Create Email Workflows and Avoid ‘Email Bankruptcy’ in 2017
Email has long been a primary communication mode, both personally and professionally. It’s a common way to relay work-related information and, as a result, emails often accumulate unread in inboxes. The main difference between bi-directional communication forms (phone calls and real-time chats) and emails is that each email is discrete and has its own ID. While a chat conversation may build upon itself, an email “conversation” accumulates a discrete message for each participant’s contribution.
This is excellent for keeping records, but it can result in unwieldy amounts of email that become increasingly daunting to the recipient. So-called email bankruptcy is the process of deleting all emails older than a certain date because the volume of messages has become unwieldy. With the right workflow tools, however, you need never turn to the drastic solution of email bankruptcy. Here’s how tools you already have, plus workflow automation software, can help you avoid email bankruptcy in 2017.
Simple Email Routing
Whether you use Outlook, Thunderbird, Gmail, or some other email client, you have access to built-in tools that let you automatically route emails so that they are easier to cope with. Most have “wizards” that step you through the process of creating email filters that sort your email for you. Messages from certain senders can be routed to a particular folder or flagged as important. You could, for instance, create a filter so that emails from the timekeeping clerk go to a special timekeeping folder and another one that flags emails from your supervisor as urgent.
To filter responses to emails you send, assign a keyword (like a project codename) to certain contacts, and put this keyword in your email signature to relevant correspondents. Responses that contain the keyword can be tagged or routed appropriately via a filter.
Automatically Responding to Actions by Potential Customers
Simple email filtering is great and should be part of managing your daily workload, but, for most people, it isn’t enough. Additional workflow tools are needed to truly tap into efficiency gains related to email automation. With the right workflow automation software, you can create automated email workflows that can be triggered by any number of events. For example, a specific workflow could be initiated when:
- Someone submits a form on your website
- Someone clicks a link in an email you sent them
- Someone visits a particular web page
- Someone fulfills criteria as a “marketing qualified lead”
Such workflows are indispensable in ensuring that no potential customers are inadvertently neglected or slip through the cracks.
Initiating a Lead Nurturing Workflow
Suppose someone new has downloaded several of your “top-of-the-funnel” pieces of content. This can indicate a lead that is warming up and should be encouraged. Workflow automation software can help nudge these valuable new contacts a bit further down the sales funnel. An email workflow could be created to send new leads emails containing links to middle-of-the-funnel content that may ultimately “promote” them to marketing qualified leads.
It’s easy to create an email workflow that welcomes a new lead and offers them a free bonus, such as access to a webinar, or a special report that they wouldn’t find just from browsing your site.
Trigger Delivery of Pertinent Content
If you are, for example, hosting a live webinar or an in-person event, email workflows can ensure that all participants receive timely reminders as well as any helpful content they will need. For an in-person event, your automated email workflow could deliver information on hotel accommodations well in advance and then send other information, like schedule information at appropriate times leading up to the event. If you’re hosting a webinar, the right workflow tools will allow you to give participants access to session slides when it’s over, ensuring nobody is left out.
Make Your Email Work Hard for You
Dealing with email should not be a chore for you. In fact, with the right workflow automation software, you can make your email work hard for you. PerfectForms is workflow automation software designed for non-technical users, with no programming required.
Flexible enough to customize to interact with your email client and other software, and powerful enough to accelerate workflows and cut error rates, PerfectForms has helped companies in a wide range of industries conquer email workflows as well as countless other workflows. Take a look at some of our case studies and discover for yourself how the right workflow tools can transform an organization.
Tags: workflow automation