Optimizing email marketing with workflows and triggers
Email marketing is extremely popular and for good reason. Using email to reach potential customers delivers a positive ROI (return on investment) for both B2B and B2C. Maximizing the ROI and optimizing the customer experience can be done with the help of marketing automation and workflows.


There is certainly no lack of statistics in the field of email marketing. Segmenting address files and sending event driven emails has a huge impact on ROI, but how can workflows and triggers deliver more results? How can we automate and optimize campaigns?

77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted or event driven email (Direct Marketing Association UK “National client email survey 2014 ″).

Optimizing email marketing

Sending a simple e-mail campaign can very well provide a positive return on investment, but through the smart use of marketing automation, workflows and triggers, marketers can get even more out of e-mail marketing.

Workflows and triggers

What are workflows and triggers? A Workflow is nothing more than a flow chart used to determine the next steps. Triggers are the events that trigger a certain process, such as sending a reminder.

1. Start with the customer journey

How does someone become a customer? What steps do potential buyers take before buying a product? Mapping the customer journey is a first step in determining the information need, in the different stages of the customer journey. The end of that journey is not by definition the purchase of a product. How about asking for feedback after purchase? Sending a discount voucher that is valid on a subsequent purchase?

2. Translate the customer journey into workflows

Exploring the possibilities of workflows and triggers is a great first choice, but now it is important to translate the customer journey into workflows. Determine for the different target groups which content fits in the different phases of the customer journey. Create workflows for different campaigns and audiences based on the customer journey.

3. Determine workflows and triggers

Sellers know exactly which signals are a sign that a potential customer is interested in a particular product. Asking questions (need for more information) about the product shows interest. Just like clicking a link in an email. Sellers will answer the questions not only with information, but also with a nice offer. Setting up a trigger gives marketers the opportunity to make an offer to those who have shown interest in the product. Just like the seller in the store.


Company X sells various products, such as shoes and shirts. On February 13, an email will be sent to existing customers to present the new arrivals. A short text with a call-to-action is included in the e-mail for each product group (shoes, etc.). For example, the trends in the field of shoes are briefly discussed and the recipient is referred to the page www.bedrijfX.nl/new-arrivals/ shoes with a call-to-action. Based on these links, a workflow in the email marketing software is created. Clicking the link to www.bedrijfX.nl/new-arrivals/shoes is the trigger that activates a workflow and causes an email with a shoe promotion to be sent two weeks later to anyone who clicks on this link clicked.

Setting up a workflow doesn’t take much effort and can be set up in most email marketing programs with a few simple clicks.

4. Testing

Determining a number of different segments and setting workflows and triggers is a great step in maximizing return on investment and optimizing the customer experience. Testing the various workflows and triggers provides additional insights. Always test with only one variable.