email marketing automation in distribution

Distribution Email Marketing: Top Workflows and Examples

Email marketing automation for distributors is all about using the right software to send personalized emails and tailored actions based on customer activity and preferences. This automated digital sales pipeline strengthens client relationships, boosts engagement, and sends the right information to close more sales. 

It’s no secret that email marketing is a big boon for business, yielding an average ROI of $36 for every $1 spent, according to Litmus. Their 2024 survey of nearly 500 email marketers found that now’s the time to adopt B2C email marketing strategies proven to boost performance by up to 80 to 90 percent. The strategies? Email marketing automation techniques.

While 42% of distributors say email marketing is their best sales channel, according to MDM, many sales and marketing teams still use a siloed approach for managing it. They use a combination of platforms that may have worked in the past, but find themselves falling behind current marketing trends.

Selecting the right email marketing software is the first crucial step. 

Ideally, email marketing should integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) software, and your CRM should be designed for distribution. That’s why White Cup CRM is the leading all-in-one solution for distribution email marketing. It checks all the boxes along with business intelligence (BI), a pricing tool and enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to build, manage, and optimize email marketing automation strategies. You’ll also know how to analyze, measure, and test campaigns to improve performance. Whether you have a robust marketing team or are your company’s solo marketer, you’ll better understand eight email marketing workflows in detail and how White Cup CRM can help you win with each.

Understanding White Cup CRM for Distribution

Unlike CRMs that demand a steep learning curve out of the box, White Cup CRM stands out as an easy solution specifically built for distributors. It’s a centralized hub for online and offline sales data that integrates with your existing ERP and eCommerce platform. 

White Cup CRM also simplifies email marketing with its powerful automation capabilities. 

Convenient pre-built templates let you create email campaigns in a few clicks, improving customer engagement, retention, and sales. Automated workflows streamline email marketing tasks such as segmenting users, trigger sends, and scheduled emails.

Want to email customers who haven’t engaged with you in the last 30 days? Or send related products to a customer who just completed a purchase? White Cup makes it easy to automate these tasks.

White Cup CRM vs. HubSpot or Salesforce

Key differences set White Cup CRM apart from all-purpose CRMs like HubSpot or Salesforce. 

First, HubSpot and Salesforce typically don’t include email marketing automation as a standard feature; it’s available at higher tiers. And they aren’t designed to integrate with ERP systems, so distributors won’t have access to essential product or sales data to inform their email marketing strategies unless they pay for an expensive, time-consuming integration. These solutions are often incomplete at best. At worst, they create more work and more confusion for your team. 

See how Salesforce compares to White Cup CRM.

For instance, if you wanted to identify which products are slow to sell and send emails to customers most likely to buy them, you’d need to start by building a report analyzing purchasing data from your ERP to identify underperforming products. Then you’d need to create a separate report identifying all customers who purchased those products in the past year. 

You’d need to import that list into your marketing automation software and ensure it includes email addresses and other relevant information. Then, after days of compiling or requesting these reports, you can finally set up and send the email.   

When customers start responding to the email, your marketing team needs an efficient way to pass those leads onto the sales team. Your customer service team would then need to build quotes in your ERP and share them with the sales team. The sales team would likely forget to follow up on the status of those quotes because they wouldn’t have visibility into the status of each one. 

White Cup CRM + BI is a complete sales, marketing, and customer support platform that transforms data from your ERP into insights your team can act on immediately. 

Because White Cup CRM + BI are configured to integrate with your ERP and eCommerce solutions, your sales and marketing teams can easily see AI-powered recommendations for which products to promote, based on lagging performance, and identify customers most likely to buy them. 

The marketing team can create email workflows using pre-built templates specific to distribution and have all communications reflected in the same system their sales uses. 

When a customer expresses interest, the sales team can create quotes right within the CRM, using up-to-date pricing information, and have every deal reflected in the ERP. They can also create tasks and automated follow-up emails to keep deals moving.

Email Marketing Workflows for Distributors

A workflow automates any process that involves a trigger and an action. For example, if someone completes a website form (the trigger), the workflow dictates what happens next (the action) each time there’s a new lead.

The ultimate goal of email marketing automation is to drive sales, but first you need to segment, nurture, test, and analyze your way to stronger customer engagement. Put these proven processes on repeat and, over time you’ll see revenue increase. 

Here are eight essential workflows that you can implement with White Cup CRM right now.

Welcome Emails for New Customers

The welcome email is an overlooked, yet important first impression for your business and the perfect place to automate and leverage personalization. This email is sent after a customer subscribes to your list or submits their email via your online storefront. It’s your chance to leave a strong first impression by sharing your mission or sending them a welcome offer.

As a robust email marketing platform, White Cup CRM makes it easy to personalize these welcome emails. Add your customer’s first name into the email body or subject line, choose the timing of when to send (preferably immediately), and add content like images or video links. You can also embed forms directly in your emails or create  tasks for someone to follow up based on a trigger (such as interacting with a specific email.)

Whatever you choose, stick to one call to action (CTA) to make it clear what the customer should do next.

Nurturing Emails To Build Customer Relationships

Most customers who join your list won’t be actively looking to buy — at least not yet. After the welcome email, don’t let your communication drop off! By sending potential buyers relevant, educational content, you help support them toward making a purchase. This is called email nurturing. Once you build a nurturing sequence, you can put it on autopilot.

Within White Cup CRM, your marketing team can create multiple follow-up emails that are spaced apart by several days, which will execute the email campaign over any time period you choose. As mentioned above, each email should have only one CTA and serve to educate your customer. Ideas include testimonials, how-tos, product videos, or free downloads.

Now that you’ve prepared someone to buy, send your promotions (limited time offers, discounts) at the end of the nurturing sequence. In White Cup CRM, you can track the open and click-through rates of each email to adjust send frequency and optimize buyer engagement.


Top Related Products Emails 

Identifying the best upselling and cross-selling opportunities has historically been difficult for distributors because they lack insight into purchasing data for specific customers. White Cup CRM uses AI to analyze this data — including each customer’s past order history — and offer recommendations specific to them right from your CRM and BI dashboards. 

Your sales team has access to these recommendations from a customer’s account page or within the mobile sales app, and can suggest them while they’re on the phone with a customer or preparing for a visit. 

screenshot for distributors

They can select complementary products unique to each account and customer as they’re preparing a quote and add them in seconds to maximize the value of every order.

You can also trigger emails/sequences based on email interactions. If a recipient clicks on a link to a specific product landing page within that email, you can automatically send them emails with content related to that product after a specific time period.

Creating Personalized Email Campaigns With Data Analytics

Distributors are used to segmenting their inventory, but it’s just as important to do the same with your customer base. This sends the right messages to the right folks at the right time, potentially influencing revenue in a big way. You can segment your audience by company size, geography, revenue, job title, and behavior. 

White Cup CRM has robust data analytics and marketing capabilities that allow you to tailor your email campaigns to these specific customers. For example, segment prospects who haven’t had any activity with your company in the last 30 days and send them an offer such as, “We haven’t heard from you in a while. Here’s a promotion just for you!”

Targeting Slow-Moving Stock With Strategic Email Campaigns

White Cup BI dashboards reveal which are your top- and least-selling products. Once you’ve identified any slow-moving inventory, you can use marketing automation tools to craft an email campaign that goes beyond the typical flash or end-of-season sale. 

screenshot for email marketing automation in distribution

Enhancing Customer Experience Post-Purchase

After a purchase, White Cup CRM helps distributors influence future buying behavior through email automation. Dynamic list creation tools make it easy to set up a new campaign for post-purchase behavior. After you create the list once, anyone in the database who meets the criteria will be automatically added.

Instead of a traditional lead nurturing campaign, you already have your prospective buyer’s attention. Now you can focus on impressing them with support or training, and eventually request feedback so you can improve your sales or customer service, or use their positive feedback in a customer review or case study. With this transparency, you can significantly improve customer engagement and loyalty.

Effective Reordering Reminders for Repeat Business

Sales won’t slip through the cracks as easily when you set up a reordering reminder workflow. Rather than relying on sales reps to keep track of customer purchasing, use a periodic trigger that sends an email reminder to the sales rep and/or an email directly to the customer. This way, sales reps can personalize outreach, or they can let the customer self-serve. Optimize these emails with first name personalization, time-sensitive subject lines and copy that shows how you’re adding value rather than just asking for the sale.

Cart Abandonment Strategies To Recover Sales

“Did you forget something?” Abandoned cart emails trigger when someone fills out an online cart but doesn’t purchase. Some 74% of people do this, and 48% of them will open an abandoned cart email which means a higher likelihood of recovering lost sales. Create a new email campaign to automate this workflow with White Cup CRM. When crafting your email, try these evidence-based recommendations from to maximize closing the sale:

  • Mention the offer in the subject line
  • Personalize with the customer’s name
  • Add the notion of scarcity, if applicable
  • Send two emails to increase conversion and include a discount in the second email
  • Time the first email within the first few hours and the second after 24 hours or one business day if sending at the end of the work week
  • Use the word ‘complete’ in your call to action

Measuring Success and Optimizing Email Campaigns

Many email marketing campaigns only become successful with ongoing refinement. Once you’ve created automations, it’s best to let each run for at least 100 customers before evaluating what to improve.

Once there’s a substantial sample size, dive into White Cup CRM’s email analytics, which are part of its comprehensive email automation tools.

You’ll see open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes so you can make a data-driven decision whether to optimize existing and future campaigns.

For example, one idea to increase open rates is setting up an automation to resend the first email in a campaign to those who haven’t opened it after three days, giving them a second chance.

Analyzing Customer Engagement and Sales Conversion

Customer engagement metrics include opens, click-through rates, and unsubscribes. Conversion rates can point to sales effectiveness.

Because open and click-through rates vary by industry, it’s best to set your own benchmarks. Do this by tracking your least/highest opened and top converting emails. Analyze subject lines, day of the week and time of day. For click-through rates, analyze the copy used and any graphic elements. For conversion, notice which offers were the most compelling and replicate those in the future.

A/B Testing for Email Campaign Improvement

While it’s important to test each email before sending, A/B testing takes email campaigns to the next level. In White Cup CRM, A/B testing lets you send email variations: half your list receives one version, while half receives the other. Watch the email analytics to see which message performed best.

Be sure to change just one variable at a time for more accurate testing. If your goal is to increase open rates, A/B test subject lines. If it’s to increase sales, send different offers. Or send the same email on different days of the week or different times of day to see which sparks the most opens and clicks. Pull the winner into an automated email campaign to increase engagement and conversions.

Take Your Distribution Email Marketing to the Next Level With White Cup CRM’s Email Marketing Capabilities

Distributors who automate email marketing using White Cup CRM have an unfair advantage. Because the tool is specifically built for distributors, creating email marketing campaigns that increase revenue has never been easier. 

From pre-built workflows and email templates to analytics and A/B testing tools, White Cup CRM empowers distributors to sell slow-moving stock, recover abandoned cart sales and put reorder reminders on autopilot. The drag-and-drop interface takes the guesswork out of advanced email campaign strategies, like personalization and email optimization to boost customer engagement.

No matter the size of your distribution business or its needs, White Cup CRM will scale with you. 

See how email marketing automation with White Cup can support your marketing and sales goals. Schedule a demo today.