Automated Customer Journeys

So you’re now settled with your email marketing campaigns. You have a growing database of customers, you’re seeing revenue from your campaigns with tracking and a consistent open rate.

Great, I’m all sorted. I’ve completed email campaigns.

Well you could stop there. But have you thought about creating automated customer journeys?

Once you’ve mastered email campaigns, automated journeys can be the next step in your digital marketing strategy.

What is an automated journey?

An automated journey is kind of what it sounds like. Its where you send customers on an automated journey, typically made up of emails and the emails are triggered by the actions of the customers. Automating journeys provide a smoother and easier customer experience. It can also save you valuable time as well.

Photo by Leah Kelley on

What kind of things can I make journeys for?

There are lots of uses for customer journeys and don’t have to be used just for email, but that’s what I’m going to be talking about in this post. Here are some common types of customer journeys:

Welcome– as you’ve probably seen in your own inbox, welcome emails are a popular choice of automation. It provides the opportunity to welcome people to your business. Within your journey, you can include emails to remind customers of what you sell/services offered, your top selling products, a cheeky discount code and lots more.

Events– it could be something like an industry event, seasonal or Black Friday. If you have promotions coming up for a particular event, you could prepare the emails in advance and set up a journey so that the emails are sent fluidly. You don’t need to send a follow-up email to customers that have already opened or engaged with the initial email. That is where automation is useful.

Customer feedback surveys– automating customer surveys is a great idea. It means that your surveys are being sent out to the customers who have purchased products (or whatever your business does) and for this timing is key. With an automated journey you should be able to set the timings to be a certain time length after the order to allow the customer time to try out the product before the email is sent.

Example of a basic Customer Feedback Survey automation.

I wanted to try and show what a customer journey may look like. Although I appreciate that the above may be confusing. So let me break it down a bit further. I’ve used 5 days as my time scale just to keep things simple, you can use however long you think is appropriate.

The Data bubble will probably stem from somewhere in your CRM system (e.g. Salesforce) and you will have created a report that will update the data automatically for you, this is the first stage of an automation. Or if you’re using MailChimp, I believe you can select to add people from a list when they sign up to receive marketing. The first stage will be send your initial email (whatever it may be!) and then you can put in a split, to make a different path, depending on whether a customer has opened/clicked an email and you can send a different email on the paths. In the example above, you can see there’s a follow up to those that have not opened, but you can make the journeys as complex or simple as wish. This is a simple journey to show a brief example.

Why is this helpful?

Automated journeys are helpful because they are prepared in advance to allow for a smoother customer experience. It also saves you time and having to remember to fire out the follow up email. It also ensures that you are sending to the right audience. For example, why would you sent out a customer survey to a customer who has not purchased? You wouldn’t.

To conclude, automated customer journeys can be an effective part of your digital marketing strategy. They can be technical to set up, depending on the platform that you use, but it is worth it. You can use them to welcome new customers to your business through sending discount codes and showing customers why to use your business, to send promotional emails regarding an event including follow up emails and special offers and to collect customer feedback to help your business improve its services.

When getting started with automation, I would suggest to look at what automation’s may be useful for your business and to decide what data you want to use for the journey, this may will between journeys. Additionally, someone from previous job recommended to draw out your journey on paper before started to design on software, which is really helpful and something I always do now.

Thank you for reading this, my next blog post is coming soon!

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