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Inbound Marketing Blog

    How to Improve Your Inbound Marketing Workflows in 25 Minutes a Day

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Improve Your Lead Nurturing

    Great, so you’ve set up your workflows. Does that mean you’re good to go?

    Unfortunately, many inbound marketers forget that workflows need nurturing, just like leads. It’s easier and more exciting to move on to move on to new workflows than to revamp older workflows that you may believe are fine.

    Lead nurturing helps create more educated qualified leads, but your workflows won’t help your marketing efforts if you don’t optimize them. Inbound marketing workflows have a 23% shorter sales cycle. If you optimize your current workflows to make them more efficient, you could be saving 23% more time.

    Use these steps to improve your current workflows in only 25 mins a day.

    1.     Identify workflows with few leads

    Time: 30 seconds

    Not all workflows are ready to be workflows. Evaluate if few contacts were entered into the workflow to begin with or if you have a top of the sales funnel issue. Decide whether to delete the workflow or revamp it.

    2.     Identify poor performing inbound marketing workflows

    Time: 3 minutes

    Use your workflows performance to identify workflows with the lowest engagement. Also use the marketing analytics tool to find poor performers based on the number of marketing qualified leads, number of sales accepted leads and time to customer conversion.

    3.     Dissect the worst performing workflow

    Time: 6  minutes

    Identify where this workflow is suffering. Evaluate if you are using this workflow to its full potential by sending emails, adding/ removing contacts from lists, updating contact information and e-mailing notifications.

    • Where is my workflow suffering?

    • Are my workflows segmented by buyer persona?

    Remember, we set up workflows to move leads along the buying process. They don’t move along the buying process just because we send e-mails. Workflows can trigger actions based on lead engagement and information. This allows you to send an appropriate message and offer to a lead at the time they are ready for it.

    Want to see inbound marketing workflow examples across industries? HubSpot provides detailed lead nurturing workflow examples that include workflow, performance, e-mail and call-to-action screenshots for several customers. Compare your workflows and see the workflow strategies that work for other HubSpot customers.

    4.     Evaluate Your Lead Nurturing Campaign Strategy

    Time: 5 minutes

    If your workflow performance is lacking, it may stem from your lead nurturing campaign strategy.

    Ask yourself:

    • Does your lead nurturing campaign have a goal?

    • What can my workflow do to help me reach my goal?

    • Am I using a lifecycle-based lead nurturing approach?

    • What is the intended length of each lead nurturing workflow?

    You might consider shortening or lengthening the duration of your campaign to coincide with the buyer persona’s length of buying process. It may be one month. It may be six months. Your sales team will know how long this typically takes. Also, you can look to previous customers to see the average time it took for them to convert from visitor to customer.

    • What has increased engagement and been effective in past lead nurturing campaigns?

    • Do I need to further segment my lead nurturing campaign?

    If you only have a few lead nurturing campaigns, you’ll need to further segment and define target criteria for workflows. You should segment lead nurturing campaigns by buyer personas first and then create workflows that provide content tailored to buyer personas and their journey. This is the best approach to offering content specific to each buyer persona - The type of content that motivated them to convert into a lead in the first place.

    5.     Identify starting condition for workflow

    Time: 30 seconds

    If your workflow uses a short form as its starting condition, you may have your contact pegged as the wrong buyer persona. Unlike offer forms and detailed forms, which provide more information that allows you to more accurately segment, you might lack insight into the contact based on their initial form conversion. You may need to enter the contact into a workflow designed to further segment the lead rather than tailored to a specific buyer persona.

    To have a better understanding of the contacts in your workflow, triggering a workflow with a smart list allows you to group together important criteria and efficiently target the contacts with relevant content.

    6.     Identify if e-mails are optimized

    Time: 8 minutes

    Evaluate individual e-mail performance within the workflow. If your leads aren’t opening your e-mails, they probably won’t move along the buying process unless they directly visit your website again. Read Tips for Improving Your E-mail Marketing Open Rate for help.

    If the open rate is low, ask:

    • Are the e-mails and offers in the workflow tailored to the intended buyer persona?

    • Are the e-mails being sent at the right time? 

    You want the recipient to see your e-mail, not have it smothered among other e-mails. Identify the best day and time the e-mails should be sent. This is usually influenced by persona schedule,  holidays, upcoming events, contact engagement, stage of buying process, and duration of the campaign.

    • Do the e-mails have a customized greeting?

    • Are the subject lines attention-grabbing?

    Higher click-through rates are seen with e-mails that have the same keywords in the subject line as in the initial offer downloaded.

    • Are the designs visually simple and appealing?

    • Are my messages and calls to actions (CTAs) optimized to nurture leads along the buying process?

    Even if have a low click-through rate, it could be because your message and CTAs are not aligned with the subject line. Make sure that your CTAs are guiding the lead along the buying process and relevant to their stage.

    • Are my CTAs clear and enticing?

    • Do the e-mails have a developed footer with a photo of the person sending it?

    • Does each e-mail only have one goal (that adds to your campaign goal)?

    • What effective content do I currently have that should be included in a workflow?

    • What is the opt-out rate?

    • Are e-mails being marked as spam? 

    If this e-mail is being perceived as spam mail, you’ll want to revise it or remove it from your workflow. Continuing with this e-mail as is could greatly hurt your future e-mail automation. This could be the e-mail that hurts your entire workflow and your reputation with those who receive it.

    7.     Identify age of content

    Time: 2 minutes

    • When is the last time you updated offers and blog posts within your e-mails?

    Your content should be fresh and relevant. Outdated research and stats will make you seem out of touch with your industry. You don’t want leads to opt-out of e-mails because your content is old and irrelevant.

    Updating your current workflows will have a significant impact on your marketing efforts. Make sure that your starting condition for your workflow and e-mail content are aligned with your buyer persona for the specific lead nurturing campaign.

    For a more in-depth guide, read The Science of Enterprise Lead Nurturing eBook.

    The Science of Enterprise Lead Nurturing

    image credit: digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Inbound Marketing