What Are Workflows and Why Your Marketing Needs Them

Posted by Murray Sye

on Mon, Mar 17, 2014 @ 09:02 AM

What Are Workflows And Why Your Marketing Needs Them

So you've crafted a stellar marketing offer and you've placed it on your website.

But before you start driving traffic to it, you need to consider how you are going to nurture the new leads that you create. How are you going to further educate them about your company and product or service?

That's where workflows come in. What is a workflow?

Workflows are an automated series of emails or other communications that pre-qualify early-stage leads before handing them over to sales. Workflows are also known as advanced lead nurturing, marketing automation, drip marketing, and auto-responders. Their goal is to make your new leads more sales-ready.

By using workflows and nurturing your leads, you save your sales organizations time because you educate and quality the lead over time. This is only one of the reasons you should start doing lead nurturing. Let's look at some of the other benefits.

Getting the timing right

Study after study shows that email response rates decline over the age of the lead. In his science of timing research, Dan Zarella, HubSpot's social media scientist, discovered that there is a positive correlation between subscriber recency and click-through rate, one of the key metrics of engagement.


Studies show that targeted and segmented emails perform better than mass email communications. Lead nurturing enables you to tie a series of emails to a specific activity or conversion event.


Your contacts are not all the same. In order to do effective, targeted marketing, you need to break your contact database up into smaller groups or segments. Creating smaller segments allows you to group you contacts by their interests, industries, geographies, etc., and then create experiences and messages specifically for each segment. This will increase engagement, and help move your contacts farther down the funnel. For instance, you can automatically segment your leads based on any criteria like:

  • A Contact Property: A contact property is based on company name, state, size, industry, lead grade or lifecycle state, etc.

  • A Form Submission: Segment based on an ebook download, a webinar registration, a demo request, etc.

  • An Existing List: Segment based on presence in an existing marketing list.

Once you've created your segments, you need to figure out how you can help move them through your sales and marketing process in a way that caters to their needs.

Create nurturing campaigns that will resonate with each segment and make sure that your lists of leads are updating in real-time to include new leads whom need to be nurtured.

HubSpot Workflow

HubSpot enables you to create workflows that can be triggered when one of your contacts becomes part of a segment. We call this a smart list. For example, if someone downloads an ebook, indicates that their company size is between 50-200 employees, and says that they are in the manufacturing industry, you can send them a nurturing campaign designed specifically for them. If another company downloads the same ebook, but says that their company size is between 1-10 employees and that they are in the software industry, you can send them a different nurturing campaign that will be more relevant for their business.

Workflows help convert

Workflows give you the opportunity to do extremely powerful segmentation. Being able to group your leads based on different properties and behaviors means that you can very closely target your emails and your nurturing process to their specific interests and needs.

Gone are the days of sending one big mail to all of your leads and hoping it's relevant enough for some of them to click-through or engage with it. It's time to start using smarter tools to send your leads what they're looking for and make them sales-ready faster.

According to a report released by Lenskold Group and The Pedowitz Group, 60% of survey respondents who use marketing automation say it has increased the quality of the leads that get passed to sales. Market2Lead also found that leads that go through automated workflows have a 23% shorter sales cycle. Imagine what your sales team could do with 23% more time.


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Flickr Photo Credit: by janeshaisis

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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