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Marketing automation has become a critical component of successful digital marketing strategies. Marketing automation workflows enable businesses to automate routine tasks, streamline communication, and create more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.

In this guide, we will explore the top marketing automation workflows businesses need to know and start implementing for the best results.

What is a Marketing Automation Workflow?

A marketing automation workflow is a series of automated actions that are triggered by a specific event or activity taken by a prospect or customer. These workflows are designed to guide individuals through the buyer's journey and encourage them to take a particular action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Marketing automation workflows are typically created using marketing automation software, which allows marketers to design, execute, and measure the success of their workflows. These workflows are generally designed to automate routine tasks, such as sending welcome emails, birthday offers, or abandoned cart reminders.

The key benefit of marketing automation workflows is that they allow businesses to create more personalized and relevant messaging that can help to increase engagement, conversion rates, and customer loyalty. Companies can build stronger relationships and drive more revenue by providing tailored content and offers to prospects and customers at the right time.

Marketing automation workflows typically consist of a trigger, a set of actions, and a goal. The trigger is the event or action that initiates the workflow, such as a new email subscriber or a customer abandoning their cart. The set of actions is the series of automated tasks executed in response to the trigger, such as sending a welcome email or a cart abandonment reminder. The goal of the workflow is the desired outcome, such as a purchase or a conversion.

Marketing automation workflows can be used for various purposes, including lead generation, lead nurturing, customer onboarding, customer retention, and re-engagement. By automating routine tasks, businesses can save time and resources while providing a more personalized experience to their prospects and customers.

Getting Started with Marketing Automation Workflows

Before we dive into the specific marketing automation workflows, it is essential to understand how to get started with marketing automation. Here are the three basic steps to set up marketing automation workflows:

1. Setting up marketing automation software

The first step is to choose a marketing automation platform that suits your business needs. Many marketing automation software solutions are available, such as HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, and ActiveCampaign. When selecting a platform, consider your budget, your team's technical expertise, and your business goals.

2. Developing a marketing automation strategy

The second step is to create a marketing automation strategy that aligns with your business goals. This strategy should include defining your target audience, creating buyer personas and customer journeys, identifying the metrics you want to track, and creating a content marketing plan.

3. Creating buyer personas and customer journeys

The third step is creating buyer personas and customer journeys to help you personalize your marketing automation workflows. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, including their demographic information, behavior, and pain points. A customer journey is the process that your buyer personas go through, from awareness to purchase and beyond.

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Top Lead Generation Workflows

Lead generation workflows are designed to attract and convert prospects into leads. Here are the five most effective lead generation workflows.

1. Welcome series workflow

A welcome series workflow is a series of automated emails introducing new subscribers to your brand, products, and services. This workflow helps to build trust, set expectations, and encourage engagement.

2. Lead magnet workflow

A lead magnet workflow offers a valuable resource or incentive in exchange for a prospect's contact information. This workflow helps to build your email list and generate leads.

3. Lead scoring workflow

A lead scoring workflow is a system that assigns a score to each lead based on their behavior, engagement, and demographic information. This workflow helps to identify the most qualified leads and prioritize them for sales outreach.

4. Lead nurturing workflow

A lead nurturing workflow is a series of automated emails that provide educational content and personalized messaging to prospects to build trust and move them closer to a sale.

5. Re-engagement workflow

A re-engagement workflow is designed to win back inactive subscribers or leads by providing them with personalized content and incentives to re-engage with your brand.

Top Customer Acquisition Workflows

Customer acquisition workflows help turn leads into customers. Here are the five most effective customer acquisition workflows.

6. Free trial workflow

A free trial workflow offers prospects a trial of your product or service to encourage them to purchase. This workflow helps to build trust, provide value, and remove barriers to purchase.

7. Demo workflow

A demo workflow offers prospects a personalized demo of your product or service to showcase its features and benefits. This workflow helps build trust, provide value, and answer any questions leads may have.

8. Sales call workflow

A sales call workflow is designed to schedule a sales call with a qualified prospect to discuss their needs, pain points, and how your product or service can solve their problems.

9. Cart abandonment workflow

A cart abandonment workflow reminds prospects who have abandoned their cart to complete their purchase. This workflow provides personalized messaging and incentives to encourage them to return and complete their purchase.

10. Post-purchase workflow

A post-purchase workflow provides valuable content and support to customers after they have made a purchase. This workflow helps to build customer loyalty, reduce churn, and increase customer lifetime value.

Top Customer Retention Workflows

Customer retention workflows are designed to retain customers and encourage repeat purchases. Here are the five most effective customer retention workflows.

11. Customer onboarding workflow

A customer onboarding workflow is set up to guide new customers through the process of using your product or service. This workflow provides valuable resources, tutorials, and personalized support to ensure customers get the most out of your product or service.

12. Upsell/Cross-sell workflow

An upsell/cross-sell workflow offers additional products or services to existing customers. This workflow provides personalized recommendations based on the customer's behavior, preferences, and needs.

13. Referral program workflow

A referral program workflow encourages existing customers to refer new customers to your business. This workflow provides referral incentives and rewards and helps build customer loyalty.

14. Renewal workflow

A renewal workflow reminds customers that their subscription or contract is coming up for renewal. This workflow provides personalized messaging and incentives to encourage customers to renew their contracts or subscriptions.

15. Win-back workflow

A win-back workflow is leveraged to win back customers who have canceled their subscriptions or stopped purchasing from your business. This workflow provides personalized messaging and incentives to encourage them to return and make a purchase.

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Top Analytics and Optimization

Measuring the success of your marketing automation workflows is critical to improving their effectiveness over time. Here are the three most important aspects of analytics and optimization.

Measuring the success of marketing automation workflows

Use the metrics you identified in your marketing automation strategy to measure the success of your workflows. Key metrics include open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value.

A/B testing and optimization

Use A/B testing to test different variables, such as subject lines, copy, and calls to action, to determine which variables drive the best results. Use this data to optimize your workflows over time.

Improving workflows over time

Regularly monitor and adjust your workflows to improve their effectiveness over time. Use data and customer feedback to make informed decisions about optimizing your workflows.

Best Practices for Marketing Automation Workflows

To ensure that your marketing automation workflows are effective, follow these best practices:

  • Personalization and segmentation: Personalize your messaging and segment your audience to provide your subscribers and customers with the most relevant content and offers.
  • Timing and frequency of communication: Send messages at the right time and frequency to avoid overwhelming your audience or being forgotten.
  • Consistency across channels: Ensure your messaging and branding are consistent across all channels, including email, social media, and your website.
  • Monitoring and adjusting workflows regularly: Regularly monitor and adjust your workflows to ensure they meet your business goals and provide value to your audience.

Choosing the Right Marketing Automation Software

Choosing the right marketing automation software is critical to the success of your marketing automation workflows. Here are the key features to consider when selecting a platform:

  • Email marketing automation: Ensure the platform offers robust email marketing automation features, including email design, list management, and segmentation.
  • Lead management: Ensure the platform provides lead scoring, lead nurturing, and lead qualification features.
  • CRM integration: Ensure the platform integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM) system to provide a complete view of your customer data.
  • Analytics and reporting: Ensure that the platform provides comprehensive analytics and reporting features to measure the success of your marketing automation workflows.


Marketing automation workflows are critical to the success of modern businesses. Companies can attract, convert, and retain more customers by automating routine tasks, personalizing messaging, and providing valuable content.

By implementing the top marketing automation workflows discussed in this guide, businesses can create more effective and efficient marketing campaigns and achieve their business goals.

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Apr 2 2023, Updated Jun 26 2023

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