An email workflow is a sequence of automated emails triggered by user’s behavior or data, for instance, placing an order, shopping cart abandonment, subscription, registration, etc.

Here's a short video instruction that describes how to send trigger emails with SendPulse.

Why is an email workflow important?

  • Saves time. You no longer need to send thousands of emails manually. Once you set up an email workflow, an email automation platform like Automation 360 takes care of the technical side of things. As soon as the user performs an action that activates a trigger, the service automatically sends a corresponding email, while you can busy yourself with other matters.
  • Helps to move leads down the sales funnel. If you drive a lot of traffic to your website and get tons of new subscribers without a raise in revenue, you may be losing your leads somewhere down the funnel. Email workflow helps to move them down the funnel, ensuring smooth onboarding, purchase, and other processes with automated emails.
  • Provides a more individual approach. You can create email workflows to send highly relevant emails based on lead’s position in the sales funnel, their level of engagement, or buyer persona type. In other words, email workflow answers the question “how to create relevant and personalized content for building long-lasting relationships with the audience.”
  • Helps to strengthen email marketing strategy. If you wonder how to cope with a high volume of abandoned carts, low open and click-through rates, poor unsubscribe rate, etc., email workflows are there to fill these gaps. They assist customers during their whole lifecycle giving a helping hand at the right time. To implement this technique, all you need is to identify the weak points of your strategy and set the right triggers that activate email workflow.

Email workflow types and examples

There are many types of email workflows that you can utilize to bring more benefits to your business. Let’s check them out now!

Onboarding workflow

You can collect subscribers with the help of subscription forms empowered by lead magnets, but simply having a person on your mailing list is surely not enough. When communication begins, you need to show subscribers how your business can solve problems, improve and make their life easier.

Registration is the trigger that launches a series of onboarding emails starting from the welcome email. In the next email, find out the subscriber’s interests. Depending on the answer, send an email with relevant content sharing your knowledge and educating leads.

Purchase workflow

It is essential to guide people through their purchase. This workflow enables to confirm a purchase, update the shipment status, and cross-sell related goods. It helps to provide leads with a positive buying experience.

Abandoned cart workflow

There are many reasons why people leave their carts abandoned. This type of email workflow is intended to drive users back to the website and incentivize them to complete the purchase. Follow abandoned cart email best practices here.

Event invitation workflow

It allows you to invite people to your webinars and conferences, supporting them with updates along the way. A thought out structure could be universal for all your webinars, allowing you to use it over and over saving time and money.

Other types of workflows

  • Lead nurturing workflow. This one is responsible for moving warmed top-of-the-funnel marketing leads down the funnel smoothly to turn them into customers. Several actions that display users’ genuine interest — blog subscription, e-book download, etc. — trigger the automation. From here on, subscribers will receive relevant educational content that will help them decide to purchase your product.
  • Loyal customer workflow. It is a way to give some special treatment to loyal customers. It may include emails with exclusive offers and discounts, available only for those who made more than N number of purchases.
  • Re-engagement workflow. This type helps to drive cold leads back to the sales funnel. Reactivation email is a way to say: “Hey, we miss you! Come back cause we still have some awesome stuff for you!” Re-engagement workflow can be triggered when a user has ignored emails for six months.

How to create an email workflow?

You can create efficient email workflows with SendPulse Automation 360. Here’s a brief instruction on how to create one for achieving your email marketing goals:

Step 1. Set up a trigger in Event Manager

First of all, you need to decide upon the user’s action that will activate the workflow. With the Event Manager, you can set any event on the website as a trigger for launching. You will find more details on how to do it here.

Step 2. Build an email workflow

Set up the start of the flow. Drag and drop the elements and connect them to build the desired structure. Add email templates to corresponding elements, create eye-catching subject lines, and attach files if necessary. Schedule the time gaps between emails.

Here’s how to create a workflow in Automation 360. You may also wonder how to create email templates in SendPulse, so check that out, too.

Step 3. Launch

Great! From now on, the process you’ve chosen to automate will work on its own.

Email workflow tips

  • Create workflows only when necessary. Although workflows may ease your living, it still takes some time and skills to create an effective one. Set up sophisticated processes in case you need to educate and support leads, or if you sell a complex product. Start from the most effortless email workflows and gradually implement more advanced ones when there’s a point.
  • Don’t send emails too often. If you have many email workflows running at once, make sure you’ve made longer time intervals between each message within one workflow not to be too pushy.
  • Send the first email within 24 hours after the trigger action. Otherwise, it will look strange to the user and may lead to unsubscribing or marking your email as spam.
  • Use a similar style within all email workflows. Make all of your emails recognizable using the elements of your brand identity. Create a few email templates that you could use multiple times.
  • Measure the email workflow efficiency. In SendPulse, you can monitor statistics — opens, clicks, and shares — right in the workflow. This data helps to improve an email marketing strategy by making changes at any time.
  • Take advantage of email templates. You can speed up the process of creating email workflow using predesigned email templates library by SendPulse, or use yours for multiple times.


  1. The article “13 Email Workflows You Should Be Using in Your Marketing Automation” by HubSpot considers more types of email workflows.
  2. The article “10 highly effective email automation workflows” by AgileCRM describes various ways of utilizing email workflows.
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