Sometimes all it takes is a nudge in the right direction to turn an almost-customer into a purchasing customer.

We’ve all seen leads get stuck in the funnel, inching closer to a sale but sealing the deal never happens. And sure, you’re not going to convert every single lead that visits your site, but there are steps that you can take to boost sales and conversions with your email marketing — and that includes email workflows.

Not familiar? We’ve put together this handy guide to email workflows, including what they are, why you need them, and which workflows you should be adding to your email marketing strategy immediately. Let’s get to it.

What Are Email Workflows?

Email workflows are a series of automated emails triggered by certain lead behaviors — such as when a lead abandons their shopping cart, requests a demo, or subscribes to your newsletter.

Think of email workflows as a bridge between specific behaviors and specific outcomes. A user who abandons their cart, for example, might forget about it entirely and never revisit the page to complete their purchase. However, sending out a sequence of targeted messaging to them after that initial action keeps their cart top of mind and provides direct encouragement to circle back.

Benefits of Email Workflows

There are a few big advantages to opting for email workflows over other conversion-driven responses.

They Save Time

Email workflows are automated, meaning they’re triggered by lead behaviors without any action on your part (after initial setup, of course). You get the peace of mind that you’re always doing your best to nurture leads down the funnel without having to provide constant oversight of individual user data.

They’re Personalized

We all know that consumers want — and expect — personalized communications from brands. And email workflows do just that, sending hyper-relevant content based on unique and identifiable behaviors. For example, a lead who requests a demo is likely to appreciate direct and well-timed follow-ups that help them make the most of the information they acquired, and that shows appreciation for the actions they’ve taken so far.

They Fill in Gaps in the Funnel

While we usually discuss the funnel as a very linear process, it can often look a lot more like a winding and complicated road — and one with plenty of dead ends. You can’t account for every single reason that a potential lead drops off, but you can address some of them, and email workflows do just that. By offering a stepping stone from one action to the next, they help you hold onto leads that you might have otherwise lost, which is no small feat for a strategy that’s relatively easy to get going with.

3 Email Workflows to Start With

By using marketing automation, you can set up email workflows for a whole array of different consumer behaviors. Here are a few that you might want to use to get the ball rolling.

1. Welcome Workflows

A new email subscription is an excellent opportunity for a workflow.

Since you already have confirmation that a lead wants to know more about you, send out a series of welcome emails that help fill them in, covering things like your blog, your products and/or services, and your online community. This helps you end up with a more engaged contact list, plus subscribers who don’t opt-in and then promptly forget why they did.

2. Abandoned Cart Workflows

We’ve mentioned this one a couple of times already, and that’s because email workflows are particularly well-poised to solving this common problem (recent data shows that about 88 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned without a purchase being made).

We could talk ad nauseam about the myriad reasons people ditch their carts, but we think it’s a lot more productive to talk solutions like email workflows, which offer periodic reminders of what users are missing out on and incentivize them to return and finish the sale.

3. Post-Purchase Workflows

It’s important to prioritize the post-purchase experience just as much as the pre-purchase experience. Customers provided with regular, targeted outreach after the point of sale tend to be more satisfied with their purchase and return again.

In addition to using email workflows for the standard stuff like order confirmations and delivery status, use them to encourage more action with product recommendations and feedback requests.

Setting Up Workflows

The three workflows mentioned above are great for getting you started. As you grow your business and your marketing know-how, there are more email workflows to consider. Make sure you start here, measure results, and then gradually add more to see higher return and engagement.

Setting up automated email workflows in your email marketing automation software is simple. By connecting your Benchmark Email account with Zapier, you can create zaps based on certain actions, automating your workflows, and ensuring specific behaviors and information will trigger the right messaging.

If you’d like to check out other capabilities Benchmark Email can provide you with, sign up for a free account. In just fifteen minutes, you can get to work creating workflows that will save you time and turn more of your leads into customers.