What Is an Email Workflow: Definition and Main Types!

Kwiga
Reading time: 12 minutes

Email marketing requires massive effort and time to create and launch mailing lists. However, you can use a fundamentally different approach: implement an email workflow. It allows you not to worry about what to put in the newsletter for next week. Both beginners and skilled eLearning developers act like this to attract new students and keep in touch with old ones. Even if you have created more than one mailing list, automated emails will strengthen your marketing strategy and bring more responses. Let's figure out the definition of an email workflow and who needs it most of all.

The Concept of an Email Workflow

An email workflow is a series of email messages based on the behavior of potential students or their target actions. For example, you can send letters about signing up for a course, registering for an online school, an abandoned cart, an invitation to a webinar, etc. It will allow you to build communication with users depending on their actions on the online school website.

Of course, it takes more than one day to set up such mailing lists. However, there is a plus: an email workflow works automatically. This is why you can focus more on analyzing business metrics or creating new video classes. In addition, automation gives you a chance to analyze better, improve and refine your communication with your target audience as a whole.

Who Needs an Email Workflow

Automatic emails work effectively in almost any business (especially eLearning); this is their primary advantage. Mailing lists are 100% perfect when customers are offered a complex product that cannot be "touched." And online courses, webinars, or pieces of training are just such things. In addition to eLearning companies, mailing lists are also used by:

  • B2B companies;
  • CRM systems;
  • E-commerce sites;
  • service providers;
  • news aggregators, etc.

They all work with clients in one way or another. Therefore, it is essential to build high-quality communication through email.

Why You Need to Work With Automatic Mailing Lists

However, there are also objective advantages of creating an email workflow. Let's look at the 4 pros of electronic mailing lists:

  • They save a lot of time. You don't have to send out hundreds or more emails yourself. It is enough to gather the mailing list once, and a particular service built into the learning management system will do the rest. As soon as users activate a trigger you chose (visiting the website, registering, subscribing, etc.), the system sends the selected email letter.
  • They move leads through the sales funnel model. If you are attracting new students and your profits are not increasing, potential students may be weeded out as they go through the sales funnel. Automatic emails help you to promote each lead smoothly. It will ensure a seamless replenishment of the client base and, accordingly, your income growth.
  • They provide a personalized approach to each potential or existing student. Email marketing tools let you send unique emails according to the sales funnel's customer engagement, profile, and position. Therefore, you build long-term relationships with online school students through personalized emails.
  • They make your email marketing strategy more robust. Email workflow increases click-to-open and click-through rates and reduces the unsubscribe rates. As a result, you will be able to help your audience 24/7. The main thing is to determine the shortcomings of your marketing strategy and choose the right trigger actions that will launch the mailing list.

Well, we understood the benefits. Now let's move on to the types of automatic letters.

Main Types of Mailing Lists

There are three main types of automated letters:

Onboarding Workflow

They allow you to collect leads using a lead magnet registration form in a letter or providing a link to a landing page. But collecting leads alone is not enough to successfully attract customers, and it is crucial for gradually building steady relationships with the audience. Therefore, try to tell potential students about the benefits of your online course from the very first letter, and explain how it will make life better.

Such a mailing list begins with a welcome letter after registering for an online school. Next, learn about the user's interests and provide relevant content in the following email. This approach allows you to educate subscribers, share valuable information and increase the credibility of your educational business.

Email Messages After Purchasing Online Courses

It is vital to follow your leads during the checkout of course purchase. Sending automated messages helps potential students confirm the purchase. You, in turn, will be able to collect feedback from customers. Such mailing lists improve the user experience and generate a brand-loyal audience.

Abandoned Cart Mailing List

There are various reasons why customers stop halfway through a course purchase. The email list helps bring users back to your website and stimulates them to buy your product. Moreover, this approach allows you to increase income and turn subscribers into regular students.

Webinar Invitation Emails

Such a workflow helps attract people to new pieces of training, online courses, and webinars in your online school. In addition, using automatic messages, you can notify students about new lessons. The structure of the letter can be completely different. At the same time, it is enough to develop an email workflow and use it permanently; this approach will save your time and money.

What Other Types of Email Lists Exist

In addition to the types mentioned above, the eLearning creators also use the following types of mailing lists:

  • Automatic emails that help to work with leads. They aim to attract new students to your online school. The mailing list is triggered by a specific action - registering in an online school, downloading a lead magnet (e.g., a step-by-step checklist), etc. As soon as the subscriber has activated the trigger, he receives relevant letters that gradually stimulate him to buy an online course or webinar.
  • Letters for regular customers. Another good way to increase sales and turn students into genuine brand advocates. You can use such email to offer personalized discounts and make unique offers available only to loyal students.
  • Reactivation mailing. Such automated emails work with customer churn. Their main task is to remind your sleepy students about the online school and bring them back. Reactivation emails can be run for early churn (more than one month away from the website) and late churn (if the client has been inactive for 6 months and more).

Setting Up an Email Workflow: Basic Steps

There are three critical steps in creating and launching email lists:

  1. Set a trigger action to send messages. To do this, define the client action that starts the mailing list and select the preferred trigger.
  2. Build a new workflow. First, set the starting condition for the mailing list. Next, you need to drag the necessary elements from the menu and join them into a single structure. Add a message template, think about its subject and attach a text file. Further, set a specific time to send email messages to your clients.
  3. Start a mailing list. Now messages will be sent automatically after the user activates the target action.

How Many Emails You Should Add to the Workflow

It is not easy to give an exact answer to this question. Experts advise using at least 3-5 letters in the mailing list, which will help you get the most out of your messages. However, the structure can be much more significant. It depends on the depth of your sales funnel model and the steps of user decision-making. Therefore, sometimes you need to add up to 12 letters to the email workflow.

Creating a Design of an Email Workflow

We design a letter template as soon as we have created a mailing list and set all preferred settings for sending letters. Here are the top 3 tips for better results:

  1. Use corporate style. This approach will increase the awareness of your educational business and the brand's credibility.
  2. Use adaptive email layout. Your message should be equally readable both on a PC and smartphone.
  3. Use a single structure - letter header, body, and footer.

In the header, place a link to open the letter in a web browser or other technical information, the logo of the online school, and a banner. In addition, there are buttons with links to social networks, information about the company, and an unsubscribe button in the message's footer. Customize the body of the letter as you like.

It is also better to use specific fonts for email newsletters. This is because they are displayed in all browsers and email clients. If you use a different font, the mail app will change it to the default font. And this may not always meet your requirements for a message template.

It is best to use the following fonts in automated letters:

  • Arial;
  • Arial Black;
  • Georgia;
  • Courier New;
  • MS Sans Serif;
  • Tahoma;
  • Times New Roman;
  • Trebuchet MS;
  • Verdana.

Use a calm color palette in the email workflow design. It makes letters beautiful and respects the subscriber. However, experts advise highlighting essential elements and action buttons ("Register," "Subscribe," etc.) with bright colors.

5 Rules for an Effective Email Workflow

But how to create a workflow that will attract new students, increase sales and make the brand recognizable? Here are five rules for effective performance:

  1. Choose the right time to send emails. Remember that it is appropriate to offer helpful content at the beginning of communication with a client. You can gradually offer to buy an online course only when you have built a trustful relationship.
  2. Take into account the features and activity of the user when creating a mailing list. Therefore, an individual approach is essential here. Pay attention to the actions and reactions of the subscriber (downloading a lead magnet, signing up for a free webinar, comments on social networks, etc.) and give a personalized response.
  3. Describe complex things in simple words. Users love it a lot.
  4. Segment your audience and create a unique set of emails for each group. The reason is simple: the same letter does not work well for all subscribers. Educational platforms offer convenient audience segmentation tools that save time and help you set up an effective workflow.
  5. Politeness and integrity must be your best friends. After all, it is important not to annoy a potential client but to show him the real advantages of educational content.

This is how you will gradually build trustful communication with the students of your online school. By setting up automatic mailing lists just once, you will ensure an increasing student's loyalty and a high level of course sales for many years to come. But remember that every eLearning business is unique in its own way. Therefore, take enough time to test different mailing options to choose the best one for you.

We hope that you found our article helpful. If you have any questions about working with an email workflow for online schools, leave them in the comments below. We will answer them and analyze the best ones in the following articles. Best of luck!