Briana Strauss, the Partner Marketing Manager at Jotform, believes in the power of software automation to help simplify your workflow – and she shared exactly how at This Just Works.

As marketers, we’re always looking for better and more effective ways to reach customers with the right information at the right time, creating that seamless marketing experience for customers.

Through creating a series of workflow automations many mundane marketing tasks can be automated to help you accomplish this, not only externally and client-facing but also internally with your own team as well. Putting tasks like lead management, data input, and project management on autopilot to save time and increase productivity, all while enhancing the customer experience and team communication.

This recap covers how to implement workflow automation and get started with the right tools, using automations to enhance the customer experience, and increased team productivity.

This session was presented at This Just Works, the digital anti-conference. You can see the full session (and 14 other talks) by registering here with code TJWAG2020.

What is an automated workflow?

An automated workflow is a technology stack working together to react to designated triggers that cause another action to produce the desired result.

“A simple marketing example of this would be to have a new contact form on the landing page of your website that a customer fills out to be added as a subscriber to your email list. Once a submission is received, and they’re added to that email list, and that is connected with their email tool – maybe you’re using a tool like Active Campaign to manage this – and they are automatically sent a welcome email, or triggered into a welcome series,” says Briana.

Do you need to use an automated workflow? Briana weighs in:

“Automation workflow can really help teams and companies of every shape and size from small companies or entrepreneurs to enterprise-level companies. It can be used to scale your marketing efforts with customers and remove bottlenecks or use internally to enhance productivity.”

A good starting point is to understand what your team is looking to accomplish. And this will help you to determine the best tools and workflow to use.

How to use workflow automation to enhance the customer experience

“Adding automation can help to improve the customer’s experience with your team and with your product. I always like this quote from Mari Smith of Social Media Influence about how content is king. That engagement is Queen and she rules the house. I think this is really relevant to marketing automation because if your marketing team is going to create this amazing content, another important piece is going to be making sure this content reaches your customers at the right time.”

Creating a workflow for marketing can help you nurture leads and provide them with relevant information based on their interactions on your website – and how complicated you want your automations to be.

A study by Invespcro says that marketing automation has been found on average to drive a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. That means it creates a bigger impact for your marketing – at lower cost.

The key components of a marketing workflow

“Workflow automations are fully customizable and can be as complex or as simple as you want them to be,” says Briana.

The top tools for a marketing stack are:

  • Data collection tool
  • CRM
  • Email marketing

“Even though there are all-in-one marketing automation tools that can be used to help streamline your marketing efforts, there are also easier ways to utilize a range of software tools without having to invest thousands of marketing funds,” notes Briana.

A form tool can help you to collect that valuable user information and trigger the flow of information into another tool. This can be as simple as embedding a lead generation form to collect some basic customer information to be further contact regarding a product or service.

A simple lead generation form from Jotform.

Automation workflows can be set up and triggered to send information to your CRM.

A new lead generation form is filled out by a potential customer. Maybe this was embedded directly on your website. This could either trigger a new contact in your CRM with the relevant submitted information and then signed directly to a sales rep for follow up.

An example of how a sales cycle can start with a lead gen form.

“Depending on the flow, this same lead generation form could also be sent to a marketing automation tool, and then added to a drip campaign for further nurturing or the same form can then be sent to slack to trigger an alert to a designated channel or person. It all depends on how you set up your workflow automation,” says Briana.

Marketing automation can not only help you convert leads into customers, but it can also help you engage with your existing customers and encourage better product adoption and additional purchases.

Email marketing automation is useful because it eliminates time-consuming tasks, such as preparing email lists or sending more generic messages. And a study done by Salesforce users said on average marketing automation boosted sales revenue by 34%.

Some of the top email marketing automations you can start with are:

  • Blog subscriber welcome workflow
  • Re-engagement workflow
  • Event workflow

A form that triggers an automated event email workflow.

“Does this maybe look familiar? You filled out a simple registration form and provided some simple information like your name, email, and created a password. And then we’re automatically sent a confirmation email, creating a simple email marketing automation workflow, and I am sure saving the event marketing team a lot of time and energy,” says Briana.

How marketing automation increases team productivity

Marketing automation can be used to enhance user engagement and help to streamline client-based activities. It’s also a great way to increase internal productivity and streamlined team communication.

The ultimate goal of any workflow automation is to make your organization run more efficiently and eliminate a lot of routine manual tasks – even Briana’s team uses it!

“Companies, including my own, benefit from automations to:”

  • Increase productivity
  • Stay connected with our local and global teams
  • To make processes less manual
  • Minimize emails
  • Free up time for employees to work on more important tasks

“According to a study by Imagine Innovation, businesses that have an automated workflow for repetitive and manual tasks have successfully increased employee productivity by 12-15%. And this really starts to add up when you’re working in a larger company,” notes Briana.

“At Jotform, we use a variety of tools like Trello, Zoom, and Slack to help with everything from project management to webinar registration, and better team communication. We are BIG fans of Trello for project management, and we use them on a daily basis to track our project requests. We use jot form to create a request form to be filled out for a particular task – like maybe a design request or copy requests from our marketing team.”

“We also use automations to collect webinar registrations, starting with a custom registration form, and then automatically registering participants for meetings and webinars.”

How to build workflows for your team

The size of your company will be one of the factors to help you decide what tool sets you ultimately use.

To give your team some other ideas for how they can start simplifying their workflows. Look at your company’s current process for time-consuming or manual things that can be automated, like:

  • Creating tasks
  • Generating invoices
  • Managing leads
  • Reimbursing employee expenses
  • Onboarding new employees
  • Managing IT tickets
  • Approving vacation requests

“Another helpful tip I want to include is when selecting and building your technology stack. Whether that’s for customer-facing or internal productivity. It’s great to look for tools with native apps and integrations. This provides more of a flexible and scalable workflow that can grow with you as your company does,” notes Briana.

And guess what? You don’t need a specialized team to set these automated workflows up.

“A lot of companies think this and they don’t want to add the resources. But you know, no, most of these platforms are now no-code or low-code to make creating and implementing like different workflows very simple and easy for your team. Jotform, for example, has a no-code platform, and all of our apps and integrations can be set up in a couple of simple steps. So don’t let that be a barrier to entry for adding automation, because there are so many great tools that are available to help you with this,” says Briana.

So stop wasting time and start automating your workflow!

To download the full recorded This Just Works digital event, go here to register with code TJWAG2020!