gen specialists are all about list segmentation), we separated the list into two segments: “need-to-have” workflows and “nice-to-have” workflows.
Need-to-Have Marketing Automation Workflows
No ifs, ands, or buts – these are the workflows that every B2B marketing team should implement to really amp up those conversion rates. Think of these as the bare necessities you need in order to get the most value out of your marketing automation platform.
1. Hot Lead Workflow
Trigger: Lead score
Don’t let those hot leads cool down, even for one second! Set up a workflow that automatically notifies your sales team when a contact in your database reaches “hot lead” status – that is, when their actions lead them to hit a score that you’ve internally deemed to be “hot”, or ready to talk to Sales.
The main challenge with this workflow will be communicating with Sales to determine what level of fit (position, company size, etc.) and engagement (content downloads, email opens, etc.) is required to reach the hot lead score. Note: What makes a lead “hot” will differ from organization to organization. Don’t forget to consider factors that could fast-track or accelerate a contact to “hot lead” status (e.g., if a lead views your pricing page or hits a “request a demo” button).
Once you’ve established your hot lead criteria, you can easily set up the workflow that will tell Sales to reach out immediately and make the most of that hot lead.
2. Closed-Lost Reason Nurture
Trigger: Lost opportunity indicated
When Sales sets an opportunity to “lost” in your CRM, don’t just let the contact(s) sit around and clog up your database. Set up a nurture program that will send them right back into the sales cycle (when they’re ready).
Ensure the nurture programs are directly related to the closed-lost reason. A few examples:
- If the opportunity was lost due to budget restrictions, set up a nurture program that offers a deal or a discount.
- If the opportunity was lost to a competitor, send them the material they need to better educate themselves on your product (and try to keep contract timelines in mind).
- If the opportunity was lost due to product misalignment (e.g., you were lacking a key feature or service), nurture them with regular product updates to keep them in the loop.
Think of it this way: closed-lost opps aren’t the end of the lead journey… they’re opportunities to bust out some seriously sophisticated nurture programs.
3. Re-Engage Notification Workflow
Trigger: Sudden activity
Have a few contacts that appear to be stuck in a stage of your funnel? Never fear – that’s what the re-engage notification workflow is for. If a contact is showing no signs of movement, set up a workflow that will nudge them to advance to the next stage in your funnel.
Here’s how it works: First, set up a workflow designed to re-engage those leads that appear to be "stuck" (e.g., send them an offer or a premium piece of content). Then, if they re-engage, set up an automated sales follow-up to maximize upon their interest. If the follow-up is automated, Sales can reach out while the lead is still interested.
Once you have your need-to-have workflows up and running smoothly, optimize your funnel by setting up some of these cool and effective workflows.
4. New Subscriber Nurture
Trigger: A subscription to your regular emails/newsletter
Looking for a way to improve your subscriber retention rate and move qualified subscribers through the funnel? Set up a workflow to nurture new subscribers to engage with more of your content and, ultimately, get the most out of their subscription.
Instead of simply adding new subscribers to your regular subscriber emails (e.g., sending them generic content or the latest content from your blog), set up an initial email cadence that will allow them to receive your best, most relevant content first.
For example, new subscribers to the Uberflip Hub receive a sequence of emails that includes a “thank you for subscribing” note, a quick tutorial on how to find resources in the Hub, a few pieces of our top performing content, and so on. With this workflow in place, we hope to show our new subscribers how to get the most out of their subscription instead of simply dumping them into a stream of our latest content.
5. Mini-ABM Hack
Trigger: Assigning a lead to a certain domain
Note: This isn’t a crucial step when implementing your account-based marketing (ABM) strategy; rather, it’s a suggestion for simplifying your ABM processes and keeping your targeted accounts under control.
When a lead is assigned a specific domain, set up a workflow that automatically assigns that lead to the Sales rep that is handling the account. That way, they can start targeting all of the decision makers in their targeted accounts as soon as possible.
6. Nurture By Buyer Role
Trigger: Assigning a role
A key decision maker in the C-suite will require very different content to inform their purchase decision than a champion or product user. If you’re interested in getting the right content to the right person at the right time, this is the workflow for you.
If a sales rep is holding an account with several contacts, have them assign a role to each contact involved in the buying process (champion, influencer, key decision maker, finance, etc.). Set up nurture tracks for each of these roles so that when a role is assigned, the workflow automatically fires, and each contact receives content that’s most relevant to their specified role.
7. Go-to Customer Marketing
Trigger: Customer status achieved
Think your job is done when an opportunity finally becomes a customer? Think again! Retaining a customer is far more cost effective than acquiring a new customer. And, according to Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.
Marketing (specifically, marketing automation) can help reduce churn in a number of ways. Keep your customers engaged by setting up workflows to regularly provide content that includes tips and tutorials for how to better leverage your product, product updates, exclusive offers, and so on.
Putting the “fun” in funnel
Using marketing automation workflows effectively can work wonders for your entire organization (and, let’s be honest, they can be pretty fun to see in action). However, there’s always a risk of over-automating your marketing automation tasks. As awesome as we think these workflows may be, don’t set up workflows just for the sake of automation – ensure they have a proper purpose in your marketing scheme.
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