Deep-Dive into Follow-Up Automations
If you use follow-up emails for your website forms, a few things have changed with the release of the new version.
Follow-up emails are now a part of the automations feature set, and the process of creating them is slightly different, too.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the changes and explain how to make the most of them.
Let’s dive right in.
New Follow-up button
Previously, you could create follow-ups within a widget editor. In the new version, each widget card has a separate button to create and edit follow-ups.
If you’ve set up a follow-up for a widget, its button lights up blue. This makes it easy to tell which widgets in your dashboard already have follow-ups.
Now to the most important part of the update:
Follow-ups have become automations that are triggered by form submissions.
This means two things. First, follow-ups don’t consist of just follow-up emails anymore. Like other automations, they can also contain tags and sequences. Second, each follow-up automation is unique for its form and triggered when someone submits it.
In the following sections, you’ll learn how to create follow-up automations and see what makes them so powerful.
Creating a follow-up: what’s new
Even if you want to create a simple follow-up email, your journey will now start with an automation setup screen. All you need to do is open the
Actions menu and select Send email:
From there, you’ll get three options:
- Create an email from scratch
- Use one of the premade emails
- Reuse one of your previous emails
At the following step, you’ll be taken to the built-in email editor where you can craft your follow-up message, add a coupon code, a link to your website, and a countdown timer:
Once you’ve created and saved your email, this is what it will look like in the dashboard:
If you click
Save & close at this point, your follow-up will be ready: everyone who submits the form on your website will receive this email at once.
In addition to the follow-up email, you can set a sequence of other actions that will be launched automatically upon submission.
More specifically, you can:
- send more emails
- set time delays between actions
- add tags
- remove tags
- run sequences
For example, after a coupon code, you can send another email featuring your bestsellers. You can also tag new contacts who’ve joined your list though this form:
This would be useful if you have more than one email signup form on your website, and you’re planning to target these audiences differently in your promos.
Now that you’ve got a better idea of what follow-up automations are, let’s talk about what makes them so powerful: conditions.
Unlike other automations, follow-ups come with a much wider range of conditions because they contain data collected by the form, such as:
- data from form fields (names, phone numbers, selected checkboxes, etc.)
- UTM data
- data about the website visit (new visitors, returning visitors, viewed page, etc.)
- and other parameters
You can use that data to tag new contacts and create audience segments more precisely. Here are three examples of how it can work for you.
1. Tagging contacts by preference
Suppose your email signup form has preference checkboxes:
This means you can segment new contacts by their preferences, by simply assigning corresponding tags:
All you need to do is to create a condition for each tag: assign only if the specific box is checked 👇
You can also send more personalized follow-up emails to contacts who’ve checked a certain box during the signup:
In this case, you’ll also need to use the form checkboxes as the condition for the emails to fire:
2. Tagging contacts by language
If you run your business in a multilingual country, you can let your subscribers choose the language of the newsletter:
Similarly to the previous example, you’ll need to tag new contacts based on the option they selected. In this case, your entire follow-up automation may consist of just tagging new subscribers:
If you choose this route, you can use a different automation triggered by new contacts joining your list to send the actual welcome email sequence. Find out how to set up a different automation in our recent blog post.
As long as you set the language preference as the condition, each subscriber will receive a welcome sequence in their own language:
3. Tagging contacts by UTMs
If you’re building audience segments through different promo campaigns, and you’re using UTMs to drive traffic to your website, you can use them to tag new contacts as well:
This can be useful if you have separate promo offers for contacts joining through different channels and different campaigns.
So, when should I use follow-ups vs other automations?
By now, you might be asking yourself:
Why would I use other automations to welcome new subscribers if follow-ups seem to be doing the job so well?
Let’s sort this out.
If you have just one simple email signup form without preference checkboxes, you can welcome your new subscribers using either follow-ups or automations triggered by new contacts.
The sequences of actions in these cases will be identical:
However, if you have more than one email signup form on your website, it’s best to use follow-up automations just to confirm the subscription and deliver the lead magnet.
From there, you can create a separate automation triggered by new contacts to deliver your welcome sequence to both audiences:
Finally, follow-up automations are your only option if you need to tag new contacts based on preferences, API parameters, UTMs, or referrals because other automation types are incapable of using this data.
Before you go to the dashboard to check your existing follow-ups, let’s do a quick recap.
- Follow-ups are a separate kind of automations, each being tied to its widget form
- Follow-up automations are triggered by form submissions
- Like other automations, follow-ups can include tags, time delays, and sequences
- Unlike other automations, follow-ups have a much wider range of conditions
- You can use form fields, API, UTM, and other data about the contact to set conditions for a follow-up automation or any action within it
Got any questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Slack.
Nina De la Cruz is a content strategist at Getsitecontrol. She is passionate about helping small and medium ecommerce brands achieve sustainable growth through email marketing.
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You're reading Getsitecontrol blog where marketing experts share proven tactics to grow your online business. This article is a part of Product updates section.
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