Marketing automation is a fancy term that encompasses a few different automated features connected to email marketing. The idea is to take repeatable tasks and either to run them in a series for a select group of customers or to respond to the actions of an individual customer (like an opt in to a newsletter) which automatically triggers sending out a “welcome” email and subscribing them to a mailing list.
Automation cuts down the amount of work involved with being a blogger and dealing with email marketing. Once your readership goes above 50,000 a month, you will likely start to have problems with time management and will need automation to save time in your busy day.
Marketing Automation vs Marketing Automation Workflows
Don’t be scared off by the idea of ‘workflows’. This simply means a series of planned steps. With marketing automation, it’s about automated actions and responses that get triggered in response to a website user’s behaviour or perhaps, something in their profile.
In terms of marketing automation workflows, this just means the step-by-step things that happen once a workflow is triggered automatically. We’ll be covering some examples shortly for workflows that bloggers can use.
How is Marketing Automation Workflow Different from an Autoresponder?
With marketing automation workflow, it can be any kind of automated tasks in a series. A mailing-list provider can make it possible to create many types of automated workflows around email based entirely on what the blogger wants. All interactions are focused squarely on using information stored about email subscribers and generating emails based on a series of conditions being met. An autoresponder is only one of the things that marketing automation is capable of.
Think of it a little bit like the popular IFTTT app which allows users to create applets that permit different apps to share data automatically based on conditional statements. Therefore, when a tweet is added to a blog’s Twitter account, this can be set up to cross-post to its Facebook page automatically. While smart tools like IFTTT help apps with different data stores to work cooperatively together under the permission of the user whose data is being accessed, marketing automation workflow is based on automating marketing efforts using email and an email service provider.
Workflow for a Newsletter Opt-in
The workflow for a newsletter opt-in is something that most bloggers are already familiar with, so it’s a good example here. When a blog visitor chooses to opt-in to the email newsletter by adding their email address and clicking “Subscribe”, they are agreeing to receive an occasional email from you. Perhaps there’s an offer of a lead magnet too in the form of a free eBook.
Once they’ve clicked “Subscribe”, the workflow for ‘Newsletter Opt-In’ moves into action mode based on the user’s behaviour (the supplied email and hitting the “Subscribe” button). An email is created using a standard template with the email content already pre-made. The email is addressed to the subscriber (if they also supplied their name) and then sent automatically to them. The workflow then adds their email address to the correct mailing list. The email also includes a link to access the free e-Book.
Once on the subscriber mailing list, when a new blog post is added, all the subscribers automatically receive an email notification too.
Workflow for On-boarding New Buyers
Where the workflow differs from, say, an autoresponder, is that it also supports a different kind of automation like what to do when someone buys a product. The system can verify whether the buyer is a previous subscriber or not, and whether they were a previous buyer or not. This can be done by searching for their email address in the subscribers’ mailing list and the buyers’ mailing list.
Following a purchase, the usual purchase confirmation email goes out including details of the purchase. If asked whether they wish to subscribe to the newsletter at the time of the purchase, they can also automatically be added to the subscriber list too.
As a new buyer, they can be on-boarded by receiving a series of emails that are sent to all new buyers promoting the latest training courses you offer or your best-selling products they might be interested in. Again, buyers should be asked if they wish to do so, not automatically subscribed. If they’ve agreed to it, then the workflow runs until the complete sequence of emails to new buyers has completed its cycle. While the cycle is running, other emails are halted to avoid confusing the customer with different communications.
There are different ways to use automation to make your blogger’s life that bit easier. Different forms of automation are certainly one area that’s worth investing time and money into. It literally makes your daily life easier and it scales affordably as your blog’s audience grows in size. This leaves you free to craft more blog posts and create new courses to sell.