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The One Workflow That's Essential for Professional Services Marketing

[fa icon="calendar"] September 22, 2015 - Fred Thompson

 Writing on transpartent white board on the theme of marketing automation and workflows for professional services marketing

Marketing automation, also called workflows, forms the “missing link” between a lead coming into the top of the funnel and moving to the middle of the funnel. Workflows are also a key component of professional services marketing and for other verticals aggressively looking for leads through inbound marketing.

The Scenario

A visitor finds a great article on your website. He or she then:

  1. Clicks on a call-to-action (CTA).
  2. Is taken to a landing page.
  3. Views a gated, premium content offer you have (a white paper, e-book, case study, etc.).
  4. Downloads it.
  5. Because heor she needed to supply some information to get the content offer, you now have a lead in your database.

But now what do you do? A classic marketing mistake would be to pick on the phone and call them in an attempt to sell. In today’s buyer-controlled world, you can quickly turn off a lead that way. 

The solution: You engage in lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is the process of attracting a lead from the top of the funnel (TOF) to the middle of the funnel (MOF).

You follow up by engaging new leads using cool emails, other cool offers, and cool ways to help. You get the idea: Be cool about everything you do. Be a rock star by being helpful, not pushy or needy.

The First, Basic, Essential Workflow that Will Generate Leads

Hubspot has a tool called *guess what* Workflows. By utilizing the workflows tool, you can automate every touch of MOF lead nurturing for your professional services marketing.

I want to show you one workflow task that you should employ on every top of the funnel offer.

Create the workflow

Go to the workflows tool in your Hubspot dashboard, create and name your workflow. If your purpose is to follow up after a lead downloads something, perhaps name it after the title of the download.

Step 1) Send Your 1st Email

For every lead who downloads your content offer, you’re going to send them their first follow up email. The email will be from you, personally, and the content will be personalized (because Hubspot offers this feature), for example:

Subject: Bill, how did that download go?


Hi Bill,

I saw you downloaded our (name of offer). Did the download go okay? If you had any issues downloading, please let me know. Hope you enjoy your (offer)!


(Your name, email signature line)

 Here’s what this part of the workflow looks like in Hubspot:

Beginning workflow in marketing automation and workflows for professional services marketing

Here's what it does:

  1. Enrolls (creates a list) of leads who filled out your download form.
  2. Sets a delay.
  3. Sends an email.

The result:

Your lead will receive a cool email, from you 3 minutes after they download your content offer. Studies show that if you send that email within 5 minutes of first touch, you increase your chances of engagement by 100x.

Step 2) Send Your 2nd Email

What’s going to work here? Your lead no doubt is still very much at the top of the funnel. How do you begin to move them toward the middle of the funnel? Send them a middle of the funnel offer:

Subject: Bill, check this out!

Hi Bill,

I hope you enjoyed your downloaded (offer)!

You might check this out (link to landing page containing a MOF offer).


(Your name, email signature line)


Here's what it looks like in Hubspot:

Second workflow in marketing automation and workflows for professional services marketing

Here's what this does:

This second email goes out 5 days and 3 minutes after the first “thanks for downloading” email.

You could create a third follow-up email just like the one above, add a delay of about one week, and be done. But let me show you one fancy trick so you know what the capabilities are.

Optional Steps for a Creative Workflow

Here’s what I want to do:

That second email contained a MOF offer. I want to add aqualifier to my third email. If the lead responded to my offer, I don’t want to send any more offers. I want to simply send a “thank you email.”

But if the lead didn’t respond to my MOF offer, I want to send them another top of the funnel (TOF) and tease them to complete the MOF that I had sent in my second email.

To do all of this, I have to branch out by using a little Boolean logic. If you’ve done any programming or done anything fancy with Excel, what follows will seem local. If not, just look at the screen shots and you’ll see how it works.

Step 3) Set Up a "YES" if / then Branch

If / then branch in workflow for marketing automation and workflows for professional services marketing

Here's what this does:

If  the lead responded to my second email by clicking on the link in my email and filling out the form on my landing page, the “If Yes” workflow branches and sends a “thank you” email 8 minutes after they fill out my MOF form (always remember to add a delay!)

In this example, because a MOF response may be considered a marketing qualified leads (MQL), I’m ending the marketing automation for now. Depending on how you have lead scoring set up, I now can hand the lead over to sales for further nurturing and hopefully convert this lead into a customer.

But, what if the lead ignored the MOF offer in my second email?

Step 4) Set Up a "NO" if / then Branch

Second if / then branch in marketing automation and workflows for professional services marketing

Here's what this does:

My lead may have clicked through in my email (trackable), gone to my landing page (trackable), but didn’t convert on my offer (by submitting a new form).

So now, after a 5 day delay, I’m sending my final, 3rd touch email in this workflow:

Subject: Bill, I hope you’ll love this!

Hi Bill,

Please check this out: It’s a free e-book that will help you ramp up your (something) in only 5 minutes per day!

Here’s the link. Hope you enjoy!


(Your name, email signature line)


Bill, In case you’re still interested, here’s the link to our (MOF offer) again. Thanks again!

What do you think?

Workflows are both the most confusing but most powerful tools that are used in inbound marketing.

The sky’s the limit. For example, I easily could have daisy-chained another email—an internal one to sales. If the lead converted on my MOF offer, I could have sent an email to sales: “Hey, just wanted you to know (this lead) is now a MQL!”

Let’s get a convo going! Please enter your questions or comments in the field below Have you used workflows? Do you still have questions about them?

Key take-a-ways from this blog article:

  1.  It’s nearly impossible to “sell” customers today. But they can be won through marketing techniques that attract.
  2. The only way to bring top of the funnel leads to the middle of the funnel is by lead nurturing.
  3. The only way to manage effective lead nurturing is through marketing automation.
  4. An efficient sales process occurs at a mutually agreed upon handoff metric of leads from marketing to sales.

Discover all the keys to inbound marketing with our free e-book!Essential Step by Step Handbook to Internet Marketing  

Topics: Web Development

Fred Thompson

Written by Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson is the owner of New Destiny Media; Fred loves working side-by-side with business owners to create successful marketing campaigns that grown their business. When Fred is not working, he is spending time with his three very active children at home. He is an avid problem solver (MacGyver), Loves anything Martial Arts related and Social Media gets him excited about work.