You have received budget for a fantastic paid media plan. Adwords is setup and running. Facebook Ads are driving page visits. Even Linkedin posts are driving click-throughs! You’ve increased traffic and maybe even the lead conversions with a fantastic lead magnet.

So now what?

Content Marketing – Done!

Digital Marketing – Check!

KPIs met – Yes!

ROI – ??

Did the leads convert to customers? Did the money and effort spent provide the sales pipeline that management was expecting to see?

How do you show the value of Digital Marketing spend if all you drive is click-throughs and retweets?

Email Marketing Automation is your saviour!

Setting up a segmented, automated email workflow for the leads that have opted-in through paid and social channels will convert a passive visitor or a one time consumer of content into a returning, paying customer.

Here is an easy 5 step process of automated email followup that will turnaround quick results for you.

Indoctrination > Engagement > Ascension > Segmentation > Re-Engagement


The goal of this stage is to convert a one-time opt-in lead to a returning consumer of content. Turning a stranger to a friend. We achieve this by building trust, showcasing our best content, asking them to make a commitment, all leading up to a subscriber buy-in of the organisation’s brand.

This first set of emails is sent immediately following a new subscription or email opt-in. Here’s a simple brand centric 3 part introductory email series that you can setup in your choice of Marketing Automation tool.

  • Email #1 – Welcome email with social media follow actions
  • Email #2 – Showcase Owned Content – blog, youtube video, case study, ebook
  • Email #3 – Relevant content from external sources/origins

Once the lead has consumed content from these 3 emails, we move the ‘indoctrinated’ lead to the next stage – Engagement.


The goal of this stage is to follow up with the now ’indoctrinated’ lead and engage with them on the topic of their interest. Effectively, in this crucial stage we want to convert the Lead to a Customer.

The emails in this series are prompted by the previous positive action that the lead has taken. We refer back to the lead magnet that they had initially opted-in for and encourage the lead to make a purchase decision.

  • Email #1 – Referring to the initial lead magnet, make a compelling case for immediate purchase.
  • Email #2 – Showcase the benefits of the product or service and how it will enable the prospect to achieve their goals. Provide a customer reference video or case study.
  • Email #3 – A ’last chance’ or a scarcity-based email. A final reminder of the need to purchase the product or service and how they will miss out on the benefits if they do not make a decision immediately.


The goal of this stage is to establish a value loop with a one-time customer and convert them into a repeat customer. Once the Engagement series has converted a lead to a paying customer, we want to continue providing value and have the customer return to us for repeat purchases, as long as it is helpful.

The emails in this series not only provide an opportunity to upsell, but also adds value to the post-sales customer engagement.

  • Email #1 – Thank you email, providing post-sales service options, introducing other products/services in the range or additional / complementary products that might interest them
  • Email #2 – Benefits of previously introduced upsell or complementary product/service.
  • Email #3 – Last call, offers or discounts to purchase the upsell.


A Lead or a Customer may lose interest in receiving email or information about the product that they initially showed interest in. This is made evident in the email open and click-through rates.

In this stage, we encourage the lead to ‘Re-Opt In’ to the Engagement series.This can be achieved by surveying the customer to understand what else they may be interested in or by steering them towards a lead magnet or offer of a different product/service.

The emails in this series are meant to be content heavy and should be very direct as to the topic and benefit of the segment you intend them to identify.

A segmented lead can initiate a chain of alternate Engagement series emails for the chosen product/series.


What if a prospect/customer never opens or clicks on any of the emails? Re-engage dormant leads and get them back into an appropriate Engagement or Ascension series.

Ideally you would want to send a re-engagement email to unopened or unclicked email recipients after about 60 days of inactivity.

Re-engagement emails could include:

  • The latest offer
  • Content that might interest in the prospect
  • Announcements of new launches
  • Invite to a webinar

As a last call, you could send a survey to understand the prospect’s interest, or even ask them to unsubscribe from the distribution list, nudging the prospect to take action.

Disengaged emails can affect the email deliverability rate and may also lead your emails to be marked as spam. You should remove un-engaged contacts from distribution lists, if they continue to remain dormant post the re-engagement email series. This will improve email deliverability, reputation score and the cost to acquire a lead.

Indoctrination > Engagement > Ascension > Segmentation > Re-Engagement

With this 5 step email marketing automation, you now have in your arsenal the tools to convert leads to customers and have them return to you. Review and determine which of these steps will make the most impact for your business and build the other steps around it.