Marketing automation is all about building systems that help you save time in the long run! In today’s quick tips episode, Laura Kukemelk shares some examples of workflows that you could automate, as well as some automation softwares that help you free up time for strategic activities. To manage your leads and customers, you could opt for softwares such as Keap, ClickFunnels, Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, SharpSpring and many others. To connect different apps, you can use Zapier. For effective project management, you could use Trello, Toggl Plan, Monday.com, Slack or other similar tools.
Today I want to talk to you about automations. It can sound like a scary word, especially if you are not very tech-savvy. People sometimes assume that you need to have some high-level IT skills to build automations, but luckily, nowadays there are so many tools & softwares available that make building automations easy even if you have zero IT experience.
Why should you automate?
We really love the way that Rory Vaden put it: “Automation is to your time what compounding interest is to your money.” This means that you will really start to see the benefits of automation over a longer period of time. If you just think of the current moment and the limited time that you have right now, then it may sense to just do this quick 10 minute recurring task, but if you think, let’s say, 5 years into future, then this daily 10 minutes can quickly turn into 20 or even more hours that you could use for strategic activities. So, invest your time today into building systems that help you save time in the long run.
So, what type of activities should you automate?
- Well, first of all, think of the complete client journey of your customer. There are activities that you do to attract the customer, to inform them, to share value with them. There are activities that you do during the sales process. AND there are activities that you do after the sales-process, such as gathering feedback or upselling or offering maintenance. When you have this big picture in your mind, then think - is there a way to automatically help the customer move along in their customer journey. For example, start off by creating a lead magnet, which is followed by, let’s say, 4 automated emails during the first month. Then the last email has a call-to-action to buy and you can already include the checkout link there. Moving on, once they have purchased, they can move on to another automation flow that sends out a feedback questionnaire every 6 months and so on. So, really try to think of the whole journey and then gather the necessary information upfront - for example, if you have different services or products, make sure to differentiate what is most suitable for them - and then just put them in the “system”. Us at Powerful Marketers have been using Keap - previously known as Infusionsoft, but there are many options on the market, such as ClickFunnels, Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, SharpSpring and many others. So, do some research and find out which platform meets your needs the best.
- Moving on, another thing to automate is routine tasks, for example invoicing, documenting, and any other administrative tasks. Here again, think, is there a way to simplify and organize the workflow. Nowadays many systems already provide some sort of automations, such as reminders or automatic emails when a new file is added, but if what you use doesn’t provide that, then I encourage you to check out Zapier which is a third party app that connects different softwares. For example, if somebody books a call with you over Calendly, it can create a new “lead” in your CRM system. Or if you receive an email with an attachment that says “Invoice”, it can automatically upload it to your Dropbox or the system that you use.
- So, the third thing to automate is project management. If you have different team members, then having this central place for your activities, documents and communication is really helpful. It can be Trello or Slack or Monday.com, it doesn’t really matter. The key here is to set up the system and update it regularly, so that the system sends out reminders or notifications and you don’t have to manually send emails to check the project status. You can even set one up for your clients, so that they can check in at any time and leave their comments there.
And there you have it. Three simple ideas for using automations. We highly encourage you to take this time to build these systems. Trust us, your future you will really thank you for that.