Creating Effective CRM Workflows: A Step-by-Step Guide for Success

A guide to creating workflows in the Better Story Marketing OS

January 16, 2024
CRM Marketing Workflows

Automation is the real power of a Marketing OS. Imagine new leads being cultivated and customers receiving extra value, all while you’re able to focus on running your business.

Workflows are a critical tool for automating your business’s marketing strategy. This guide will help you understand how to set up and leverage workflows. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is a workflow?
  • Common uses for workflows
  • Critical elements of a workflow
  • How to set up lead generator workflow.
  • How to set up a booking calendar workflow with a template.

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What is a workflow?

A workflow is a series of steps you design for your marketing activities to occur in an automated way. 

Let’s look at a typical workflow example: delivering a lead-generating PDF. Downloadable PDFs are some of the most common lead-generators on the internet. Here are the steps in a simple lead-generating PDF workflow.

  1. A potential customer completes a simple form with their email address. 
  2. They are immediately sent an email thanking them and providing a link to download the PDF resource. 
  3. The customer is automatically added to the CRM, and a tag is added to indicate which lead generator they signed up for. 
  4. A day later, they receive an email with guidance on how to solve the problem the PDF addresses. 
  5. Then two days later, they receive an email with a story about another customer who had a similar problem and was able to overcome it.  
  6. Finally, they receive an email that clearly invites them to purchase a solution to the problem they’re facing. 

This example is a straightforward workflow. Often, there would be additional steps, and the email sequence would be longer. However, it still illustrates how automation can help you quickly deliver value to new leads and invite them to become customers.

Common uses for workflows

Marketing workflows are widely used for various purposes in digital marketing. Here are some common uses:

  • Lead Nurturing: Marketing workflows can be used to send a series of emails to potential customers, guiding them through the sales funnel and building relationships.
  • Customer Onboarding: When a new customer signs up for a service or product, workflows can provide helpful information and resources, helping them get the most out of their purchase.
  • Post-Purchase Follow-Up: Workflows can automate follow-up emails after a purchase, asking for reviews or providing additional support.
  • Re-Engagement Campaigns: For inactive customers, marketing workflows can re-engage them with targeted content, special offers, or reminders about your services or products.
  • Content Promotion: When you publish new content, workflows can help promote it to your audience via email or social media posts.
  • Event Promotion and Follow-up: If you're hosting an event, workflows can automate sending invitations, reminders, and follow-up messages.
  • Personalized Marketing: By segmenting your audience based on behavior, preferences, or demographics, workflows can deliver personalized marketing messages.
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery: E-commerce businesses often use workflows to send reminder emails to customers who have left items in their shopping cart without checking out.

These are just a few examples. The beauty of marketing workflows is that they can be customized to meet your business's specific needs and goals.

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Critical elements of a workflow

Your marketing workflow really only has two types of elements

  1. Triggers: The circumstances that initiate a workflow. 
  2. Actions: The marketing actions taken in response to the trigger.

While this seems simple, when you open up the workflow builder in the Marketing OS, you’ll see there are numerous triggers and actions you can add to your workflow.

Here are some common triggers:

  • Form submitted 
  • Contact attributed changed
  • The customer clicks something or initiates communication (chat, text, email, calls)
  • Appointments scheduled, canceled or changed.

Here are some common actions :

  • Update a customer’s information.
  • Send communication to the customers.
  • Wait a specific amount of time. 
  • Branch the workflow based on specific criteria.

No more stringing together a hodgepodge of tools that only sort of get the job done. Instead, it's time you experience marketing that runs the way it should without you having to babysit it.

Identify key areas where marketing automation can help you reach the goals of your small business or nonprofit.

How to set up lead generator workflow.

A lead generator workflow automates the journey from a potential customer downloading something on your site to booking a call or making a purchase. 

The Better Story Marketing OS provides a variety of templates and premade workflows. Each has a description, or if you want to build one, select Start From Scratch. 

The process isn’t complicated, but there are a few steps, and you can walk through them in this how-to: How to create a lead generator email campaign workflow? 

Here are a couple of tips as you build workflows:

  • If this is your first time building an automated process, we recommend using a premade workflow to learn the process and more easily get the process up and running for your company. 
  • If you have multiple automated processes, you can group them together in folders. 
  • If you have already imported contacts into Better Story Marketing OS, you can manually add them to the desired Workflow simply by going into their contact card and adding them to the newly created workflow.

How to set up a booking calendar workflow with a template.

Scheduling a session with a potential client is a critical moment in the customer journey. Creating an automated workflow ensures this process will go smoothly.

Once you’ve created a booking calendar, you can create a workflow to follow up with the new clients who book a session with you. The easiest way to build this workflow is to use the Recipe - Appointment Confirmation + Reminder template.

Here are the steps:

  1. Click Automation in the left menu. 
  2. Click Create Workflow and select Recipe - Appointment Confirmation + Reminder.
  3. Click Appointment at the top of the workflow to connect your booking calendar.
  4. Click Add filter, select In calendar, and choose your booking calendar.
  5. Click into each email and SMS reminder and customize the messages with your booking calendar name, how you will connect and any other details. Be sure to click Save Action as you edit each. 
  6. Click the title at the top of the workflow to give it a new name, then click Save.
  7. Click the toggle in the top right to Publish.

Your booking calendar workflow is now up and running.

Crafting effective CRM workflows isn't just about improving efficiency—it's about driving your business towards success. By following this step-by-step guide, you've equipped yourself with the knowledge necessary to streamline your processes, increase productivity, and ultimately, boost your bottom line.

Action Plan

Don't let your CRM journey end here. Put these steps into action today and witness the transformative effects on your business operations. 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re getting started, but don’t worry. We’re here to help.

When you sign up for a free trial with the Better Story Marketing OS, you get a 30-minute onboarding call with our team to help you answer questions and get you set up quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Marketing Automation

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is the use of software to automate repetitive marketing tasks. This includes email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns, allowing businesses to nurture prospects wit

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What is marketing automation?

Why should a small business use marketing automation?

Marketing automation can save time and increase efficiency by automating repetitive tasks. It can also provide valuable data on customer behavior, helping to refine marketing strategies and improve c

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Why should a small business use marketing automation?

Can marketing automation help with customer retention?

Yes, by providing personalized content and timely communication, marketing automation can help nurture customer relationships and increase customer loyalty.

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Can marketing automation help with customer retention?

Is marketing automation expensive?

The cost of marketing automation tools varies widely, and many offer scalable pricing based on the size of your business and specific needs. Some tools offer free versions with limited features.

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Is marketing automation expensive?

Does marketing automation make marketing impersonal?

While it does automate certain processes, the goal of marketing automation is to enable more personalized and targeted communication by understanding customer behavior and preferences.

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Does marketing automation make marketing impersonal?

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