What is a Workflow, and How Does It Benefit Your Inbound Marketing?

Written by: Lacey Wilcox | Jun 13, 2017

What is a Workflow, and How Does It Benefit Your Inbound Marketing?

If you’ve been practicing inbound marketing to grow your business, it’s very likely that you have a database of contacts you have generated. These people have shown enough interest in your product or service to fill out a form, but have not yet made the decision to purchase from you. 

It’s not very efficient to sit there twiddling your thumbs, waiting for these people to make the decision to buy. Instead, you need a way to nurture your relationship with these contacts to help them become leads and then customers. You need a workflow. 

What is a Workflow? 

In marketing, a workflow is defined as a set of automated marketing actions that execute based on a single action from your customer. These actions align with your user’s context and place in the buyer’s journey (this means you won’t send a bottom of the funnel action to a person who just signed up for your blog). Workflows are also valuable because they can be created to align with a specific goal in your marketing.

Some example of workflows include:

  • Sending a follow-up email with your promised offer after a visitor fills out a form for it.
  • Sending reminders about an event or conference to visitors that have indicated they would like to attend.
  • Sending thank you emails after this event.
  • Automatically updating a contact property so that the contact sees a different version of your page’s Smart Content or questions on forms.

These workflows can also help you automatically complete internal tasks, such as:

  • Notifying your sales team when a contact in your database fills out a form for a free trial, demo, etc.
  • Adding contacts to a static list of conference registrants that you can reference at any time.
  • Automatically setting an internal contact property based on the actions the user has taken.

How Do You Create Workflows?

Given that we’ve already used “marketing” and “automation” above, you’ve probably already guessed that workflows are only possible with a marketing automation software like Hubspot. While the actual creation of workflows will differ somewhat from software to software, the general principles are the same. 

With Hubspot’s Workflow App, there are many triggers you can use to begin a series of email workflows: when a contact is added to a list, when someone submits a form on your website, when a user clicks a link in an email, when a visitor clicks on an Adwords ad, or becomes a qualified marketing lead. You also have the option to create workflows based on contact information, such their role within a company, content they’ve already downloaded, or pages they’ve viewed.

While so many options might seem complex to create, Hubspot’s app is incredibly easy to use and manage. They have even created “recipes” you can apply to accomplish tasks or send out a series of emails to specific contacts. It’s easy, intuitive, and effective.

What’s the Benefit for Marketing?

One of the reasons workflows are so valuable for your marketing is that they create touch points for you with prospective customers (this process is also known as lead nurturing). By providing consistent, valuable content and offers through these workflow emails, you keep your brand at the front of your leads’ minds. And all marketers can agree - that’s a place every business wants to be.

Ready to start using workflows for your inbound marketing efforts? Learn more about Hubspot Marketing Software!