Have you ever stopped and counted how many spreadsheets you’re keeping track of as a business owner?
It’s 8 a.m. Your working day has barely started and you already have 6 spreadsheets open on your laptop and 15 sticky notes on your desk.
In the meantime, you’re wondering “did I call this person back?”, “did my team send this email yesterday evening?”, “was this client’s appointment booked?”
You’re trying to sort all this out while you can’t decide which post-it note is more urgent. You’ve only spent 20 minutes in your office (or home office) and you already feel like you need a litre of coffee.
Does it sound familiar?
If it does, you’re not alone. Most business owners (whether big or small) go through this chaos at some point in their lives. It’s completely normal.
Your business is slowly growing but you cannot yet afford to hire more employees. If only there was some organisation tool that could bring you some calm to your business chaos…
The answer is simple: automation.
You might feel a bit reluctant because you probably think that automation seems impersonal and detached from the relationship you want to build with your customers.
You may be overwhelmed by the thought of the tech involved.
We get it.
“I’m just not that techie.”
We’ve all been there, too.
However, there are easy ways in which you can achieve great results with automated campaigns where your clients won’t feel abandoned or that they’re talking to a robot and you won’t be overwhelmed by the setup.
In this article, we’ll show you how automation can make your life easier as a business owner, how you can personalise your customer lifecycle and still hit those revenue goals you’ve been working so hard for.
But let’s get some things clear before we begin…
What is automation?
To put this in simple words, automation is personalisation when done well.
What does this mean?
In the past, marketing automation was a tool that only billion-dollar companies were able to afford.
But now, marketing automation has evolved. It’s smarter, more accessible and more affordable regardless of the size of your business or the level of growth you are at. Automation is for every business.
What makes automation such a wonderful tool is that it cuts down repetitive work (that is, all the stuff you don’t want to do) and leaves you with extra time to do what it is that you do best.
Whether you are a coach, consultant or a professional services business, you need automation.
Automation is not a threat. It’s a tool for business owners that will help you organise all your data (business and customers) in one place.
No more spreadsheets.
No more post-its.
Automation will improve your organisation, planning and scheduling skills (yours and your teams’.)
We know… by now you might be wondering if this could work for your business because “you’re different.”
Short answer: it does.
How can marketing automation grow my business?
If you’re one of those people who think that email marketing does not work and will not convert to sales, then you should probably think again.
Email marketing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to attract and retain customers and potential customers.
And you should definitely automate your email marketing.
Like everything in life, it all comes down to balance.
If you don’t want to sound like a robot, then your emails have to be as personalised as they can get.
How can you do that? Weirdly, the answer is, again, automation.
“Wait a minute… Liberate team. Have you lost your mind? Are you seriously telling me that I need to automate in order to get more personal with my clients?”
Yes, we are. Think of it this way.
There are 3.2 billion email accounts worldwide. Even if you only have around 50 contacts in your address book, the setup time adds up really fast.
How is that possible?
- creating emails every week,
- growing your contact list and
- scheduling send-outs,
you are wasting countless hours every single week only to send a company’s newsletter or a product announcement.
Instead of wasting all those hours, you can implement automated email campaigns to send tailored information to a customer (or a group of customers.)
Here are 3 major tips on how you can start implementing email marketing automation.
You’ve probably seen many huge companies using freebies or lead magnets in exchange for their customers’ data. You can do this, too.
Depending on what your business is, your freebie can be different things.
Typically, you can create:
- A step-by-step guide
- An ebook
- A template
- A short coaching session
- A trial of your service
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your freebie! People love it!
After that, you should upload your free product to an automation platform (like MailChimp, Active Campaign or InfusionSoft) and build a sign-up form so that your potential clients can leave their data in exchange for their freebie.
Now, what you want to do is segment your audience (or leads) based on the information they provide when they receive their free product. You can personalise your sign-up forms so that you can divide your audience and later on send them information and content that is relevant only to them.
For example, if you are a professional services business offering a range of services in different areas, you may register the interest of the lead on sign up and tag them as a ‘coaching lead’ vs a ‘done for you lead’
There are many categories to segment your audience so, think clearly how you want to do it and include relevant questions in your sign-up forms.
By now, you have loads of data from potential clients and you can use it to personalise your automated marketing emails.
We’ve all seen that many companies make the “mistake” of producing a general copy-paste email that pretends to be personal only because they mention your first name at the beginning.
You should go way beyond that.
With all the information that you have collected, you can segment your emails even further and add personalised touches according to what your clients need.
- new subscribers will probably need to know more about you and your service.
- Older subscribers may want to know what you’ve been doing lately.
- Your existing clients may need an upgrade from what they’d bought before.
Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is a very creative process. So, take advantage of it!
Research thoroughly to understand what your subscribers need from you in every stage. Unsure about the customer lifecycle? We’ve covered that in-depth here.
Make the most of your emails with dynamic content. Don’t underestimate the power of design.
Here are some ideas:
- different colours for different age groups
- specific designs for every season
- you can personalise according to every holiday or birthdays
- Specific images according to a special interest
- VIP and non-VIP subscribers
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. You just need to study your audience as deeply as you can and make the most out of the data they provide.
Dynamic content can make the difference between a customer for life or a lost lead.
Because everybody wants to feel special, seen and important… and your customers are not the exception.
Automation and personalisation are both wonderful tools for email marketing. You just have to understand how they can better work together both for your needs and for your customers’ benefit.
Too many businesses have to hire more employees just because they cannot deal with laborious tasks such as lead nurturing, customer support, invoicing, collections and payrolls.
You realise now that with the right system, you don’t need to spend a fortune anymore. You can automate all these tasks and get more time for yourself and for your team) to focus on other activities.
If you’re still unsure how to start with automation and personalisation, we’d be happy to help. Book a Free Game Plan Call with our automation expert where you’ll learn how to better automate your marketing and business processes so you can secure new clients and grow your business.